There’s nothing left of me.
That was the comment of a mom friend today. When she said those words, my heart stopped. Literally. Stopped. I flashed back to times in my life when those could have been my words. Being a mom is tough.
It is a sentence of desperation, exhaustion, and reality. After all of the demands on the life of a mom, there’s nothing left.
Nothing left for serving in the church.
Nothing left for women’s ministry.
Nothing left for Bible study small group.
Or so it seems.
Maybe it’s a matter of priorities.
Maybe it is a desire for our children to have more opportunities than we did.
Or maybe it’s a matter of expectations.
There’s still nothing left.
What can women’s ministry leaders do to help moms at the end of themselves?
- Teach moms how to pray. Asking God to fill us up is not selfish; it is the answer.
- Bible study. When we feel we are left with nothing, it’s time to be filled up with Jesus! Pondering on the Word, reading it, and studying it, gives us the strength and courage to go on.
- Scripture cards. Cards can be stuck in the visor of the car, on the mirror, or on the laptop, making Scripture memory easier. Having a Scripture written on our hearts brings encouragement and opens our eyes to God’s presence.
- Remind moms of the facts:
- Feelings are not facts. We may feel empty, but the fact is that once we receive Christ, He is always with us.
- Moms do not have to make their children’s lives perfect. It is not a requirement for life to be perfect. In fact, that is an impossibility.
- Choices matter. Stress is often caused by the choices we make. Wrong choices (such as sinful choices) leave us with consequences that add to our hectic schedules and add distress to our emotional well-being.
- Praying and seeking wise advice will change everything! Spending time with a godly mom who has lived through the trials facing us gives a new perspective of life as a mom.
- Living the wrong life makes things difficult. Being in the wrong profession, working at the wrong job, living in the wrong house are all fixable Seek God’s guidance and make changes!
- Expectations kill, or at least stress us out! Most expectations are those that we place on ourselves. Since we place them on ourselves, we can also remove them. Removing unrealistic expectations frees us up to enjoy our lives with our children.
Our children will not remember how perfect our lives look to others, but rather the times spent together—time spent laughing, hugging, exploring, and loving are the times that make a difference to our children.
Helping moms realize this may be as simple as having a mom’s coffee and chat time. Ask moms to share their favorite childhood memories. Point out how their memories are of the good times, not the perfectionism of life. End by encouraging moms to share their most imperfect mom moments. Expect much laughter and maybe some tears. Don’t make it a perfect evening. After all, being a mom is not about being perfect!
Dr. Deb Douglas is the minister to women at First Baptist Church, Bossier City, LA and a LifeWay Ministry Multiplier. Her passion is encouraging and equipping women to serve. She is also a freelance writer and contributed to Transformed Lives: Taking Women’s Ministry to the Next Level, Revised & Expanded. She is the wife of Paul, mom of Jared and Katie, mother-in-law to Emily and Jacob, and grandmother to Caroline and Lincoln.