Just a Mother

Spiritual act of worship

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.

Just motherhood. 

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.

He doesn’t.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;

a broken and contrite heart you will not despise.

Psalm 51:17

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.  


Kristen is the main character in a story in which a redemptive God takes a reluctant mother on a journey to find and reclaim her story. Now the wife of an Army chaplain and mother of five, Kristen writes about the joy of being part of God's audacious plan.

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  • http://memyselfandmercy.blogspot.com/ MARY BONNER

    An act of worship…YES! What an encouraging post.


      Thank you, Mary.


    Oh gosh Kristen, these are thoughts STRAIGHT from my heart this week…The feeling like my offering seems so small, “If I could just get my act together”, like everyone else is making more progress and bigger strides…like balancing motherhood and writing consistently is completely impossible…sigh…I fight it like Cain…you are SO right about that…But i’m going to print this post out and stick it in the pages of my Bible to re-read…a reminder that I’m already doing what God has asked and hopefully an encouragement to be more peaceful about it. Thank you. Your words reached my heart today (:


      “If I could just get my act together” I can’t even count the number of times I have spoken those words. I’ll be sticking this post in my bible as well.


        It’s amazing how much guilt we carry around with us, isn’t it? I wish sometimes we could see how much God wants to wrap His arms around us and give us rest.

  • http://www.allthegracebetween.com/ MOLLY HUGGINS

    I was on the verge of tears in church this morning with my oldest and youngest wrapped around me … just one more screaming toddler from a complete breakdown. {Mom of three, littlest is three months old, Husband is about to deploy, and is away for training at the moment.}. I am struggling mightily and this … I needed this more than you’ll ever know. Now, the tears really are coming, but in a good way. Also, I have been following you for a while, so thankful for fellow military spouse Jesus lovers telling their story.


      Molly, my heart goes out to you. You have bee on my mind all night. It is not natural for a woman to be separated from her husband and helper. I am praying for Christ to fill up your home, that you will see Him there beside you through these months of separation, and that His strength will lift you up. May your husband stay safe and go forth as a light in darkness. Much love to you and your family, Kristen

    • http://www.garyberryblog.blogspot.com/ RAE

      I had a similar experience yesterday, Molly. Thanks for what you do as a military wife!

  • http://www.brownpaperandstrings.com/ JAMIE H

    I think you wrote this especially for me and what has been in my heart lately. Thank you!


      Thank you for echoing God’s thoughts with me.

  • http://ashliewrites.com/ ASHLIE

    This is just…perfect. Much needed. Thank you for these words!! So encouraged by them tonight. <3


      Praise God!

  • http://www.fivedaysfiveways.com ABBIE (FIVE DAYS… 5 WAYS)

    You KNOW I can relate, friend. So, so, SO good.


      Yes! You get me. :)

  • http://www.asimplehaven.com/ JENN AT A SIMPLE HAVEN

    Love this. My almost 2 year old woke up twice last night, foiling my plans to get up early and write. :) But such is the reality of this season of life. And, like you said, nothing is as important as pouring our lives into our husbands and children. It’s so encouraging to hear other bloggers say that.


      Jenn, I hope you find strength and encouragement today as you mother on little sleep. May Christ be your hope today!

  • http://www.garyberryblog.blogspot.com/ RAE

    After carrying my screaming toddler downstairs at church and crying in the bathroom over why I couldn’t get him to behave like everyone else’s little angels, I came home to read this. Thanks for the encouragement… reminds of the song “Little Is Much.”

  • http://TruthInWeakness.blogspot.com/ TANYA @ TRUTHINWEAKNESS

    did i ever need THIS. really been wrestling with this lately, and this was yet another gentle nudge of truth from the Lord. thank you so much.

    “The daily mundane that keeps you from doing anything truly impressive, is an act of worship.”

  • http://www.bumblebeegrace.blogspot.com/ MELISSA ANN

    Thank for taking the time out of the mess to write this. I so needed this. A baby boy who cried all morning long while I attempted K4 work with his sisters, crayon from the K4 child on the wall AGAIN, baby waking too early from nap, incessant questions, a child whining about a little cut, late dinner and less than 5 days before my monthly all collided in a way that made this written just to me. Thank you.