East Texas Moms Blog is taking some time in 2018 to shine the spotlight on some moms in our East Texas community. We hope these stories continue to shine a light so bright, that it brings us together and let’s us know we are not alone in this journey!
When ETMB founder, Beth Bills, announced that we would be celebrating a “Mom of the Month” on the blog every month in 2018, I immediately began thinking of who among my friends I could nominate for this title.
There were so many moms that came to mind. I am *literally* surrounded by amazing moms and women who have taught me what it means to be a good mom to my littles. But I heard one name whispered into my mind and I immediately knew was the right one for this recognition: Laney Wootten.
When I first met Laney, she was standing on the stage of our church, belting her heart out before the Lord. I guess, in reality, we didn’t actually *meet* at that moment, but that’s when I first came to know of her. Her worship was an incredible invitation to enter into the throne room of God for those fifteen minutes and sing at the top of my lungs to Him. And every Sunday since, I have loved worshiping alongside her. Her worship leadership may have been the first reason I loved Laney, but it was certainly not the last.
Laney is a champion of motherhood.
A mother of five beautiful children, ages 7 years to 7 months, Laney understands the ups and downs of motherhood, and yet she believes there is nothing like it. Her oldest son, Jude, was diagnosed with autism at 17 months old. As many of our readers know first hand, this is a diagnosis that affects every aspect of life is often difficult, heart-wrenching ways. As Laney and her husband Jon have walked this path with Jude, day by day, they have faced some of their greatest challenges and confronted some of their greatest fears.
No one would have blamed Laney if she had given up her dream of having a large family. And she almost did. But through a series of books, sermons, and heartfelt prayers, Laney and Jon decided to no longer let fear dictate that area of their lives. Laney’s favorite quote about motherhood is this: “To embrace the womb is to embrace eternity”. To Laney, motherhood is one way to trust in and live out the Lord’s call on her life.
Laney is a true homemaker.
She homeschools, enjoys sewing, cooking southern dishes and desserts, and makes every dollar stretch as far as possible. As amazing as she is (and she is truly amazing!) she doesn’t make motherhood look easy. And that is a compliment, people!
One of the things I love most about Laney is the way in which she uses her difficult moments to encourage other moms. She has been known to hop on Facebook live and talk about the lies she is tempted to believe or how she’s lost the joy of motherhood. Those videos have become a source of great encouragement to every mom who follows her because they are all things we struggle with.
She faces the things that I feel on a daily basis with unswerving honesty and rather than stuffing them down like I am tempted to do, she speaks truth into them and calls us all to do the same.
Laney is a warrior.
She fights for her children, for her husband, for her sanity, and for the life she believes God has called her to. But she does it all from a place of victory in her Savior. To know Laney is to know her God. He is woven into every conversation, and into every decision she makes. Best of all, her love for Him stems from her desperation, not her strong moral fiber.
Laney often tells people how she would not be able to handle what life has given her without her faith and knowledge of God. Without knowing how good He is she would have struggled to ever accept her son’s diagnosis. Without trusting His promises she would never have felt hope in the long and arduous journey of motherhood. Without believing His call on her life she would have stopped having children out of fear and stepped away from leading worship in her local church.
It is Laney’s unrelenting faith and heart for community and connection that made me want to tell you all about her. May we all follow Laney’s example and link arms with the mamas we know and love when life gets tough. May we lift one another up rather than allow comparison to tear us down. May we look at the difficulties of life and have the audacity to know that joy is there if we are just willing to look for it.
Cheers to you, Laney Wootten, our April Mom of the Month! You’re doing a beautiful job and are so, so loved!