So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

There’s a pervasive culture surrounding us, pushing us all to try so hard at everything. If we aren’t giving 1000% in allthethings, then we’ll fail, we’ll fall behind, we’ll never keep up with the masses. So, we work ourselves into the ground as we go a hundred miles a minute every day to reach some elusive bar that is set so high, I wonder if anyone really reaches it.

And I’ve realized I’m tired of trying so hard.

Of course, I always want to try hard at being a good mom, a good wife, a good daughter, sister, and friend. I want to try hard at giving generously and loving unconditionally. I try hard to be a good writer and neighbor, too. Those are areas in my life that are worth a deep and lasting investment of my time and energy because those are things that matter. 

But there are so many other things I spend way too much of my time and energy trying hard at and the outcome brings discouragement, depletion, and utter defeat. It’s about time I stopped trying so hard with those things that sabotage my worth and impede my growth. They only produce stress and strain and struggle—all of which hinder the other areas I dedicate my life toward improving.

I commit to not trying so hard to explain myself to those who don’t care to understand.

I’ll stop wasting all the energy I use and the anxiety I feel over trying to clarify who I am to people who don’t get me because no matter how much I try, their opinion of me will probably never change.

I will stop trying so hard to justify myself, rectify communication, or recover what’s lost because some relationships never grow with the growth of you. I’ll accept that I’ve done all that I can to explain who I am and that is enough . . . for me.

I’ll stop trying so hard to prove my worth when there’s nothing I need to prove.

Who I am and what I’ve been called to do may not be considered worthy to some, but it is worth everything to me. And I believe it is worth everything to God, too.

My work and my goals are valuable and make a difference in people’s lives, and no one else needs to understand that truth to make it valid or help me be fulfilled. It’s OK if people don’t see all that I do. My purpose is not for other’s approval and my worth is not swayed by the world. 

I’ll stop trying so hard to redeem my past and present mistakes.

I am flawed, I have failed, and as hard as I try, I will always be flawed and I will continue to fail. I must stop trying so hard to earn forgiveness from people who chose not to forgive. I need to let go of the shame and regret that stirs when I allow my history to replay over and over again because my past might be a part of my story but the rest of it gets so much better. I’m tired of carrying the weight of who I was on top of who I am today. I need to stop trying so hard to earn grace and rest in the truth that I am already redeemed by a loving and gracious God. 

I’ll stop trying so hard to be someone else.

Comparison can be slick and slimy, sliding its way into my thoughts, gently tearing little pieces of my identity apart as I find myself trying so hard to be someone I’m not. I know God created me with specific gifts and traits and experiences that have purpose, and my place in this world has nothing to do with anyone else’s. But sometimes, watching other people live their lives makes me wish I had what they have and I begin expecting the same for me, or worse, expecting the same from me. This results in a discouraging feat that fails every time. 

And lastly, I need to stop trying so hard to be productive all.the.time.

If everyone is trying harder to move faster to go further in this relentless race we call life, then there is certainly no time to rest. This is the age of nonstop output, getting ahead, and climbing to the top of whatever mountain you’re on. Pause for a second and you risk losing ground and keeping up with the proverbial motivation that everyone else seems to master. If I’m not going and doing and being productive, I feel useless, stalled, or God forbid, lazy. But I must make time for rest and recovery, relaxation and fun. I must create that sacred space in my life for refueling and restoration. If we don’t take care of our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health, then how will life ever be satisfying?

So, I’m done trying so hard to explain myself and prove my worth. I’m done trying so hard to redeem myself and be someone else. And I’m done doing too much because I want more to life than going and doing. 

And when I’m not consumed and exhausted with all this trying, I’ll have a lot more energy for those things in my life that matter most.

Christine Carter

Christine Carter writes at TheMomCafe.com, where she hopes to encourage mothers everywhere through her humor, inspiration, and faith. Her work is published on several various online publications and she is the author of "Help and Hope While You're Healing: A woman's guide toward wellness while recovering from injury, surgery, or illness." and “Follow Jesus: A Christian Teen’s Guide to Navigating the Online World.” Both books sold on Amazon.

I Know My Friends Aren’t Bothered by My Messy House, but I Am

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Sad woman by laundry pile

My house screams at me. It screams to clear off the kitchen counters, to put away the clean clothes, to organize the shoe collection in our entry, to gather up the scattered toys, to sweep the crumbs up, to place the throw pillows back on the couch, to clean off the table—you get the idea. Everything in my sight speaks volumes to the state it does not want to be in, for the chaos it is imposing.  Keeping home is a labor of love and never of balance for me. Everything that is cleaned, made, or organized will always get...

