Do you ever feel like the efforts you make and the thought that you put into being a wife and mom go pretty much unseen? We make sacrifices daily for our families, often without even realizing it ourselves. Suddenly we find ourselves burnt out and empty with nothing left to give and we wonder how we got there.
At this point, I often turn inward and start to run through the questions about my own heart. Am I “doing it wrong”: being ungrateful, exhibiting a sinful behavior that is contributing to the problem, letting myself get distracted too often by things like, phone calls, media, texting, etc. Guess what? Chances are one or all of these things are true. Sigh.
When I remember that I am a sinner and will continually be fighting sin in myself and in this world, how could I NOT be doing some of these things. The real question is, am I aware of these tendencies throughout the day and am I willing to admit it? Do I understand that it’s all about grace all.the.time ??
There’s that. And then there ARE the ways that we give throughout the day. In many ways, it comes naturally to sacrifice for our families. It’s a grace from God to continue to do this mothering thing…because this mothering thing is NOT for the faint-hearted! It is HARD, often thankless work. We work so much of the time in the unseen, but you know what the really beautiful thing is? The UNSEEN IS WHERE GOD IS! Every diaper you change, every tear you wipe, every attitude you correct, every late night conversation with a teen, every dinner you fix, every thought you put into holidays and birthdays…NONE OF IT GOES UNSEEN BY GOD. He is quietly watching, like a loving Father, proud of His little girl. He knows she is not perfect, that she messes up and that she herself still often feels like a child inside. But He doesn’t just stand idly by. When we call on Him, He hears us and is ready to give us grace for the next thing. He WANTS to see us do this well, but not without Him. He made us for Himself…everything revolves around that. He is not going to let us think for very long that we can do this on our own because He knows that isn’t what we were made for and it isn’t what is best for us.
So this unseen place, this place we are most with God, what does it look like for you? Is it hard? I can tell you it is for me right now. The days at home with the kids when no one is watching…but Him. It’s not always pretty. It’s overwhelming a lot. What does He say about it? II Corinthians 4 says, “So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” Hear that, moms? We can pray for eyes to see the unseen(what is eternal) and the ability to focus on THAT. Matthew 6 talks about the things that we do that are unseen. It says, “And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” NONE of what you do for your family goes without being seen by HIM.
Moms, can you trust Him for that? Can you trust that He sees your heart and the things done for Him behind closed doors? More than that, is it enough to fill your heart? I can’t say it’s always enough for me. I need to pray for God to change my heart and let His approval be enough. This is where God’s raw work of sanctification digs deep. This is the eternal work.
Can I trust that His grace truly is sufficient? That He is more than able to make the meager offerings I bring Him enough for that day…much like the loaves and fishes? He multiplies my efforts and somehow makes them not just enough, but above and beyond all that I could ask or imagine.
And remember that an empty cup has nothing to give. Let Him order your day and let Him fill your cup. He can do that in many different ways: coffee with a friend, a walk or date with your husband, a nap, a good book, time to think, snuggles with kids…these are all gifts of grace from Him. Grace for the journey. Grace for THIS moment.