Dear tired mother

Categorized as Rhonda's Posts

You came to my mind just today. I was driving along in the predawn dark. The earliest sun was just caressing the edge of the world, fingers reaching, and I was talking aloud to the Friend. And all at once, there you were.

I know you, tired mother. For I have been you, and on too many days, I still am.

I am tired. And guilty. And pressured and defeated and scared. Scared I’ve blown it. Scared I’ve missed it. Scared I’ve ruined their chances forever. My children.

For years–all my life–I was beaten, bludgeoned in spirit by the “shoulds.” I should be more patient. I should spend more time. I should have them trained to obey. The first time, every time.

I should have the perfect costume for Spirit Day. I should chaperone that next field trip. I should have them memorizing Scripture as they weed the garden with cheerful hearts and a song on their lips. I should…I should…I should.

Until one day, I couldn’t “should” on myself any more.

Looking back now, I see it. See the fallacy in thinking that by holding myself–and them–to an impossible standard, everything would turn out right. Would be good. It was an exercise in defeat, and in failure.

It was wrong.

None of us are able, see? Able to be perfect. Able to get it right, all the time. Able to make it happen, the perfect children. We can’t do it. And the trying, well, it can make a girl sick. And plain tired.

I see now that even if I’d been the Paragon of Perfection, the Mom of the Year, I would still have imperfect children. And still be tired.

Standing now where I’m at today, here on the other bank of the River called Should, I know this…that what my children really need is not the perfect mother, working harder, but a mother who knows she is loved. Yes, they do.

I may never forget it, the day that He spoke it. Running along there on our country road with the wind in my face, it came. The secret, the key, truth falling like rain on dry ground. It was this: “You cannot give what you do not have.”


Love that frees. That releases. That does what is best. To give love, you have to first have it, and know it.

A mother who knows–and I mean really knows–the love of her Father for her as she is with her messes and all, that mother is sound and secure. Her feet are on planted on rock. On THE Rock, and that mother might falter, but only for a moment.

The mother who is drenched in that Love. Who lives and moves and has all of her being immersed in Father’s love, that mother knows of deep healing. Knows true freedom. And that’s where this mother is going. Toward freedom.

What our children need most is a mother who’s loved for she will love them most freely, and rightly. A woman who knows she’s fully accepted will be able to so accept others.

A mother who knows her Dad’s love’s not conditional won’t put such conditions on others. A woman whose Father can be trusted with her failings will be safe harbor for others who, too, fail. Even her children.

Can you see it, tired mother, that it’s Love that you need? That it’s His love that will best parent your children, and save them?

If you are feeling the sting of defeat, know failure’s shame, feel despair, it’s time. It’s time to stop “shoulding” on yourself and on others. It’s time to accept Father’s love and to rest there. If you’re empty of that, let Him fill you. And then you shall have love to give, running over.

You are safe. You’re secure. You are loved. You can rest now.

Most warmly, then,


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