Parenting is hard work.
There were times when I questioned if all I was doing was worth it.
The fruits of my labor were absent.
I was tired. Worn out. Weary in my parenting.
Was anything I modeled and taught sinking in?
Let alone, so often I felt like I was failing as a parent. When I compared my parenting style to another mom, I would always fall short. Always.
Thoughts of “I’m ruining my children,” and “They are going to be scarred for life” were present in my mind often.
Now my children are almost 21 and 18. Almost.
I look back at those younger days, and goodness, what I wouldn’t have done to have had someone come alongside of me back then to encourage me. To tell me to hang in there. To infuse hope in my heart that the work I was doing as a mom was worth it. To help me understand the seeds God planted through me as a mom were being rooted in my children’s hearts. Deeply rooted. And to encourage me to keep doing what I was doing.
Sure, my husband did a great job of that, but when you’re up to your elbows in diapers, and Legos, and preteen emotional outbursts, it’s a gift to have another mom come alongside who understands because she has been there.
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
I also appreciate The Message translation:
Mom, Dad don’t lose heart. What you are doing to raise your children right is making a difference. The words you say. The steps you make. The time you take to teach, to train, to model, to equip. All is worth it. All of it matters. Even if the fruits of your labor are absent.
Continue to point them to Jesus, and to God’s Word. Continue to point your children in the right direction. The fruits will appear. God is faithful to help them stay on the right path.
Keep doing what you’re doing. You are making a difference.
And one more thing. Don’t believe the lie that you’re not a good enough parent, or that you’re not as great as so-and-so. No one could be a better parent for your child than you. No one. Trust God in that, and seek His wisdom and understand. He’s equipping you to be the mom and dad He wants you to be.
As I look at my children today, the fruits of my labor are evident. I see them making choices that glorify God. I see them look to Him in their times of trials. I watch them succeed in small victories in their faith and in their lives. No, they aren’t perfect, and they still mess up (like us all). But I can celebrate what God has done and is doing in their beautiful lives, and how God has used me as their mom.
And that, my friend, is a great gift.
Great job, Mom and Dad!
Linking up with Meredith for #Woman2Woman and Holley for Coffee For Your Heart.
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Thank you for your awesome encouragement today Julie! You inspire my heart to keep pressing on. It can be so hard some days but these kinds of words keep you going. Cheering you dear one from Holley’s linkup.
We all need encouragement every now and then. I’ve needed it a lot lately, it seems. Thanks for continued encouragement and hope you share. Blessings, dear friend!
Thank you for this Julie! I am right in the middle of diapers, legos and teen emotions as our kids are between ages 1 and 14! This is great encouragement. <3 Stopping in for coffee from Holley's!
Keep on, Rachel! I understand. Lifting you in prayer in the moment. Many blessings to you!
Beautiful Julie! Thank you for this! How often I feel a complete failure as a mama! And how often I wonder if there is any good seeping in. Thanks for speaking encouragement to my heart this afternoon!
I can relate, Stephanie! You are in no way a failure as a mama. God has you right where He wants you for the littles you are raising through His love. Keep up the great work!
I’ve been going through some hard stuff with my boys lately so this encouragement is appreciated more than I can say. And my boys are 25/23. We always need others to come alongside of us in this journey of being a parent because it’s never ends. It’s both one of the greatest things we do but also the hardest.
Much love. xoxo
Agreed, Beth! One of the greatest things, but also the hardest. I am lifting you in prayer. God bless you, sweet friend!
Yes, Julie – we can be so hard on ourselves as parents – in everything we do – because it just means the world to us. It really is the hardest job in the world, but the most gratifying too. I remember feeling lonely and ashamed to admit my struggles as a young mom. (This was my pre-laying myself bare days…lol). I felt I’d be judged by other moms and in fact, probably often was. I love your encouragement here to not lose heart and believe we are making a difference – we are sending out a new generation of Light seekers and that is just so important. I can’t help but believe these words are going to impact many right when they need it most. Blessings!
I wish I would have had someone to encourage me in those tough days as a mama. It is the hardest job, but most gratifying. I am praying for you tonight, Tiffany. Thanks for sharing your heart here. I love seeing your beautiful face! Blessings as you parent the next generation!
Wonderful encouragement Julie! I so wish you were around when my boys were coming up. Very encouraging to see our kids as big people now making good choices. Your kids are beautiful by the way. Great writing my friend! Keep it up!
Thank you, Melanie. It is encouraging to see our grown kids make good choices. I’m glad God has them, just as He has us. Bless you!!
Love that Message version! It really does help hearing this from another mom, so thank you!
You’re welcome, Sarah. Thank you for being here!!
I love that version from the Message, “Point your kids in the right direction…” It makes me think, “I can do that!” Parenting IS hard work, but I can point my kids to Jesus. Thanks for your encouragement for us weary moms today.
Pointing our kids to Jesus is something we all can do. I needed that reminder too. Bless you, friend, for being here and for your words. It’s always a gift to see your smiling face!