About the Author

Lydia is a wife and homeschooling mama to four crazy kids. When she is not drilling ABCs and 1-2-3's, she is blogging gratitude at SmallTownSimplicity

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  1. This is something I needed to hear…I’ve been noticing lately that I seem to be a revisionist during prayer: last week someone prayed “and I thank you God for bringing all these girls into my life because I love each of them so much” and instantly I thought “except for me”…and I think things like that often…

    • I can definitely relate. Sometimes I’m just so disgusted with myself, I find it all rather hard to believe. This is what we need to fight against, and why we need so badly to encourage one another!

  2. This is a very thoughtful and very important post. I know sometimes I tend to brush off the compliments my husband gives me. A friend called me on it one day, thankfully. She pointed out when I disregard or make lame excuses for any compliment he gives me, I am discrediting him, not myself. I’m calling what he sees or says a falsehood. That was a huge eye opener. A simple “Thank you” goes a long way when someone offers you encouragement in the form of praise.

  3. Lydia, thank you. You have encouraged me this morning, the Lord has spoken straight to my heart through your words. I needed to hear just this and I pray for an opportunity to pass on some encouragement to another mom today!

  4. Lydia,

    How very true! It is hard sometimes to accept encouragement. I seem to be the one, though, who encourages others. I’m the cheerleader of the crowd.

    So why is it so hard for us to accept encouragment?

    • Ah, but that’s really it, isn’t it? I encourage others, but tend to have a sarcastic way of talking to myself. Lies, lies, lies, snaking in and telling me that I’m not who God says I am: precious and worthwhile.

  5. OHMIGOSH!!!!! You HAD me at “I’m taking stock of last night’s dishes piled in the sink” REALLY??? I thought I was the ONLY one who went to bed without an empty sink!

    May God bless you for encouraging ME today! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Your words were like a balm to my soul.

  6. I’m not a mama yet, but even here I see the web of lies I believe about myself as a wife and person, and how much “better” I could be, so I can only imagine it will be if I am ever a mom- because perfectionism is definitely something I attempt to do. These words of encouragement, though, are lovely. Thank you. I’ll pass them on to other beautifully living women.

  7. Oh, here’s where I get tangled up all too often! It’s as though I don’t care about the people who are genuine to me, dismissing their encouragement. Yet, I feel so compelled to encourage others like you talk about…there are so many weary souls! Maybe it’s my own encouraging I need to hear!

  8. This is such an important truth! And as a mom who is “farther down the road” in this job of parenting, I need to speak encouragement into the lives of those who are coming along behind me. We all need to look for someone behind us and draw up alongside them to be their cheerleader.

  9. ” and the way that you try, try and try again, that is beautiful.”

    Thank you. Some days all I have is that I can try again tomorrow. It helps to know there are others out there doing the same thing, that I’m not the only one who isn’t perfect! You’ve pointed out the lie again and I am grateful.

    Now back to the dishes, again. this time with a smile in heart!

  10. One of my favorite quotes ever is by Jill Churchill. She said, “There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.” I don’t have kiddos yet so I just claim it for everything else in life, “There’s no way to be a perfect friend, wife, daughter…but a million ways to be a good one.” Your beautiful post reminded me of that again. Thank you for your sweet encouragement!

    • I love that quote! Thank you for sharing it. I think it is so easy for us to make assumptions about other people’s lives without knowing the inner flaws…and measure ourselves against perfection that doesn’t really exist.

  11. I know a phrase pops into my head whenever I get a compliment “If you only knew the REAL me, you wouldn’t think that”. The enemy is trying to steal every piece of joy we have. Don’t let him. None of us are perfect. You don’t have to be perfect to be complimented. Accept it. And let it fill you with satisfaction of a job well done.
    Bernice
    Being productive in stressful times

    • Wow, yes, this! I feel the same. A compliment frequently has me feeling somewhat ashamed, as if I am misrepresenting all my failures and mistakes to the world. I used to actually feel the need to correct people regarding my imperfections, but now its just that inner nagging voice that I have to deal with.

  12. The only way to combat lies is with truth. And here it is, mamas:

    You are doing a beautiful job. No, I didn’t say perfect. I didn’t say spotless. I didn’t say sinless. I said beautiful. Broken, messy people can be beautiful, and the way that you try, try and try again, that is beautiful.

    i needed to read that so much today! thank you!

  13. Loved this! Thank you so much.

    I had my moms Bible study at my house this morning and I love the encouragement that they all bring to my life. We all a good laugh about my realization last night that I am honestly the ONLY one who cares what my house looks like. And that thankfully I realized that last night and didn’t fling myself into a “hurry and clean-up the house” mode only to be a monster to my husband and children. And our group all joked about how pointless that is when after the swarm of little people leaves, you’ll just have to clean it all up again.

