“What goes on in my mind is invisible to other people, but You read my thoughts continually—You know everything about me. I want to guard my thinking carefully since good thought choices honor You and keep me close to You.”
– Jesus Listens, April 18th
You can’t sleep. I forgot to call the pediatrician’s office back about rescheduling. Did I leave the clothes in the washer? How on earth am I going to make it to the meeting, and then the recital if my white blouse the baby spat-up on is sopping wet in the washer in the morning?
The invisible mental load of mothering is overwhelming. As Christian moms, even things we know we should be doing—like reading the Bible or praying—can feel like one more invisible mental burden, and one more area where we are failing.
But Mama, the Gospel is good news for you, too. God’s inviting you to unburden yourself because this over-extended, over-exhausted, Sunday-put-together-Monday-falling-apart version of you isn’t the life He has for you. Here are five ways I think that He wants to untie your invisible mental load. Maybe you need to hear Him whisper to you:
1. God Never Asked You to Be Super-Mom
Everyone expects you to do it all. Juggle this motherhood gig, the side-hustle, the food and fitness regimen, all while posting pictures of your perfectly clothed offspring and your winning smile and flawless face. But Mama, did Jesus call you to all those burdens you are carrying? Or did you pick some of those out yourself?
Pray this: “Jesus, forgive me for wanting to dazzle others with my can-do-it-all, wonder-mom powers. You need to increase; I need to decrease. Jesus, you’re the only superhero my family needs.”
2. It’s Not All on You
I know you think that it all depends on you. That it might all just fall apart if you aren’t there for a few hours, if the toddler’s favorite chicken nuggets aren’t in the freezer, if the schedule-keeper doesn’t get it on the family calendar, if the baby’s pacifier isn’t there in the middle of the night. Yes, some things may fall apart. But it’s not on you to keep it all together. God is the keeper of your family. You can rest, because He never slumbers nor sleeps, and He loves them more than even you can imagine.
Pray this: “Father, help me truly believe, deep down in my heart, that it doesn’t all rest on my shoulders. That You are fighting for me and my family. And let me be okay with letting others see the places where we are broken if it lets others see Your light shining through.”
3. Your Spiritual Life Isn’t A To-Do
Maybe somewhere along the way, you’ve slipped into thinking that God’s trying to add to your already too-tired self another burden of things like reading your Bible, praying, or getting to church. But God didn’t write these in your bullet journal to add to your load. He’s inviting you to unburden yourself of anxieties through prayer. He’s inviting you to taste fullness by meeting with Him through His Word. And He’s inviting you into community through His church.
Pray this: “God, help me know that You want a relationship with me. You’ve given me prayer, reading the Bible, and hearing the Word because You want me. You want me close to Your heart.”
4. Your Invisible Load Isn’t Invisible to God
Part of the burden you feel is that you feel like no one understands all you face as a mom. You feel alone. You sometimes feel invisible. But God sees. He cares. He walks with you in every trial, every heartache, and every hurrah of motherhood. Your load, your work, your worth is visible to Him. You matter. You are seen. You are not alone.
Pray this: “God, help me to reject the narrative that no one understands what I’m facing. My sacrifice is visible to You. My problems are visible to You. I don’t walk this mom-road alone.”
5. You Can Rest
God only gave you twenty-four hours in a day, just like He gave everyone else. If you can’t do it all, maybe it’s because He hasn’t called you to do it all. If you are exhausted, there is rest for your body, mind, and emotions. Take it. Close your day by relaxing into that grace.
Pray this: “God, help me to rest. Help me to cease striving and worrying. Help me to set aside a day to rest each week because it’s a gift You want to give me that You know I need.”
Oh mamas, hear His words: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV). Let God unburden you of the mental load of mothering. Let Him unburden you of the false pride, the self-imposed weights, and the worries of modern motherhood.
About The Author
After graduating with a Master’s degree in Biblical Studies from Reformed Theological Seminary, Catherine Claire Larson spent seven years writing with Chuck Colson for BreakPoint radio, Christianity Today, and Newsweek online. Today, she writes amidst the clatter and curiosity of six young children. Catherine is the author of two beautiful devotional journals, Waiting in Wonder: Growing in Faith While You’re Expecting, and Watching in Wonder: Growing in Faith During Your Baby’s First Year. These books seek to lead moms closer to God, while journaling prompts offer a unique way to treasure milestones, jot down prayers and love notes for one’s growing baby. To follow along with Catherine Claire Larson’s writings follow her on Instagram, Facebook, or her blog.