Do you ever feel kind of invisible?
I read an article the other day entitled “The Invisible Workload of Motherhood is Killing Me.” I clicked on it, of course because, this is my life. If I’m honest, I feel like most of what I do as a mom is invisible.
They listed out the infinite thoughts that take up our brain space that no one ever really sees. I started paying attention to mine yesterday. It went like this:
“My kid has a fever. Do I bring him into the doctor or am I rushing it? I have to keep track of when his symptoms started, but honestly I don’t know. I’ll make chicken soup because the kids like it but that means I have to put chicken in the crockpot in the morning, but the crock pot is dirty from last night so I need to wash it. There are goldfish spilled all over my bedroom floor that need to be vacuumed. All of the towels are dirty so I need to wash those and make sure I don’t forget to put them in the dryer. My son has a dentist appointment Thursday morning, I wonder if he still has a fever and I cancel if they’ll charge me? I should probably call tomorrow and just cancel to be safe….”
And that was about three minutes of the day.
The article was so validating, honestly. It’s really well written and I was like, YES! I am doing so many things that nobody sees. These are the things that wear me down. Accompany that with this past weekend. Our family attended a youth retreat where my husband was the speaker. Normally I get to serve alongside him, but we brought the kids this time. So I sat in the back and brought the snacks and the crayons and carried around coats and hats and packed and unpacked for four people.
Slowly and somehow also suddenly, God checked my heart and reminded me:
Nothing you do is invisible to Me.
The ways you care for your family that no one will ever see? God sees.
Running out to the grocery store at 7 am to get Popsicles and Gatorade? God sees.
Keeping track of who needs new shoes? God sees.
Remembering when the library books are due back so you don’t get charged? God sees.
One of the most beautiful names for God comes from the first book of the Bible. A pregnant mom named Hagar ran away because she was being mistreated. And God searched for her and found her.
“She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” [Genesis 16:13]
Our God is the God who sees. I know it feels like so much of what you do goes unnoticed, let alone acknowledged or appreciated. And I know that deep down, you’re doing it out of love. And you’d do it whether you got noticed or not. But it can feel so lonely to have so many things inside of your head to keep track of, feeling a tiny bit crazy wondering if anyone else has a never ending running list, too.
There are moments as a mom that you know matter. Choosing the stillness with them when you could be doing something else. Reading another book at bedtime even though you just want to be done. It doesn’t feel like much in the moment, but we hold onto hope that all of these little choices add up throughout their life and they will know love because of those small moments.
But, are they going to be better people because you got rid of that mysterious bottle in the back of the fridge, or changed the laundry over before it started to smell? Is it really an investment to meal plan and stay in budget and figure out an organizational system for when they grow out of their clothes?
It may have nothing to do with how they turn out as people.
But if you feel invisible and maybe a tiny bit insane, I’m here to tell you that He sees.
He sees when you drop them off at daycare or school and go to work to provide.
He sees when you pack lunches or snacks that you know they like.
He sees that you know how to cut the sandwich and you know that she likes grapes and he doesn’t anymore.
He sees that you know when you’re out of toilet paper and Tylenol and when someone needs new socks.
Isn’t it so fitting that the one to gave this name to the Lord, “The One Who Sees” was a pregnant mom?
Not only does He see you, but you have the opportunity to see Him. You can choose to acknowledge Him when you’re switching the laundry. When you make lunch. When you are sweeping the floor for the fourteenth time today.
The One who sees you wants you to see Him.
You are not invisible.
“The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” [2 Chronicles 16:9]