When you first meet Brooke McGlothin, what first strikes you is how she exudes this beautiful, big perspective of possibilities and hope. Brooke’s got a contagious hope story: Sometimes a girl’s dreams for motherhood — and the reality God gives her are two different things. Brooke McGlothlin prayed that God would give her boys, and now spends her days wrangling two of the hard-to-handle type, determined to fight FOR them instead of AGAINST them. The weariness of mothering her boys nearly did her in. But God’s grace. Today, she helps moms find hope right smack in the mess of it all, knowing first-hand that the place of our greatest weakness can unleash the power of God’s greatest grace. It’s a grace to welcome Brooke to the farm’s front porch today…
Motherhood is hard physical labor, sweaty work, manual labor of the most intense kind because it requires more than just body.
Turns out it’s hard heart labor, too.
And when the work doesn’t pay off? When the pulling and tugging and coaxing and dragging and pushing and begging and praying don’t seem to change things as fast as we’d like, we can be left empty, exhausted, worn down.
It reminds me of the story of Peter and the disciples in Luke 5:1-9.
A fisherman, Peter had worked hard all night long trying to catch fish and hadn’t caught even one.
In those days, I imagine an empty net meant an empty stomach, empty table, empty mouths, and maybe, for Peter, an empty heart. I can almost hear him thinking, “All that work for nothing! Wasted effort, wasted time. I should just quit.”
Ever felt that way, Mom?
Jesus, in need of a safe place from which to teach the people, caught Peter coming in from the long, hard, dirty night of fruitless work, and asked for a simple favor.
The crowds, desperate for a word when the voice of God had been silent in the land for four hundred years, were pressing in all around him, and the fisherman’s boat looked like a good place to land.
He taught the people from the boat for a time, and then told the weary fisherman, Peter, to cast his net in the deep water once more.
Can you imagine Peter’s response? Wait, what did he just say? I gave him my boat, and now this? He’s got to be kidding.
Can you picture him, head in hands, eyes tired from lack of sleep, and heart weary from the weight of failure, answering the man Jesus?
Lord, we have been out here all night.
We’ve worked our fingers to the bone trying to provide for our families, trying to take care of them and give them our best. We’ve given our all, all night long and it hasn’t been enough. We’re tired, and we don’t want to try again. Not even one more time. But because you seem to be something special, we will. Just this once, and don’t ask us to do it again if you please.
You know what happened, right?
Peter’s choice to blow on the flame of hope one last time nearly sank his boat with success.
He knew at once that he had been in the presence of greatness, and knowing it, repented, left his nets, and followed Jesus.
I find a lot of strength from Peter’s story because there’s not a week that goes by when I don’t entertain the idea of quitting — at least for a few seconds.
Just this week, I sat back and allowed myself to remember what it was like before we had kids.
Freedom and quiet were words that came to mind. I’d never really failed at anything much before becoming a mom — and I never thought loving someone so much could make me feel so bad.
Certainly, there are professions that garner more praise, and pay significantly higher wages.
As moms, we can feel trapped in a long-term assignment… that often makes us feel like failures.
But I’m beginning to understand that there is a way to find hope.
I think our victory, like Peter’s, starts with just one more cast of the net…
Friends, I can’t promise your next act of obedience will produce the fruit in your children’s hearts you’ve been craving.
I can’t promise you that following Christ, like Peter, even just one more time, will bring immediate change or smashing success.
But I can promise that holding out that flicker of hope, just enough to propel your feet forward in one more step of faith, matters to God.
He sees you, and He knows what it will require to pursue your heart. He’ll pursue it with reckless abandon, just because He loves you that much.
But in the same way that He loves you, the same way He’ll move all of heaven to chase your heart and make it His, He also loves your children.
When they break your heart, they break His.
When they run away from you, they run away from Him.
When they reject your love, they reject His.
When they refuse to walk in obedience to you, they refuse to walk in obedience to Him.
He hurts with you.
But His plans for you—and your children—are good.
Will you make a commitment with me today, friend? Can we stand together, unified by Christ and our love for our children, and covenant with the Lord that we will never, ever give up the fight?
Can we covenant with the Lord that we will never give up on His ability to move in our hearts and those of our children?
Say it with me…
“I believe God’s plans for me are good. Therefore, I commit today that I will never give up on my family, and I will never give up on God’s ability to move in our hearts. With His help, I will take the next step of faith even when I don’t feel like it, because He is the God of miracles.”
I believe God will meet us and fill our nets as we trust Him enough to cast them just one more time.
Mama, look out at the water, and place your feet firmly on the dock.
Then let your net fly.
Brooke McGlothlin is co-founder of Raising Boy Ministries, where moms and dads come to discover delight in the chaos of raising boys. She is also editor of an online community for mothers of boys called The MOB Society. Brooke has written Hope for the Weary Mom: Let God Meet You in Your Mess (co-authored with Stacey Thacker), Praying for Boys: Asking God for the Things They Need Most, and an ebook, How to Control Your Emotions, So They Don’t Control You: A Mom’s Guide to Overcoming.
Brooke holds a master’s degree in counseling from Liberty University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Virginia Tech. After graduate school she worked for over ten years ministering to women in unplanned pregnancy through local Pregnancy Care Centers, and then stepped down for her most challenging task ever–raising her two sons. Brooke is married to the man she’s had a crush on since the third grade, and together, they homeschool their two boys in the beautiful mountains of Southwestern Virginia.
When I started Hope for the Weary Mom, our Malakai (12) looked over and said: “The title of that book makes no sense. Moms don’t get weary. They love what they do.” <grin> Yes, Son, we do — and reading books like this is exactly why we do. <huge smile> Recommended for every weary mom: Hope for the Weary Mom: Let God Meet You in Your Mess