Wednesday Wisdom Tip: Hope for the Weary Mom
Today I am so excited to share with you the new resource, Hope for the Weary Mom, by my friends Stacey Thacker and Brooke McGlothlin. Let me share a taste of this great new book…as well as a give away too!
Stacey, you have all girls, and Brooke has all boys. How does that combination serve weary moms?
Brooke – Between us, Stacey and I currently cover an age range of 5 to 15. There are boys and girls of all ages represented in there, and it gives us the ability to speak with compassion and very real life experience to a variety of moms in a variety of situations. The book wouldn’t be as meaty or full if only one sex was represented. Every mom can find herself in Hope for the Weary Mom.
Stacey – Brooke and I seem to live in opposite worlds but we are more alike than we are different. We get each other. Sure, there are particulars to raising girls vs. boys, but our stories connect because we are moms. Weariness visits both our houses and we need Jesus equally in the trenches of everyday mothering.
The subtitle of this book, Let God Meet You in the Mess, is significant. Why?
Brooke – As Christians, we know we serve a God who is able, at the snap of His fingers, to change our circumstances. But more often than not, that’s not the way He chooses to work in our lives. Sometimes He does, but mostly He doesn’t, preferring instead of get down in our messes with us, helping us to find our way out one day at a time, and finding more of Him in the process.
I find the knowledge of that encouraging and frustrating all at the same time. It’s hard at times to know that God has the ability to do something, but won’t. When we’re in the middle of the mess, all we really want is to get out. Because He can see the bigger picture, God knows that walking us through the mess is better for us in the long run, but it never really feels that way in the thick of it. We have to choose to let God meet us in our weak places. We have to choose to stop fighting what He allows in our lives, whining to get out of it, and embrace it instead. If we chose to look at all of life as an opportunity to make His name great, and believe that our responses to the things of life really matter, it would change the way we live.
I’m not saying I’ve arrived in this area. I still fuss and whine to God a lot, but I believe in this process, and know God is moving me closer and closer to it with every choice I make to let Him meet me in the mess.
Stacey – Everyone of us has a mess somewhere in our lives. I know I do. I think we do our best to hide it from our friends, the women at church, and even God. We do this because we believe the lie that we are the only ones who have messy lives and dirty floors. Honestly I’ve learned two very important things through Hope for the Weary Mom regarding the messes we hide: (1) God is not afraid of our mess. He came to a messy world, walked with messy people, and offered hope time and time again to those he met—right in the middle of their messy lives. He does the same for us today because he has not changed. (2) The women we are hiding our mess from have messes in their homes, too. We think they are sitting in their kitchens judging us, but really they are worried we will find out the truth about them as well. It is so much better for us to wave our white flags, invite God into our mess, let him change us, and then share our stories with other women. This is what brings freedom and connects us deeply with others. It is so much better than hiding!
Weariness in moms seems to be an epidemic, with more and more moms falling into that category everyday. Why do you think this is?
Brooke – I think moms have always been weary, but there are a few things unique to the world we live in today that make the issue more pronounced. Moms today feel we must be able to do everything well. If we can’t, we’re a failure. Not doing one thing well makes us feel like a complete failure, because we’ve bought the lie that success means being able to keep a thousand plates spinning without ever having one break. Moms 200 years ago were more focused on survival. It was a good day if they could put food on the table, and they taught their children to work hard because family survival depended on it. Even in higher societies, women weren’t expected to be able to do everything. No one expected them to raise their families, clean the house, cook dinner, AND hold down a full time job.
The world we live in now demeans a woman if she can’t do all of those things, and do them well. Advertising, media, social media…all of them paint a picture of how things should be in our lives, and whether we like to believe it’s true or not, they affect how we interpret our world, and the place we hold in it. Reality says we can’t possible do it all. But reality doesn’t change the fact that we think we should be able to. So what we see as failures to keep the plates spinning, I think maybe should never have been on our plates to begin with.
I’m not saying women shouldn’t work. I’m just saying that when we do, whether by choice, by calling, or by sheer necessity, something else has to be sacrificed to compensate. Maybe it’s family. Maybe it’s deep friendships. Maybe it’s the ability to serve the way we want to outside of work. It might look different for everyone, but there will be something that suffers.
