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There was a time earlier on in my mothering when I felt pretty sorry for myself.

I had two children then. Ellie was about two, and Kenny would have been about six months. As you know, there is a lot of work involved in raising two little people, especially as young as my little people were at the time. And I was getting burnt out on it.

I knew that being a mom mattered, that building character into my children’s lives mattered—the big things. But what about the little things? What about all the diapers, the jars of baby food and the endless loads of laundry? Toys all over the place, diaper bags to pack any time I went somewhere, car seats to adjust and wiping sticky hands and faces? Not to mention bath time, bedtime and more diapers. Do these things matter?

To make matters worse, I told myself that anybody could do what I was doing. After all, making a PBJ sandwich doesn’t take any particular skill. Neither does changing the bag in the diaper pail or running a bathtub full of water. Is this what my life has come down to? I wondered.

Tasks that anybody could do, that nobody notices or cares about? Unless, of course, I don’t do them? Maybe you can identify with me. Maybe you’ve had these thoughts, as well as the resultant feelings of discouragement and frustration. If so, you know it’s not fun to feel that what you do doesn’t really make a big difference, that all the time and effort you put into your mothering is like throwing money down a hole—you do it, and then pfft! it’s gone, with not much to show for it.

You can tell that I was not in a good place, emotionally or spiritually, at least in terms of this issue. I had begun to deal with the issue of God’s love for me and accept that He really did love me. But I had no idea how much He also appreciated me.

Until, that is, God got tired of listening to me whine and complain, and He broke into my pity party. You’re wrong that what you do doesn’t matter, He said. Remember what My Son said about “that which you do for the least of these?”

I once heard Oprah say that when a child walks into a room, he or she should see a light go on in his or her parents’ eyes. And that always stuck with me. How if children don’t receive validation of their worth from their parents, how will they ever believe that they are truly worthy as human beings? —Megan D.

In my desire to know more, I looked in my concordance for some clue as to where the longer passage was located. I found it in Matthew 25:

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left.

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’

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