This time of year can make a mama feel weary. May is unexpectedly the busiest month on our calendar, even packing in more events than December. There’s school to wrap up, sports seasons to finish, recitals, finals, projects, award ceremonies, and graduations, AND summer is peeking its head around the corner. This is the time of year when we have to really dig deep to focus on finishing strong. It’s when we have to remember the why behind what we do.
Why do we try to parent our teens by influence and not just authority? Why are we still cooking and making family dinner a priority? Why do we stop to correct instead of just hurrying along? Why do we stay up late and ask the hard questions? And then make time to lean in and listen? And is it worth trying to keep those toddlers inside the funnel they are so quickly trying to escape?
These thoughts can leave us weary, especially if we only focus on the fruit of our labor. We can question that any of our efforts are actually making a difference. Weariness plus little fruit produced is the perfect equation for giving up.
This is the time of year we need to focus on the promise in Galatians 6:9:
So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith. (MSG)
I love the Message translation. It encourages me to not give up! To take advantage of every opportunity with the words, “every time we get the chance…” So how do we find the strength to not give up? How do we transform our weariness into worship?
- Take time to pray—Jesus was in constant communication with His Father. He knew his mission. He was sometimes weary. He was pulled in a lot of directions but still took time to teach, rebuke, love, and correct. He was mindful of his purpose and we should be also. Our parenting purposes aren’t to make us look good, they’re to glorify God. Take the time to pray so you can remember why you are doing what you are doing.
- Set visible reminders— The to-do lists in our heads don’t always transfer well through our hands and feet. Maybe you’re weary about family dinners: set the table after lunch as a reminder to all that you will gather there in a few hours. Perhaps it’s a school project looming over your kids to finish: lay it out in an area where you can see the work that needs to be completed. Perhaps it’s the workout you’ve been wanting to squeeze in: put your tennis shoes out to remind you of your goal. Or maybe it’s your tongue you’re wanting to tame: place Scripture in your direct line of vision (bathroom mirror, fridge door) to set the reminder for your good intentions.
- Remember His mercies are new every morning – Come mid-afternoon I can feel myself slipping back into weariness, and by bed time I can no longer see straight. A quick glance at tomorrow’s calendar can send me into a moment of despair. But often when I wake up, I’m refreshed and renewed and ready to try again. I love that about God. His mercies are new for us each morning, so instead of going to bed weary, thank Him for the fresh start we will have tomorrow.
- Rely on His strength. – My weariness comes in waves when I’m relying on my own strength. I’m quickly reminded of my weaknesses: I lose patience, I don’t follow through, I miss moments because I’m focused on my own agenda. But instead of focusing on my own weaknesses, I remember that it’s when we are weak, He is shown strong, and we can do ALL things through Christ who gives us strength. We don’t have to put on superhero capes to fly through May, we just have to remember the One who makes us fly.
“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31.”
Don’t be bogged down by the busy-ness, let ‘why’ you do what you do be your motivation. Then, turn your weariness into worship by taking time to pray, setting visible reminders for yourself, remembering God’s mercies are new every morning, and relying on His strength.
Blaire Johnson is a stay-at-home mom to four children ages 9, 7, 5 and 18 months. She and her husband, Travis, have been involved in the GFI ministry since 2008 and have led classes since 2012. They live in Mt Pleasant, South Carolina.