“The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40
“Trying to do the Lord’s work in your own strength is the most confusing, exhausting, and tedious of all work. But when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then the ministry of Jesus just flows out of you.” Corrie Ten Boom
I often find myself reminiscing about my early mothering years; the difficulty took me by surprise! I regularly told my husband how discouraged and hopeless I felt. Many times I would say “I’m not cut out for this” or “I cannot do this one more day.” Parenting was grueling—a constant giving and serving without ever being served. On top of that, exhaustion plagued my body because my hormones were out of whack. For more than two years, I frequently struggled with panic attacks that woke and terrorized me during the night.
During this season, it seemed everything I created or crafted was either eaten, messed up, or destroyed daily. By the end of the day, I felt I literally could not make one more meal, wash one more dish, speak one more kind word, teach one more lesson, pick up one more toy, solve one more dispute, kiss one more soft cheek, or read one more Bible story.
Hopelessness became the catalyst for God to do a deep work inside of me. From the core of my heart, I prayed for the Holy Spirit to give strength, to teach, and to help, because every single day felt exhausting with no hope of change in sight. This heart cry went on for years. I actually envied my husband, who went to work and came home with a paycheck. At least at the end of the day, whatever he constructed stayed beautiful, untouched, and appreciated. Ha!
Do you feel the same?
Mama, I want you to know, the Holy Spirit taught me and stayed close this whole grueling season, even when I did not deserve it or could not feel Him. Though I’m still not at the finish line (the endless giving will truly never be over for us moms), I’ve realized our children grow, the demands ease up over time, and you forget the hardship more and more. If you are currently in a similar stage of mothering, please believe me: The raw feelings of discouragement and hopelessness eventually soften because you grow. Life’s constant ebb and flow of seasons becomes more constant when we trust God. The Holy Spirit teaches us what we need to know if we ask and stay patient believing He’s there. Nothing pleases Him more than when we activate our faith in Him. He heals more fully than we think possible as we continually invite Him into our mess. Today I have older, married kids who are my best friends. They thank, serve, and give back, even though ten years ago this seemed impossible.
Discouraged, weary mom, please know that every cup of cold water given in the name of Jesus brings reward. You wash the feet of Jesus when you serve and minister to your children. God sees and notices, even when no one else does. Keep serving, keep obeying God, and keep pouring out love, no matter how you feel.
If you’re like me, you might be afraid of not finishing well and messing up your kids. And you know what? We do mess up! However, we also know staying down and defeated isn’t an option. We get back up after we fall down because the Holy Spirit meets us where we are in all our worries, failures, and sins. He’s so good at forgiving and pouring out His tender mercies on us every single day. God gave us His Spirit for this very reason—to help us navigate through life’s journey! So take courage and try to keep the end goal in mind: What do you want your children to value and remember when they grow up?
Above all, think about this: God forgave your past, He stays active in your present, and He will help you finish strong in your future. I’m so glad He never, ever leaves us! Do not be weary in well-doing, but keep on blazing a faithful trail and stay close to Him. Your beautiful rewards are on the way—they are coming soon. When you see the eternal investment you’ve made in your children, you will be pleasantly surprised and blown away by the goodness of God!
Faith Filled Idea: Using Your Imagination in Prayer
God gave us an imagination to draw us closer to Him—it’s a powerful tool we can utilize to connect our spirit with His Spirit. Close your eyes and imagine yourself standing in front of Jesus at the end of your life. Ask Him to speak to you. Take a notebook or journal and write down the important things He relays to you. Ask Him to help you live out daily what He says. Make a few copies of your notes and place them in strategic places in your home where you can be reminded of them daily.