Last week we went to the mall for a family outing after a rather hard day. There I sat at a dirty food court table eating my sub sandwich while Tim took the girls to throw away the trash. I slowly chewed and swallowed what seemed like my only real meal of the day when I felt a pair of eyes staring at me. I turned my head and noticed a woman looking at me.

"Have your hands full, huh?" Apparently she had been observing my crazy brood during our not-so-quiet mealtime. (If I had a quarter for every time someone asked me if I had my hands full, I'd be able to replace my wardrobe by now.) I nodded and looked at Tim. Holding Elle in the Baby Bjorn, V on his hip and Mya in one hand, he seemed as worn down as I looked.

I felt the woman's eyes still on me and turned to look at her. Exhausted, I didn't really want to have a conversation with this polite stranger but was glad she felt inspired to say a few more words to me. You see...most people usually laugh as they repeat my not-so-favorite comment, "Have your hands full?" and then they pass me by without offering an ounce of help when it is usually quite obvious that help would be welcomed.

This woman was different. She said in the sweetest voice as she grabbed her son's hand, "Well, I'm jealous of you really. It took me six years to get pregnant with this one and we finally stopped trying when he was seven for a second. Be grateful for your fertility. I know it may seem like a lot now, but they will bless your lives later." She smiled. Her son smiled. It was as if they could see into my turbulent soul and see I was drowning.

Her words have lifted my spirit and propelled me forward during my hardest moments over the past few days. Truth be told, there are moments I feel so lost and alone. I am still learning how to be a mom of three. I have no clue how to raise three lively girls, but I am trying. And at the end of the day I really am grateful for all God has blessed me with. I have a husband who stands by my side every single day. He would--if it were possible--carry all my burdens for me. And I have three beautiful peanuts who hug me even when I don't really deserve to be hugged. They are kind and forgiving. They love me for me and are patiently waiting for me to find my way as a mom in this big world.

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"Be kind and considerate with your criticism... It's just as hard to write a bad book as it is to write a good book." Malcolm Cowley