I closed the door to my temporary hiding place and sat down wearily next to the mound of dirty laundry. Tears welled up in my eyes. Suddenly away from the constant bickering between kids, messy rooms, and constant questions and demands that only “mom” seemed to be able to fulfill, I longed to just be able to withdraw for a few moments of quiet…of rest. My mind raced. I wrestled with feeling like I could never keep up, too many balls in the air to juggle, so many needs, constant challenges, endless responsibilities.

His voice whispered to me. “No one asked you to carry it all. Lay it down. Life is not about what you do, it’s about who you are. More tears.

I heard quiet whispers outside the door. Then, chubby little fingers pushed a note underneath, complete with a pencil. I could hear them breathing – waiting for my response. Quiet anticipation. Reading their sweet handwritten words quickly penciled across a plain white page seemed to soothe my heart. I admit, I thought of checking the “no” box. No, I may not come out, I don’t really want to come out, and not for a very long time! But my heart nudged me toward the other box. I marked a big “X” in the “yes” box and pushed it back under the door.

I heard giggles from outside and low voices. “Um, Mom, we love you.” More tears came and then, a smile. I took a deep breath before I opened the door.

The truth is – life is just tough some days. We are pulled in many directions. We get tired. We feel alone. We wonder if all that we do really matters in this big scheme of life.

But the truth is also this – we are blessed to have a God who cares enough to whisper His words deep into our soul. We are blessed to have family and friends who come alongside us, in all of our imperfections. We are blessed to be loved.

Life is never about living without a care in the world. Life is not a “to do” list waiting to be completed. Life is about people. Life is about character.

Moms, we may not be perfect – but we are destined to make a difference in this world, by raising our kids to know what’s most important. And God is at our side. He is for us. He is with us – always – even in the laundry room.

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness…for when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

“The Lord your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.” Zephaniah 3:17

  • Andrea

    This is so true. I wore myself to shreds more than month ago. Trying to keep up with my kids, maintain the perfect house, maintain the perfect relationship with neighbors, keep a work out schedule that I shouldn’t have, making time for friends. And it has taken more than three weeks to regain myself again. Some of us cry, some of us eat horribly, some of us shout at ourselves, some of us blame ourselves, some of us worry, some of us do all of these things. I woke this morning for the first time in three weeks feeling like myself. I’ve gained a few pounds, my house is a disaster, I am not sure if my kids homework is done correctly, and I am unsure what we are eating for dinner…….but that’s ok. :) thanks for this!

    • http://www.freshdayahead.com Debbie McDaniel

      Thank you for sharing that Andrea, sometimes good to remind ourselves what’s most important in this life, blessings to you, and hope your dinner was great! :)

      • yvonne

        I love your post. How many times have I done this to myself and my family. I know that He holds all things together holds me and that is all that matters. <3

  • http://martysmoosetracks.blogspot.com Marty

    Been there, done that.

    I think we all have.

    Thank you for this very honest post today.

    • http://www.freshdayahead.com Debbie McDaniel

      thanks so much for reading Marty, always good to know we’re not alone in this journey…blessings.

  • http://towinsome.com Grace

    I can’t believe this sweet note… so cute! Mine do lovely stuff like this sometimes too. Must be God’s way of ensuring preservation of the species. ;)

    • http://www.freshdayahead.com Debbie McDaniel

      yes agree, lol! :)

  • http://www.shellilittleton.blogspot.com Shelli Littleton

    Precious, Debbie! Thank you! Was feeling a little overwhelmed myself yesterday. I have had allergies/been sick for over a week … behind in everything. Time to get caught up … and it is overwhelming. But God is my strength. Thank you.

    • http://www.freshdayahead.com Debbie McDaniel

      He is indeed! So agree, and praying for you right now Shelli!

  • http://hamershappenings.blogspot.com Lisa

    I remember days like that…Just wanting to curl up and disappear for a while. Somehow with God’s help, we always get through.

    • http://www.freshdayahead.com Debbie McDaniel

      So true, and so thankful for that Lisa. :)

  • http://29lincolnavenue.com stacey thacker

    Precious note for all of us!!!

    • http://www.freshdayahead.com Debbie McDaniel

      thank you for reading Stacey!

  • Elizabeth

    Perfect timing…I sure needed this.
    Thank you

    • http://www.freshdayahead.com Debbie McDaniel

      thank you for sharing that Elizabeth, God’s always right on time when we need some encouragement in our day.

  • Lu Wings

    What a wonderful Mom you are, grin.

