I hadn’t seen the boys in a few days. When the doorbell rang, they piled in excited. We ran upstairs and Josiah, who is almost two, climbed on my back and sat on me.
I was the imaginary horse and he was the cowboy. He jumped up and down until my vertebrae felt like it was going to snap in half, and then snuggled close. Luke grabbed Richard by the hand and off they went.
Later I found my daughter downstairs wrapped in a comfy throw, snuggled on the couch. It had taken her about two minutes to fall asleep.
She is on the front lines, like most moms. She’s balancing a flexible job with parenting two rambunctious boys. Sometimes, when it’s possible, she visits the chiropractor who tsks-tsks while trying to fix her frame, out of line because she carries one boy on her hip and the other loves nothing more than jumping off the bed to her fifty times in a row.
She makes peanut butter jelly sandwiches and freezer meals. She washes clothes and then puts them on the boys just in time for a leaky diaper or a spaghetti face.
Motherhood is sheer faithfulness.
It’s stepping up to do something ordinary, but with extraordinary tenacity.
The other day I was reading about Nehemiah. He was the cup bearer to the King. He drank the ale to make sure it wasn’t poison. Some might say that anyone could do this job.
This day-in and day-out job was an enormous position of trust. It met a need; it protected; it served. Beyond the obvious there was a greater cause as Nehemiah stepped up every day to make sure that the nation would have a King.
Right now you might be deep in the midst of ordinary.
You are potty training. Correcting behavior. Loving. Serving. Carpooling. Showing up at ball games. Coming home from the job only to start your second.
You are performing everyday tasks with tenacity and attention to detail. There are days that you feel overwhelmed, unappreciated, but also totally in love with those children you call family.
Can I tell you something? I’m pulling you close — woman to woman. Mom to mom.
What you do is significant over time. Those everyday gestures of love and teaching and patience is shaping the man or woman your child will become. In the nitty gritty, we moms don’t have a magic mirror. We have no idea what God is doing as we partner with Him day by day.
However, He does.
Just like Nehemiah, the man who was a cup bearer. Though his job seemed behind the scenes, it was his quiet influence that later banded together thousands to save an entire nation.
What you do matters. I can’t say that too many times.
To my sweet Melissa, Leslie, and Kristin, I want you to know that this mama is watching you and I know it’s crazy hard some days, but you are shaping five incredible human beings that will make an impact on the world.
And to you, maybe it’s been a really long time since anyone patted you on the back or gave you a word of encouragement. I’m reaching with both arms to tell you that you are valuable. You are faithful. You are beautiful to your children and you are beautiful to your God.
Thank you for showing up every day. Thank you for your faithfulness. What you do is a sweet fragrance — to God, to your children, and to all those your children will one day touch as they grow into the man or woman God called them to be.
My friend, Glynnis Whitwer, just wrote an awesome book called Tame the To-Do List: How to Choose Your Best Work Every Day.
It’s filled with practical time management helps, but it’s also an exciting look at how to live your best life right where you are.
Moms, we need this book!
The Proverbs 31 Ministries online Bible study is currently offering a free study over this book (and I’ve signed up!). I hope you’ll check that out.
Glynnis has allowed me to offer a giveaway. She loves moms and women who are in the trenches making a difference.
How do you enter to win? Just tell us one thing that helps you as you parent your children.
Or if your children are grown, encourage our moms with one thing that you wish you’d known way back then.
Buy Glynnis’ book. Your purchase of this resource is a small blessing to this ministry. Find out more.