Dear Mom, it's not as bad as you think! All those years of wiping snotty noses and scrubbing dirty floors counts in your faithfulness. God is using you, little eyes are watching you. Even though you don' think what you do matters - it does. ©

Dear mom, it’s not as bad as you think; you don’t have to be perfect

Ruthie mothering 12 Comments

We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.

Dear mom, it's not as bad as you think; you don't have to be perfect. Encouragement for the discouraged mom who thinks she's failing and how God gives grace


Have you ever stopped to think of all the perfectionistic tasks we impose on ourselves?

Get all the laundry washed, dried, folded, and put away TODAY.

Plan dinner for the next two weeks without eating out once (sticking to a budget).

Get all the Christmas shopping done this weekend.

Bake all the Christmas cookies.

Wrap all the presents.


Are you tired, mom?

I am.

Who puts these expectations on me, anyway?

Not God.

(Insert “L” with thumb and forefinger on forehead now.)

God has shown me one truth very clearly during this holiday season –

I don’t have to be:

  • perfect
  • carrying more faith
  • at a certain level of Christianity

for Him to work in my life.


Let that sink in.

*This post may contain affiliate links.  Should you choose to purchase certain advertised items, I will receive compensation, which will help keep this blog up and running!  You may view my policies here


Letter from a mom seeking hope

I just wanted to thank you for your blog and tell you how important it is.  I just got home from the

funeral of a good friend who committed suicide shortly after the nest was empty.  Her daughter said

she felt like she had lost all three of them.  At the funeral, I realized she died because she had run out

of hope.  Several of the things you said in your last article came to mind as I listened to the musicians

playing hymns.  Especially about the expiration of God’s gifts.  It really is okay they expire when He

decides.  Thank you, {your blog} is helping women in all the stages of their lives!


The above was written to me by an old friend I’ve looked up to for years.  She is experiencing the empty nest period as well, seeking answers about the next step in her life.

God directed me to write that post, as sure as I am sitting here in sunny Florida on a Monday morning in my short sleeves and sun visor.

And He directed me to write it because I answered a call He had for me.

God has an answer for you, mom.  Whether you are an empty-nester seeking your next place in life, or whether you are a young mama wondering how many times you have to break up a fight today and if you can at least finish your coffee before the next one.


But while you are seeking your place, or while you are slurping down your cold coffee, God is at work.

You may think He isn’t, but He is.


Dear mom, it's not as bad as you think; you don't have to be perfect. Encouragement for the discouraged mom who thinks she's failing and how God gives grace




God is at work while you slurp down your cold coffee and listen to your kids fight. Click To Tweet


When you find yourself delayed and running late for an appointment and you come upon a wreck, what’s your first thought?

Mine is usually, “Thank you, Lord.  I know you saved me from being in that wreck.”

Why don’t we view our down-times that way too?

Because we don’t think we’re doing anything important enough?

Because laundry doesn’t seem divinely appointed?

Wiping up spilled milk and scrubbing dirty counters are just avenues of frustration – they’re keeping me from doing the stuff I really need to get done.

The “important” stuff.


Christ told Martha there was only one thing needed.  Remember that?

Why is that?

Because if we are abiding in Christ and practicing His love, we ARE IN GOD’S WILL.

And that means – wait for it:

We are doing God’s will.


The biggest doubt

Truly, I know what you’re thinking.

“I didn’t have my devotions today. Or, I lost my temper with my two-year-old.  My husband knew I was mad at him when he left for work this morning.  I haven’t even prayed yet.”

Are you still a Christian?  Does God still love you?  Is He saving you until the end of time?

If you believe that, then He is still using you –

even in your humanity.

Dear mom, it’s not as bad as you think!


Crises of a 7-year-old

I recently read an excellent mother/daughter blog post that described a birthday party the seven-year-old daughter attended.  Waiting in anticipation for the birthday girl to open the gift she brought, she instead experienced tears of disappointment at the reaction.

Upon returning home, she poured her heart out to her mama, who wisely made a gesture in the shape of a fish tank and counseled her to sift through the duckies and the rocks (what to let float and what to let go).

