I remember when my daughter Caroline and I were driving back from the grocery store after getting our Saturday morning muffins when she looked out the window at a woman jogging and said, “I could never run a mile.”
I had no idea where that thought came from, but I said to her, “Sure you could, you would just have to practice.”
I began to tell her how God made our bodies in a way that we can build up endurance, “If you want to run a mile, the first day you might just walk a little bit, the next day you walk a little faster, and so on and so on, and eventually, you would be able to run a mile.”
After sharing all this with her, I said, “I wish someone would have told me about endurance when I was younger and trying out for track. I just thought I couldn’t run and was a failure at it.”
And all of a sudden it hit me: I have to tell young moms about endurance in motherhood! Because if I don’t say something, maybe they won’t know. If I don’t say that it takes practice and work and consistency and twisted ankles and side stitches and exhaustion, maybe they’ll think they are failures at mothering. It takes time and practice to grow into mothering with wisdom and maturity and grace and gentleness. But the more we practice, the more we keep on, step by step, slow and steady, learning, doing, listening to older moms, staying before the Lord and relying on His Holy Spirit, the better we will get!
There is a reason Scripture talks about older women teaching younger women to keep on — we need to know we aren’t failing. We need to know it takes time and work and sweat and tears. We need to know all of this is normal.
You are normal if you struggle with mothering.
And when I say, it gets better, I don’t just mean it gets easier because your kids sleep and are more self-sufficient (although sleep is awesome). It gets better because you get better. You mature. You grow in grace. You act out of what you have been given by God. You get molded and tested, and if you keep on, you will make it through the fire. And yes, motherhood is a fire sometimes.
So get your running shoes on, pace yourself, and keep on.