Wednesday, April 11, 2012

*I* See

Maybe once upon a time you worked outside the home.  You completed tasks on time, closed cases and filed away finished projects neatly.  You conversed with adults about grown-up things.  And had performance reviews where you were praised for a job well done.  Maybe clients sent thank you notes (or even a plant once) or told you how much they appreciated you.  And you were paid for your services.  Maybe even sometimes you were rewarded with a bonus for handling that extra tough project in a commendable way.  You'd leave the office each day with a sense of accomplishment.  It was tough work, but you completed it and you did it well.

Maybe now you're a stay at home mom.  There aren't so many deadlines anymore.  Instead there are never-ending lines of laundry, dishes, school work, bottoms to wipe, noses to swipe, breakfasts to fix, lunches to make.  You converse with little people about little-people things.  There are no performance reviews because no one really sees what you do all day except these little people and they don't even know how to write yet.  Their reward system is a little willy-nilly.  One minute you're rewarded with sweet kisses and hugs and the next minute tantrums on the floor or meltdowns in Target.  You fall in bed every night thinking of what didn't get done.  It's tough work and it's never ending and sometimes it feels as if no one notices.

Sometimes we look for affirmation from our mates because surely they will notice our hard work.  Sometimes they do...but sometimes they don't.  Well then.  Our families and friends should see all that we're doing and give us a little pat on the back now and then because, goodness, look at all the energy and patience it takes to do what we do.  But they are rightfully busy with their own lives and often they don't seem to see either.  Well then.  Society should speak up and acknowledge our service- devoting our lives to rearing kind, concerned, law-abiding citizens.  Funny, I know.  They don't either.

This is sometimes a very lonely, seemingly unappreciated place to be.

But, I am here to tell you something very important, dear friends.

Our heavenly Father, The Lord God Almighty Himself,  sees.  

Oh, yes He does.  And He says...

"*I* saw you force yourself out of bed in the wee hours of the morning to feed your baby even though you were bone tired.

*I* saw you get up and get breakfast for your children even though you wanted nothing more than to stay under those covers and sleep the morning away because you didn't feel well.

*I* saw you as you calmly cleaned up one more spill, one more over-turned bowl, assuring your little person that it was a mistake as you consoled their whimpers.

*I* saw you as you wept, hidden in the laundry room because you didn't want to yell or spank out of anger.

*I* saw you as you read book after book to your toddler as you fought waves of nausea from "morning" sickness that lasts into the afternoon and evening.

*I* saw you as you lead your children in prayer before mealtime even though everyone was hungry and just wanted to eat...an hour ago.

*I* saw you when you kept your tone of voice in check and taught your child the proper way instead of only scolding.

*I* saw you as you held your tongue even though you wanted to give your child a tongue lashing in response to their disrespect.

*I* saw you when you felt alone today in the midst of a loud and busy household.

*I* saw the shoes you tied, the tears you wiped, the dishes you washed, the toilets you scrubbed, the messed sheets you changed, and the thousandth picture you colored alongside your little one.

*I* saw the hugs you gave, the kind words of encouragement you shared, the reassuring glances, and the healthy meals you prepared.

*I* saw as, through tears, you asked for your children's forgiveness.  Again.

*I* saw the mistakes, the regret, the times you fell short, and the moments of weakness.  In spite of all that,  I still love you and offer forgiveness every single time you ask.

*I* saw the love, the dedication, the hard, exhausting, draining and often unappreciated work you did.


*I* saw and *I* see.  Every day."



   "You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. 
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
 Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely.
 You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me." Psalm 139:1-5

"And the King will say, 'I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!' "Matthew 25:40

But the LORD said to Samuel, "Don't judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn't see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." I Samuel 16:7
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35 comments:

  1. Thank you for this wonderful post!! It is a wonderful reminder and a comfort!

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  2. THANK YOU for this today. I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes after reading it. We have my hubby's grandma living with us now, and although she's a great help, I seem to need extra patience and grace in dealing with her as well as my kids. I really appreciate the reminder that the Almighty One DOES see, and care, and provide the grace that we need for each and every situation in life.

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  3. I don't want this to come across as a snippy negative comment... but the Lord God "seen" me do all that you mentioned above and work 40 hours a week at a job that I dearly love and helps others that I didn't give up when my children were born.
    I did not take your post as putting down working mothers AT ALL. However, it did seem like you referenced the work of SHM as being far greater. I absolutely realize all the work a SHM has to do but please remember that I do everything you do as well as work out side the home at a paying job.
    Like I said I don't want to sound harsh, there will always be the working mother - SHM debate. I just wanted to throw in that working mothers receive/need spiritual praise also.
    I read your blog almost every day and really enjoy it... especially the gardening/canning. We have a 2500 sqft garden and try to grow all of our veggies and some fruit.

