Sunday, March 27, 2011

But a Mother’s Heart is Weak

December 2010 523b&w

“A woman's love is mighty, but a mother's heart is weak, and by its weakness overcomes.” - James Russell Lowell

I confess I’m just at “one of those times” in my journey of motherhood. I’m busy, I’m distracted, I’m easily annoyed. I feel sometimes like I need a weekly spiritual retreat just to make it through the rest of the seven days without turning into an ill-tempered shrew. Unfortunately, this time of inadequacy happened to fall just when both my children have hit stages of development that require, how shall I put it? constant vigilance and discipline. Of course.

Of course.

“I don’t want them to remember me as a nagging harpy,” I wailed to my husband after dinner the other night. “But, then, I don’t want to let them develop into holy terrors, either.”

“I know,” he nodded as he cleared the table for me. “You just have to hang in there and pray. It’ll be worth it in the end.”

Yes, it will be worth it in the end. And, I don’t just mean when they are teenagers, or when they are “well-rounded, capable adults.” I mean the End. When we are together in Heaven…and I finally get a vacation!

There are no sick days in motherhood. There are no substitutes to tag in off the sidelines when you’re up to your ears in life and trying to stay afloat. These are the trenches, and this is the calling. There are days when it is splendid, unutterable joy. And, then there are days when you feel like you’d do better to just throw in the towel because your best efforts aren’t seeming to turn up anything but sour words and tears, anyway.

Of course.

Because we are just stewards, after all. These children—my children—belong to the Lord. He’s the one raising them, through my efforts and despite my failings. And, it is in my weakness that His light shines the strongest. For them. For me.

“But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9


  1. Well said! I am in the trenches with you! Keep fighting the good fight! :)

  2. Thanks for the reminder! My kids are almost the exact same ages as yours and lately I feel like I am barely keeping my head above the water. So it is really nice to know that I'm not the only one. That picture of you and your kids is so sweet.

  3. Beth - it's your cousin. As a the oldest of 4 kids and a mom now trudging through my cumulative 15thish year of having that role....honey, they ALWAYS need constant vigilance and discipline. There just isn't any letting up! Hang in there. You may not have heard the "nagging discipline" throughout your childhood because you were an angelic only, but my mother has a degree in it and a minor in managing chaos. And guess what? Ask any of the 4 of us and we'll tell you that we have the best mom EVER. Just judge for yourself whether we're holy terrors, though....

    The game is to do your absolute best and to regroup and refuel however you need and as much as you need. You got it, you're good.

  4. Don't forget that you are doing a huge job! It is hard enough to homeschool one child without another one or two begging for attention. The dynamic gets negative when one of the children acts out because you cannot be doing everything at once!
    My advice is get down on the floor and be silly and have a tickle contest till everyone feels good again.
    Also read what you love out loud to them. Even older books like Where the Red Fern Grows or Old Yeller or The Hobbit or The Secret Garden. That will be the best education when the reading lessons can't take place. Don't worry about the curriculum.

  5. Thank you so much. I needed this today. I have a 20 month old very active little boy and am 5 months pregnant with my second. CONSTANT vigilance and discipline is absolutely right. Thank you for the wonderful reminder of what and who I really am - a steward of one of God's richest blessings.
    P.S. I am printing this post for future reference!!! :)


Hello! I'm so glad that you have come here to share your heart and thoughts. One quick word from me before you comment:

I ask all visitors to respect this as a place of peace. Disagreements are welcome, but please refrain from posting any ungracious comments. Thank you, and God bless.