If we could lower our expectations some, to realize that as moms, we’re trying to keep more plates spinning at one time than moms ever have before, we might be able to give ourselves more grace.
Stacey – I believe everyone is weary in some way. Moms included. I think we feel weariness deeply because we have so many people depending on us. I agree, social media does not seem to help in many ways and often contributes to the pressure we feel to have perfect homes and families. I’m praying through this book that women begin to have honest conversations about the places in their lives they are most weary and hope is stirred in their hearts. I’d love moms understand that weariness is reminder to run to Jesus and find true rest.
What is one thing a mom could do right now to fight weariness and find hope? In your own lives, what is the one thing you can do that brings you out of a weary state?
Brooke – One of the most important things for me as I’ve battled weariness is remembering the very real presence of God in my life. When we’re in our weary places, God seems far away. But the truth is, He’s always with us. We know this because His word promises it. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned over the last 10 years is that I get to choose how I feel. I don’t always get to choose my gut reactions to things, and my feelings about life aren’t always bad, but weariness is a feeling. Hope is a choice to believe what I can’t see over what I can.
Stacey – Spend time every day in the Bible. This by far is the most important thing I do to fight weariness. When my girls were babies, I might only have time to write down one verse and think about it. Sometimes, I read a short devotional if I’m short on time. I also love to hang Scripture on my walls all over my house. The point is, to make sure you are focusing on hope filled truth. This will truly change your outlook. I know it does for me.
I can laugh about it now, but in the moment, I thought I might die. It was really the moment I admitted to myself that I didn’t have what it took to be the kind of mom I wanted to be. I needed an intervention. Thankfully, God had one planned for me.
How can weariness be good?
Brooke – My weariness as a mom is literally what has kept me on my knees before Jesus for the last 10 years. I had no idea how sinful I was until I had my boys. They bring out the worst in me. I know that seems a terrible thing to say, but I think if we’re honest, most of us would agree that our children have the ability to pull out all the sin hiding in our hearts. It isn’t a pretty thing, but it’s a good thing. I’m beginning to realize that it’s God’s grace to me to reveal my sin. Because I can’t repent of it, can’t ask Him to change me and heal me of it if I don’t know it’s there.
The good news is that my boys also bring out the best in me, and they’re being used by God to make me into the best me…the version of me God intended when He created me. That’s powerful. That’s hope.
Stacey – I’ve been learning recently that we were made to need Jesus. Our weariness is not a failure. It is a reminder that we don’t function well in our own strength for long. As the old hymn says, “Every hour I need thee. . . ” and true blessing comes when we lean into him in our weakness.
Stacey Thacker is a wife and the mother of four vibrant girls. Creator of the popular blog Mothers of Daughters, she is a writer and speaker who loves God’s Word. Her passion is to connect with women and encourage them in their walks with God. You can find her blogging at staceythacker.com
Brooke McGlothlin is Co-founder of Raising Boys Ministries, where parents of boys are equipped and encouraged to raise godly men. You can find her writing about fighting for the hearts of her sons at the MOB Society blog. A normal day finds Brooke homeschooling her two boys, wrangling two large Labs, Toby and Siri, writing to bring hope to the messes of life (in the midst of her own messy life), and falling more and more in love with the man she’s had a crush on since the third grade (who just happens to be her husband).
tired and sick today but definitely IN.
Thank you for the great reminders! I’m in!
In every situation! !
It would be to just find time to get my house and life in order. I seem to have a start and go button until it’s time to sleep. Unfortunately the go button doesn’t get to stay home long enough to take care of that part of my life. If nothing else just pray that God gives me a little bit of time to breathe and catch up, although right now that seems impossible, because I keep thinking I have to do it all on my own. I know that God is with me and I pray that I use that knowledge to get it all done.
