"The kids are okay" and other quotes I should tattoo on my body.


At any given moment, in any given day, the unsettled feeling sets in. There's usually a montage of narratives that I tell myself. These thoughts that can push me into a cycle of downward heavy. Like a penny in one of those spinning donation saucers, I can circle. Until 'ping,' my heart sinks hard.

The topics that get dunked in uncertainty range wide and deep. motherhood. beauty. theology. marriage. home-decor. friendship. homemaking. family. missional living. recycling. sock matching. dirt-eating (in the kids mouths, mostly.)

I can operate an entire day out of response to these narratives. I can hang my head in defeat that I didn't get around to sorting something or another. The commentary of my actions typically uses the phrases of 'failing' 'not enough, damn it.' You know,  the usual. I  know these are familiar words to the rest of the population. Even if the volume is different for each of us.

I had a very deep fear exposed the other day. Ben came home. The back-and-forth exchange was had of "how was your day?" mishaps rehashed, funny stories. etc. He hugged me and I asked in honesty and in tears, "do you think I'm good at this?"

because I don't.

The deep fear is to be found out. To have a daughter confide in a friend someday "sure, she tried, maybe, but she just really wasn't that great of a mom to me." The deep fear is to have a hidden thought in his brain "she may be a good mom, but she's not so great of a wife." The deep fear is to have a friend think 'I know she means well, but she really just wasn't what I was needing in that moment." The deep fear is to have my God think 'I've given her the time, resources, everything she needs. and she is ungrateful, she isn't fruitful. I'll love her unconditionally, but I can't say I'm pleased."

and so it goes. Give me a few hours on a grey day, and I'll have a full blown story; character, plot, and climax. Too often the closing script ends in a dull empty note. A "well that was a real bummer. what a wasted hour" note.

Interestingly, it took a very flustered mother to leave the house for any sort of clarity, for any kind of different ending to sink in. As I walked along an empty street, I voiced out loud these fears. "Jesus, what if she thinks I suck at this? What if Eowyn isn't getting everything she needs?"

I was hoping for an affirmation. I want a "Brittany, You're AMAZING!"

I got what I usually get. Truth exposed to my lies.

"she's going to think that."

I had the mental image in my head, my curly haired beauty, teenage daughter looking at me in disappointment, with a twinge of disgust. She sighed and under her breath whispered to herself that I'm not a good mom. She didn't say it to hurt me, she said it because she felt it.

and then the camera frame turns, and my heart stills. Because in that moment Jesus spoke to me. I saw myself in a different way than I ever have. I saw a mom, faithful. A mom filled to the brim with compassion and commitment, and unwavering steadfastness to be committed to her daughter.  Despite-no- In light of her rejection.  I felt the reminder to my heart.

 "I never meant for you to be 'good at this.' I meant for you to be faithful."

and isn't that what we are? if anything? tomorrow I will wake up and mother. Tomorrow I will kiss the man I committed my days to. Next week I will buy groceries and eat with friends I love. Come Sunday I'll stand, probably very tired and weary and sing songs about my savior's goodness.

My dialogue, those ugly narratives, have been changing.

When I feel heavy with my body and its shape and size and abilities, I remember the call to faithfulness. Today that might look like skipping the desert, all to the Lord's glory. Tomorrow it may look like devouring that desert in delight, with good company, and with sweet praise.

When my motherhood feels suffocating, I can grasp those little hands that are raging against my hopes for them and pray. "Jesus help me to be what they need, help us hear each others hearts, soften our hearts, Jesus. PLEASE. Help us to be good listeners and good helpers to one another." (I have this exact prayer on repeat. Daily)

When my husband feels like I'm not a good helper, a good lover, a good friend (surely he will think this, someday or another.) I can ask "What can I do for you? How can I love you well?"

and when I fail, as I do often, and on repeat. I can stand up, remind myself. "the kids are okay." "just be faithful." "he will complete the work he started in you." "Christ is for your marriage." "Jesus is a friend to the lonely."

 Every narrative I have that can kill my soul, has a counter-Jesus-reality that can raise it back to life again.

and so, we go at it again. I mother today. Maybe this time with a bit more dancing. A bit more abandon. I love others today with a bit more freedom. I'm banking on the mercy and grace being ready for tomorrow.

I fight to move about freely, because I know faithful. I've experienced faithful. and I can be an imitator if I focus on the Faithful one.

He doesn't call me to be good at all of this, he just calls me to be faithful.

I'll be as full of faith as I can be, and I'll show up faithfully.

And I think, when I faithfully breath out my last air and reach that ocean of God's glory, I wont be so concerned on how he'll see me. I won't be so worried if he'll think I was good at this . I'll be dancing on those shores singing about how I saw him. Faithfully show up. When I was no good at this, he was good for me. When I was failing, he was faithful. My motherhood and marriage need just as much a savior as my soul. And I've got a faithful one.

And so, the kids will be okay. As will I. Because he's faithful, and so I can be.


  1. Oh my goodness Brittany, this is beautiful and so honest. You speak the words of a million mother's hearts. All I want to do is give you a massive hug and tell you how much you are loved. Believe me, your girl will do that too.