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    1. I really dislike "the working mother - SHM debate". Some moms work. Some moms stay at home. We each have to weigh the pros and cons of each and make a choice. The end. I was worried this post might come off a bit the way you took it, but that is *not* what I intended. Being a stay at home mom, I am writing out of my own experience, noting the (often) lack of human recognition I've experienced going from working outside to only inside the home and the futility of looking for it anywhere but from God. Please hear God's assurances no matter what your role (or roles):-).

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    2. Thank you for the kind reply..I really really did not want to come across as angry or anything negative.. I am not the best at articulating and writing. I agree with the simplicity you stated..pros/cons/choice/the end. Thank you for always sharing such kind and helpful posts.

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  4. the tears are streaming, partly because of this truth, and partly because i can't even claim many of these honorable actions today. mothering through the Spirit is humbling, and today is a day i crumbled under the body of the broken. i needed this for correction, redirection, and a reminder that my job is service in love, to his glory, above all. thank you!

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  5. Lovely post. Thank you for writing this, I know it has offered encouragement for weary moms today.

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  6. A beautiful post full of encouragement. Thank you.

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  7. I needed to read this today. Thank you! Do you mind if I share a link to this post on facebook? I have many other Mother friends (and others) who could also use this encouragement! Your words were such a blessing!!

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  8. Anonymous, you are welcome to share it.

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  9. Yes he does see everything and I for one am so thankful but I wish he would remind me of those times when he IS NOT appreciative of something I might be doing,losing my temper for one. and was that a slip of the tongue about morning sickness or a old memory.

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  10. Oh I so needed to hear this (and pinned it for reference later)...thank you SO much!!!

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  11. I love this! The heart of Jesus Christ was that of servanthood. When we serve our families, even when they don't notice or appreciate, we are being transformed into the image of Him. Thank you for putting this together....I want to copy and share if you don't mind!

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  12. Thank you. Although a simple thank you doesn't seem sufficient for this, today, thank you.

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  13. I needed this today. Thank you!!! Crystal

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  14. Thank you. I needed this today also. It seems that a lot of us did....

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  15. Beautiful, beautiful post my friend! Yes, indeed. The LORD sees. And HE gives the grace and the strength and the joy in the midst of it all!! May HE be glorified in all we as Mothers do day in and day out.

    Love to you!
    Camille

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  16. O what a Beautiful Post that I so needed. I have traveled both roads working and stay at home Mom and Now (fulltime) Grandmother, both come with many Rewards and sometimes unforgotten notices, but what I Truly loved about this post was that you rememinded me the Lord is watching and my work really is appreciated no matter where I am...

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  17. Sweet reminder that I am going to tuck away for the days when I need to hear these words!

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  18. Beautiful words. Thank you I need it just now!

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  19. Thank you. That was so beautiful.

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  20. I needed to hear this today. Thanks for sharing.

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  21. This brought tears. Beautifully written, thank you.

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  22. Why push The mommy at home fantasy wih another fantasy story of a patriarchal approving imaginary being? Really?

    Motherhood and housework are pure drudgery that it suits society to have done unpaid rather than fairly compensate women for their labour.

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    1. Clearly, He is not imaginary to me. In fact, there is nothing else I am more sure of.

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  23. We have meds for that.....

    Seriously. I have a close friend who, while beginning chemo for aggressive metastatic breast cancer, had her teenage son suffer a c4 fracture and is now a quadriplegic. You are going to tell me that there is some sort of all powerful being so malevolent that it could prevent this and chooses not to? And you worship it? Really?

    Thanks, I'll stick with my fantasy theory. It is far kinder to presume random chance.

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    Replies
    1. I would sincerely like to continue this conversation. Feel free to email me at thyhand123@gmail.com.

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  24. Wonderful post if you are a stay at home mom or working mom. Either way he sees what we do and we should remember that especially when we don't feel needed and appreciated.

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  25. Thank you, This is something I so badly nedded to be reminded of today. The type of day where I worked so hard, so long, for the good of my family, only to have them look at me like it wasn't enough. But God knows why I do what I do, and hopefully when my children are grown with kids of their own, they'll know it too.

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  26. Once again, a very timely, much-needed post. Thank you for your wise thoughts. Made me tear up!

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  27. Yhank you, you have condensed into a consise treates for all stay at homes. I am home due to disability and some of these apply to me too. However I am a mother and in law to tewo wonderful ladies. My daughters work hard in and out of the home,and both have need of this word. Thank you again.

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