Dear Father, I lift up Cathi to you. Using the words of Julie S. in the comments, I pray that Cathi will “get things done, that it is ok if something is left undone. I need hope to enjoy life!” Help her to see what she needs to say “no” to in order to get the rest she needs. Help her to give herself permission and grace to not do it all. Amen
I start so many tasks but don’t get them finished because of all the distractions of being mom. Throw in a load of laundry, but forget to turn on the washer because my littlest is yelling that she needs to go potty. Keeping another child on task to complete homework and read, while trying to make dinner – hopefully not burning it. Putting everything on hold because of behavior that needs to be corrected or one asks a question that needs my full attention and some 1:1 time. The one thing I want to do well is “be Mom”, but I fear that I lose patience with my little ones too often and don’t display my love for them like I want to. I know my only hope is in God, but I don’t always remember to make my time with Him the priority. But I keep trying.
Mandy, I hear your heart. You are being a good mom. You are doing what Jesus has given you to do – loving and caring for your family. May He strengthen your heart today!
I FEEL you, Mandy! We’re rowing in the same boat! Have hope. Nothing stays the same, Everything changes and this too shall pass.
I’m in! I need hope that I can get things done, that it is ok if something is left undone. I need hope to enjoy life!
Yes! Hope to enjoy the present and not wish it away!
Wow! Well said, Mandy. I see myself in your comments also. Sometimes it is hard to be Mom. You give, give, give, but you are too busy giving to enjoy it and you forget to receive. I forget to ask for help. Slow down. I forget to take a bath by myself, in quiet. I myself am weary also. The unique burdens of my life bear down on me, and I struggle with letting go of past hurts. I’m In!
I need hope for my family’s financial situation: my husband, teenage son, daughter & her 3 young kids & I all live together in a 3 bedroom house. No one has a full time job. My husband lost his job over 6 months ago & my daughter has been told she will lose hers next month. I’m struggling to keep my focus on trusting in God.
Jesus, you see Rita’s situation. You are their provider, Lord. We ask for you to give the wisdom and divine appointments they need. Fill their hearts with hope and the knowledge you have not forgotten them! Amen
Thank you so much for your prayer, Lynn! I know that He is faithful! Sometimes I just need a reminder from a sweet sister in Christ! God bless you for your ministry & taking time to pray for others!
I’m In and I need hope! I emailed you earlier in the week regarding my situation… I NEED HOPE! Having lost my job about 5 years ago I thought my little world was going to end. Even though I hated my job and only thought about “being at home” and all the things I could “accomplish” if I were home, I would have never quit because the money was great. But God will sometimes PUSH us out of our comfort zone to get us where we Need to be. Fast forward….I have often struggled with the fact that I have accomplished NOTHING in 5 years! As a matter of fact things seem worse. I blame myself for my kids struggling in school because “I struggled”. And even though I have a husband with a 14 year old daughter and a 17 year old son, I blame myself that my house is a mess and I have laundry piled up…I mean after all I am the one home all day right? I have no energy and have bacically become…LAZY…there I said it….no drive and no passion, yet I complain. And in this 5 years I have put on 50 lbs on my already overweight frame ( I am now about 100 lbs over weight) and why when I have nothing but time? I have been looking and looking for a job but to no avail. And now that I have been out of work for 5 years makes it that much harder. I feel helpless and hopeLESS. And my self esteem is not low, I have NONE. No confidence in myself. I bascially feel like a nobody. I barely graduated from high school. School was hard for me, did not come easy at all. I tried taking a few courses at a junior college, only to fail so I gave up. Why wouldn’t I blame myself for my kids struggle? If I were smarter, more educated, had a degree…they would be smarter and excelling in school with all Honor and AP courses right?? What good am I? My husband works hard on his job all day and does a great job at providing for his family, all the while I am failing at my job. What purpose do I serve? How can a person like me be used by God? Lord I dont need thee every hour…I need you every minute!
Keep believing, friend! God is faithful and has not forgotten you!
“I Need Thee Every Hour” is my favorite hymn! It was written by a housewife named Annie. She understood!
Praying for you friend!
Thank you so much. Means a lot. I was just looking at your blog yesterday. 🙂 I’ll be in touch!
For me it is hard to pick just one situation. I just finalized my divorce, am struggling financially and just lost the babysitter I rely on. At the end of a long day at the office, I am so weary that I don’t feel I give my kids what they deserve, as far as my time is concerned. I just want to be a better mom. If I win this book, I think it might help me embrace the weariness and lean on God more! Thanks!
