May Madness ~ Celebrating the Gift of Motherhood…

{Motherhood isn’t a job, it’s a calling.}

As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.
John 17:18 ESV

It’s 3:00 am and I’m wide-awake. I’ve been up with two of my girls for the fourth or fifth time that night. After finally giving up and putting them in my bed, I resolved to sleep on the sofa. I was exhausted and found myself thinking, “I don’t want to do this mommy thing anymore.”

What’s a weary, trying-to-sleep-on-the-sofa, wide-awake mom to do at 3:00 am? I don’t know about you, but this one decided to scroll through her phone. It was then that I saw Stefanie’s message asking if I’d like to write a guest post on motherhood.

I may have cried a tear or two thinking I knew nothing about motherhood and was most definitely not qualified to encourage others.

But the Lord spoke to me, “Just keep it real.” {Cuz He speaks cool like that to me}. So this is me, being real. Maybe too real for some. Maybe right on the mark for others.

I’ve been a single mommy to four girls for the last year now … and I’m weary.

Sometimes I don’t feel like doing laundry. Sometimes I don’t feel like making yet one more meal. Sometimes I don’t feel like brushing their hair. Sometimes I wish they’d put themselves to bed and I didn’t have to spend so much time tucking them in and reassuring their hurting hearts at the end of the day. Sometimes I don’t want to discipline them. Sometimes I don’t want to mend the hurt words between them.

Don’t get me wrong, I definitely give myself grace, pick my battles, and at times, send them off to school with dirty uniforms and unkempt hair.

The “sometimes” I’m talking about is this … sometimes I want to walk out to get the mail and never come back.


Why didn’t anyone ever tell me being a mom requires sacrifice … too much sacrifice. Honestly there are times I’m not so sure I’m selfless enough to do the job.

But it’s in those moments of complete and utter exhaustion, I remind myself of the words Sally Clarkson spoke in Ministry of Motherhood … these words that have come back to me time and again {paraphrasing}, “We are called to disciple our children as Jesus ministered to His disciples. That last night, exhausted and knowing what He’d be facing the next day … the anguish, the grueling task set before Him … He took time to sacrifice yet again. Not only having dinner with His disciples, but tenderly, patiently, and lovingly washing their feet.”

I’ll tell ya what … if it was this weary worn-out mom, you woulda found me long gone tucked into bed {or maybe the sofa!}.

But as Sally tenderly reminds us, “Motherhood isn’t a job, it’s a calling.

I’ve been called to raise these four beautiful girls for Him. And it does require sacrifice … a lot of sacrifice. I can’t do it alone. And I’m not expected to do it alone! Even Jesus cried out for His Father to take His weary lot.

In my weary moments of mommyhood, I cry out to my Father, “I can’t do this alone. I need you.”

And it’s there in the quiet of my prayer time; He meets me and ministers to me. He fills my cup. Sometimes it’s “just enough strength to live for the day.” Sometimes it’s more.

Motherhood is hard. It’s sacrifice. It is a weary lot. But it’s oh-so-important to remember, motherhood is not a job … it’s a calling. In fact, I’d argue it’s the highest calling we’ll ever have.

Jesus, the definition of sacrifice, never gave up. He never turned His back and walked away. And in His strength, neither will I.


 About Tracie…

Tracie is a child of God, mother of four daughters, photographer, blogger, twitterer, living with MS…and blessed beyond belief! You can find her blogging at {tsi} photography or on twitter as tmstier. Her newly released e-book is 31 Days of Faith {finding joy in your anguish}. Tracie also co-founded and writes with a team of amazing women for Mothers of Daughters at a blog called the MODsquad.

  • Jennifer Camp

    Tracie,  Thank you for this post. I needed it so much.  I have before me the task of writing on the gifts of motherhood, too, and I am, honestly, so scared to do it.  I need to sit down at the screen today and pour out this crazy heart of mine, and your words here give me courage.  You are such a blessing, with your encouragement of leaning of Him for strength, and for the reminder of how Jesus modeled for us what sacrifice and giving and love looks like.  He kept hanging in there, looking for the Father for strength.  So, it’s okay that I often feel I have little to give — for the Spirit in me always does. He always comes through.  Bless you for your honesty. And thank you so much, beautiful Stefanie, for this series.  It is powerful and life-giving.  Love to you both today, Jennifer

    • tracie @ {tsj} photography

       thank you for your note and sweet words … they bless and encourage me! it’s scary to admit such raw feelings, but i can’t help but feel there are more of us out there feeling them! and yes … thankful, thankful … always thankful for the cross! praying for you as you share your own heart!

  • bethgronland

    You are right on the mark my friend! There have been many times I would like to go to the mailbox………. But there he is calling me back or maybe it is the little girl saying “Momma, where is my……., do you have a …….., I can’t find my…………” that always brings me back. Maybe it is both of them, telling me that hey it is okay to feel alone, I’m right here with you. There is that saying about the footprints in the sand, I think  there is only one set of them in the sand right now, because he is carrying you. I know he carried me awhile…… It is good to lean on him when you need to, for he is always there and when you least expect it, something turns around for the better. It is a calling to be a mom, not a job….. The best calling I could have every been given. Love you for your honestly, I just wish I had the guts to do the same sometimes…. Stay strong my friend, you will make it through with his guidance….

    • tracie @ {tsj} photography

       honesty is always a scary thing my friend! sometimes one can feel like the “cheese that stands alone.” i think if there were more truth tellers in this world, we’d realize how we’re all knitted together and could then encourage and help each other! thank you for your sweet words today!

  • Sharai Thomas

    Thank you Tracie for putting into words what I’ve been feeling for so long! This gave me a new perspective and has encouraged me greatly to know I’m not alone, and that the tasks God Has called us to do He will Anoint us and Grace us to see to completion!  God bless you and the girls continually!

    • tracie @ {tsj} photography

       thank you for your note sharai! i’m so thankful these words have encouraged you and given you a fresh perspective. sometimes it’s hard to see outside our own situation and circumstance {and piles of laundry}. thank YOU for letting me know i’m not alone! love this … “the tasks God Has called us to do He will Anoint us and Grace us to see to completion!”

  • Ms. Kathleen

    Amen! I so wish more women would realize that motherhood (of all kinds – natural, foster, adoption – the neighbors kids – grandkids, foreign exchange mom…) is indeed one of the highest callings God bestows on a mom. What a great post Tracie! God Bless You mightily!

  • Meredith

    Oh sweet friend… I love you dearly. *hugs*
    Praying peace, strength, stamina, the will to fight for just five more minutes, chocolate and warm bubble baths over you…

    Thank you.

  • Ro elliott

    Tracie…thanks for this honest post…and i can’t imagine being a single mom of 4 children. you my friend have a high calling…but thanks be to God…He is able to do more than you can imagine. I was talking to a young mom and we talked of our selfishness…nothing…absolutely nothing can crawl under our skin and touch every nerve of selfishness…but with each touch we are being transformed…transformed into His likeness…sacrificial love. Blessings as grace to you…He will carry you.

  • Jess_LITWH

    Wonderful, HONEST post! There are moments when ‘motherhood’ is a calling I don’t want to answer, despite knowing how incredibly blessed I am to be a mom. It’s hard, it’s exhausting, BUT if I remember to call on Him, He always answers.