Hang in There, Mommas!

by Lindsey Wingo

Hang in there, Mommas

*I love this picture of my friend and fellow momma, Lorah 🙂

“God has amazing plans for your life. Remember Jeremiah 29:11!”

Growing up I believed the amazing plans God had for my life would push me up above the norm. They would elevate me in a way that revealed how truly special He made me to be. I would do great things for the Kingdom of God. I would be used by God in a unique and life-shattering way. I would be a world changer. So imagine my surprise when I awoke one day and realized my life didn’t look as glamorous as I once thought it would.

My life looks like cleaning dried play dough out of pajama pants. My life includes wiping boogers and butts. (Sorry, moms, I know we don’t say the “b” word…) My unique and life-shattering situation looks like that of many other middle-class Americans. My husband works to support our family financially while I have chosen to stay home with our children for a season. We both end up exhausted at the end of most days only to wake up and start back over the next. Weeks and months go by and I wonder if anything we accomplished was truly meaningful or if we simply trudged away, completing necessary tasks as they arrived. All the while our children are growing at such a rapid pace it causes my head to spin.

How did I get here?

Is this the great plan God had for me?

Am I merely living, or am I thriving?

Am I making an impact at all? On anyone? Much less the world…

Will my life truly begin when the responsibilities of motherhood are fewer? Am I a horrible person for wondering that?

In her book, Fit to Burst, Rachel Jankovic describes the way we think our lives should look as a perfect picture of a perfect moment—a picture indicating we have arrived. But our lives aren’t like that in reality. We never simply arrive. As Rachel points out, the very fact that we were created with the need to breath continuously, eat often, and sleep every night is proof that we cannot escape monotony, repetition, and mindless tasks.

As mothers, we understand this idea of repetition. We mop the floors…again. We wash, fold, and put away laundry…again. We slice off the crust…again. We cook the meals…again. We bathe the kids…again. We sing songs and read books and argue with tiny tyrants about bedtime…again. We sit on the couch at the end of the day, when we planned to do this or that, and mindlessly scroll through Pinterest instead…again. We oversleep…again. And repeat. Again. Again. And again.

Is there purpose and hope in the midst of it all? Where is God’s great plan in all of that?

It seems God has been gently teaching me lately that this life—the real life I am currently living—is full of meaning, purpose, and hope. It is all a necessary part of a story much bigger than myself. It’s a life of sacrifice and giving. It’s a life of dying to myself daily. It’s a life of investing in eternal souls right under my roof—because the amount of precious souls under my roof currently won’t last forever. It’s a life of creating memories and laying a firm foundation. It’s a chance to worship my Creator even as I dig hair out of the bathroom drain. It’s a life lived not aiming to constantly please and amuse myself. I’m convinced if we mothers were to stand before God today, He wouldn’t look at us and say, “Why didn’t you accomplish something great with your life? Why didn’t you do more?” Perhaps instead He would say something like, “Daughter, you sacrificed your time, your dreams, and your life for others. Well done, my good and faithful servant. You did not neglect the lives I placed in your care. I did have great plans for you. Those plans included nurturing the smallest and most vulnerable of my children. Those plans were not easy, but you fought the good fight. Yes, you stumbled here and there, but I was always holding you by the hand. Well done, my child. You accomplished the work I sent you to do.”

Does this mean motherhood is the only thing we are good for? Is motherhood all that God created us to do? No. But motherhood is a glorious blessing given to us from the hand of the One Who created us and knows our innermost thoughts and desires. Motherhood is not a roadblock to greater world impact. It is a gateway to impacting the world beginning right under our own roofs. 

“Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring.” Malachi 2:15

So, fellow mommas, allow me to speak some words of encouragement to you (to myself).

You, sweet mother, are a breath of fresh air and a source of matchless comfort for your family. You are truly the heart of your home. You have a magic kiss that can heal boo boos and dry tears. You have the special touch that can make your home a haven for your family, even when the toys are scattered and the throw pillows (which are super cute by the way) have been puked on. You have the ability to mold the minds and shape the hearts of the next generation. You are an incredible storyteller and song singer (no matter what the toddler plugging her ears has to say about it). You can dance in the kitchen with the best of them and laugh until your belly hurts! You can build a serious block tower and color within the lines like a rock star! That sock bun you wore to work today, it proves you can look good in ten minutes flat while making sure all of your child’s needs are met for the day ahead. That shirt you have on when your husband walks through the door, the one with spit-up and drool, it’ll be a jewel in your crown. In fact, go grab that plastic tiara out of the dress-up box and rock it while you eat a big bowl of ice cream, because you did a great job today. You did kingdom work—important, foundational, life-shattering work.

May your children one day “rise up and call you blessed.”

