“I want my mommy!”  There, I said it!

I’m 47 years old, and the ache in my heart for my mom is still so raw, just like it was on the day we said goodbye 13 ½ years ago.

I was pregnant with our first born daughter, Izzy when my mom received the diagnosis of stage four metastatic breast cancer.

For many years after my mom’s death, I would avoid being in public on Mother’s Day. If someone happened to tell me happy Mother’s Day. I would say thank you, but that was NOT what I was thinking in my head. The loss for me was so big, I couldn’t see past my own grief to celebrate being a mom myself.

I would have these conversations with God, asking how He could leave me motherless when I was a young mother myself. I was so caught up in grief I couldn’t see what he had given me in return.

Slowly, over the years I have started to see the blessings he has given me in the women he has placed in my life.

When we moved to Kalamazoo just as my mom was diagnosed with cancer I met this wonderful woman and next door neighbor. Over the last 17 years, that neighbor named Leone became way more than a neighbor. She is one of my most cherished friends. I’m not sure if she would appreciate being called a motherly figure to me because she is only a few years older, but she is the one I call when I have a sick kid, I need extra help with my kids and she even stayed in my home when I had surgery. She is also Godmother to my son Max.

17 years ago we also found an amazing church family and over the years I have developed a very special relationship with Pastor Becky. She now plays the role of my spiritual mentor. She pushes me out of my comfort zone, continually prays over my family, taught me to bake bread and mentored both of my daughters.

I’m not certain where or when our relationship started, but her name is Linda. She has the biggest servant heart of anyone I know.  When she called me on the phone last fall and said, “I have these hostas that need splitting, do you want them?”  I thought I heard my mom’s voice as she said it. When we spend time together in her garden splitting plants I can easily go back to when my mom and I shared this same activity.

My sister has stepped in with my kiddos. Just like my mom, she has this amazing ability to purchase the perfect gift. My mom would often call me and say, “I bought ya something!”  Whatever the gift was it was always perfect. I often tell my daughter Tori, she has inherited this same gift giving ability.

I have this crazy cousin Tina that lives in San Clemente, California. Tina’s dad and my mom were siblings. My mom was the baby of eight kids so I have a bunch of first cousins on my mom’s side of the family. Growing up Tina and I didn’t spend much time together. On a spring break trip to Southern California 7 years ago, Tina and I spent a considerable amount of time together. Our relationship has never been the same (but in a good way). She taught me how to make my Grandma Baugher’s sweet tea and shared family stories that I have never heard. Spending time with her is just comfortable.

It’s been 14 years since I have celebrated an earthly Mother’s Day with my mom. But in the midst of a loss, you can have an unexpected gain. It may have taken 5 women to only slightly fill the void of losing my mother but, the Lord did not leave me, he did not forsake me. If this Mother’s Day finds you with an ache in your heart, lean on your Heavenly Father who wants more for you than you could ever ask or imagine and when the time is right, accept the love, help, and support of a motherly role model. 

Happy Mother’s Day Mom!

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Jennifer Hoffman
Jen is the heart and soul of LAUGH. She is a woman who listens to the whispers and nudges of God and then is fearlessly obedient. She has a heart and passion to help women embrace the concept that they are more than their circumstances. They are more than what they are dealing with. Jen lives and breathes this philosophy and leads by example. She is our LAUGH CEO. Jen’s genuine smile permeates the love of Christ to anyone who meets her. She exudes a warmth and an air of encouragement that speaks to the inner most places of women. She knows the importance of authentic community and strives to create an atmosphere through LAUGH where women are being embraced, encouraged and equipped to carry this movement to their realms of responsibilities. Jen is a co-founder of LAUGH, a former Interior Designer, the “Can Do” woman behind our LAUGH website and an incredible mom to her three kids. She has been married to her Superman for 23 years.


  1. Hi Jennifer,
    I saw this LAUGH group of what seems to be god fearing women on the Lori Moore show today and decided to visit this website and read more about it. I was browsing through and reading and learning about LAUGH, I came upon a story that Jennifer Hoffman wrote about how she “wants her mommy!” Well I was so inspired and the story touched my heart so much I had to comment. I lost my mom on Mothers day 2015. When her heart stopped in that hospital room in California, I did not know the journey of missing my mommy would become so constant in my life. Some days I can’t stop thinking about my mom. I sit and reminisce all day about her. I have to snap out of it. I have three children to attend to. Jennifer you are blessed to have someone to lean on. It takes special people to come anywhere near consideration of a motherly figure in a grown women’s life! (If you know what I mean)I just wanted to tell you in your touching story “I MISS MY MOMMY TOO!!”

    • Yvonne,
      I am truly sorry for the loss of your mom. The ache in your heart and my heart is real and it hurts and I know you miss your mom too! Lindsey and I prayed in the parking lot of WWMT before we entered the studio. We prayed for hurting women and even if our message of LAUGH touched one person it would be worth it.

      I hope you will consider coming to LAUGH on Monday nights at Southridge Church. Take a small step towards healing and surround yourself with LAUGH ladies! Please note we have joked that some nights we need to change our name to CRY. We are just real women with real stories trying to live by 1Thess 5:11. Encourage one another and build each other up!

      – Jen


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