Over the past week, I have planned and cooked meals, scrubbed toilets, purchased white string cheese for one child and orange string cheese for another, ordered more tissues and dish soap to arrive on my doorstep, and vacuumed up dog hair under the table.
I’ve changed my kids closets over for both size and seasons; today I’m diving into the shoes to do the same. I’ve restocked the shower with body wash and distributed toilet paper to all the various empty rolls. I’ve wiped counters and cleared the table in one fell swoop. I’ve prayed with and for my kids and tucked little curls behind little ears at night — both ears, not just one, because I know she likes it tucked behind both.
I’ve brushed and wiggled teeth and hollered for hands to be washed (I don’t need to see them to know they’re dirty). I’ve helped with math and texted pictures to Grandma. I’ve tossed favorite T-shirts into the washing machine and poured water in the dog’s bowl. I’ve watered the preschool plant project and moved it into the sunshine to try and keep it alive another day.
All in a week. A typical, run-of-the-mill week. Extraordinary all mixed up with the mundane.
As a mother and woman, I constantly perform acts of tiny service that go unseen. All day, every day. The bittiest of details, done with barely a thought. Just thirty-seven years into being a woman and eight years into mothering, I’m still learning these are finely tuned, carefully honed skills and marks of the craft.
And because you are a woman and a mother in your own unique way, I know you likely do the same.
We are the managers of the minutiae, keepers of the details that make a home run and hearts sing, whether that home is a small apartment with roommates or farm house with kids and chickens running wild. We are the knowers of small things, of favorites and things not-so-loved. We can read a heart in one glance. We can heal with a hug. We can calm with a word. We are the hosts of each other, the middle-of-the-night texters, the hearts that reach out when we feel a friend needs us.
Moms, caretakers, grandmas, babysitters, teachers . . . we are all a mother of sorts, and as such, we are the unseen do-ers. We are the people of hidden service, who have learned to do things swiftly and silently in a second-nature sort of way. At times, that has rendered me feeling powerless and small. Unimportant and unimpressive. Even though I know that if I disappeared, tasks would be left undone (Hello, favorite T-shirt going unwashed. Hi, dog hair un-vacuumed for a week.) and all the things I set in place could fall apart, it’s easy to throw an “I don’t matter” pity party for myself. It’s easy for me to look to my husband, kids, co-workers, roommates, or friends for affirmation that may never come.
It’s a good thing we have a God who adores and affirms women.
We have a God who appeared first to women after rising, who believes in women and has used their hands throughout history to do His good work, who sees us — both as we are and as we will be.
We have a God who sees motherhood as a valuable calling and in His wisdom gifts us individually to mother others in the place we are. Each and every one of those invisible tasks is seen, etched in His mind as He delights in you.
For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.
Zephaniah 3:17 (NLT)
He. Delights. In. You.
Yep, you. You, who are a weary mother. You, who are not a mom to children of your blood. You, in the office cubicle. You, who diligently serves on the behind-the-scenes committees at church. You, who texts your friends to check in. You, who hasn’t had an evening to herself in way, way too long. You, who loves being a mom. You, the woman who maintains countless unseen tasks, holds things together (sometimes by a thread) and balances plates like a boss.
You are beloved to Him. God delights in His daughters. The end.
As kids, my own mom used to tell us, “I am woman. Hear me roar!” as she tarred the driveway, hung sheetrock in the basement, juggled our schedules and her jobs, and tenderly cared for her parents, her family, and her friends.
May we roar. May we celebrate our sisters and friends as they find their own roars. And may we feel the glow of love from our God who adores us and who sees every tiny act of service.
Let’s remember this truth in the days ahead. Just in time for Mother’s Day, I’d love to introduce the newest (in)courage book — A Mother’s Love: Celebrating Every Kind of Mom. I compiled this book with all women in mind so that we can celebrate those who made us, shaped us, helped us grow, and loved us well — whether they’re our (or anyone’s) mothers or not.
In this beautiful book, I’ve gathered unique and diverse stories from the (in)courage community that offer heartfelt encouragement to all sorts of mothers, whether they be mothers in the traditional sense, mothers in the spiritual sense, or mother-figures who break the mold. A Mother’s Love: Celebrating Every Kind of Mom is full of reflections of God’s heart, sure to help any woman to share a meaningful gift with a mother-figure who has been impactful in her life, a new mom in her circle of friends, or a close loved one facing the joys and challenges of motherhood. A Mother’s Love releases on April 7th. . .
. . . and to help you celebrate the women in your life, we’re giving away FIVE books BEFORE you can buy them! Just leave a comment on this post, and you’ll be entered to win a copy of A Mother’s Love before it releases on April 7th.
Pre-order your copies of A Mother’s Love today!
**Giveaway closes on 4/3/2020. Winners will be notified via email.
You are beloved to Him. God delights in His daughters. The end. - @annaerendell in A Mother's Love, the new book from @incourage: Click To Tweet