“But how do I find joy in the middle of the cracker crumbs and dirty diapers? When will it ever get better?” she asked. The woman asking the question had five children under the age of five, and four of them came two-by-two. Her circumstances were challenging, to say the least. Tired but eager to learn, she sat at a folding table in our small Bible study room among women of many generations and walks of life, who had all likely asked a similar question.

It Can’t Get Better; It’s Already Good

As we dug back into God’s Word, the discussion led us to conclude that it can’t really get any better. God has ordained or allowed every circumstance that we will face. And those circumstances? They are for our good and His glory. How could it get any better than that? Romans 11:36 tells us that all things are “from him and through him and to him.” And this compels Paul’s response—the one we can all echo— “To him be the glory forever. Amen.” Our frustration in the daily challenges of motherhood comes when we confuse the idea of things “getting better” with what we truly desire: joy. But how do we find joy in the Lord in a world that seems to call us in a different direction?

The Source of Our Joy

There is a trend in social media that makes it seem as though we are fighting our way through the torture of raising children, as if they are like an enemy. Culture tells us that their needs are a burden, their inexperience in life is something to make fun of, and their emotional meltdowns are viral content for entertainment. In many ways, the world would have us believe that challenging seasons of parenting are a bad thing that we have to trudge through until we get to the “better” thing. In the meantime, we can find temporary relief from these frustrations by enjoying the never-ending stream of humorous memes and video clips. But there is a sinister underlying message in this trend of “mommy humor.” My sweet friend, just under the surface of that humor is a lie. It whispers that motherhood should make us happy—eventually.

But motherhood can never produce what we will only ever find in the Lord.

Who Is Our True Enemy?

Sweet sister, we are in a spiritual battle for the very souls of our children. There is an enemy that would have us fighting the wrong fight and looking to him for refreshment and refuge in the battle. Peter reminds us that the enemy “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

Our children are not the enemy. Do not allow them to be the spoils of this spiritual war.

If we turn to the world for comfort and refreshment, we can begin to view our children as burdens that disrupt our day, sources of content for never ending jokes that belittle them and motherhood all under the guise of humor, or sources of our own entertainment from their lack of life experience. Essentially, in our mindless scrolling we hand them over in battle to the wrong side. We have a very real enemy, and we must never take for granted the role our motherhood has in the kingdom of God.

How Do We Fight the Battle Well?

Parenting is tough work, and we were never meant to do it alone. Psalm 34:8-9 guides us to our true source of joy when faced with these challenges:

“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints,
for those who fear him have no lack!”

Instead of turning to social media as a way of escaping the battle and finding the wrong kind of comrades in the fight, what if we turned to God’s Word instead? What if in those moments of frustration, we turned to God in prayer? In tasks that can often drain our proverbial “cup,” what would it look like to fill our “cup” each morning with the living water of the Word of God? Is it any wonder that David tells us in Psalm 34 to “taste and see?” We must draw from the only source that can give us refuge: God, and God alone. In Him we will “have no lack,” which includes no lack of joy and peace.

As I continued exploring this idea among the other women seeking Christ that evening, it was a reminder that we were made for fellowship with other believers, to build each other up in the Word and in love. And let’s face it, sometimes these circumstances do drive us to need the kind of levity that a good belly laugh can bring—one best enjoyed with a sweet sister in Christ who knows that one day He will return, and everything will be perfect!

I want to encourage you to continue to fight the good fight. Our children are a gift from the Lord and the next generation of new soldiers in that fight, so train them well. Now go clean up those cracker crumbs like the warrior you are!

Photo by Bethany Beck on Unsplash

Marybeth McGee

Marybeth is a native of Grand Rapids, Michigan but moved to Georgia after meeting her husband, Brian. A graduate of Western Michigan University with a degree in Family Studies, Marybeth currently works for the State of Georgia in the Department of Early Care and Learning. After nearly a decade of infertility the Lord blessed Marybeth and Brian with three boys through foster care adoption. In 2020 she began The At What Cost Blog and YouTube channel to document the family’s journey into a more simplified lifestyle. What began as more of a hobby has grown to over 25,000 subscribers who tune in to discover how even the most mundane of tasks in our homes can reflect the sanctifying work God is doing in our hearts. Marybeth serves on the Women’s Ministry team at her church, Redeemer Presbyterian, where she also leads women’s Bible study. She enjoys reading, crafting, and camping with her family and their German Shorthaired Pointer, Gunner. You can find Marybeth at and @theatwhatcostblog on most social media platforms.