For all the Tired Mommas: How to Build a House to Heal the World


Today the yard has been swept by the wind. Yesterday’s tracks, where the kids played out in the snow, have been blown over and filled in. And could this be true of my life, too? Yesterday’s stumbling along is already covered, by some sort of God-grace and today is new all over again. I need that.

I’m tired. Seems like I always feel tired except for the occasional spurt of wild energy I get every few days, when suddenly I’m happy to clean out the fridge and mop the kitchen floor and fold four loads of laundry. But, not today. Today I push through everything. Rinsing out the sippie cups. Refereeing the kids. Cutting up an orange. Picking up the library books. It all feels hard, today.


The kids are having rest time and I have this internal struggle. I could sleep. Wouldn’t sleep be nice! But, then when will I write? I do want to write, though I’m tired. But, then again I’m always tired, so I grind the coffee beans and thank God that I have these dark shimmering coffee beans to grind. I remind myself that I can make it through and that if it’s in me to write, then there is probably someone out there, tired like me, who just needs a little encouragement.

I could give someone a little bit of that. Life is so short. And a little bit of encouragement goes a long way. I know because someone gave that to me today. My neighbor came over to snow blow our driveway again. How did he know? That us here with these three kids are so tired and we could get up early and shovel the drive, but it’s awfully kind of him to come over and plow it for us.

I think he gets lonesome because he lives there all by himself and I know he feels discouraged sometimes. Because he gets up everyday to go work at the same hard job, just to get up the next day and do it again and I’ve heard him counting down the years till he can retire.

So, me and the kids all gathered at the window and waved the whole time.  I wondered if he was happy to see a cheering, thankful crowd, like he was part of some happy snow blowing parade. Besides, it’s not just the fact that he cleared it two times in a row that means so much. It’s the fact that he cared. That there is another person over there who was thinking about us and who came over just to say, “Hi. I saw you needed help. And I cared.” I want to be like him.


I’ve been trying to write another book. And be a good momma. And teach my kids how to love one another. And I’ve been doing some homeschooling. And trying to keep this place clean so it’ll feel peaceful. And organize a little here and there. And stay close to God. And reach out to some people around me. And read good books to keep my brain juices flowin’. And I think all this trying is sort of wearing me out.

One of these days, I’d just like to figure out how to be at peace. I know that’s a process.

One thing, though, that I really want to do well at above all the rest, is cultivating my home into a place where my kids can grow up, loved and nurtured, with a deep sense of belonging. And I want other people to be able to enter into that, and feel loved and nurtured, and a part of us, too.

I’ve got this friend and he’s pretty intense. He’s always thinking and planning and moving toward his goals, like he’s only got a certain amount of time on this earth or something, and he told me once that he wants to love strong and true, like sunlight on leaves. And he wants to build a house to heal the world.

Well, I cried when he said that. Because, that’s me, too.

He said that he’d like to help his family be a team. Where they all work together to understand, adore and celebrate each other. So, he’s establishing some simple rhythms and practices that they can all be shaped by, and so that they can all work together well.


Today, Hopey was on her way up the stairs with her cup full of M&Ms and I heard her crash and the candy go spilling and bouncing across the carpet. She screamed and hollered and so I came running and as I scooped her up and cradled her close, I thought about how I want this home to be. I want it to be a place where you can make a mess and spill your junk and know that there will always be someone there to come running up to comfort you and help you recover what you lost.

I think that’s what a family is for. At least, I think that’s what a Momma is especially for and I intend to be that kind of Momma. I want to build a house to heal the world, and I wonder if it starts here in the little things. Like, with a heart that thanks God for coffee beans. And arms that reach out to comfort little folks that just made a big ole’ mess.

Even when I’m tired.

The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue,
    to know the word that sustains the weary.
He wakens me morning by morning,
    wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed. (Isaiah 50:4)



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