Need a little encouragement? This letter is for you, dear Mama, and I’ve included a memorable, toe-tapping song by Sara Groves. The last lines hold the key (see below).
A little encouragement to younger Mamas from an old Mom who has been there: Please remember that all of these days of pressing forward and making meals, doing laundry, wiping counters, chairs, noses, and buckling seat belts and doing those simple, yet oft-times forgotten, unseen, and repeated little things ARE making a beautiful difference for life.
There are SO MANY THINGS you must do over and over and over again like:
~reading that same book 5 times in a day
~separating little ones who fight with one another
~finding your kitchen low on food and needing to think about meals and buy groceries
~scrubbing out that dirty sink once again after filling the DW or doing dishes by hand
~teaching your young daughter or son how to do a chore properly for the tenth time
~giving baths and haircuts and clipping nails
~working with your toddler to clean up his toys …again
~asking the children not to slam the doors (and chasing the flies they let in)
~trying to get a moment alone in the bathroom without there being an accident
~going to the store and teaching your children how to respect others in the store
~looking for a missing sock or shoe or hat or glove
~sitting down with your older children to check their work or grade it
~and especially, taking the time to cook food that is consumed in 20 minutes or less
~going to bed and getting up to do it all over
I love the last lines especially:
“My grandmother had a working song
Hummed it low all day long
Sing for the beauty that’s to be found
In setting up the pins for knocking em down” ~Sara Groves
Much of our life as a Mom does seem like we are ‘setting up pins just to knock them down’! Sometimes there seems no purpose in it, but God wants for us to learn to look for the beauty in it.
I can remember repeatedly wiping up spit-up, mud, and sticky foods. I can relate to the weariness of being hung on, swung on, having your earrings and hair grasped as if you are a handle so that you just want to be alone. Changing umpteen diapers a day, some that had leaked, with twins and a 2-year-old at age 43 after 6 surgeries about did me in. I didn’t always see the beauty, and I needed lots of encouragement along the way!
I still remember the bone-weariness of having to discipline our children many times a day for disobedience when their daddy was at work, and it all fell to me. The Lord helped me and gave encouragement to be consistent as I asked for wisdom and grace; later at one point the children began to ‘get it’! Eureke! It took awhile but one by one they acknowledged it with something like, “Thank You, Mom- I needed that. Will you forgive me?“; finally a measure of victory was achieved when one son ran to Dad to exclaim with joy, “We only had 3 spankings today!” It was slow and painful work, but it paid off seeing our children gain some measure of self-control and governance.
These are sanctifying and growing days, and there are no shortcuts. But there can be beauty in growth!!
Also, don’t feel pressured to be perfect. Give your best, but understand that your best will vary in different seasons of life. If your best – with a home-ful of little people – is getting them into the tub at night, into jammies, and say a good night prayer of thankfulness with them, well, take a deep breath and accept it. In another season, your best will look better. It’s a matter of perspective, and it’s going to be OK.
Allow this time to grow you in your resolve to do your best with God’s help and leave the rest up to Him! Ask Him for wisdom, encouragement, insight, strength, joy, gentleness, resiliency, grace, and a peaceful and submitted heart.
Do not be discouraged, sweet Mama, when the way does not seem clear and the work is piled up. Slow down, eliminate the unnecessary things like ironing and going so many places. Major in the majors and run from the things that distract us from the BEST use of our time. Read aloud a lot.
“There’s absolutely no reason for being rushed along with the rush. Everybody should be free to go very slow.” ~Robert Frost
Lastly, we must reject comparison thinking which makes us envy others and become more and more dissatisfied as a Mom and as women. We fall into danger of expecting perfection of ourselves. We then transfer this dissatisfaction to our husbands and children. Pinterest isn’t necessarily ‘bad’, but when we compare ourselves, that is a very dangerous place to be.
And we just can’t afford that distraction for long. Why?
Because our children are watching.
Those little eyes and little hearts are taking their cues from us. Soon they will no longer be playing house, and it will all be for real.
Through us, they will learn about joy in the Lord, living for something greater than ourselves, and serving others!
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. “ ~Galatians 6: 9
Oh, it certainly is sobering to think about what we are teaching our children, but think on it we must. A committed resolve in the crunch time of raising our families is the only viable solution for the Christian Mother and homemaker.
So look for the beauty, Mom, and hang in there! I am praying for YOU.
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is…be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” ~Ephesians 5: 15-20
Thanks for reading!