Category Archives: motherhood

What it means to be Pro-Life

A few weeks ago I attended a baby shower. The church was decorated adorably (pink, purple and zebra print) to celebrate the impending arrival of a little baby girl. Twenty women arrived with yummy treats to share. The gift table was full to overflowing and we played the traditional baby shower games. It was a fun afternoon. But, the thing that made it special to me was the fact that, for most of the women in attendance, the mom-to be was a complete stranger.


My friend, Karen, had created an afternoon full of love and celebration for someone that we hardly knew. She invited and women came! They came to love on an unwed mama, down on her luck, who is set to deliver a sweet babe in a few weeks. I can’t think of a better way to illustrate Christ’s love. This mama to be was showered with not just practical gifts but with love, acceptance and grace.


On my way home from the shower, I tearfully recalled when a life was growing inside of me and I did not experience that same love, acceptance or grace. I was sixteen and alone. No one to throw a baby shower for the little boy in my tummy and not many who supported the decision I made when I walked out of the abortion clinic with my pregnancy still intact.

In this election season, the words “pro-life” get thrown around a lot and what people seem to really mean when they say it is that they are “anti-abortion”. Friends, there is a major difference between being pro-life and being anti-abortion. The day I sat in a clinic, wrestling with the reproductive options presented, I had walked right past people holding picket signs. Their passion and vigor went basically unnoticed by a girl whose mind was already full of swirling thoughts. Their position did not influence my decision in the slightest. And, when I walked out, not a single one of them offered to pray with me or ask me if I was ok. Little did they know they were missing out on an opportunity to pour love and acceptance into a girl who had made a decision to give her child life but was still wondering if it was the right one.

But, my salvation story is rooted in the love and acceptance of two sweet women I met when that same baby was a toddler, who threw open their hearts and their church to love on teen moms. Being pro-life is so much more than trying to convince people that abortion is wrong. A true pro-life stance requires much more than ideology. Coming alongside a mom who is struggling to figure out how she is going to raise a baby alone is being pro-life. Pro-life is loving on the mom who is heartbroken with the regret of a past abortion. Supporting the rights of the disabled is pro-life. Becoming a foster parent is pro-life. Pro-life is not a political position. It is a value, exemplified in the actions of a person committed to walking alongside the hurting and the broken and honoring all life.

The question then becomes…..Are you truly pro-life?

Taming the Temper

I am into round 2 of raising up littles. My four are grown (24, 22, 19 and 18) and we currently have a 10 year old foster daughter and 5 yr old and 2 yr old grandkiddos under our roof. In a lot of ways, I am WAY more laid back and relaxed this goContinue Reading

My Real Children

One of the questions that annoys me {and many other adoptive parents. I’m sure} is “are you her real mother?” Or, even better, “are they real brothers?” Really? They share the same parents and the same last name, what do you think? For the record, real moms come in a variety of packages.  Some carryContinue Reading

When Parenting Teens and Young Adults is Hard

Wouldn’t it be nice if our kids could look at the replay of our lives and consider our mistakes a lesson learned on their behalf, thus saving themselves from anguish and heartache? If you read here regularly, you know I write a monthly column for The M.O.B Society, a popular website just for mama’s ofContinue Reading

Dear Weary Mom: The days go by so fast

I texted him at 9pm “This time 17 years ago you were 45 minutes old Love you so much!” How does seventeen years go by in the blink of an eye? How do you put the brakes on this growing up and becoming a man thing that is happening before your eyes?  How do you look upContinue Reading

Sometimes there’s just not a Mother’s Day card that fits

Maybe you stand in the greeting card aisle, putting cards back one by one because you can’t find one that says what you need it to. There isn’t a Hallmark card that says “it’s okay. You did the best you could and I turned out just fine”, now is there? Maybe it’s not that youContinue Reading

Loosening My Grip

Sometimes, when I am quiet in this space, it becomes increasingly intimidating to return. Is anyone reading here still?  And the haunting question always lurking in this writers mind– do I have anything important to say? But God, sweet friends! He just doesn’t give up on this pen to paper call He has placed inContinue Reading

For your desperate mama moments

Three kids six and under and a mama all with the chicken pox.  It is NOT my fondest mama memory.  Oatmeal baths and whining {mostly from me} and calamine lotion and whining and scratching and reminding not to scratch.  The worst was being cooped up in the house for a week. There was a knockContinue Reading

2012 in Review

Wow!  2012 was one for the record books for the Smallwood family.  In terms of milestones, this year was chock full of ’em. Shayla graduated with her certified nursing assistant license in March and started her nursing career. Attended her first college classes. Got married. Moved into their first place {and out of ours} and turnedContinue Reading

What You Learn From a Quiet House

My house is quiet. Y’all, that never happens!  With four kids, a two year old grandbaby, two dogs and a husband- it just never happens. Normally I beg for quiet.  Sweet Pea even says “hush”, echoing what she hears from my lips so often.  The clang, the chatter, the chaos of a busy home can seemContinue Reading