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At Sandstone Avenue one of the most meaningful products we offer is our Encouragement & Motherhood Affirmation Cards. You can find them by clicking on the link below. This post explains the background of my experience as a mother that led me to design them, as well as the purpose behind the product.
My first full-term pregnancy was so magical. I felt great! We were keeping baby's gender a surprise until delivery. I loved being pregnant and our baby was overall healthy. After he was born, I struggled with Postpartum Anxiety for several months. I had no idea hormones could play such an important role in the recovery period. No one warned me about them and what I experienced wasn’t like anything other moms were sharing. But I soon found out that it is normal. Anxiety after delivery is real and it can make your mind travel to really scary places. Worry takes over and it’s hard to get a grip on who you were prior to the anxiety arriving. Thank goodness for my best friend, doctors, and modern medicine. After a couple weeks, I was back to normal and my anxiety was under control.
During my second pregnancy I miscarried at 11 weeks. It was a dark time and I struggled to feel worthy of being a mom to any children. I questioned why God would take that baby away from me. I also started to have a very specific dream during that season, and it still comes back often to this day. Walking through loss felt lonely. I felt guilty for not being able to carry full-term, and embarrassed around the family we had announced our failed pregnancy to. I put all the pressure on myself. And while I so easily drifted from God, He was still working on the plan He has for my life.
Two months after I miscarried we found out we were pregnant again. I was teaching in a new school. We had just moved into a brand new home and were so excited to expand our little tribe. I carried her to full-term and she adds a lot of spunk to our family unit. She wouldn’t take a bottle, so I made the decision to leave my job and stay home with her.
The last 9 months with her have been difficult. She’s determined, strong-willed, and expresses a lot of emotions. She has struggled to stay on the growth chart. At one point our pediatrician tested her for leukemia. She has also recently started having night terrors. All I want to do is find her the help she needs, but every route seems to lead to dead ends.
When she turned six months old I became really sick. I had gone in for an appointment with my OBGYN for an annual exam and mentioned some of the symptoms I was having. Without concern or hesitation she said, “It sounds like you’re pregnant”. I had been in such a state of survival with our daughter that I overlooked all the signs of pregnancy.
Entering our third pregnancy I was exhausted, but determined to have a healthy pregnancy. I was walking 3+ miles every day and lifting weights all the way to our 19 week anatomy scan. After that appointment I was put on bedrest for complete placenta previa. I was told it would resolve in a few weeks and that I could then go back to my normal routines.
I stayed on bedrest for the remainder of that pregnancy and delivered via cesarean. My doctor prepared me for the absolute worst - that baby would survive and possibly require some NICU stay, but there’s a chance that I might not. Oftentimes the placenta will implant into the uterus and complicate the delivery process. The pandemic was happening and everything was locked down. I had to go to appointments alone because my husband wasn’t allowed to join me. I visited high-risk doctors, had in-depth ultrasounds, and went through some of the most emotional appointments and conversations I’ve ever had as a mom.
I often questioned God’s timing and his goodness. We were done having children after our second. I had promised myself I would be done bearing children by the time I was 30. But thankfully our plans didn’t get in the way of God’s. We can’t imagine life without our third. He’s the missing piece we didn’t know we needed.
WHERE THE AFFIRMATIONS COME FROM
I’ve been writing down affirmations and encouragements in journals, on bulletins during church services, and have a running note on my phone. Through the last five years I’ve compiled quite the list, and it’s still going as God reveals new ones to me. I couldn’t think of a better way to share the uplifting words that have helped me through dark times. The days can be long. The months can feel heavy. But no matter what season you’re in, you’ve got this. You are placed in your role as mother (whether it’s biological, foster, or adoption) for a purpose. God’s plan for your life is always good. I want to encourage you in that truth.
REASON FOR SHARING
When my first child was born I can remember the baby showers and the exciting gifts we received. Those gifts have all been used. Some of them I’ve saved and used with all three babies. The one thing that stuck out to me the most was a friend who would check in on me EVERY week. She would encourage me, listen to me, and give advice when I asked. Every mom needs a friend like this. While I can’t be there in your home sitting on your sofa, I still want to encourage you and bring affirmations to your life as a mom. It’s hard work, but it’s holy work.
HOW THEY ARE PACKAGED
Each deck is packaged as a set of 52, one motherhood affirmation card for each week of the year. I like to change the card every Sunday morning to prepare for the week ahead. However, if you feel led to continue to keep one card out for longer until the season you’re in comes to pass, that's completely up to you. There are no rules here.
WHY IT'S IMPORTANT TO ME
Motherhood is an important job, but is rarely given recognition. It wasn’t until I became a mom that I fully understood everything that goes into taking care of another human. It’s draining some days, exhausting on others, and it’s easy to allow the enemy to fill us with doubts and discourage our work within the home. By focusing on affirmations and encouragements, our minds are being filled with positivity and overshadowing the negativity that infiltrates our lives through social media and other channels as jealousy, selfishness, and many more.
HOW TO GIFT THEM
Gifting these encouragement and motherhood affirmation cards is easy. We often think of the baby’s needs when buying gifts for a shower, but we rarely put thought into a present for the mom-to-be. This deck is the perfect add-on gift and lets mom know you’re thinking of her too during this very special transition to her next chapter.
I love surprises and gifting is one of my love languages. I will sporadically slip a deck in a friend's mailbox when I know she's experiencing a difficult season. Maybe she’s feeling overwhelmed by a child’s medical needs, she recently lost her spouse, she’s struggling to keep everything organized, or simply because the Lord has placed her on my heart. The possibilities are endless and every momma loves a surprise.
After I’ve been focusing on a card for the week I like to mail it to another mom whom God has placed on my heart to pray over. I’m not sure there’s anything more honoring and joy provoking than receiving a note of encouragement and finding out another mom has been praying specifically over you and your motherhood season.