    Anyways, timely post. Thanks again.

  14. Lydia, Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    This whole post described me, from surveying the dishes to the uneasiness of receiving a compliment and encouragement. This was the encouragement I needed today.

  15. to read this today, right now, in the midst of what is going on, is just part of what is God’s perfect Plan! Thank you JESUS for not making me perfectly imperfect!
    Thank you for sharing this!

  16. Lydia, I loved this! Such a great reminder to encourage other moms because sometimes the road is tough. Thankful for your words today! 🙂

  17. Very important! If we encourage others, we have the ability to change lives! Let’s be real ladies, stop the facade of perfect and let’s embrace, unique Jesus Girl! That’s who we are. Everyone of us. We each have a story to share, even if the bathrooms are disgraceful and the dishes didn’t get done last night.

    Blessings,
    Mel
    Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God

  18. I keep that verse of scripture on the window by my kitchen sink. I want to be an encourager to all I come in contact with, especially my littles and husband. Encouragement is such a gift to give someone and your post has definitely been a GIFT to me today. Thank you.

  19. I still think this is one of my favorite lines read in a long, long time: “Somehow we slurp down every lie and ask for more.”

    You speak such wonderful truth here. And we LOVE to hear more reasons to encourage/(in)courage one another. Thank you for sharing!

    And did you know, the lovely Ann Voskamp linked you on her blog today? Yup, this post struck so many of us. You blessed us with your words today at (in)courage. More than that – you encouraged us!

    ~Lisa-Jo

    • Can I admit to being star struck that the amazing Ann Voskamp linked me? So humbled!

      Blessed to be here, with all of you — encouraged by YOUR words!

  20. clicked here from Ann’s blog. echoing the words of other sisters in Christ.: thank you for such encouragement on a blustery Wednesday morning. pleasant words of honey were “slurped down” by this usually sour-in-the-morning mama. and the words of Truth are always more satisfying than a lie.

  21. Thank you so much for the encouragement. We can find it easy to encourage others but we need to be able to accept it in return and to be encouraging to ourselves as well. Thanks again so much.

  22. Thank you for sharing this. I am slowly learning this and it is such a good reminder to me to hear it yet again. I live in a family that doesn’t know Jesus yet, and I have these walls up. I used to think it was to protect myself from the world, but I am starting to see that I’ve actually built up a fortress whose flag proclaims that I don’t trust Jesus to stand up for me….or maybe to lay down for me….this whole upside down kingdom thing, right? It’s hard to receive anything when people can’t get close enough to reach you.
    I’m a work in progress! Thanks for the encouragement. 🙂

  23. Such a blessing to hear from all of you! Won’t you follow me back to my place and continue the conversation? Hoping to have Encouragement become a main theme on my daily blog.

  24. Lydia, Recently I’ve been typing up (onto colorful cards) words I read and want to let grow deeper in me and place them around the house or in my journal cover to reread often. Several paragraphs from this article made it on a card last night! A recent word that keeps coming up for me in various ways is this “your heavenly Father is PROUD of you”. A fresh thought for me…He is proud of me…even in the midst of my perceived failure and messes! Not only is He proud of my sacrificial love and giving to my husband and children, but also he’s proud when I love myself enough to take care of myself. A new thought for me. Letting it grow….

  25. I can only say that this is completely and utterly the absolute truth!!
    It brought me to tears and I am so thankful you wrote this for us all to read.
    Thank you for your sweet spirit and encouragement!
    I will try to encourage my friends more, knowing this is what many of us face and think each day that we struggle with the daily job of being a momma!!

    • Jen, I know you are an awesome Momma without a shadow of a doubt…yes, i feel I know you so well to pick your comment out of an anonymous pile of comments (although it would be silly if this was recieved by a whole different Jen :-)…I know that it’s not because there is only one like you! As described so Godly above…you aren’t perfect, but you are truly beautiful…and by every definition of the word. I believe you accept my encouragement as sincere and true…as you should, because it is. Jen, you are truly a wonderful Woman!! Mamma is just one of your divine rolls. Daughter of God speaks clearly of you. Attractive, lovely, pleasant, loving, compassionate, passionate, kind, generous, intelligent, beautiful, and oh yeah, did I mention very attractive! These are all qualities and virtues that you possess (along with so many other tones and shades and varieties amongst the virtues). I love all these things about you. Jen, I love you!