All of us moms share the same struggles, and triumphs along the way! I could use some hope right now with my son, who is a 13 yo 8th grader….need I say more?? LOL…actually he is a very sweet and sensitive boy, but he loves making people laugh, and he needs to learn when that is appropriate! I received an email yesterday from one of his teachers, asking for my help in letting him know that he has moved from funny, to disrupting, to disrespectful! That is never a proud moment for a mom, but when we run here, and there each evening, sometimes your days are gone before you feel like you’re shared anything of value with your kiddos! Praying that the Holy Spirit will work in me, and help me to manage my time, and put my son’s needs before anything else. Also praying the Holy Spirit will guide my son and help him to make good choices! Thank you, Lynn!! This does sound like a great book for any mom, at any stage!
Bobbie I hear and I am praying with you and for you. I understand what you are feeling…I have been there. My son is 17 now and it gets better. Keep trusting the Lord, His grace and mercies are new everyday. Your son was created in His image and everything the word says about who we are is true. Repeat God’s word to your situation. I am standing and believing with you.
I love when we encourage each other here! We need each other!!
Jesus, Bobbie’s comment is also a prayer from her heart. I know when we ask for wisdom, it is always your will “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and upbraideth not, and it shall be given unto him.” from James. (They made us memorize in the King James at my middle school!) Answer this prayer for wisdom, Lord! Amen
Thank you for being part of this “Hope” story and sharing it today! You are such a gift!
I’m IN! Needing hope, and this book, for my wonderful DIL who is over her head and weary with three children under the age of 5 and a marriage that is struggling. Praying hope into their situation and trusting our loving God for healing and renewed hope for them!
I need hope in my marriage. I have a lot of plates spinning with working full-time, three girls, the finances, & the education and feel like to total burden of responsibility is on me. I need to find the courage to let my husband know I need him to lead and then LET HIM! Letting him is the hard part. He’s doesn’t always make decisions I agree with and I end up taking the reins back. …and then I’m weary once again. Phew!
I need hope in my parenting. I’m 32 weeks pregnant with my 3rd child & homeschooling my 9 & 5 yo while my husband works 12 hr days. I’m also on limited bedrest. I’m exhausted & definitely in need of hope.
I’m in! Thank you!
What an encouraging idea this book presents. I’m definitely in to win a copy!
As a wife, mother of four ages 12,10, 3, 2…almost two three year old for a month..weariness is something I experiense often. I am definitely IN. Thank you!
I’ve been up for basically 30 hrs tending to my 6 month old son as he has a double ear infection and respiratory virus. Weary is right where I am most days as I also have a soon to be 4 yr old daughter and a 6 1/2 year old daughter. My husband is a cop on night shift so I am doing double duty most days and constantly lacking sleep. Part of my problem is I hate asking for help. God is working on me though! Be blessed all my fellow weary women, He is our strength!
Oh Katie! Asking for help is so hard, yet, that is the times when God has helped me to find out who my true friends were i.e. when my father died.
Jesus, give Katie courage to ask for help. Show her who is praying to be Your hands and feet and may she let them fulfill what You have called them to do! Amen
I need hope (and I know I already have it!) in knowing I’m living out my ‘grandma’ duties well, to honor and glorify God. I have six grandchildren (3 boys and 3 girls) and want them all to know how exciting it is to serve a living God. So glad our God is a God of Hope!
I’m a single mom fighting breast cancer….IN
Father, you see. You hear. You heal. We need you. Amen
I am IN and I wish I was asleep on the couch just like the cover! But MOTHERS never sleep!
Raising 4 girls and 1 boy, I need all the help I can get!!!!!
What great words of wisdom we as mothers need to keep in our hearts and minds daily. This SO very much tied into the conversation I had earlier this evening at our bible study group. Thanks Lynn!!
Isn’t God cool like that?
In all areas! I’ve been so weary lately!
Week 2 of being sick and exhausted from lack of sleep and full time job. Love my 2 busy teens…struggling to keep up with them and be the attentive/encouraging mom they need. Graduation around the corner…overwhelmed. I’m IN! Thanks for the helpful insight…