Moms often measure their lives by the opportunities outside of the home they say no to. Regularly, we say no to serving more in ministry or taking on more hospitality. We say no to opportunities to grow or use our gifts. We say no to free-time activities because our time is not free.
In the midst of every no, we can forget to count the yeses in motherhood — perhaps because what we say yes to is impossible to measure.
It is simply too glorious.
Glory fills the way we wipe up a banana lathered on the floor — and how we talk about it. Glory spills over in how we prize misshapen airplanes and smiling stick figures. Glory shines behind our eyes that pause, gaze into our children’s, and enter into their stories, ready to show them the way of the King.
During these ordinary moments, I sometimes imagine a great cloud of witnesses in heaven celebrating because God, through one small act of a mother’s faithfulness, breathed life into a child. Mothers are operating a rescue mission outside the very gates of hell — one banana, one stick figure, one story at a time. Sometimes, we just don’t know it.
As we stumble through seemingly mundane days, God has a word for mothers who question the eternity-shaping ministry he has given: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (Romans 10:15). Though the apostle Paul did not specifically have mothers in mind, few preach the gospel to our children if not us. If a mother’s greatest desire and prayer is that her children be saved, this Scripture governs that work too. God has sent to us a people — children who, in most cases, have not yet heard and believed (Romans 10:17).
“The little moments moms sometimes wish away are God’s open doors to faithfully and joyfully preach the gospel.”
How beautiful are the feet of mothers who preach the good news! Our feet do not grow tired in vain if our mouths do what God designed them to — daily proclaim to our children the greatest love story ever told. Preaching the gospel is not one to-do item on a mother’s endless list. It applies eternal eyes to earthly days. It takes on a life in the home that sees gold mines hidden deep within the sticky brown grime that seems to have become part of the dining table. Our mission takes place in small moments that build into larger ones, all of them becoming something glorious.
Perhaps the day in, day out call of giving our children the gospel seems too out of reach. But here is the good news for good-news-preaching moms: we have time, grace, and a God who calls us not to be perfect, but to proclaim. And when our hearts dwell on Jesus, “we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20).
The little moments moms sometimes wish away are God’s open doors to faithfully and joyfully preach the gospel. A hidden dirty diaper inspires conversations about the aroma of Christ — while we laugh and plug our noses. Temptations toward selfishness, grumbling, anger, and quarreling give chances to deny the power of sin already defeated on the cross. Messes in the playroom or on the kitchen table remind us of the messes that Jesus died to cover (Romans 5:8). Waking up in the middle of the night turns from inconvenience to opportunity to speak and pray the truth of the gospel over fear. Our sadness brings forth the truth that Jesus took on our sorrows as well as our sins (Isaiah 53:4), and one day he will deliver us from them too. We share our testimonies in growing detail as they grow, from the moments we hoist our children till the day they hoist us — when little moments have come to an end.
And how moms deliver the gospel in the context of a loving, nurturing relationship with each child will do wonders with our words. God’s presence in our midst is a wonderful promise because of how he relates to us — he rejoices over us, he quiets us with his love, and he exults over us with loud singing (Zephaniah 3:17). So, as a picture of Christ, mothers get soaked to the bone splashing in puddles, pause dinner prep to attend to injuries we can’t even see, and enter and exit our days with laughter and singing — all the while treating these mundane moments as trailblazers to the kingdom of heaven.
Generations of Praise
It’s not only our children who hear. The words we speak to our children now in little moments will, by God’s grace, echo down to their children.
God loves legacies of faith and has already spoken them into reality. “I will cause your name to be remembered in all generations” (Psalm 45:17), says the psalmist. We too desire “that the next generation might know [the works of God]” so that they would in turn “tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God” (Psalm 78:6–7). One generation to another will declare God’s mighty acts (Psalm 145:4), and on this side of the cross, we and our children have stories to tell of a risen Savior who is coming back to bring us to the home we were made for.
“The words we speak to our children now in little moments will, by God’s grace, echo down to their children.”
Scripture does not reveal details of day-to-day life for grandmother Lois and mother Eunice — it lifts our eyes to show us the ways God worked through their day-to-day lives. There stood two generations of mothers who familiarized Timothy “from childhood” with “the sacred writings,” enabling Paul to say, “Continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed” (2 Timothy 3:14–15). Timothy built upon a foundation already laid for him by generations before who proclaimed God’s might “even to old age and gray hairs” (Psalm 71:18). We too can bear gray-hair crowns of glory shaped by faithfulness in the precious mundane (Proverbs 16:31).
Sent at Home
God sends all of us somewhere. And he not only sees the work of moms — he loves the work of moms and uses little moments to complete his glorious work.
Mothers need not wait for eternity to enter our days with eternal eyes. Our King stands before us, ready to lift our drooping hands and strengthen our weak knees to walk in the glories of motherhood (Hebrews 12:12) — the glories hidden in our lifted hands that wipe away tears and our bent knees as we face our children. We are surrounded by a great cloud of mothers who have gone before us after faithfully completing this work (Hebrews 12:1). The good news we whisper now in little moments forms and shapes eternities. And one day, we will once again see the bananas, the airplanes, and the stick figures in the light of glory.