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With dinner and dishes long past, and as our day stretched into the evening hours, I followed the familiar path through the short and narrow hallway toward my parents’ bedroom. The door was always left open just enough for my childhood self to silently brush past. There she was, as I commonly found her, leaning against the headboard of her queen-sized bed with a book in her hands. Quite often it was her Bible.

Sometimes I just sat near her in the quiet as she read. Other times I bombarded her with a myriad of questions and childhood chatter. She never let on that I interrupted her solitude. I don’t remember a time that she ever sent me away. I was always welcome to climb up in her bed and share the sacred space with her in those evening hours. Surely she needed some alone time. Surely she was tired after giving and loving so sacrificially throughout her day. But if I had invaded her need for solitude, I never knew.

Faith lived out

That’s just one example of the way my mother made room for me to see her quiet, steady faith lived out. I cannot recall many of the conversations in vivid detail. Sometimes we talked about what she may have been reading on a particular evening, often we talked about whatever was on my mind. But the image of my mom with her red leather-bound Bible open in her lap is forever etched in my mind.

But You, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
    slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
Turn to me and have mercy on me;
    show Your strength in behalf of Your servant;
save me, because I serve You
    just as my mother did.
Give me a sign of Your goodness,
    that my enemies may see it and be put to shame,
    for You, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

Psalm 86:15-17, NIV

Hey friend, did you catch it? Eight little words nestled within this powerful prayer of David. I have read this psalm dozens of times (verses 11-12 and 15 are some of my very favorites). But it wasn’t until now that these words grabbed my attention: “I serve You just as my mother did.”

I never gave any thought to David’s mother. Who was she? How did she live? What did she believe? And yet here it is in one simple statement; one line of beautiful legacy.

We always need God’s grace.

I am a mother of four. It is a good, wonderful life, full of moments to treasure and delight in. There are also moments I give way to selfishness or exhaustion, and I question how to heed the call to not grow weary in doing good (Galatians 6:9). Sometimes I am weary, Lord!

The reality is that I am not enough. I wonder how I will meet all the needs and give all the affection. What if I fall short in their education? How will I lead them to Jesus daily? But I also know this reality is a good thing! And it’s not only good, it should be expected. In Treasuring Christ When Your Hands are Full, Gloria Furman says “Mothers have a strategic role in allowing the gospel to shape their home by expecting that we are always in need of God’s grace.” We are always, always, always in need of God’s grace. And a truth even more glorious than that? He is always, always, always willing to give it.

Grace upon grace

God reminds me again and again that His grace is sufficient, His strength is made perfect in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). He is not only sufficient, He is compassionate, gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love and faithfulness to me. I am not enough, but my adequacy is in Christ! Of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace (John 1:16)! His grace is extravagantly more than enough!

David’s mother had eight sons and two daughters. I imagine at times their household must have been loud and busy. Did she ever wonder if she could provide all her children needed? Did she feel short on time and resources to nurture her family? And yet, here it is straight from the mouth of one of her children: “I serve You just as my mother did.” Whatever she faced on a day to day basis and whatever her shortcomings, this mother’s influence was not lost. She served the Lord, and her children noticed. His mother’s faith impacted David. She made a difference that pointed him to the Lord.

Stretched too thin

Whether a mom of many or a mom of one, I think we are the same. We question our abilities. We fall short. Day in and day out, we are stretched too thin. And oh, how we hope to make a difference in the the lives of our children for their good and for their eternity! In truth there are no perfect mothers, but we do have a perfect Savior. It is He who works in you, Momma, both to will and to work for His good pleasure, (Philippians 2:13). In our calling as mothers let us keep living out our faith with courage and all the grace and strength that God provides on our behalf.

Persistent faith

My thoughts return to my own mother and the tiny seeds of persistent faith she planted in the soil of my young heart. Despite hardship and trial, and even in time times when God has seemed too quiet, she has clung to the confession of her hope. Well done, Momma. You have done a beautiful thing. I am indescribably grateful that God entrusted me to you.

That’s the legacy I long to leave for my children, the hearts entrusted to me. Come and see the One who saved my life, dear ones! Albeit imperfectly, I serve the Lord, just as my mother did.


Magnificent Jesus, we see Your heart in the design of motherhood. We are imperfect representations of the call to daily lay ourselves down on behalf of others. But You give more grace. Help us to turn to You in all areas of our lives, including motherhood. Thank You for entrusting mothers with this gift, keeping watch over tender hearts. Help us to lead them to You, to expect to need Your grace, to readily receive it, and lavishly give it, all to the glory of Your name!


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