    For my Special-needs Moms (Mom’s of chronically and terminally ill kids) I made coupons for the Mom’s, from the kids…..and sent them to the kids to give to their Mommies, and I think ALL Mom’s can benefit from such things: 30 minutes of reading time, where Mom gets a book just for herself, 30 minutes of bubble-bath time FOR MOM, and the kids run the water, get the towels and comfy clothes…..all BEFORE Mom’s 30 minutes start (so it FELT like they were giving a gift, grin)…..and then they gave their Mom’s coupons that THEY could turn in whenever they chose, no questions asked (for quite moments like your closet—but with the desperation eased).

    Thank you for sharing, for the reminders it brings on so many levels…..

    Keep taking good care of yourself. That’s one way the children can learn: YOU are important AND that they too need to take good care of themselves.

    Hugs…and safe travels!

    • http://www.freshdayahead.com Debbie McDaniel

      You are such an encouragement1 thank you for sharing!

  • http://www.deployedheart.com Meg

    Thank you for this! Such a good reminder that we don’t have to do it all! God does a much better job anyway :)

    • http://www.freshdayahead.com Debbie McDaniel

      Yes, that’s truth Meg!

  • karyn

    Like me when my kids were young. I locked myself in the bathroom just to get away for a while and they would come to the door still and ask questions. But it’s all good. I had good boys. Two very good boys. What a blessing thinking back.
    Two very good boys. They still are.
    Love their mother to bits.

    • http://www.freshdayahead.com Debbie McDaniel

      that’s so sweet Karyn! though some days seem slow, reality is – the days and years pass so quickly, want to soak in moments – the good ones & even the more “trying” ones! thank you for your words. :)

  • http://joy-fullmom.blogspot.ca Andrea

    God just whispered 2Cor 12:9 to me this morning. This post is just what I needed to read today. Thank you.

    • http://www.freshdayahead.com Debbie McDaniel

      aww, God is just so sweet to us! love His whispers to our souls…thank you for sharing Andrea, blessings to you today.

  • Denise

    I have been there a lot recently. Thank you for the encouragement, and for the wonderful verses/promises/reminders at the end! Hugs!!

    • http://www.freshdayahead.com Debbie McDaniel

      thank you Denise & many hugs back your way! He is with you!

  • BJ

    (in)courage is hitting the nail on the head hard today. Read two posts that feel like they were written just for me today. Thank you.

    • http://www.freshdayahead.com Debbie McDaniel

      BJ thanks so much for reading, blessings to you today.

  • Shannon

    Love this! Thank you!

    • http://www.freshdayahead.com Debbie McDaniel

      Shannon, thank you so much and thanks for reading too!

  • Cherie

    My kids are grown, and yet I still struggle many days with feeling overwhelmed! It’s hard to juggle the demands of working full time, being a wife, friend, mom, gardener & housekeeper, and still stay focused on Christ, walking in His love and grace. Your post today really hit home for me, and was a big encouragement–was just what I needed. Thank you for your words of life and grace. I love how God knows just what we need, and uses others to speak into our lives. My perspective is realigned and I feel like I can do my life today–thank you!!

    • http://www.freshdayahead.com Debbie McDaniel

      ooohhh, Cherie, your struggle is right where I feel like I live, a lot! I think no matter what our kids ages, life demands can just seem a little overwhelming at times. God is so good to help bring things back to perspective for us – many times for me, that seems to happen through such simple, yet powerful ways. God bless your day with much peace and grace!

  • http://www.jenniferdukeslee.com dukeslee

    I am in tears over the tenderness of this one. Thank you. So beautiful.

    • http://www.freshdayahead.com Debbie McDaniel

      thanks so very much for your kind words…blessings to you today.

  • petro

    It’s so amazing just to know how God looks at us so differently.
    Sometimes we see our selves as the worst person living,but again we should know that God made us in His own imaje


    • http://www.freshdayahead.com Debbie McDaniel

      Thank you for sharing that Petro, I love your words. Truth! We are made in His image & He’s just so crazy about us! Thanks for that reminder.

  • http://lifeisabowlofwedgies.com/about-melody/ Melody

    Awwww so precious Debbie. You are a beautifully transparent Mom. Thanks for sharing with us.

    • http://www.freshdayahead.com Debbie McDaniel

      Melody, thanks so much for your kind words & for reading today, so appreciate you. And I love your new website, awesome!

  • Connie B

    Oh Jen, you made me cry. I often feel like the burden of it all is just too much. My kids, my 18 year old, graduation around the corner, life crashing in on me on every side. My job crashing into me every day. If i want to go see my son play in the dome on Friday, I need to work on Saturday…. I feel the pressure to handle all of this “stuff” so much better than i do. And i fail. I crash, and i want to go lock the door and cry….. While i cry in the bathroom, i will picture Jesus on the cross, and just for this moment in my life I will lay it at his feet. All of it…. God bless ya!!!

    • http://www.freshdayahead.com Debbie McDaniel

      Connie, thank you for your honesty and for sharing your heart – HE is for you! You’re not alone – ever! Praying for you right now – trusting God to give you His amazing peace in the midst of it all. love to you.

