Our Biggest Sale of the Year is Here!🎄 ➔

(I am absolutely loving listening to the song, “O Come to the Altar” by Elevation Worship.
If you can, take a few moments to listen before you read on.)

I remember the very first time I attended church after the birth of our first baby. It took us hours to get ready and even longer to get out of the house.

I was sure we had absolutely everything required to see us through the following two hours and as an escape route and to ease my anxiety, I kept telling myself that our home was only a short five minute drive away. Totally doable.

In we walked, feeling so very proud of our sweet girl sleeping in the pram (phew and phew). We took our new seats in the area for parents of small children, thrilled that we were now officially part of the club. Close enough to the crying room and crèche, in case a quick exit was needed but still very much in the service to enjoy it to the full.

I flinched every time somebody scraped their chair, or lifted the light muslin gauze that covered our little girl’s sleeping form. I remember being worried about germs from other small children. Not to mention the thought that an adult might cough over her and give her some fatal virus.
I was a bundle of nerves.

As soon as the worship team took to the stage, I was concerned the drums may damage her little ears (why hadn’t I factored that in?)—chastising myself silently whilst trying to look ever so chilled and relaxed.

That particular day we struck gold.

Baby didn’t wake up throughout the entire service. In fact, she didn’t even make a peep. She slept right through her next feed and as I was too scared to wake her, I let it slide.

I remember standing next to our pastor and his wife, waxing lyrical about how good our baby was and what a lovely nature she had. And yes, wasn’t it amazing that she slept (I later realized most newborns do sleep constantly during the day!)

But this morning, all I felt was pride and overwhelming gratefulness that we had smashed the first outing to church—seamlessly.

I was officially a super mom.

What I didn’t realize, while I was basking in fake new-parenting-glory, was the fact that my engorged breasts were, ahem, leaking. Everywhere.

It wasn’t until I felt drips run down my squishy belly that I was aware of the cringe-worthy, embarrassing situation.

I mean, my pastor, of all people!!

A quick look at my chest revealed the most enormous milk spots, bigger than my baby’s head! I had soaked through, not only my massively padded nursing bra, but also two super-absorbent fabric nursing pads.

The mortification was real and we high-tailed it home, me in tears and also our newborn, who had by now woken and was red-faced and tight-fisted, screaming blue murder for milk.

That was nearly 21 years ago; five children later, I have mellowed somewhat regarding attending church with children.

That said, I had many, many, many years of being a worshipping mother, with my little charges hanging off me, tugging at my arm, telling me they need the toilet NOW!, intervening with sibling squabbles, throwing them a snack to keep them quiet and a plethora of other little tricks that all mothers have up our sleeves.

And regularly, we would leave church with me in tears, declaring, “It was just too hard.”

The thing is, the worshipping mother carves out little spaces of spiritual nurture, during the week. Not just on Sundays. 

My very wise, precious soul-sister explains it this way:

“Worship happens in the mundane moments.

It is the 10 minutes of waiting in the kitchen, for the oven beeper to go off, while you are in the middle of preparing dinner for your children, who are most unlikely to actually eat it, that we meet Jesus. Rich songs of praise burst forth from our hearts, alongside watching the stove for scalding boiling water and wiping snot from our children’s noses.

Or when we are alone in the car at night, driving to a meeting, feeling exhausted and overwhelmed and a praise song wafts up to our ears and hits us with the soothing and ministering words, perfect for our worn and tired hearts.

This is the worshipping mother—mostly exhausted, very much overwhelmed. And in that moment, she meets Jesus.

He fills her soul full to overflowing with the touch of his presence, while mama sits amongst the empty crisps packets, discarded juice boxes and Kinder-Surprise wrappings.

She is still God’s daughter and He is still her King. And not just on Sundays.”

This wise mama also said she recalls when she realized she was a worshipping mother herself.
Her newborn son was sleeping in his pram one Sunday morning, and with arms raised, she realized her hands were clutching a tiny pacifier, at the ready in case her little one started to fuss. It was in that moment, that her new self was revealed. She was a worshipping mother. A mother—but still a daughter of the King.

We are surely everything and all things combined, which is what makes us so precious.

Jesus whispers to us in the tender moments of church and the harried, stressed-filled hours of shepherding tired and grouchy children to the table, bath and hopefully (fingers crossed) bed.

He knows how impossibly stretched our hearts feel and how utterly incomprehensible it is to wake up at 5 a.m., to pray and read the Bible, knowing full-well that will be our children’s start time as well.

He gets us because he created us.

Just like He formed and moulded our tender mother’s hearts, to nurture and give and give and give and give some more, when we feel there is nothing left to give.

And He knows, before we do, when we reach that point of being completely at the end of the line and unable to mother anymore.

In fact, he knew 100 paces before it even happened.

Because HE IS THERE.

He sees us because He is our Father. Come to the altar for His arms are open wide. Bring your sorrows and trade them for joy, sweet sister.

And for that very reason, the worshipping mother has to be the most awesome, inspiring, faith-filled, butt-kicking, life-shaping mama of them all.

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Catherine Irwin

I am an Australian mother of six, who home-schools four of her children in country England. We live the slow life, whilst focusing on the simple things, and keeping family at the heart of home. Our aim is to navigate, the inherent good that is life, the sadness that it also can bring, and the joy in looking beyond what can’t be seen with the naked eye.

