It has been said, and I’ve said it before, that motherhood is a thankless job. We don’t do it for the thank yous, or we might never do it at all, but it is nice to be acknowledged for what we do. Nice to feel seen.
As the mother of five, on average, I manage approximately 418 things a day. From each person’s food preferences, to school and sports schedules, teacher’s names, which friend is or isn’t speaking to them this week, which coach hurt their feelings. Doctor’s appointments, job interviews, what to make for dinner. Who needs this form signed, who needs this fee paid, and who needs rain boots for Outdoor School. Tomorrow. Tryouts, prospective college visits, lost retainers, and even ever changing Christmas wish lists. Also, did the dog get fed? Is the lettuce in the fridge getting slimy? Did that letter get put in the mailbox? This is just a sampling of the details I handle each day.
Most go unnoticed. Just part of the job expectations at this point. And I’m not writing this as a “poor me, I do so much, moms are overworked and undervalued” story. I think most moms see motherhood as a labor of love, and do it not for the applause but for the love of our families.
I’m writing because I had this rogue thought travel through my brain the other night. Well technically, early in the morning. It was a long day that had stretched into the wee hours of the morning. While I am usually pretty decent at wrangling my thoughts and reminding myself I do things because I want to serve my family well, my tired brain let this one through. And now I’m glad it did.
“Nobody even said thank you.” I don’t know what it was in reference to. At that point I was about to fall into bed, but it came anyway. “Nobody even said thank you.”
And immediately, as if He had been patiently waiting for this teachable moment, I felt God speak to the deep places of my soul. “I feel like that too sometimes.”
It stopped me. Both an admission and a gentle rebuke. The God of the universe has feelings. I think I had forgotten that. In all of His bigness and well, God-ness, He has feelings. And sometimes He feels unnoticed, overworked, and undervalued. Like a mom. He’s not doing it for the applause either, but reminding me that it feels good to be noticed.
I immediately started to think of all the things I had begun to expect rather than be thankful for. All the things I had just let become a part of His “job” description. Like a slideshow on fast forward they poured through my mind. I mean I thank Him for my kids and my husband regularly. The house, Jason’s job, money in our bank account. But when was the last time I thanked Him for the 418 small details in my life? I fell asleep giving a list of the things I am thankful for.
It is so easy in this part of the world to get complacent with true thanksgiving. Full thanksgiving. For everything. We have so much. I have so much. Even the blessing of the slimy lettuce in the back of the fridge is a blessing. We live in a world where so much gets broken down into a heart, a thumbs up, a sad face, or a “wow.” And I’ll pause, maybe for a split second, to choose which emoji fits best, but not as often to say thank you. And I want to remember that. To remember how it feels to go unnoticed in the hundreds of tiny details that I manage in a day. How much more must it be for the God of creation, the God of the universe, and the trillions of details He manages every second of every day. To infinity. That go unnoticed, and un-thanked.
And I want to thank Him.
“Let me shout God’s name with a praising song
Let me tell His greatness in a prayer of thanks.” ~Psalm 69:30“