In two weeks, all Mamas will be lauded and praised. Flowers bought, lunches cooked, cards signed, gifts wrapped. Oh yes, the unmistakable holiday of Mother’s Day.
And then the next day…well...
After Mother’s Day, life goes on, and all the invisible jobs that glue the fabric of the family together will again be performed without the praise or presents. Because Moms. Moms do all the jobs on the day in and the day out, work which is simultaneously expected and unnoticed.
But let’s be real. (I am a Mom, so I can do that.) Not all the “glue” work of Moms is accomplished with the quiet grace of an unsung hero. At least not for me.
The imaginary Mom in my head waltzes through her day, humming as she prepares delicious meals, corrects her 'lil blessings with grace and wisdom, with her cute clothes ironed and her hair on point.
Here is my reality: The only way I could have ever been that Mom, I now realize, is to have never had actual kids.
My own dear children learned to detect the signs of brewing storm clouds. Audible sighs, whining complaints, or quiet crying revealed all was not well. Kitchen cabinets slamming alerted my family to Mom frustration. A louder volume to my voice or a certain edge to my tone sounded a siren to my kids, warning them “Mom is frustrated.”
More reality: The Mom who holds it all together can fall apart or blow-up, acting more like dynamite than glue.
What’s a Mom to do when the unending To Do list laughs in her face, or her own flesh responds with sarcasm or disdain? How should a Mom respond when her efforts seem to fail and her tasks outrun her energy? What about when she has no answers for her problems and she can’t find anyone to take her resignation letter?
Mommas, at that moment we have only one recourse. We must run to the Parent who thought gifting us with these children was a good idea in the first place. When the Lord did that, He knew we weren’t up to the task. He was aware we would mess up and need help. He realized we were too weak to meet the needs.
He knew it all along.
He just never intended us to accomplish this task on our own. His Word contains the promises we need to enable us to cry out to Him and receive all the help we need.
So, while every day we need to pray fervently for our children, we also need to pray passionately for our own hearts, actions, and attitudes. We REQUIRE the enabling power of the Lord to do our job.
What To Pray For Ourselves
Here are some Scriptures to cling to and some prayers to cry out when we finally realize we have nowhere else to turn.
1. Pray for understanding and wisdom I need.
1 Kings 3:9: Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?” (ESV)
- Oh Lord, I can’t govern these children without Your help. I often question what is the best decision and what is the right direction. Please give me understanding and wisdom to know what to do.
2. Pray for rest.
Matthew 11:28: Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (ESV)
- Jesus, I am tired and I carry a big burden of responsibilities in taking care of my kids. I come to You and lay all this at Your feet. I ask You for the rest that will restore my spirits and my energy.
3. Pray for strength when I am worn out.
Psalm 73:25-26: Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (ESV)
- I lay every burden, anxiety, and worry about my kids at Your feet, Lord. I want to desire You and You alone, more than any other thing. My heart feels close to failing and my flesh is so tired I don’t want to get out of bed or brush my hair. Thanks, that I can be honest with You about that. I ask You to be my strength and to be more important to me than everything else.
4. Thank God for my weaknesses and ask Him for His power.
2 Corinthians 12:9: 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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (ESV)
- Thank You, Jesus, that You know I am weak and You love me anyway. You don’t tell me to get myself together. Instead You lavish Your grace on me and provide Your power to perfect my weakness. You are my best gift and the strength of my heart.
5. Pray for vision to look forward and move ahead.
Philippians 3:13-14: Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (ESV)
- Lord, I confess I am not the Mom I hope to be. I want to be a better reflection of You to my family. I want to return evil with good. I want to love where I am not loved, and give where I am not appreciated. But, it is so hard Jesus. Thank You that I can be honest about that. I lay my failures of today at Your feet and I ask You for the strength for tomorrow that I can press toward the goal of You, Jesus. Help me serve my family as I press on to You.
Every Day Is Mother’s Day
Keep praying, Moms. God is good and not surprised at our neediness. Our lack simply offers Him room to rush in. His desire for relationship with us in the MIDDLE of the mess means we are never in this alone.
Every day of mothering may not include flowers and presents, but it can ALWAYS involve Jesus.
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