Praying For Your Kids is Holy Work of Motherhood

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mom hugging daughter by bed with open Bible

While excavating Mount Masada in Israel, archeologists discovered something extraordinary . . . a date palm seed. It might not seem like much (especially if you’re like me and totally expected it to be a new dinosaur or something), but this particular seed sat dormant in the dry desert soil for almost 2,000 years. Scientists ended up finding several more seeds like it throughout the Judean desert, and with a little TLC, they were able to sprout not just one but six of them. Six date palm trees, now bearing fruit that hasn’t been seen in two millennia. Incredible, right?...

Keep Reading

Choose to Be a Mother, Not a Martyr

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding baby, black-and-white photo

There is a trend in motherhood right now . . . maybe it’s happened for a long time, but now since I am a mom, I am experiencing it: this idea that everything we do as moms makes us a martyr. And honestly, I am guilty here more times than I’m not. RELATED: You’re a Mother, Not a Martyr We have these inner, silent dialogues between us and our husbands, parents, in-laws, and friends. Things we say and think, but they never hear. They compound on each other in the hallways of our hearts before bitterness creeps in without us...

Keep Reading

Motherhood Reminds Me How Much I Need Jesus

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding baby in nursery, color photo

Parenting is not only about the work it takes to raise up a child, but it’s also about continuing the work of being raised in Christ. Stripping back our innermost layers of selfishness and laying our pride exposed. Seeing ourselves as the center of our own personal schedule is no longer an option. Feeling like we have power over anything quickly vanishes into thin air. Parenthood pushes us to surrender and accept God’s sovereign control. Parenting sanctifies us.  Parenting shows us our sinful attitudes. When plans are ruined, when another blowout spoils the perfect outfit you chose, when your toddler...

Keep Reading

When Did I Become Such an Angry Mom?

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman with head in her hands

My oldest children and I had just navigated a tabletop board game. My son lost. My daughter won. I also lost. She’s four. For the record, I was trying my best. We were all putting the game away together when my son grabbed my daughter by the face and yelled, “IT DOESN’T MATTER ANYWAY BECAUSE YOUR BREATH STINKS!” And then, Mount St. Meredith erupted. I (not so gently) removed him from the situation and (not so calmly) insisted that he . . . brush his own teeth. Yep. For the record, I was trying my best. RELATED: Mom Anger: Taming...

Keep Reading

Angel Babies are Heaven’s Gatekeepers

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Mother and baby silhouette

I never seemed to have the right words. I didn’t have the right words at four years old when my parents lost my 11-month-old brother, and I never seemed to have the right words as I watched family members and close friends lose both the new life growing within their wombs and the beautiful, precious life resting in their weary arms. So, I did what I thought would offer the most comfort. I simply tried to show up and be there the best I could. I shopped for their favorite treats. I dropped meals off on front porches and toys...

Keep Reading

Secondary Infertility Took Me By Surprise

In: Baby, Faith, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Mother holding toddler by open door

Selfish. Unfair. Guilt stricken. Shameful. Those were just a few of the words that regularly stabbed my lamenting heart as I longed for a second child. Yes, I was grateful for my healthy, beautiful boy who made my dream of motherhood come true, but why did I not feel complete—was he not enough? Was I doing this motherhood thing all wrong and didn’t deserve a second child? Why did I long to give him a sibling so badly knowing millions were aching for their first—how could I be so insensitive? So many questions, so many buts and so many whys....

Keep Reading

So God Made a Farm Mom

In: Faith, Living, Motherhood
Family walking on farm road at sunset

One day, God looked down at all the fields, barns, pastures, and farmers and knew He needed someone to take care of all the families on the land. He knew it had to be someone confident in herself to see that the farm doesn’t come first, even when it sometimes feels like it does. He knew the farm needed someone who understands her role is important, too—especially during the seasons of motherhood when she’s not out driving a tractor. Someone proud to stand by her farmer’s side.  So God made a farm mom. God knew farm kids would need someone...

Keep Reading

Even If It Doesn’t Feel like It, God Is Holding You

In: Faith
Woman sitting against tree outside

Sweet friend,  When you’re sitting in that doctor’s office, waiting to find out what is wrong, I know you’re scared. I wish I could come and sit down beside you, hold your hand, and reassure you that it’s going to be okay. No matter what news she tells you, it’s going to be okay.  Your world might change in an instant. I know there are so many feelings swirling inside you and that you’re fighting back the tears, but it’s going to be okay.  Even if it doesn’t feel like it, God is holding you. He knows exactly what’s going...

Keep Reading

God Doesn’t Make Mistakes, Even When Motherhood Doesn’t Look Like You Planned

In: Faith, Motherhood
Teen with Down syndrome sits on couch with mother

I see you trying to keep your head above water every day, trying to juggle all of your responsibilities, have time for things you want to do, time for self-care in a world that glamorizes it, to meet the needs of your other kids, your husband, and have a social life on top of therapies, IEP meetings, meltdowns, evaluations, working with your child one-on-one, and just all the additional stresses that come with this life. There are too many to list, but if you know you know.  I see you wondering if you’re doing enough for your child when you...

Keep Reading

Dear Younger Mom Me, Love Them Deeper

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mom kissing little boy cheek

If I could tell that mom, I’d tell her football starts next week, not in nine years. If I could tell that mom, I’d tell her a pitching machine lasts one game, not multiple seasons. If I could tell that mom, I’d tell her the dirty and clean laundry will pile up, and the dishes will too. I’d tell her to not let that affect her so much. If I could tell that mom, I’d tell her life is too short to worry about tomorrow. If I could tell that mom, I’d tell her to capture every moment of time...

Keep Reading