The Dailyness
Ariel Allison Lawhon, She Reads Co-Director

"Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway." Proverbs 8:34 (NIV)

Life wouldn't be so hard if it wasn't so daily. As I sit here surrounded by laundry and dishes piled high in the sink, I see more than ever how life wears us down one day at a time.

Crumbs litter the floor and dirty smudges cover the windows. And I have yet to discover where that smell is coming from. For this mother of four, a simple trip to the grocery store requires an act of God and Congress – attempted only when we are down to powdered milk and Ramen noodles. Not thirty minutes ago a little one-year-old boy clung to my legs, belting out that scream - you know the one, bats can hear it. And I felt my coping skills slipping away. Not because he was crying but because he cries every day.

The daily-ness.

The job of motherhood feels so vast, and frightening, and unending. I am called to raise these children in the fear and admonition of the Lord and yet there are days that I can't seem to get out of my pajamas much less lead them in a time of prayer. I think anyone could endure the temper tantrums of a small child or the rebellion of a teenager or the constant needs of another if they lasted just one day. But the truth is that these things are the stuff of daily life. And when I am honest with myself, they grind down the rough edges of this woman. Because parenting can not be all about me when diapers must be changed, noses wiped and beds made.

In those moments I force myself to take a deep breath and thank God for this season of life. These children. The privilege of wiping noses and bottoms and countertops. A privilege many women would love to have, but don't. I remind myself that the days are long but the years are short. And one day I will look in the rear-view mirror and see empty seats. The cup that is overflowing right now will slowly drain. The stretch marks will fade. And I will find that a new set of daily struggles has overtaken me. When that day comes I will find the strength to face them as well because God gives the grace, daily.

The daily-ness.

As C.S. Lewis once said, "The thing is to rely on God… Meanwhile, the trouble is that relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing has yet been done."

Your daily-ness is probably different than mine, but it is nonetheless God-ordained. It is exactly what we need to live dependent on His grace instead of our own strength. The One who knows us best, who knit us together in our mother's womb, has allotted these days that are equal parts trial and triumph. And He knows that we will see Him most clearly from a place of dependence.

So today I embrace the normal things. The daily things. Another round of laundry. The ring in my toilet. The dust on my dresser so thick a child could write his name. But even more than that I want to celebrate the important things. A child slowly learning to read. A husband that finds his comfort in my arms. A baby who learns to walk and talk. Because all these are the things of life: some mundane and some holy. And all of them must be received daily.

Dear Lord, sometimes daily life is just hard. And we're tired. And overwhelmed. But You promised to be our strength and our hope and our comfort. So today we look to You for what we need. Would You meet us in this, our daily-ness, and help us receive Your grace? In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Click here to visit the She Reads blog where we’ve got a special Mother’s Day book giveaway including Her Mother’s Hope by Francine Rivers, So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore, and Crossing Oceans by Gina Holmes!

P31 Resources for all stages of the daily-ness of kids:
Rattled: Surviving Your Baby's First Year without Losing Your Cool by Trish Berg

Season of Change: Parenting Your Middle Schooler with Passion and Purpose by Rebecca Ingram Powell

Parenting Your Teen and Loving It: Being the Mom Your Kids Need by Susie Davis
Blue Like Play Dough: The Shape of Motherhood in the Grip of God by Tricia Goyer

Application Steps:
Pray that God will help you embrace your daily-ness, whether it be young children, a physical ailment, or financial difficulties.

Make an effort to honor God with an attitude of trust during this season of life.

How can trusting God with my daily struggles point others to Him?

How would my life be different if I started each day thanking God for this season and the struggles it contains?

Power Verses:
Matthew 6:11, "Give us today our daily bread." (NIV)

Luke 9:23, "Then He said to them all: 'If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.'" (NIV)

Titus 3:14, "Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for daily necessitates and not live unproductive lives." (NIV)

© 2010 by Ariel Allison Lawhon. All rights reserved.

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Blogger Heidi said...

Just what I needed on this Friday morning....thank you! :)

Blogger Babychops96 said...

Thank you this is exactly what I needed this morning.

Blogger Robin said...

Great post. I needed that this morning.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I needed these words as well this morning. Thank you for your honesty. I am glad I am not the only one feeling this way, thanks again.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just perfect for this grandma that is still in the trenches daily with my daughter's young family. Thank You!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having a child with special needs, you have no idea, the length of this season I am in... Thank you for humbling me, and helping me to dry my tears after a very difficult morning.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

AMEN Sister!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

AMEN Sister!

Blogger callMEmistyeve said...

God guide me here today. This is exactly what I needed to hear after a day like yesterday!

Anonymous Jessica said...

Thanks for this! Having just had my third child, I am learning to adjust to a new "daily-ness," and am not always being very patient or thankful about it. :-)

Anonymous Eve said...

Expressed so well. I love the CSLewis quote that is so obvious and so easy to forget.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been praying the last 3 weeks about needing strength for every day. I was crying out to God, "Why does it all have to be so difficult". Over the past week I have starting reading P31 daily devotions and I have to say that you are helping the Lord ground me. Daily-ness can be so overwhelming and it is a great reminder to focus on the Lord and take up your cross daily! He knows our struggles and is with us through them all. Thank you so much for your insight.