Keep Reading

A Medical Diagnosis Challenges a Marriage

In: Cancer, Living, Marriage
Bald woman holding clippers over husband's head, color photo

It is no secret now that Albert Pujols and his wife have announced their divorce shortly after she had surgery to remove a brain tumor. As a breast cancer survivor, this news hit me in a special way. As I was reading through an article from Today, there was a quote that hit me hard, “But a marriage falling apart is far more common when the wife is the patient, researchers have found. A woman is six times more likely to be separated or divorced soon after a diagnosis of cancer or multiple sclerosis than if a man in the relationship is...

Keep Reading

You Are So Much More than the Doubts in Your Head

In: Living, Motherhood
Little girl looking out window, color photo

Keep pushing. Push through every doubt the enemy instills in your mind.  Push through the depression. Push through the worrisome moments. Push through that anxiety that won’t let you win.  You’ve got to keep going. Keep moving forward.  You are a great mother. You are a great wife. You are a great employee and an even better friend.  RELATED: Struggling With Mental Health Makes You a Bad Mom—And Other Lies I’ve Believed Don’t get stuck in the same spot that depression has led you and those thoughts that say you aren’t good enough or worthy enough.  You are.  God says...

Keep Reading

I Will Live For You

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother and child silhouette

“I would die for my child, ”a well-known, often said sacrificial statement. I didn’t really know how my fierce love for my child would manifest until the first time she was extremely upset, and I didn’t know why.  Readers, I would have cut off a finger to console my baby.  I would die to protect her.  Both are strong, love-filled sentiments. And both, God willing, are unnecessary.  But there’s a daunting task that is absolutely necessary. At times it needs to be a conscious decision. Sometimes it’ll require taking care of yourself so you can better care for your child....

Keep Reading

Don’t Write Off How Far You’ve Come

In: Living
Woman smiling

Tonight when the demons in my head want to take over, I’m reminding myself that I am amazing, and I have accomplished things I dreamt about for years. I graduated from college. I have a B.A. in psychology. Other people had that. Not me. But now I do. I’m getting my Master’s degree in social work. I am a published writer. Yes, my brain and other people are tearing me down and screaming at me that I can’t do anything right. But the evidence? The evidence is that I have survived 16 years of special needs parenting. And that is...

Keep Reading

Dear Girl, Give Jesus Your Mess

In: Faith, Living
Woman holding Bible, color photo

Oh, dear girl, Give Jesus the mess. Your mess. The mess you think is too much or too big or too unbearable. The depths of the mess. The very worst of the mess. Lay it at His feet. He knew you long before the mess existed. Nobody knows your mess like Jesus. I assure you—this will not catch Him by surprise. Even when you do not understand, even when it is most difficult, even when you have your head buried in your hands. Praise Him, for God wastes nothing.  Even when it feels like opposition is coming at you from...

Keep Reading

Friends Can Be a Sanctuary

In: Friendship, Grief
Group of friends hugging

A sanctuary is defined as anywhere people go for peaceful tranquility or introspection. My friends became my sanctuary when my husband, Frank, died. They became my refuge and my safe place. Friendship is one of the most wonderful gifts in this world. It is beautiful, comforting, ever-changing, and, for me, a fixed point.  My friends seemed to know exactly what I needed and when I needed it. Their love and constant support got me through the worst of times and gave me the courage and confidence I needed to move forward.  I could never give an adequate thank you to...

Keep Reading

Childhood Trauma Made Me Crave the Simple Life I’m Living Now

In: Living, Motherhood
Family walking down road

My own childhood was not a happy one.  My earliest memory was of blowing out a birthday candle (I was maybe three) and of my wish being that my parents would get a divorce, that my dad would disappear forever. The happiest days of my childhood were 72 hours spent in a shelter for battered women outside of DC with my mom and two younger brothers because for the first time in my 9-year-old life, I felt free from the many constraints of home life—short-lived as I knew this freedom would be, knowing he would always find a way back...

Keep Reading

I Don’t Dress “Like a Mom” and I’m Not Sorry

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother in tank top and shorts with three children, color photo

I’ve always had a rather unique style.  I’m not afraid to dress loudly and stand out.  I’ll be the only girl wearing heels in a stadium full of flats.  I’ll wear sequins and glitter in my 30s.  I’ll wear vintage, current trends, and things that have possibly never been fashionable. If I feel confident and comfortable in what I’m wearing, that’s really all I care about.  I’ve been complimented on my outfit choices plenty of times.  RELATED: I’ll Always Be Too Much For Some People I’ve also been negatively judged—many times I know about and probably more times when I’m blissfully...

Keep Reading

What If the Woman Who Seems to Have It All Actually Admires You?

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood

I’ve known her for a long time, and as long as I’ve known her, she’s always been beautiful. Beautiful on the inside and even more beautiful on the outside. Her makeup is perfectly done, her hair with not a strand out of place. And her clothes? Chic. She is well put together, always in vogue. While I have recycled the same clothes for the past five years, she is on point with the latest trends. She can even rock a pair of sweatpants. Her pictures on Facebook and Instagram posts confirm this as well. (She also has a successful career,...

Keep Reading

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Proven techniques to build REAL connections