      Dan

      • Oops! I didn’t know this would publish to the comments page…thought it was directed to the person whose name was above the “reply” button! Well I guess this is now for all the world to see….Sorry Jen 🙂

  26. Thank you SO much for this today. I sat here and wept as I read this beacuse I just yelled at my son, the house is a mess and who know’s what’s for dinner. I was feeling overwhelmed and not enough. This is just what I needed. I would give you a giant heart felt and thankful hug if I could. Thank you again.
    Blessings <3

  27. Really, there couldn’t be a more perfect post for me today. I did yell at my child this morning and over react and the day continued as such. My tot fought me all day, I had to carry him out of the park and fight him into his carseat… I couldn’t even make his bottle right! All this after turning down a well paying job in art last week… BUT, The Lord has my desire to be here with these beautiful boys. I need encouragement and to know that I am not “breaking” my child when I lose it once and a while,. Thank you.

  28. I was talking with some friends this evening, and every one of us related stories of recent bad days, difficulties with patience, self worth, etc. I really do think a lot of it has to do with the time of year! February is HARD, and February as a Mom can be burn out time. We all just need a deep breath, *hugs* and the reminder that God is with us through every imperfect moment. Love to all you ladies!

  29. Not because we are perfect, but because we are not….!!!!!!
    I am so glad to know I am not the only one! I have dishes in my sink, (and on the table) I have diapers to wash, the kitchen floor needs mopped, and will I EVER catch up on laundry?! On the other hand, school went well today, my kids and I had a great time during craft time, I read many books to all 4 kids, and my 3 year old is starting to read! (his almost 2 year old brother wants to learn too!)
    SO…I feel that we need to really help one another in this area! We are all making good strides each day, even if the dishes are in the sink!
    Blessings to all of you,
    Beth

  30. Not because we are perfect, but because we are not….!!!!!!
    I am so glad to know I am not the only one! I have dishes in my sink, (and on the table) I have diapers to wash, the kitchen floor needs mopped, and will I EVER catch up on
    laundry?! On the other hand, school went well today, my kids and I had a great time during craft time, I read many books to all 4 kids, and my 3 year old is starting to read! (his almost 2 year old brother wants to learn too!)
    SO…I feel that we need to really help one another in this area! We are all making good strides each day, even if the dishes are in the sink!
    Blessings to all of you,
    Beth

  31. Oh, thank you! I soaked up this encouragement. I, too, am waking up to a dirty sink this morning. But I am encouraged! Thank you!

  32. Thank you!!! You are a Daughter of the King and so wonderful for sharing these words. I feel inspired to make something really good for dinner. Now, what to cook, what to cook!

  33. This was sent to me today. It couldnt have come at a better time. God Bless you Mel. The Holy Spirit wins again. We are all driven by each other’s encouragement. I believe it is the Holy Spirit who envokes us to do so……therefore we have all been justly encouraged by the Good Lord himself….Thank you Dear Lord for this day and this mess.

  34. Thank you for this wonderful post! Just today I had a little rant on my own blog because it is so easy to let yourself feel unappreciated and undervalued; and to lose focus on what is important. And mostly, how truly blessed we are to be called to this thing called “motherhood”. I believe absolutely that we need to raise one another up in our endeavours in this world today where the family is often under attack. God Bless you for this reminder that all God ever wants us to be……is who HE made us to be. Not what the world wants us to be.
    I would love to post a link on my blog to this post, if you don’t mind.

  35. Amen, Amen, Amen! Oh that sounds like my story…my makeup, my mind. You sure you haven’t been over here in my heart and home hiding somewhere, lol!!!

    Seriously you are so right. It’s weird when I admit that I’m a perfectionist when you canvass my home. Everything is so not together. I just yelled at my younger kids last night, and while sitting on the “toilet” sorry “tmi” I know…anyway, I thought, “Lord have I really made a difference by staying home with them and homeschooling them or have I messed them up even more?” My heart aches in wonder about that because I’m so not together. Nor is my home!

  36. Lydia, Great job on hitting home the importance of encouragement. It only takes a minute of time, but a word of encouragement can make someone’s day! Know this article will bless others. I reposted it to my friends!

  37. I appreciate so much this article. I believe in it. I believe in the divinity that a woman has as a Mother, a beautiful daughter of Eve…and ultimately a daughter of God. I pray for the happiness, solace, and feeling of respect, infinite worth, and appreciation for every mother/daughter/woman out there. It is a universal truth for all around the world…yet it is so individual and unique and special to the person. I hope other men read this and heed. It would benefit them and the women in there lives so much. Yes, it was me who accidently posted a personal e-mail above. Sorry for that again.

    • Dan, I am so glad your initial words to Jen posted publicly! They made me day. Thank you for being a man with a profound appreciation for women. You are a blessing.

      ~Lydia