As a last resort I went cold turkey, and put underwear on Wade. Many moms swear by this approach, but it wasn’t working either. My frustration with potty training Wade grew greater by the day. I just could not get through to him that he needed to use the bathroom and not his pants.
I stood in the bathroom rinsing out what seemed like the 1000th pair of soiled underwear. I was weary. I was at a loss. I wondered if Wade would go to Kindergarten in diapers. Then I knelt down next to the toilet, and prayed. Prayed that God would help Wade learn to use the potty. Prayed for patience for myself. Prayed that I wouldn’t react to Wade in anger.
Eight years ago the thought of pouring my heart out to God at the foot of a toilet about a child’s bathroom habits would have seemed comical. Even as I did it I felt a little silly. Does God really care about the mundane, trivial trials of motherhood?
A lot of what we do as moms goes unnoticed. It’s marginalized by a society that places value less on what you do, and more on how much money you make.
Sometimes it feels like we are invisible.
But God notices. God values us.
He is The God Who Sees You.
In Genesis 16 we meet Hagar. She is the maid servant Sarah gives to Abraham when she’s unable to conceive an heir. Hagar becomes pregnant, but Sarah grows bitter and jealous towards her. She is so mistreated by Sarah that Hagar runs away. Pregnant and alone in a hostile country it’s unlikely Hagar would have fared well.
Then God sends a message to Hagar though an Angel. He tells her to go back, and that He will increase her, “descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.”
To that Hagar replied, ” ‘You are the God who sees me,’ for she said, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me.’ ”
In her time Hagar was an invisible person. She was a woman, an Egyptian in a foreign land, a slave and pregnant with the child of another woman’s husband. No one cared about her. Even Abraham, the father of Hagar’s child, told Sarah he didn’t care what she did to or with Hagar.
But God saw Hagar. He loved her and showed her mercy and grace. Twice.
Years later in Genesis 21 God comes to Hagar again. This time she and her son Ishmael were thrown out of Abraham’s house. They linger in the desert until Ishmael almost dies of thirst. God, keeping the promise he made Hagar the first time, provides water for Ishmael and spares his life.
Maybe you feel invisible as a mom. Your children are unlikely to thank you for taking the time to discipline them or make them eat their peas. Perhaps your spouse doesn’t recognize the value of your work in the home. Maybe you have friends who think your time is better spent in a cubicle.
Remember, He is The God That Sees You. You can call on Him. He is there. Even when you’re kneeling next to a toilet.