I would hate to be famous.
I’m not just saying that. I would genuinely hate to attract attention everywhere I went. I’ve never wanted the limelight—I hated speech class in high school, felt nauseous before any kind of work presentation. My introvert heart cringes at the idea of countless people peering into my life. If you manage to get me to a gathering, I’m the woman in the corner with the cat on her lap, talking to one person (two at the max), or thumbing through a book I found on the shelves.
Maybe you’re not like me at all. Maybe you thrive in the middle of the crowd. Maybe you feel most comfortable on a stage, or you dream about your TikTok video going viral, about becoming a household name.
But no matter your personality or temperament, no matter your aspirations for or aversion to fame, I’d bet you and I have this in common:
We want to be seen.
I don’t want a million people all up in my business, but I want to be seen, to be known. And not only do I want to be known, I want to know that what I’m doing matters.
This high-input, seemingly low-output job doesn’t come with a bonus at the end of the year. There are no “Mom of the Year” awards dinners where you hold up your trophy and thank your own mom and bask in the applause. There’s not even a paycheck. (I know you’re already very aware of this.)
In my hardest motherhood moments, it’s common for me to look at the screaming toddler or the toy-mess disaster in the living room or the spurned dinner or the bags under my eyes and think What is all of this for? Does any of this matter? And getting into the deeper recesses of my heart and longings Does anyone see me?
This isn’t necessarily about being appreciated. Even though a thank you or I love you from my 5-year-old warms my heart, I can’t count on those little moments to see me through the tough ones.
What I do find comforting is this: God sees me, in the same way he saw Hagar in the Bible. Cast out from Abraham’s family, pregnant and alone, Hagar ends up in a desert. God comes to her in her distress and promises to take care of her and her family, and she says to him, “You are the God who sees me.”
God sees you, too, tired mama.
And not only does He see you, He knows your every move, your every thought. Psalm 139:2 says, “He knows when I sit and when I rise,” which means He knows when you sit down and get back up 10 times during dinner because someone needs a spoon and someone needs a drink and someone spilled their drink once they got it.
Isn’t it reassuring that God is into the details? Not only has He numbered the stars (Psalm 147:4), or numbered your tears (Psalm 56:8) or numbered the hairs on your head (Matthew 10:30), but He knows every facet of your life. He knows the number of sibling fights you’ve refereed and the toddler tantrums you’ve weathered. He knows the exact number of Cheerios you’ve vacuumed up from the floor of the car as well as the Cheerios still on the floor of the car. He knows the number of diapers you’ve changed and the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches you’ve made and how often you’ve watched the same episode of Blippi.
You may not know the hours of sleep you’ve lost caring for a newborn or waiting up for a teenager, but He does. He knows how much coffee you’ve drunk versus how much you’ve poured down the sink (or microwaved three times only to pour it down the sink anyway.) He knows how many times you’ve heard the word Mommy—a word you once couldn’t wait to hear and now want to tear your hair out if you hear it one more time.
He knows. He sees it all.
And so I pray that as you serve the people in your life—young or old—and wonder how it can possibly matter, you can see it the way God sees it: as a reflection of the gospel. As worship to Him, as a way of making His name great. And in those hardest moments, I pray you can look forward to that bright and shining day, standing before Him in glory, basking in the warmth of the beautiful words: Well done.