Mom of 4 little guys

Blogger Familyof6inTX said...

I also have 4 kids - 3 of them preschoolers. I fall victim to the daily ness wear and tear frequently. When I pick my kids up after work and am greeted by their excited smiles and hugs it helps me remember why I just spent an hour sitting in traffic and helps me refocus. Thanks for reminding me this won't last forever.

I'm so glad you were encouraged, ladies! We are in this together after all. And I believe that God will give us the strength that we need today.


Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you Ariel! I am now a year into being a mom of 3 and considering evening up the numbers to 4- God willing. YOur realistic view of this season of life is comforting to me and allows me to give myself some slack for what I can't keep up with right now- and credit for keeping up with what I can. God bless you!

Blogger Mary said...

Thank you for this!

Blogger ~Hollie said...

Just beautiful!

Blogger Unknown said...

:) Been through 3 of the 4 of raising my kids...I getcha! I have a funny story ..."A friend of mine was commenting on someone she knew that had such a clean floor...It was so clean she could eat off of it...I thought a minute and said. 'Hey, you could eat off of my floor too, and you'd have a few choices of cereal!"

:) This too shall pass....enjoy those munchkins while you have them...they are up and out before you know it...Two pieces of advice...take time for breaks away from your will do you (and them) good. Secondly, something my mother told me just before she died. It was "one of those days" I was having a hard time. She said, "Get a book, sit down and read to them." I think she meant that the relationship is the most important part...the rest can wait.

God bless you dear moms of little ones....and dear moms of older ones too...The job is tough...but God says in His Word: Isa.40:11 " He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young." niv

Blogger Sara said...

Even as I write this my window of "afternoon naptime" is closing and my list of 'to do's' is still gaping open. Thanks for the reminders and encouragements!

Anonymous Linda said...

I read this devotion yesterday (Friday) but didn't have time to comment, so a day late I will:)

This devotion put into words my feelings of late. I really needed to "hear" what you had to say.
Thank you for such a relevant post. May God bless you!

Blogger Mindy said...

I needed this so much, thank you! I love the C.S. Lewis quote - so very true.

Blogger Denise said...

Exactly how I've been feeling lately! Thank you for a fresh perspective and the power Scripture when I feel this way. I'm going to write them on note cards and keep them with me so I can have it when I'm feeling the daily-ness! Thank you!

Blogger timsheadache said...

I have been struggling very bad with anxiety lately and daily life has become a struggle on some levels. I am working on my relationship with God to help me through this. I am the stay at home mom of 3 little girls, 11, 7 and 3 and while I realize how blessed I am, it was great to be reminded by someone else. Thank you.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great lesson, I'm just reading it Sunday, but as a mom of a very busy 17 month old, it was right on time :) God Bless and Happy Mother's Day to all!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was like you could read my mind - well I guess God does! You have soothed my heart today. I have four small children (incl 1 yr twins), I have to drag myself thru some days, feeling guilty about that feeling that says 'I have had enough, I am outta here!' God gives us what we need when we need it, Thank you for reminding me to cry out in dependence on Him - DAILY! All glory to Him who sustains us and wins the victory even over the daily-nesses!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My heart broke in two when I read about empty seats in the rear view mirror. A tiny part of me has longed for empty seats from time to time. Reading that made me realize I want them in those seats forever and ever!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

THANK YOU...this is exactly what I need to hear. I have a very busy 18 month old who is currently taking garbage sack out from under the sink! (now that I have collected her, I am typing with one hand!) I too have wished for an empty car...but not thank you Lord for this very necessary reminder of the precious gift you have given us in our children. Please Lord never allow me to take it for granted.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A friend sent me this link after I found myself "venting" to her my frustrations of life with my one and only 8 month old. I'm 4 days "late" reading it but I have a feeling this will be one post I keep handy and pull out often. Being a mom is hard... harder than I could have imagined but what a gift my little guy is! Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone in my "daily-ness"!

Blogger Angela Dell said...

The dailyness can sometimes be overwhelming, almost stifling at times. But I am struck by the briefness when I look at it on the whole. How just yesterday they were babies and now Grace is in 1st grade. Help me to not be rutted down by the mundane, but instead to embrace this time before it is over and there are no more ham sandwiches to make. To make this moment the greatest story ever told. God help me embrace where I am to know that every word I say is an impression into the lives of my children. let them be positive ones. You see, every moment is a moment of opportunity. Show me and guide me let the chance I have not slip by I know there is no do over. Help me to get hold of my emotions and to be the parent G and B need and that you want me to be. Let me cherish them not tolerate them. Give me guidance with Grace especially I know her personality is her own, but I can be a help or hurt and i know I have been a hurt for her sometimes. I need you to walk with me about being a parent. I can't do it alone. I love them with all my heart, but sometimes I am afraid they feel like a bother. I know what I need to do I hear you speaking to my heart. Help me I need your guidance.

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