The lesson stuck with that little girl until she wrote about it in an essay.

The mom has no recollection of any of this.  Not the party, the rejection her daughter shared, nor her wise counsel.  You see, this mama was dealing with major health issues, barely making it through each day.

She wondered how she even had the presence of mind to help her baby.

And she didn’t.

That was all God.


Dear mom, it's not as bad as you think; you don't have to be perfect. Encouragement for the discouraged mom who thinks she's failing and how God gives grace




What are you doubting today?

I know you think God’s not using you today as you dash to Krogers, toddlers in tow, scrambling for dinner staples and trying to keep the kids from having a conniption in the store.

You didn’t go to church last Wednesday night.  You’re not going to make it through the Bible this year in your devotions.

If only you’d gotten up earlier, been faster, eaten healthier, been wiser…


Just stop.

God is keeping you.  Are you acknowledging His presence today?  Are you still a believer today?  Do you still love Him?  Do you believe His Word?

The Message speaks of abiding in Christ as “living deeply”. 

No one who lives deeply in Christ makes a practice of sin. ~I John 3:6.

Are you trying to sin?  Is it your aim in this life?  No?

Then rest and abide.

As it was Jesus Who drew you when He spake “Come”, so it is Jesus who keeps you when He says, “Abide”.  The grace to come and the grace to abide are alike from Him alone. ~Abide in Christ, Andrew Murray

Abiding isn’t hard.  It’s part of Christ’s yoke that He said was easy.

Acknowledge that you are God’s child and get on with it.

How do I know?

Dear one, I made so many mistakes when my kids were growing up.  Zillions, even.

I’m sure they can name a few.  (Don’t ask them – they’ll get on a roll.)

And I knew I was faulty and less-than.

But God was working even then.

Hear me well, mom:

God does not wait until you’re perfect to use you!

Yes, you and I will sin.  That’s why Christ died for us.

But He lives for us so that we will abide.

And then, He works.


A text from my (college) daughter

I feel bad because I could’ve had such a productive day but I slept for like 4 hours.  I just didn’t have that much studying I could do and I’ve been so busy all week/weekend.

In the midst of my ponderings upon this very subject, she sent me that text.  And because God has been revealing His grace so much to me of late (or I should probably word that “because I’ve allowed myself to taste more freely of His grace of late”), I responded this way:

Oh well, do what you can and leave the rest.  God is in charge of your moves anyway so He will work it all out the way it is supposed to go.

Rest in Him!

She said,

Thanks, marm, you wise woman!

And I chuckled.

She is the one who loaned me the book “Abide in Christ” that I cited earlier.

My grown children are spurring me to godliness.

Know why?

Because God was using me in the midst of dirty diapers and Science projects.

And He is using you too.


It's simple, really. We desire God, and He desires us. That's abiding. Click To Tweet


Commit to a Fresh Start and learn about setting goals God's way! With Grace Goals, by Arabah Joy, I accomplished three major goals in 2016 and you can too!



Dear mom, it’s not as bad as you think

So, keep breathing up those prayers, mama.  Indeed, keep acknowledging His presence.  And, keep that Bible open on your kitchen counter – snatching bits and pieces as you dash by with the cheerios.  The 3×5 written Words of Life in your kitchen window.

Empty-nesting mama, remain faithful right where you are and then seek, knock on a few doors, step out of that comfort zone.  God’s not done with you yet.  Oh no.  He’s got some excitement up His sleeve!

God knows your heart.

My dear children, let’s not just talk about love;  let’s practice real love.  This is the only way we’ll

know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality.

It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it.

For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.

And friends, once that’s taken care of and we’re no longer accusing or condemning ourselves, we’re

bold and free before God!  We’re able to stretch our hands out and receive what we asked for because

we’re doing what He said, doing what pleases Him.

And this is how we experience His deep and abiding presence in us:  by the Spirit He gave us. ~I John 3:18-22, 24


Just in time for Christmas!

This Christmas - free gift!



I’m SO excited, girlfriend!

