“Mama, watch me! Mama, look at this!”
Those are the words I hear shouted numerous times a day by my four-year-old and six-year-old daughters. Even when I’m standing or sitting right next to them, they want to be sure they have my full attention to cheer them on in whatever project, accomplishment, or new discovery they’re making. If you have kids ages 10 and under, you can probably relate.
It’s a joy and a privilege to encourage my children. I love to see them light up when I answer them with a smile and uplifting words. Being intentional is a popular catch phrase right now, but there is so much truth in making a concentrated effort to be intentionally patient and gentle with our children. I see the benefits in my children’s attitudes when I choose to respond to them with grace and love, no matter how tired or distracted I might be.
But what about those tired and distracted moments? If we’re going to be honest, we know those happen more often than we’d like sometimes. When we’re balancing marriage, motherhood, homeschooling, and housework, something is going to give. No one person can do it all, all the time. On top of that, we’re usually our own toughest critics.
That’s the kind of pressure that has left me calling out, “Lord, watch me! Lord, look at this! I’m tired and unappreciated and I feel like I’m running on empty. I have poured myself out for my family and it seems that no one even stops to notice that I’m a person, too.”
Yes, just like my own children, I turn to my Heavenly Father for recognition and encouragement. I know that He sees what others do not. I know that He cares and will cheer me on when I need it.
I find these Bible verses to be especially encouraging when I need a little extra spiritual attention:
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9
Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. 2 Corinthians 4:1
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. Corinthians 4:17-18
Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:30-31
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29
Motherhood is a ministry. It is arguably the most important calling a woman can have. These years of diapers and laundry and homeschooling and weariness will soon pass. One day my house will actually stay clean after I de-clutter it. I won’t be tripping over toys or wishing I had just one minute of quiet time for myself. It’s important in the overwhelming moments to take a deep breath, whisper a prayer, and keep fighting the good fight with patience, gentleness, love, and perseverance. Our labor is not in vain. Our Father is watching and He is cheering us on!
Sara is a homeschool mom of 3 girls (11, 6, & 4) and wife to Dave for 18 years. She’s been blogging about homeschooling, motherhood, and faith for 5 years at Embracing Destiny. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.