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Dear Fellow Mom

Dear fellow Mom,

I’ve been thinking about you a lot for the last couple of days. I’ve wondered how you’re doing, and if your days are anything like mine, and if you’re as exhausted as I am by the time you finally get the kids to bed. I’ve been thinking about you because I’ve wondered if you’ve been reading all of the blog “mom letters” that I’ve been reading and how they’re affecting you. I’m interested, do you read them to make sure you’re doing everything right? To hear that you’re a good mom after all? To hear that you’re not alone?

Because that’s why I’ve been reading them. I know what it’s like to be on-call twenty-four hours a day. I know how it feels to wake up to crying and fall asleep to crying, to hold one sniffling baby while another screams to be held, to finally get dinner on the table at 8pm because of so many owies and fights and bathroom breaks (and by then everyone is too tired to eat anyway and we all just cry through teeth brushing and bathtime). I understand how lonely it is to be a mom sometimes – to see the opportunities and freedoms my friends without children have and to feel so left behind. I can relate to such exhaustion that my eyes burn and I yawn my way through my second (or third) cup of coffee, to the fights with my husband over who got less sleep or who puts in more work, and to the overwhelming frustration as I try and try and try to just get something done, only to turn around and see it undone by a small person. I know well that pang in my heart to see the look of judgment over a decision I’ve made in parenting, and to pick up my pieces and go with it anyway because I know it’s right.

Parenting is so contradictory, full of this aching, beautiful love for our children that can often be combined with an intense dislike for their actions or behaviors. Maybe even them as people at times. We can fall into this cycle of trying days – they can grate on us, so we react, which causes them to grate on us more. And if you’re anything like me, we let it carry over into the next day and the next and the next until we’re a home full of tears. It’s easy to be looking down at them for so many difficult days that we feel trapped.

But look up. You were made for more.

You were made to change the world. You were made to see the brokenhearted and bring them to Jesus. You were made to find the hurting and show them love. You were made to bring peace and joy and comfort through Jesus Christ. You were made to show the way to truth. You were made for a purpose.

You were made for this season. Yes, it is difficult. Yes, it can be lonely. Yes, it can drive you crazy. But it doesn’t have to drive you to the pantry to stuff your mouth with chocolate or to watch TV endlessly after the kids are finally asleep. It can drive you to Jesus. Look up, my friend! In these difficult days, we can run to Jesus for the grace we need for every moment. There is never a moment beyond His control, not even the one when I’m holding the door closed with all my might so my screaming three year old can’t escape from his time out. There is never a moment when His grace will be too small or too short, not even when I’m at my limit and I’m this close to losing my temper. His grace is sufficient for you. His power is made perfect in your weakness.

Look up, dear mommy! God has said your children are blessings to you. Choose to believe Him. If you were blessed with a promotion, it would require more work and more challenges. If you were blessed with a bigger home, it would require more cleaning and more money. You have been blessed with your babies. They will come with more work and more challenges and more cleaning, and they will use more of your money. And more of your energy, and brainpower, and sanity. But they are blessings.

Yes, the tune of these mom letters should be grace. They should point to the grace of Jesus, because that is how we can make it through a challenging day and still be Christlike by bedtime. Only by running to Him moment by moment can we get into the habit of looking up, and when we do, we will not see dirty feet and grimy floors. We will see Him smiling back at us, saying, “Good job. You have been a faithful servant. Enter into my joy.”

And I think that’s the reinforcement I need. What about you?

Love,
your fellow mom in the trenches

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