I have a new free gift for you to access when you sign up to receive my newsletter (which by the way is chock full of valuable resources, with a little bit of humor thrown in)!

Don’t miss out on this offer – “5 Secret Strategies to keep your marriage thriving” (the sequel to Five Key Strategies to keep your marriage Alive) -and when you sign up, you will ALSO receive my “Top Ten Tips to Rearing a Confident Young Man!”

Just click on this picture and it will direct you to simply fill in your email.

Thanks, and may you experience Christ’s presence in the little things this season.

signature honey cream jpeg



Commit to a Fresh Start and learn about setting goals God's way! With Grace Goals, by Arabah Joy, I accomplished three major goals in 2016 and you can too!


Linking with my friends at:

GraceTruth-300x300 (2)

Link up with us at Tuesday Talk!

Comments 12

  1. Can I just hug you right now? Reading this, it felt like you were right there with me in my kitchen as I took a sip of my cold coffee (laughed out loud at that part with tears in my eyes BTW). I hope every busy mama reads this! I’m sharing this for sure!

    1. Post

      Haha! I just really like you, girlfriend. You are the real deal. And yep – I saw you over there, crouched in the corner like Gollum with your hands wrapped around that coffee mug. Been there. Done that. Got the T-shirt. Thanks for sharing – I’ve been down your road! There is light at the end of that tunnel, I promise you!!!

  2. Oh Ruthie, you’ve done it again! I’m laughing because I too am here SIPPING COLD COFFEE! Just like Valerie above. Thanks for the encouragement that God is working. We don’t have to be perfect. We don’t have to do it all. I shared your pin yesterday just because I trust your content even before reading, but wow am I glad to read this today! Now I think I’ll be kind to myself and go heat up my coffee.

    1. Post

      I sure hope you got that hot cuppa today! I know this is your concern for your son as well. I hope he is doing well with college and the different things he’s involved in that you’ve shared, I know you are going through the beginning stages of empty nest and oh it is such a test of endurance!
      Thanks for trusting me to share without reading – that’s huge to me. You’ve got all my respect, girlfriend! Thanks for sharing and for being my friend. 🙂

  3. I just commented in CBB but I’ll add a few words to this trail here also. I LOVE everything about this post and am so thankful to have locked arms with you as we proclaim to these young moms that’s it’s not as bad as they think.

    Such great words … as always coupled with WV sass and fun!

    And that freebie? I want that book-looking thing! Love it!

    1. Post

      Lol you got it! (The book-looking thing!;) In fact, all my email subscribers will – good thing you’re in the “in” crowd!
      Locking arms – I love that picture! YES. I’m so glad I get to do this alongside you. God has blessed both of us this year – even when we didn’t know what the heck we were doing!! LOL!
      Thanks ever so much for showing me how to make that book-looking thing. I had so much fun making it!

  4. What a sweet reminder! I’m right in the middle. . . several out of the house and still in the thick of parenting those in the house. Thank you! Happy to be visiting from #grace and truth today!

    1. Post

      I know your story, Lisa, I get your emails each week and it’s one of courage, grace, and strength! I’ve shared with a couple other friends of mine who have lost their spouses as well. God is using you! You have your plate so so full with all those kids in and out of the house, but as you stated in your blog post today – He knows the plan and He’ll meet the needs. Thanks for stopping by – I’m sharing your post with my fb readers next week!

    1. Post

      Hi Elizabeth! So glad you stopped by and even more glad that you found some hope here. Moms need to know that God uses them right where they are, regardless of whether or not they do everything right. He makes up for our lack! 🙂

  5. As a mom who spends her days changing diaper after diaper and trying to keep a toddler out of the kitchen cabinets, I needed this.
    We just moved, so our house is full of boxes and things are a bit disorganized. This is a great reminder to take a deep breath and be patient with myself. Thanks!

    1. Post

      Ahh, Shannon! I do understand those hard days. Been there, actually. Moving is stressful on it’s own, but with kids added – it’s a bear! (Especially with toddlers getting into everything.)
      But God knows. He really does. Hang in there! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.