For the mom whose day looks long

Sep 5, 2013

I should have known better. I should have knocked on wood or something. Of course, when I publish a “fact” on the blog, I should know it will never happen like I said it would.

On Monday night I had all 4 backpacks laid out and 4 lunches packed. Because for the first time in history all four little boys would be in “school” on the same day.

Or not.

Despite all my best laid plans (and backpacks)… this was the only guy who went to school on Tuesday.

Having the day get flipped upside down made me start to blame spiritual warfare, because I’d planned  to start writing again during my ‘free’ time. I was sure that devil who prowls like lion wouldn’t want me to encourage moms to make motherhood about God.

But maybe I was drawing a wrong assumption, maybe it wasn’t an evil plan to keep me from writing. This is life and kids get sick and miss school, right?

The crazy thing? They each had a different illness. Each one with “not that bad” symptoms, but just bad enough to stay home.

(side note: In light of this recent “attack”, I need to start gathering a group. People willing to pray for me on Tuesday and Thursdays (and any day really), for healthy kids & writing focus. Interested? Email me: And I TOTALLY understand there are lots and lots of people to be praying for, and international crises, etc. Please feel no obligation. Just an invitation. Like I shared from Nehemiah, we are all doing his work, some of us fighting the battles and some building the “wall”. Honored to do His Kingdom work with you. I know several of you already are praying and I’m so thankful for you.)

Fortunately that morning I watched Ann Voskamp’s interview on Life Today (click here if you haven’t seen it yet…wonderful). I’d gone to the taping when she was here in Texas a few months ago. Back then I felt invigorated by her message of finding grace every day. On Tuesday watching the broadcast, she reminded me to choose to frame my life and see the good.

“Joy comes through seeing.”

Because on that day I could have bemoaned the fact that I couldn’t accomplish all my “to-do’s” and “shoulds” because three little boys were home instead of at school. Or I could chillax, take a deep breath and reframe the day with new expectations.

Normally I’d be all over the regrets and frustrations. But I think Ann’s pep talk and a little Holy Spirit action, moved me to choose the 2nd option.

I even decided to take out my camera to literally “frame” the fun moments with the boys.



Believe it or not, it was a good day (as you can tell they weren’t feeling too sickly). I amazingly yelled less that day than most days. One of the boys helped rinse off dishes and load the dishwasher (if you saw pigs flying on Tuesday, that was why).

Why am I telling you all this?

Because I’m sure a day is coming this month or next month or this year, when your planned-out day falls through. Or your schedule has to be adjusted because of sickness. 

I think we need each other to remember to reframe the day. Rewrite a “to-be” list to replace all the pre-planned “to-do’s”. Seek out joy like a hidden treasure instead of dwelling on what could have been.

This morning I read a familiar verse but saw it with a new light given the extended summer I experienced this week:

Sometimes the days can look long at 7 am and we need a strong dose of “what could be” when we feel like all the day has for us is “not much”.

From this verse we see, hope begins with joy & peace…which are fruit of the Spirit. We remain in Him and He remains in us and we will bear much fruit. Much joy and peace…even if we can’t muster it on our own early in the morning.

Hope is to “expect with confidence”.  This week I expected (confidently), to get a day off from mothering (or at least a few hours rest). My joy & peace would come from a hot beverage and uninterrupted time with my computer.

But my God, the one with hope in His name, had a different plan. He filled me with joy & peace so I could expect with confidence that it would be a great day home with my boys.

The good news? This gift is not limited to Heather MacFadyen or Ann Voskamp. If you believe in Christ as your Savior, then you have full access to the Holy Spirit.

It may be hard for you to imagine this morning when you are looking forward and you have nothing hopeful ahead. No apparent joy written on your day. No peace because children are restless and needy.

But today God can fill you to overflowing with His hope.

Let’s stop and pray:

Lord, empty me of my expectations for today. Get rid of discontentment and complaints. Fill me with your Spirit to overflowing with love, joy, and peace. Give me eyes to see and to expect great things today because this is Your day. More than anything when I have a hard time believing in the gifts of your Spirit, help my unbelief. Amen.


  1. motherofknights

    Heather, I love reading your blog! This post was wonderful-and something I hold to strongly in my own life. Motherhood often means sacrifice, but we can do it with joy knowing that these kids, this husband, this life is always about refining our hearts and how we honor God by serving them. Even when it means altering “our” agenda. Thank you for reminding us to face our sometimes long days with joy and expectation for good.

    • Heather MacFadyen

      thank you amber for reading! I’m beyond the moon excited that we get to meet next month. Your comment is exactly my heart. Unfortunately, I’ve tried lots of different options in motherhood and surrendering in service has been the most fulfilling. blessings today!

  2. Sandy

    Oh Heather, its one of those mornings that i needed to hear this so am extremely grateful i saw it on my twitter feed this early. Holding back tears (i think i’m a lil extra emotional today), but extremely encouraged by your words and humbled as I repeated the words of the prayer. I need a heart today to not have anxiety over the small things, the unexpected and the mundane of my day and eyes to see Christ and His goodness, mercy and love for me. Praying for you today as I pray for myself 🙂

    • Heather MacFadyen

      I’m always humbled to know when what God is teaching me is a ministry to other moms in their journey. So thank you for sharing His work in your heart and how He is drawing you closer to Him. And thank you for your sweet prayers. Off to work now!

  3. Lucy

    This post was such a blessing to me today, so I want to thank you so much for hearing God and writing it. I found your blog by googling something along the lines of ‘letting go of being a perfectionist, mom, god’ because I am struggling with my amazing, beautiful, lively, messy 10 month old son and my need to be the perfect mom, wife, housekeeper. My attitude only hinders, it does not help. I’ve read a couple of relevant posts and I feel they are an answer to prayer! This post was on my screen from last night, though I didn’t read it till this morning when, sure enough, the day looked LONG after my precious child was up every 1-2 hours and I am exhausted. But God nudged me towards your web page while baby napped and I also watched the interview with Ann and I was just in floods of holy tears. Thank God that we can have a new perspective and there is joy to be found everywhere. Thank God that there is help when we need it.

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