Red Badge of Courage

With this little boy on the way, (and coming very soon...crossing fingers), I've been thinking about motherhood.  I wrote this post on my sweet sister-in-laws blog, Brandon & Shelby, and I'd like to share it here.  

From the time I was very little I wanted to be a mama.  As soon as I could talk, I was singing a little tune, “when I grow up, I want to be a mother and have a family...one little, two little, three little babies of my own...”  Now, expecting my first, I finally get to join the ranks of motherhood, and I couldn’t be more thrilled and grateful.

I have learned so much from the women around me of what it takes to be a mother.  As a mother-to-be I am gleaning from all the examples I’ve had throughout my life, from my mother, grandmother, sisters, friends, etc.  And from these wonderful women in my life, I have observed two constant themes: unshakable courage and unselfish love.  

My grandmother was one of these mamas, who loved her children undeniably and fought for them courageously.  She had 9 children, a husband to love and a large farm to care for.  On those days when she needed to give a little more than what she thought she was capable of, she put on what she referred to as her “red badge of courage” to face the day or challenge ahead. 

Grandma kept her lipsticks perfectly organized in the door of the refrigerator.  All of her shades, from coral, to pink, to red.  And on those days when she felt she was up against an army to protect her family, her “red badge of courage” came by picking out her brightest red lipstick and wearing it proud.   (She told my mom out loud sometimes, as she painted her lips with rouge, “I’m wearing my red badge of courage today.”)

So, when the laundry is piled high, when the terrible twos seem to be going on far longer than expected, when our teenager comes home with a weight they shouldn’t carry, when a daughter gets left behind, when a son is rebelling, let’s put on our red lipstick, and face the world with courage and our children with undeniable love.

I’m so looking forward to all the blessings that come from being a mama.  The days of necessary courage will come (and my lipstick will be ready for me), but, so will the days of sweet memories that will forever leave indelible imprints upon my heart.  


  1. Jessi,
    I always hoped that I would be a mama too. :) You are blessed.

  2. Beautiful post. All the best with the stage of your lifes.