For the Mom Whose Life Feels Small

For the Mom Whose Life Feels Small~ Lately, I feel like the tree in this picture--frozen in place and stripped down to bare branches, while everything in the distance sparkles with wonder.  As a girl who wanted to go into missions and rarely dated, I tried to prepare myself for the fact that I might never get married.  As a result, I never dreamed I would be a stay-at-home-mom.

Lately, I feel like the tree in this picture–frozen in place and stripped down to bare branches, while everything in the distance sparkles with wonder.  As a girl who wanted to go into missions and rarely dated, I tried to prepare myself for the fact that I might never get married.  As a result, I never dreamed I would be a stay-at-home-mom.  Teacher, missionary, world-traveler and adventurer, maybe, but I didn’t imagine I’d be inching this close to the “soccer mom” category–ever.

But here I am.

I have an 18-month-old and a three and a half year old who rely on me to sustain their loud little lives on a 24-hour basis.  My husband is extremely helpful and doesn’t shy away from the dirty duties of parenthood, but he works from 9 to 5 and I am the full-time caretaker to these two little ones.

And that is all that I do right now.  Because, truly, it is a 24-hour job (if you’ve never seen it, watch the video that went viral in 2014 called “The World’s Toughest Job” about motherhood). 

In my post, The Narrowing, I say that I am being given the “gift of lessening.”  This week, I‘ve been struggling to have this positive perspective.  I lead a small life, insignificant to all but about five people in the world right now, and it just feels like there should be more.

But this morning on my run, something happened.  The sun was beginning to rise as I set out and the sky was a swirly dark blue, with asphalt-shaded mountains in the distance.  Slowly, the sun began to illuminate the hills, then the tips of the winter trees who were striking a pose as if stopped mid-dance.   Fiery gold and blazing orange suddenly shone on that lone stripped-down tree, which had been plain black just a minute before.  And the light poured over it in blinding brilliance like a burning bush.  And God seemed to speak. 

I see you.”

For the Mom Whose Life Feels Small~ Lately, I feel like the tree in this picture--frozen in place and stripped down to bare branches, while everything in the distance sparkles with wonder.  As a girl who wanted to go into missions and rarely dated, I tried to prepare myself for the fact that I might never get married.  As a result, I never dreamed I would be a stay-at-home-mom.

I see you, sweet mama As you wipe another nose, change another diaper, read another story.  I see you as you wearily stumble out of bed in the middle of the night to fix your child’s pillow that wasn’t quite touching the wall the way he liked.  While no one else is watching, I know when you fold that load of laundry for the thirtieth time this month.  And I see you when you stand at the grocery store and wonder how many children you can safely fit into one shopping cart (AND fit all your groceries).  And I smile when you think that a dentist visit now qualifies as a “relaxing” event because you are forced to lie down for almost an hour.

And do you see this ordinary tree?   

The only reason she is radiant right now is because I am shining on her.  I am what makes this tree beautiful, just as I am making you resplendent with my light.

Those who look to the Lord are radiant, their faces are never covered with shame (Ps. 34:5).

When I learned to scuba dive (in what life was that??), I found myself wondering why God would bury incredible creatures so deep in the ocean that humans would never even see.  And then it hit me.  He did it for HimselfThey were reserved for His own personal entertainment, enjoyment and pleasure.  

God loves the hidden things, the obscure, buried, and weak.  

He rejoices in them as He delights in treasure.  As He delights in you and I.  Though we may feel small and insignificant, God shines on us and makes us radiant purely for His own pleasure. 

The Message version of Jesus’ beatitudes speaks right to the heart of this ordinary stay-at-home-mom today:

“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope.  With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you.  Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are–no more, no less.  That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.

You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God.  He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.

You’re blessed when you care.  At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.

You’re blessed when you get your inside world–your mind and heart–put right.  Then you can see God in the outside world.”

Matthew 5: 3-9 (MSG)

God sees you.  No matter where you are or how insignificant you feel, He delights in you.  And like the plain and ordinary tree, our smallness only serves to illuminate His radiance in our lives 

I’m clinging to those love words todayWith less of me, there is more of God (Mat. 5:3 MSG).   



Do you ever feel like you lead a small life?  

What do you tell yourself in those moments?


{I’m taking a week off from Thursday Thoughts for Writers because I’m coming down with a cold and already had this post written.  I’ll be back on track by next week!}


Related Posts:
Motherhood & the Big Picture
When Jesus Asks Too Much of Us
Love & Marriage: The Narrowing 
Goodbye to the Other Leslies

Last Post~When We Fear {for Velvet Ashes}
Next Post~ Christian Art {Thursday Thoughts for Writers}

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Lately, I feel like the tree in this picture--frozen in place and stripped down to bare branches, while everything in the distance sparkles with wonder.  As a girl who wanted to go into missions and rarely dated, I tried to prepare myself for the fact that I might never get married.  As a result, I never dreamed I would be a stay-at-home-mom.

10 Replies to “For the Mom Whose Life Feels Small”

  1. Hi! I am visiting from Coffee for Your Heart today. I absolutely love this beautiful, vulnerable post! I'm about to enter into such a season (my first baby is due tomorrow!), and I sense God is about to teach me a lot about being small. Emily P. Freeman (in the book Simply Tuesday) talks about this idea of "Celebrating your smallness." Your post reminded me of that as I've been wrestling with what that should look like in my life. God celebrates our smallness and I think embracing that can be a beautiful step toward him. Thank you for sharing this today!!

  2. Your words are so touching, so meaningful, so relatable! This caught my eye at a link party this morning as I was linking up my own blog posts. I'm always interested in other mothers feelings of being a stay at home mom. Personally, I've always wanted to be one and I love what I do, but sometimes, compared to other women my age (at church or moms groups) I feel insignificant and "small". I wonder what would've happened had I not quit my job when I got married. But you're totally right – God does love the hidden, obscure, buried, weak! And my job is important – possibly the most important of all because I'm raising up the next generation's leaders! This post brought tears to my eyes because it's so comforting, assuring, uplifting to be reminded just how important my job is and how much God appreciates all of the little, repeptive, mundane things I do every day. Thanks so much for writing this post and pouring your heart into it! IT's so beneficial for other mothers like me! Hope you have a lovely day!

  3. Congratulations! Oh, those first days with a new baby were really magical for me (hard, yes, but so amazing, too!). I keep hearing about that book, so I think I definitely need to pick it up. Some days I do a better job of "celebrating my smallness" than others, but God is so kind to remind me of His love for me on the days when I can't muster up the gumption to be thankful for the small life I am living. Thanks for your input today and blessings on you as you begin this new journey of motherhood!

  4. Thanks for your comment and I'm so glad it struck a chord with you. Thank you, too, for the reminder of the importance of this job as a mom. It's not always easy to keep that perspective! But God does see us, which is such a comfort. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I remember those days — and they were the sweetest of my life. You've written this so beautifully. You are serving God in a big way by raising your little ones for Him.

  6. Yes, God does see you. As some of my children have grown and left my home, I often think back to those precious years. There were many days where I thought I would never survive; however, now those days are treasured memories in my heart. You are doing important work. Great job my #livefree buddy:)

  7. Everyone says "it goes so fast," though I'm still in the stage of not quite believing that yet! So it's good to hear that I will look back and remember the precious times more than I do the times when I was hanging on for dear life! Thanks for adding your wisdom and perspective.

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