  • http://bellesbazaar-heather.blogspot.com heather bellh

    thank you for this!! Thank goodness we have these crazy kids who love us like crazy.

    • http://www.freshdayahead.com Debbie McDaniel

      yes absolutely! heart so full of love for them and incredibly thankful for their sweet love for us moms. (: God is good.

  • Jacque

    This touched my heart my heart. Thank you so much for your words. So true. Good to know I am not alone in my thoughts when I feel overwhelmed.

    • http://www.freshdayahead.com Debbie McDaniel

      thank you Jacque, we’re never alone in this journey. God’s blessings on your day ahead!

  • Tiffany

    This is great! It’s so easy to get over whelmed and behind. I started school this semester along with my kids playing sports and working full and I’m a single mom that’s hard enough to juggle along with taking a week out with a sick kiddo in the hospital, it’s always the small things that are reminders to take deep breaths and keep our chins up! <3

    • http://www.freshdayahead.com Debbie McDaniel

      Yes! Deep breath…moving forward…what I do a lot. :) Life is never perfect, often feel I’m a few steps behind where I should be, lol, but you’re so right – small moments from God often jolt us back to the reality of what is most important in this life. And it’s rarely the things we tend to feel so overwhelmed with many days – thank you for sharing your heart Tiffany, prayers with you today!

    • Beth Williams


      Prayers for you as you parent your children alone. Being a single mom is never ever easy. Congratulations on taking classes again. I know God will see you through these trials and make you stronger.

      Prayers for quiet time to relax and unwind from life and for school! May God truly bless you in all that you do!

  • Sharon

    Thank you so much for sharing this. Often when I feel overwhelmed I feel like I want to run away… Not that it would help of course :-) But it is exactly then that God can surprise you with His love and grace… By sending a friend across your path with an encouraging message or even just your daughter offering to make you a cup of coffee or giving you a hug.
    Thank you Jesus that we are never alone! :-)

    • http://www.freshdayahead.com Debbie McDaniel

      Yes! So true Sharon, love your words, thank you for sharing. And love that God surprises us with little reminders of His goodness and care over us. You are right, we are never alone!

  • Beth Williams


    I don’t have children, but an aging parent. I know the days of working and being stressed and tired only to get a call to come help. Oh the thoughts of running away from life have hit me many many times. Life gets hard as we get older.

    God gives rest to the weary. He will send people your way to help you out. For me He allows time to rest–going to be early or just taking a day off work. Sometimes it’s just a few minutes of quiet time alone.

    All moms do a wonderfully hard job of raising little ones and it isn’t easy. But God will see you through and bless you with miracles later in life.

    God Bless everyone!

    • http://www.freshdayahead.com Debbie McDaniel

      Beth, thank you so much for your encouraging and wise words…many prayers with you in your journey of caring for an aging parent. Praying that God’s spirit of joy over you today would be like a breath of fresh air – He smiles over you! Thank you so much for sharing, blessings…

  • Simona Giambrone

    I just sat down at my computer in tears after bringing my precious 17 year old daughter home from the emergency room. She has been suffering for days with a migraine headache and this morning she was fairly unresponsive. As I sat in the ER quietly watching her sleep (after pain meds) a scripture came to mind–Be still and know that I am God. I wept quietly out of fear, frustration, and ultimately relief knowing that God’s healing hand was upon His precious child. Your words today meant so much to me. Thanks for sharing.

    • http://www.freshdayahead.com Debbie McDaniel

      Oh Simona, wishing I could reach thru the computer & give you a huge hug! I’m so sorry for what you’ve walked thru today, thankful along with you that God’s hand was on your sweet daughter, and on you too, bringing His peace…healing…comfort. Prayers with you tonight for sweet rest, thinking of you, trusting that His presence will continue to be close to you.

  • Rosanne

    Wow, I love this. I have 5 precious children and my oldest is in 4th grade… I feel like his school projects are never ending. A few nights ago my son was overwhelmed with his school projects and began to cry. I let him head to bed and stayed up another 2 hours getting his research together… The next morning his shocked eyes and HUGE hug was worth it all… Did I want to stay up till 2 am? Nope. Was I exhausted? Yes. Did I learn more about Uranus than I ever wanted to know? Yeap. But in the end it was worth it, it took the burdens off my 10 year old and we proceeded to finish the project with no more tears. Being a mommy is wonderful, we just have to learn what really matters and what doesn’t. :)

    • http://www.freshdayahead.com Debbie McDaniel

      thank you so much for sharing Rosanne & loved what you said, “we just have to learn what really matters & what doesn’t.” so true! blessings to you. :)

  • http:homeiswhereyourstorybeginsblog.blogspot.com Helen Tisdale

    Debbie! What a marvelous, inspiring, encouraging, heartfelt post for all moms today! I love to read everything at (in)courage! Often one might think the posts are more for the young mother, or mother of young children! But I just wanted to let you know that it helps an older mother too! I am 3 days away from being 63 and still a mother in full duty to a 40 year old special needs son! Weariness will always come from time to time, but those faces you love, even when they can’t talk like mine, is worth it all! And you make the decision, “I AM IN HERE FOR THE LONG HAUL!” Just a touching post today! Encouraged me today!!! Thankyou!

