12 Mar 2015

When You Feel Like No One Notices Or Appreciates What You Do For Your Family, You’re Wrong

You know how some nights you are just tired and run down and it’s 10pm and there’s STILL one straggler kid who isn’t asleep yet and all you really want is to crawl into bed with that book you can’t seem to get past chapter 3 on because INTERRUPTIONS….

But right there as you stand in front of the sink and start to rinse out a mug for a last cuppa tea of the night you catch your reflection in the mirror and it’s smiling at you – despite the unwashed hair and recent bout with strep – because in that blink of a moment it all just hits you how THIS IS IT.

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This is the stuff they write greeting cards and movies and songs about – this is the grueling, amazing, extraordinary ordinary because this is where LIFE HAPPENS.

This is where tiny humans turn into real people who grow up to love you and leave you and then bring their own people into your little circle of family.

And suddenly it’s not just another week night, it’s one of those rare glimpses of what your life looks like from heaven’s perspective and you’re so overwhelmed by the sheer wonder of it all you even stop by the room of the whining still awake toddler and just smooch her because this is the good stuff, you guys.

This really, really is.

Especially on the nights and the mornings when you’re the most tired. Those are the moments when you prove yourself most invested in all this life that’s pouring out of your house.

I wish you could just pull you up out of yourself so that you could see yourself down there below. Because I think you’d be overwhelmed by how loved you are. How magnificent you look from heaven’s perspective.

How wildly admired you are for what you’re doing and who you’re doing it for.

Man, just look at you there in the very thick of it and still washing bottles and prepping for the night to come. Maybe you’re rinsing out the bedsheets AGAIN because potty train – ouch.

Maybe you’re trying to cram in one more chapter of homework for that degree you’re fitting in in between kids and you know you’re also going to be up with the early morning toddler crew.

Just look at how marvelous it all is.

How you’re pouring yourself out into these tiny humans who are going to leak all their brilliance and wonder out all over the world and it’s because of YOU.

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Because you stood there in front of the sink and set your alarm clock and got up and did it all over again.

If you could only see yourself now and how you shine – this whole galaxy of bright, brilliant, beautiful service lighting up the night. This gift that is so absolutely noticed by the heavens who peer down to delight in how you keep on giving away bits of yourself.

Even when it hurts.

Even when you doubt yourself.

Even when you wonder if anyone notices.

You keep giving it away.

And what you don’t see is how it follows you like the bright, dancing tail of a comet blazing a trail visible light years away because that kind of gift can take your breath away.

Your mothering, your loving, your soothing fevers and temper tantrums and teething and angsty teens – how it lights the world on fire and never goes unnoticed from heaven’s perspective.

Listen to me, there just isn’t time to waste doubting or comparing yourself to her house, her mothering, her crafting, her teaching, her calling.

There’s too much wonderful we need from you.

There’s too much unique, too much laughter, too much YOU that this world needs and that those beautiful slices of your DNA are looking up to, to waste wondering if you’re measuring up to her or them or that other thing you always thought you should be doing.

There isn’t time for “should haves.”

There isn’t time for feeling like no one notices or appreciates you.

Even though I know it’s easy to feel that way at the end of long days of commutes and cubicles and cleaning up FIVE MILLION TINY LEGO PIECES!

The thing is that there’s just too much amazing right where you are and who you are.

Don’t waste a second of it comparing yourself to where anyone else is. Or doubting how well you’re loving those kids. Or telling yourself it doesn’t count because no one noticed or commented or remembered to say thank you.

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Your spot there on the tired, stained carpet is so incredibly unique and valuable there’d be a big, old, gaping hole in the world if you abandoned it.

Can’t you hear the standing ovation?

Can’t you hear the HEAVENS ringing round with wonder at what you’ve accomplished today?

You helped with algebra! You made his favorite meal! You wrapped up his pinky finger again in a long line of bandaids because they kept coming off every time he got covered in mud and had to rinse off!

You made it home in time through rush hour for the daycare pick up curfew!

This weird and wonderful world you help manage, that you sing over and cry over and laugh over – it doesn’t work without you in it.

Stop wishing you were somewhere else.

They need you right where you’re at.

Man you’re so good at it.

Stop doubting that.

You already are the best kind of appreciated there is – your name branded on the hands of the God who made you, named you and promises He could NEVER forget you or what you do. Never. This Father God who loves us with a mother’s love:

“Can a mother forget the infant at her breast,
    walk away from the baby she bore?
But even if mothers forget,
    I’d never forget you—never.
Look, I’ve written your names on the backs of my hands.”

Look up friends, and see your life from His perspective.

Beautiful, yes?

Comments

{ Leave a Comment }
  1. 1

    I soaked up your words after a day of cleaning up puke and canceling dates. Thanks Lisa!!!

  2. 2

    Oh Lisa Jo, I am so thankful young mothers have you for their cheer leader. And us older mothers with kids in colleges and the blessing of grandchildren not yet at the door…hope for our future and praise for our past and thanks for the reminder I’m doing okay in this present. Now 8:30 pm and time to tackle those dishes and smile at that person in the kitchen window.
    Shalom~

  3. 3

    Oh, thank you, thank you for this. How I needed this today, and really, for the past almost 2 years. This season of going back to work full time and struggling with the guilt of knowing our little has such a different life in day care than her older sisters had at her age when they had me home with them all the time. I know for a fact that this is what I need to be doing for our family right now, but boy, is it HARD. Those nagging thoughts of guilt and doubt can do a number on your self-esteem, can’t they?

  4. 4
    ainemistig says:

    Thank you.

  5. 5

    I LOVE this! I remember those days that you talk about…the ones with the strep and the dishes and the tantrums and OH MY WORD AT THESE LEGOS. Our kids are mostly older now…or on their way. Your words are great encouragement to all of those out there in the trenches. Take some encouragement from an “older” (ouch!) mom, who has the blessing of looking back a little. My tiny humans grew up, and two of them have married and brought back more into our family:

    It really DOES matter. You really DO make a difference. :)

  6. 6

    Yes, beautiful! I needed to hear this at 6:44PM on Sunday when I can barely hold my eyes open and tomorrow is Monday of all things! :)

  7. 7

    Man, I needed this. I have had a really hard past two days parenting my special needs child and this was exactly what my soul needed. Thank you, new friend. <3

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