Friday, October 2, 2009


“You must have the patience of a saint.” It was just another variation of the “How do you do it?” inquiry, but this remark of a friend particularly startled me. Somehow with four children under the age of seven, others get the impression that I am cut from a different mold. They assume that only a special woman would have children so closely spaced and that this special woman must have special qualities or special virtues making her suitable for the large-family life. In other words, “Glad you can do it because I certainly don't have what it takes!”

If only this admirer had seen me snap at my dear ones after a day of schooling when the baby was prematurely woken from his nap and I was running on fumes. If only she had seen me blame my husband for the grass on my freshly-vacuumed floor. If only she had heard me grumble about the spilled water at the table. And clearly she had been absent when I dissolved into tears at the kitchen sink, biting my stinging tongue. Patience is a virtue and it is not mine.

“For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate to do I do.”

Despite my human weakness and seeming failures, maybe the joy of our busy home is a drawing light. Like other mamas of multiple little ones, I could share reams of management tips. I could tell how we’ve simplified our lives in order to spend most days at home; or I could tell how we train the children to obey even before they can crawl; or I could tell how we work, keeping the children by our sides.

But tips and tricks are human wisdom. I could train and teach and manage from morning till night and still not exude peace because that is not how we thrive. It is solely by God’s grace. “…yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” He gives the strength and patience as it is needed. When I was blessed with one child, having more children seemed incomprehensible. I barely kept my head above the water some days. The reason is clear. With one child, He supplied the grace for one—not two or three or four—and as each child was born, His grace increased.

I am reminded of the testimony of Corrie ten Boom. As a child, she confided in her father that she was afraid she would never have the courage to be a martyr. He asked her, “When you and I go to Amsterdam, when do I give you money for the ticket?”

“Just before we get on the train,” she answered.

“So it is with God’s strength…He will supply all you need—just in time.”

When my life feels at capacity and Doubt is whispering in my ear, or when I am stretched thin and feel incapable of accepting any more responsibility, I know that He is still holding the grace I need for what lies ahead. I am simply clay, molded in the hands of my Father.

“But where sin increased, grace increased all the more.”

And His grace is enough.



  1. So good and so true, Kristin! I just had "one of those days" yesterday and thought, "Geez, I really stink at this!" But I woke up today thanking Him that His mercies are new each morning.
    Good post.

  2. all i can say is wow! probably the best thing you've written. thank you!

  3. This is a beautiful and honest post.You just make it look so easy!
    So your secret is He gives you just what you need when you need it...So true and so hard to get threw our heads:)
    Thank you for writting this.

  4. I needed to hear this. I've been feeling like such a failure as a mom lately. But the Lord has given so much grace. I just read today "A righteous man falls seven times and rises again." We will fall, we will fail as mothers but because of His Grace, sweet grace, we will rise again. It's encouraging to read your thoughts because sometimes I wonder if I was made to raise these children. I feel so impatient, so tired, and completely out of energy. I feel like I'm not made of mother material at all. Then I read the Scriptures, I read testimonies of other mothers and realize, we're all human. This IS what I'm cut out for. He made me to do this. But I must rely on his grace.
    Thanks for sharing. :)
    Oh, and did you get my email?

  5. What an honest, beautiful post. Thanks for the blessing of your words. (And thanks for stopping by, you're welcome anytime!)

  6. Oh, I just LOVE your heart for the King. And you make such sense with this!!

    Thank you for sharing Kristin!


  7. I recently finished reading a book by a very faith-filled, very busy mom that I think you'd enjoy. It's called: "Bless Me, Father, For I Have Kids" by Susie Lloyd. My husband and I don't yet have children of our own, but I've taken care of kids of all ages for the past 16 years, and can identify with the running on fumes and getting by on the grace of God moments. Thanks for sharing and being open about not being perfect.

  8. Such a great post, Krisin. I don't know what I'd do without God's grace!

    Hope you had fun a soccer and shopping! Sounds like a great weekend!

  9. Why do I still get shocked when God speaks to me so loudly? I have experienced him repremanding me, directing me, and even encouraging me through people in my life, experiences I've had, and things that I have read. Like tonight. . . your post was such an encouragement. Not only in your wonderfully eloquent expression, but even in the echoing of this by the women leaving comments! Such a wonderful boost - and so energizing to know I'm not alone. Loved it! Colleen (homeschoolin mom of six)

  10. A most inspiring post...I have been thinking about it a lot.
    We actually need His grace at *every* stage of life. I am so thankful to have received it time after time after time...

  11. Thanks for the book ideas. I haven't been here in awhile and I always like new books. I love the artist series your reading!

  12. Hi Kristin, Thank you for your vulnerability and transparency. I've been there a million times too - now I know God needs to refine me 4 times over, maybe more. Each child teaches me new things. His Grace is new every morning - thank goodness! I also LOVE your book recommendations, those two shepherd books are favorites of mine (ours!)


  13. Hello there,
    I got your link from Amy's Humble Musings. This is a grat post!


  14. I suppose it's not surprising that I hear this kind of thing, too. Our pastor has even made a similar comment to my husband: "That's great for you guys, but my wife isn't the super-mom that Mindy is." *So* not true! I was telling Jeff about this post recently, and felt a need to come back and revisit it. Thank you so much for the honest, encouraging thoughts you've shared here. You inspire me!


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