    • http://www.freshdayahead.com Debbie McDaniel

      Helen, your words are so very touching and inspiring to me! I have incredible respect for you as you continue to care for your adult child, as you have for so many years. Wow, my heart is full of prayers for God’s grace and goodness to shine over you. Thanks so much for reading and sharing, your life is a wonderful example to all of us moms of what matters most. And Happy Birthday to you!!! :)

  • http://www.lifelovecoupons.wordpress.com Whitney

    I am in tears sitting at work reading this! I gave birth to my first child just over two months ago on September 10 and I already find myself exhausted with balancing a husband, new baby, church obligations, family, a full time design job, and keeping up a home. But you are right. God hasn’t asked me to carry it all and do it all. God asked me to be a Mommy – A role I so desperately wanted and do want. I need him now, more than ever, to teach me balance!

    • http://www.freshdayahead.com Debbie McDaniel

      Big, big hugs to you Whitney! Wishing I could sit & have coffee with you because I so relate to your heart. You are not alone my friend, so many have walked right where you are right now, it can be tough to balance it all! Praying that you will hear God’s sweet whispers to your soul this Thanksgiving week, praying for rest for you, praying for sweet times with your family and your precious new baby. Trusting He will show you what is right for you in every decision you make ahead. Much love to you…

  • Brenda Short

    I Love all the comments here.I think we all need this from time to time.I am a Mother of 3 my boys are grown and are 27 and 28 . my Daughter is still home and 16 years old.I have a hard time just knowing she will be Married one day.and leave me I just don’t know what life without her will be like.Just keep me and my Family in your Prayers Thank you

    • http://www.freshdayahead.com Debbie McDaniel

      Brenda, thank you for sharing your heart, prayers for you right now. God is for you, He is with you, through every step of this incredible life journey. Praying you feel his absolute and amazing peace covering you today, like a big, warm, cozy blanket. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family…blessings to you.

  • http://www.fathered.co Tom Pfingsten

    What a sweet moment, thanks for sharing. As a dad who works from home, I can relate a little bit. Enough to appreciate your transparency. :)

    • http://www.freshdayahead.com Debbie McDaniel

      Thank you Tom for reading and sharing, appreciate your words, and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  • Nky

    Thanks for sharing. As a full time working mom bringing up two beautiful girls (10 & 6) alone it sometimes gets overwhelming, I’ve been there too. Your post reminds that it’s never by power or might but simply by His grace and love.

    • http://www.freshdayahead.com Debbie McDaniel

      You my friend have my utmost respect as a single parent, wow, I know you certainly must feel that overwhelming load at times in all that you do to keep life flowing for your family. And your words are so right, it’s never by our own power that we can do it all, He’s so good to lavish love and grace on us. I pray He covers you with His goodness – many blessings to you this Thanksgiving week! Thanks so much for reading and sharing your heart.

  • Christine Kinney

    Thank you for sharing that. I read about you adopting. That’s how I got to this message. Our oldest son and daughter-in-law adopted a baby boy in June of 2012. He is the sweetest little boy. We have 7 grandchildren. He’s the second from the youngest. We love them all the same.
    Also I enjoyed what you just shared. I believe by God’s Grace we get through whatever it is we go through. My husband is a Vietnam Veteran and is disabled with the Agent Orange. With God’s Grace I’m able to do what I need to to get us through one day at a time.
    Thank you for sharing both about adoption and about God’s Grace.
    I hope you have a blessed day. Hugs, Chris

    • http://www.freshdayahead.com Debbie McDaniel

      Chris, thanks so much for reading & sharing some of your own story, God’s huge blessings and grace over you, your husband, and family. Words seem inadequate to say “Thank you” enough to you and your husband for being such an important part of protecting our country in past years. Praying that you have a BLESSED Christmas season in every way, hugs to you!

  • audra

    I loved this article. as a mom of two boys under the age of 3 it seems as if most days i am just trudging thru the mud and often am overwhelmed. its nice to know i am not alone in this journey of motherhood, that other moms feel this way sometimes, that it is ok if everyday doesnt go as planned. We are so blessed that God gives us his grace and his strength esp on the days when we feel as if we are “spent”

  • http://www.freshdayahead.com Debbie McDaniel

    So true Audra…constantly breathing in His grace. God’s blessings on you this New Year as you mother those sweet boys!