Hang in there, mommas! We’ve got a job to do.

Lindsey Wingo Pic

 

*Please leave your comments below!

16 comments

  1. Cori says:

    Just what I needed to hear today. Before I married my high school sweetheart 30 years ago I told the Lord all I want to be is a stay at home Mom. The Lord blessed me with 3 great kids that I not only stayed home with I also homeschooled. They are 26, 24 and 24. I was truly blessed. Then the Lord blessed us again. After fostering 27 kids over a 5 year period we adopted 3. I am tired and feel like I never get anything done, so your message really hit home. I have known all along that that is the truth but we all need a reminder. When I hear this little ones pray or talk about Jesus I know I have the right job. When my 7 year old ask Jesus into his heart 2 years ago I definitely knew this is why God called me to to be a Mom. I feel blessed to have had my own biological children and then to be asked by God to start over and raise 3 more. That is a compliment to me. I am 51 years old with a 7 , 4 and 2 year old. My house has never looked this bad. But I love these children with all my heart and I am blessed. Thank you for the reminder.

    • missionalmotherhood says:

      Wow, Cori! What an amazing legacy you will have. Thank you for sharing! I wish I could talk more with you about your motherhood journey. Keep up the good work! Thank you for the encouraging comment 🙂

  2. Liz says:

    Thank YOU! Thank YOU! Thank YOU! I cried when reading this today…. I have been praying for months ( which of course feels like an eternity) to the LORD “when will the plans you have for me to further your kingdom begin? When are you going to have me go out to another country to speak to others about you? When? When? When?” God has been working in my heart over the past few weeks and changing how I see his purpose for me. Yes, in the changing diapers, dusting, cleaning toilets ( again, and again), and in all things. Thank You Lindsey for the encouragement. I hope while you wrote this post that the LORD encouraged you too!

    • missionalmotherhood says:

      Thank you Liz! I’m so glad it resonated with you. And yes, the Lord definitely encouraged me before and during the writing of this post. Thankful for His faithfulness! I so understand your thoughts too 🙂 Hang in there, friend! – Lindsey

  3. Christie1982 says:

    Thank you for sharing this; it is so beautiful! I wish there had been a disclaimer at the beginning that recommended having Kleenex nearby.

    Last night, a friend posted on Facebook about being a weary mama but social media makes us feel like we have to be perfect. It was a shout out to all of the mamas that are less than perfect, reminding us that we’re not alone. Her ending paragraph said “One day I will hopefully look back and think ‘wow, those were some hard years. But I made it through.’ And I will smile”.

    I’ve been battling the thoughts of whether I’m a good enough mother or not and I wrote a response that was ALL God. This is what I wrote:

    “That’s the beauty of having friends that are real, even if it’s just a friendship through social media. Real mamas who are struggling because they aren’t the soccer moms who go to yoga while their kids are at school or at MDO, the mamas who are doing good to remember to send a snack to school and make PB&J sandwiches and not the fancy Bento lunches. I could never begin to compare my daily struggles of trying to be a good mom to what all you do, but to an extent I understand.

    There’s a sisterhood of mamas that aren’t perfect but we give our children our hearts and that’s the best thing that anyone could ask or hope for, you know? I hope that one day we’ll all be able to look back and think ‘I don’t know how I managed to pull all of that off, but with God’s grace, I did’ and we will smile.”

    I always love to see the timing on things and how that all works in His plan, so you posted this when I was thinking along the same lines. It still amazes me time after time after time how something that could be viewed as coincidental or might seem insignificant to others have meaning to me.
    I think of them as “winks” from God (“God wink” is what I call them) . Like He’s giving me a sign so that I know He hears me and I just picture there being a smile and a wink that goes along with it.

    I know a lot of other people needed to read this and be reassured, but the date you posted it and the message you shared… that was a “God wink” for me!!

    • missionalmotherhood says:

      Thank you for sharing, Christie! I love “God winks” 🙂 He is such a personal, loving God, isn’t he? It’s also good to know we imperfect moms are not alone!

  4. Faith says:

    Thank you for this post Lindsey. Very timely. I saw it originally posted and didn’t have the time to read the whole post and have wanted to get back to it for days. God must have known I needed it more now then a few days ago. I’ve really been struggling with the rote and repetitive and seemingly pointlessness of daily life. Yes, deep down I know it isn’t pointless. But there are days and times it feels like it. Mop the floor and 5 min later no one would have a clue. Baby screaming for 2 hours. I’ve had conversations with me husband the last 2 days about the very things in this post. I needed this word today. Thank you for the time you put into this blog. It is such a blessing to me.

    • missionalmotherhood says:

      Thank you, Faith! I totally understand the struggle. (I’m sure many moms can relate!) Thank you for the encouragement!

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