Motherhood in the Trenches


It was Mother’s Day last Sunday. A celebration for so many, myself included, but also a day of great sorrow for others – for the mother who longs for children her body cannot carry. For mothers who have lost babies in the womb and long after. For the mothers of prodigal children. For single mothers who are parenting for two.

I am {temporarily} in the last category … my husband is currently serving in Afghanistan. I’ve written before on single parenting three small children – it’s the hardest thing I’ve done yet, and I’ve been deployed myself!

You find yourself in these moments, in the trenches of motherhood. You see so easily your own sin at the end of a long week of little sleep and certainly no respite. It is a white-hot refining fire, and let me tell you, I burn with it on a daily basis. 

Our parenting philosophy revolves around Ephesians 6:4 …

 “And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”

Oh and I succeed so little at this. There are nights, like tonight, where my daughter goes to bed red-eyed and defiant, shouting at me about how this is the worst day ever because of the things I’ve failed to do.

So why I am telling you all this … in the days after Mother’s Day, a day I spent skipping church to clean up vomit. It’s a day for joy, right?

Yes, joy, and grace, and a time to ponder. A time to bend over and look the six year old in the eyes and apologize for the ways I’ve gone astray, the moments when I provoke her to anger, when tears flow from both our wounded hearts.

A time to mull over the beautiful little faces God has given me, and re-affirm that this job, this calling … motherhood in whatever form you are experiencing it … is hard and beautiful and awash in a sea of grace.

Because friends? The gospel lives here too, in the trenches. The gospel of grace, of sacrifice, of boundless love. The gospel of sins forgiven, it bears me up and makes me whole again.

So keep on mothering, keep on grace-seeking, and gospel-living. We are all in the trenches with you.




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