You are standing in the kitchen in the same sweat pants you went to bed in, trying to figure out how to feed the kids from the nothing that is in the fridge. Real mothers go to the grocery store, you think, but you don’t know how to fit one more thing into your day, and you can’t help but feel a little sorry for yourself that the most exciting thing you’ve done all week is run to Walmart.
It seems like such a waste. Anybody can go to Walmart. Anybody can change a diaper.
But within your heart burns the desire to do more for God, to use the gifts he has given you. You can write! And you long to build a blog that is noteworthy, post something profound, or write something that will impact people beyond just your immediate family—and then cast the whole lot at the feet of Jesus so you can hear him say, “Well done.”
But here you are, smearing peanut butter and folding laundry, diligently raising up a kingdom of priests, which most days, looks like nothing more than refereeing fights and wiping noses with a Bible verse thrown in for good measure.
It is a struggle just to put two words together on a page, in between the churning of the washing machine and the roar of the minivan. You feel that if you could just get your act together, maybe you’d have something more for to show for your talent then an inconsistent smattering of blog posts.
This is not real writing, you think, especially when your news feed is filled with the latest blog posts and book contracts your writer friends are managing to pull off in their spare time.
Everybody, it seems, has better and brighter gifts to offer. They’re hauling grass-fat lambs into the temple to sacrifice and you’re standing there with a gaggle of kids around your legs and a pigeon in your hands. You feel insignificant, foolish, and offering-poor.
Just a mother.
Do you think God wishes you could somehow manage to be more than that?
You know he does.
But you are wrong.
He sees the selfless acts of motherhood as an act of worship, a sacrifice holy and pleasing to him. The daily mundane that keeps you from doing anything truly impressive, is an act of worship. Knees to the ground, head in your hands, eyes on the kids worship.
It is the worship of a heart surrendered to the will of God, the will of God that made you a mother in the first place. It is the soft submission of a woman who could do so many things, but chooses first to pour her life into her husband and children because she knows nothing else in this life is as important. Not blog posts. Not book contracts.
It doesn’t look like glorious. But then, true worship rarely does. The right-ness of the priority and the sacrifice it requires does not lend itself to notice. It will not catch a publisher’s eye or help to build a prosperous writing ministry, at least, not in the little years. In fact, it can keep you from doing anything else as well as you can.
And like Cain, you fight against it sometimes because that kind of sacrifice doesn’t showcase your strengths. You begin to believe that God can’t really want what he’s asked of you. Surely, he must want something more because you want to give something more.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart you will not despise.
Your offering, small though it may seem, is exactly what God wants of you. And when the needs of your family push the words aside, God notices, and he breathes in the offering and counts it as worship.
Every extra bedtime story that steals away time for writing, every sick child that keeps important thoughts from being written, every dinner that is lovingly served to picky eaters when you could be doing things to build your name—all of it is known and accepted by Him just as if you had loaded up the altar with twenty-five best-sellers all dedicated to Jesus.
With what shall I come to the LORD
And bow myself before the God on high?
Shall I come to Him with burnt offerings,
With yearly calves?
Does the LORD take delight in thousands of rams,
In ten thousand rivers of oil?
He has told you, O man, what is good,
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justice, and to love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:6-7a, 8
When all you have to offer God is the daily task of working at home and humbly raising the children God has given you, know it is an offering pleasing to God. Even when blog posts don’t get written and you postpone that book proposal yet again and all you are all day is just a mother, know this: he is more than satisfied with the offering.
He is delighted.