Just a few days ago, I picked up my phone to facetime my oldest. I looked at my reflection in the phone as I waited for my daughter to answer and noticed how tired I looked. “Does my face always look this exhausted?” I asked my daughter when she answered the call.
“Mom,” she said, “you look like you always do.”
I suppose it should be no surprise that the daily grind begins to show itself physically. Work, grad school, and other responsibilities certainly make me look forward to laying my head on the pillow each night. But where I feel the greatest weariness, at times, is in mothering.
Being a mom is one of the most rewarding jobs the Lord has given me, but it has also been the most wearing. From infancy on, a mother regularly plays the role of referee, chauffeur, counselor, comforter, guider, provider, educator, prayer warrior, discipliner, and the list runs on. It’s no wonder motherhood can make us to feel worn down and inadequate.
There are many days that I just don’t feel up for the job of being a mom. And thank the Lord for this.
Gratitude For Our Insufficiencies
Why be grateful for my inadequacy? Because if my children always obey, if I always feel like supermom, then I would have no reason to cling daily to the cross. Without coming to the end of my rope, I would stand in my supposed self-sufficiency rather than recognize the necessity of Jesus’ grace.
Mom, if you are weary today, if you are anxious because of your failings or physically tired from the constant demands of motherhood, don’t be tempted to force on the supermom cape. Because we are insufficient, we wear that with pride. Instead, humbly submit to Jesus and find true rest for your soul. It is in our weakness that we experience a Savior who envelops us with His strength to be the mother that He called us to be.
In Our Weakness, We Discover God’s Strength
When my children were toddlers and infants, I heard on repeat: “Don’t worry. It gets easier.” Now with two young adults moved out of the house and one teen with just a few years left at home, I’m still waiting for the easier days.
This is not meant to be a discouragement but a bit of humble realism from one mom to another. While some aspects of motherhood get easier as they get older, others become more difficult. The regular comforting over stubbed toes and constant refereeing between siblings is replaced with complicated decisions about technology and worry over late weekend nights.
Sisters, the encouragement is not found in looking forward to “easier days,” but in recognizing how the Lord gives you the strength for each day’s responsibilities. He gives you the words for every difficult conversation with a teen. Jesus provides you with the ability to make wise decisions about schooling and phones. We are in Christ which means that everything we need comes directly from Him (Psalm 62). Do you see how significant this is? No mother’s superwoman cape can come close to Jesus’ strength for moms when they feel weak.
So, tap into that strength by making the schedule changes necessary to spend time in God’s Word. Open your heart to it! And draw from His strength by talking to God and being honest with your emotions. In His humanity, Jesus Himself gained courage on multiple occasions by submitting to His Father in prayer.
Ask God to provide wisdom beyond understanding, to give you the patience needed to get through another long night with your infant, and then watch and see how our great Supplier provides the strength needed to do what He has called you to do. Jesus loves you beyond understanding, and He wants to show you that when you are weak, that is when He displays His magnificent strength in and through you.
In Our Inadequacies, We See the Gospel Hope
Hebrews 10:23 says, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”
He who promised is faithful. In this calling to motherhood, there is nothing more significant than keeping a firm grip on God’s promises. He will never break His Word, and there is nothing you can hold on to that is more secure. There is no article, book, or parenting advice that is more reliable than the promises of Jesus. The insufficiency of human resources in our parenting dilemmas simply sheds light on the hope we have in the gospel of Jesus.
We celebrate in grandeur Jesus’ death and resurrection during Holy Week, but we should bend ourselves to the magnificence of this gospel story regularly, and especially as we parent our children. Jesus did not die for you, sister, because He knew you’d be a perfect mom.
Jesus died for you because He loves you. And because He rose from the grave, we put our daily trust in a God who has defeated the worst thing we can imagine in this life. Because of His work on the cross, we experience God’s riches at Christ’s expense every day. That grace washes over us like a waterfall that flows furiously. You are poured over in that grace daily.
Jesus sees your tears over another spilled cup of coffee, He knows how earnestly you want to point your kids to Him, and He forgives fully when you fall short with impatience and anger. Because of the gospel, the mercies of Jesus are new every morning, and because of His graciousness, God works in and through our inadequacies for His glory and our good. Hold fast to these promises today and find rest, peace, and comfort in this significant calling.
Photo by Benjamin Manley on Unsplash
Katie is a writer, teacher, retreat speaker, and Bible study leader. She is married to Chris, a PCA pastor at Trinity church in Kirkwood, MO, and is a mother to, Ella, J-Rod, and Lily. Katie works as the music director at Trinity, serves on the Women’s Ministry Committee, and teaches high school writing. She writes for various ministries, leads women’s Bible studies, and speaks to women’s groups about the joy she has found in Christ. Katie graduated from Covenant College with a BA in English Education and is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in Theology from Covenant Seminary in St. Louis. For more information, as well as various articles and blog entries, you can visit her website at www.katiepolski.com