Have you ever had one of those days where you just feel like asking your children "How many times have I told you (fill in the blank)...?" Truly, there are things that I know I've said hundreds (thousands?) of times. Yet I still somehow have to find the strength to take a deep breath and remind them - again - of the expectations. But these are also the times when I feel the most weary. Weariness isn't just feeling tired. It has an emotional component, a feeling of being ready to throw up your hands in surrender. So when we find ourselves at the brink of despair, what can we do?
The author of Galatians reminds us:
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9
It sometimes seems like all the behind the scenes work of mommyhood goes unnoticed and under-appreciated (especially when the shirt is the one thing that didn't make it into the laundry!) and I am left to wonder if it's worth it. When you add to that a string of days where all the training and correcting seem to fall on rocky soil it spells DISCOURAGEMENT.
This business of training up children in the way they should go is difficult. Especially when the way they should go runs so contrary to our sinful desires. But, thankfully, we aren't parenting alone. The ultimate parent is right there in the trenches with us. God sees all the little tasks that we do even if no one else does. When we gently correct our children and lead them to restoration, He smiles on our efforts. When we serve unselfishly he lavishes his love on us. The task can seem overwhelming at times, but I'm reminded that it will ultimately be worth it - even if I can't see it right now.
If my efforts are not bearing fruit today, I can hold on to the truth that "at the proper time" they will. There will be a harvest beyond what I can imagine. All I have to do is wait in expectation.
So today as I retrain and redirect and cook and clean and serve my family I will not become weary. I will smile and gently redirect. I will hold on to God's promise in faith. It is worth it. God doesn't want us to be discouraged, he wants us to rest in him. I'm thankful that I don't have to do this alone. Today if I feel discouraged, I will just remind myself that God is faithful. My children are far too precious to give up.