In my pre-kids days, I used to savor slowly waking up in the morning as I gleaned divine inspiration for the day. Then I became a mom, and everything changed.
Now, a child’s cry jostles me awake and the morning whirlwind begins. Usually about an hour into the morning I find myself sitting across my toddler at the table – amidst the breakfast disaster – and thinking, “Well, here we go again.”
When our two daughters came into our world, I was so excited to take on the adventures of mommyhood — I imagined snuggles, sunny outings, and heartfelt teaching moments. You get the picture: these bundles were my gifts from God and I was inspired to be the best mom for them.
While those beautiful elements are all a part of this mommyhood picture, the things I had not painted in my perfect little masterpiece were the 473 times I would end up sweeping crunchy Cheerios crumbs from the floor or scraping banana goo off the highchair. I also had not taken into account the countless corrections it would take to curb behavior, how long it would actually take to get out the door, and the ever-piling laundry I’d fold … just to do everything all over again the next day!
I guess didn’t realize that sometimes mommyhood would feel so…daily.
On one Sunday morning recently, a child’s cry woke me from my slumber…again. I decided to take my liberties as a wife, though, and gently tapped my husband’s shoulder. “Honey, do you mind getting her this time?” I asked. He graciously complied, and back under the covers I went…because this mama was tired! (And honestly, I was less than inspired to take on the “adventures” of mommyhood that day.) But then later at church that morning, my Heavenly Father met me where I needed it most.
As I sat in my seat and listened to the words of our pastor, I felt the Holy Spirit encourage my heart again, and it occurred to me: maybe what I had been experiencing as a mom parallels that of a bricklayer, one who has been entrusted to build a beautiful building.
Likely, when he first sees the intricacies and details of the design, he sets out with excitement. He is inspired by the task and makes sure each measurement is perfect, each brick positioning is rightly aligned, and all the layers of mortar are meticulously and purposefully accomplished. But then, day after day in the blinding sun, as each uninteresting brick starts to mirror the next brick he lays, he may get weary. He may lose the inspiration he once had when he had seen the bigger picture.
Isn’t that how it feels as moms sometimes? The monotony of “the daily” tasks can wear us out and blind us from seeing the bigger picture. We can lose sight of what we are “building.”
How, then, do we breathe inspiration back into our hearts? We need to go back to our Heavenly Father, the Master Designer, and ask him to show us the blueprints again. We need him to remind us of his vision for our family and why we do all that we do.
Scripture reveals that God specially designed each of our children. Psalm 139:13-14 displays that he wove intricate detail into them the day they were created. It says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
God has entrusted us with our children, his most intricate designs. He also developed a plan and destiny for each one of them (Jeremiah 29:11). Though they are ultimately his, he has chosen us to co-labor with him in developing them into who he has created them to be. The “daily” holds so much more than just mundane tasks, then: it carries the details he will use to develop and mold them for himself. He designed the bigger picture and can breathe life into even the smallest tasks.
Invite him into what you are doing. As mothers, we need to be reminded that monotonous does not mean valueless. Every brick is needed. Every spread of mortar is important. Every time we care for our children, direct behavior, whisper a prayer, give a hug, sweep the mess, it counts. It is all a part of building something we may not see. So when you get weary, don’t lose heart. Remember, you’re doing more than just laying bricks. You are building something beautiful.
Keri Herzog loves to see women come to better know who they are in Christ. Previously she worked as the Assistant Dean of Women at Christ for the Nations Institute and has also worked as the Assistant Dean for Leadership and Experiential Learning at North Central University. Currently she lives with her husband Jordan, two daughters, and their two German Shepherds in Oakdale, Minnesota.