Dear Weary, Worn Out Mother,
I know you’re tired today. I know you feel like a failure.
Yesterday was rough, wasn’t it? The doctor’s office made you wait too long, the shot your daughter had made her sick and fussy. You knew it wouldn’t last long, but you still felt overwhelmed by the tears. You felt worn out from the life that you love, but at times just feels like too much to handle. Last night you dealt with a lot. I know you sat up with your sick daughter, cleaned up vomit for hours and fell asleep feeling completely … defeated. I know you dealt with your son’s newly discovered second grade attitude before school this morning. You sighed and quietly let him take out his morning grogginess on you. You made breakfast, packed lunches, kissed cheeks, cleaned sticky surfaces, drove to school and put everyone else’s needs before you own – all before 9 am. You’re tired, worn out and focused on all your failures. I know, motherhood is hard.
Your focus is the problem. You only see the harsh word you spoke to your husband at dinner. You only see the way you rushed around trying to clean up puke, stressing out and looking like a frantic mess of a mother. You only see the parts of the day that you felt defeated and overwhelmed. You only see your failures or the parts where you could of done better. Let me tell you what you should see. You should see the good moments. You should see the times that you showed love, compassion and patience.
I bet your husband sees the good moments. I bet he sees a mom who is trying so hard to be good enough. I bet he sees a mom that is way too hard on herself for falling short sometimes. I bet your kids see an amazing mother, a selfless mom who puts their needs first. They may not always show their appreciation, but I bet that’s what they see.
If you focus on the good, the rest will drift away. What if you tried to see yourself through different eyes? What if you tried to see what God sees?
If you listen carefully, you can hear your seven year old son tucking in his younger brother last night. While you deal with the vomit covered couch, he sits on his brothers bed praying with him. “Please God help us to sleep well and thank you for our…freedom.” He whispers as he then proceeds to kiss his five year old brother and pull the covers up over him. “Goodnight Mason, I love you.” He says as he leaves the room. “I love you too!”
If you think about it clearly, you’ll see the image of a loving mother rocking her sweet toddler and singing “This Little Light of Mine.” She looks up at you with eyes full of love. She feels comforted because of you. She fell asleep feeling loved, taken care of and adored – because of you. Your sons lit up with pride as you praised them for their help with bedtime and their sick sister. They went to sleep with smiles on their faces, food in their tummies and love in their hearts – because of you.
We all fall short on a daily basis. We all make mistakes as mothers and wives. It’s a good thing that our works don’t define us. Good thing that our moods, attitudes and lack of patience is not what God is focused on. God sees our beauty when He looks at us.
He doesn’t see the harsh word you spoke after dinner, he sees your prayers asking for forgiveness. He sees you apologizing to your husband. He doesn’t focus on your hectic response to the toddler vomit everywhere, He focuses on the bundled up toddler in your arms hearing your soothing words as you assure her “everything will be fine.” and “Mama’s here.”
God sees our attempts to turn to Him with our weaknesses. God sees our flaws as a positive thing, because they allow Him to fill in the gaps. He looks past your temper, your mood swings and your mistakes to get a good look at your heart. He sees your love, shouldn’t we see ourselves the same way?
Apostle Paul bragged of his weakness like it was a special gift he was proud of. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that l the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:8,9 ESV)
Our mistakes don’t have to be a reason to walk around feeling defeated, weary and full of regrets. Our weakness can be a reason to turn to God to fill in where we fall short. Stop aiming for perfection dear mother. Stop trying to achieve a goal that will forever be out of your reach in this life. Turn to God and see yourself the way He does. He sees a loving, devoted, nurturing mother who was never meant to do everything alone or perfectly. Let God fill in for you where you’re lacking and remember to rest in His grace today.
Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary;they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:30 & 31 ESV)