You spent thirty years
in obscurity;

Mothers understand.
We too live in obscurity
working, teaching, correcting, praying
at home.

Only one snapshot remains
in the photo album of Jesus’ childhood.
Mary, frantic, worried about her son.
left behind,
oblivious to the multitude dangers she imagined.

Moms identify,
our children, even those grown,
unaware of dangers we imagine
fears we envision.
Help us to trust you as we wait today, unseen,
on a future only You see.

Jesus, my Savior,
in Your unseen years,
Did You see needs You knew could meet,
diseases You could have healed
children dying You could have resurrected?

More lives could have been changed
more good done,
had unseen obscurity not been Your lot.
You could have been known!

I see projects I want to tackle,
People I need to meet
Places I want to explore
Talents I want to develop
A ministry I want to start.
But my children …
their unending needs shackle me
restrain me
from all I could be.

How could waiting
to write, to speak, to paint, to start a business
be wise
when there is so little time?

It is incomprehensible
to us,
Jesus’ perfect trust of the Father
to wait patiently,
to endure years of days
Until the fullness of time had come.*

My waiting
such a personal inconvenience.

His, an accepted essential part of the perfect plan.
Content to wait,
To listen for His Father’s voice
for the acceptable time,
the perfect time.

O, my Father, whose time is always perfect,
help me wait, trust, listen
as Jesus did.
Save me from rushing ahead.

And if I’m never known
beyond my family and my little world,
let me be content
knowing You see.

You are my audience
of One.

No One else matters
But You My Jesus!

I wrote this prayer to honor the millions of unseen moms all around the world fulfilling an eternally important ministry to their children at home. Many of you juggle jobs and responsibilities that pull you in different directions. But your most important job is your work at home with your little or maybe not so little ones still living under your roof.

I’ve talked to many young moms who feel guilty that they don’t have a blog or write books or lead a ministry. I understand the pressure in this generation when so many young women are achieving fame and renown in their thirties and early forties with books and ministries established in their names.

It’s hard not to compare. It’s hard to believe your work at home matters when all you hear are complaints instead of compliments from your kids.

Recently I had another one of these conversations with a young mom. I was sharing with a small group my conviction that there is a cost to be paid for when moms seek to “do it all.” Someone in the family will suffer from her lack of presence. A child’s “need” can’t be predicted and therefore scheduled. Moms (and dads too) have to be present when the “need” happens.

Being present from baby years to teen years is invaluable for the stability and emotional health of your children. Building the life, soul, emotional maturity, and the faith of your children cannot be delegated.

Mothering is the most important ministry of all. There are only a few years to build into children, only a very few years to be the most important person in their lives. God made them to need us, to draw their life from us, to find their well-being and security from moms and dads.

My challenge is to trust God’s timing in my life. God’s calendar for Jesus’ ministry began at 30. We think those ten years of his twenties was wasted. If your life is His, if you belong to God, He owns your present and your future. He wastes nothing.

Therefore these years of obscurity, of being unseen, are not without value. Though you aren’t often praised in the daily-ness of mothering, God sees and He will reward your diligence.

May this prayer be a comfort to your soul and may you pray it regularly this week as a way to keep your heart aligned with His.

With love for all you unseen moms.

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11 thoughts on “Unseen”

  1. Thank you for this beautiful prayer which spoke directly to my heart. Thank you for reminding me that God sees me. I see God’s perfect timing in me reading this because I was struggling with feeling insignificant and invisible. I am so involved with taking care of my family and raising my 4 kids (ages 10-15) that I don’t participate in social media other than seeing what others post. Then I feel like my life is boring because I make comparisons and feel like I don’t have anything to share, or like even others are interested. It leaves me feeling discontent which is why it is a huge help to be reminded that God sees me even when I feel like no one else does. I guess it’s really living out Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord, not for men.”
    God’s been bringing to mind the lyric from “Be Thou My Vision” – ‘Riches I need not, nor man’s empty praise.’ This has helped me to remember that what God thinks of me is what is truly important and is all that matters! Thank you so much for sharing!!

  2. First time I have read your ideas forwarded through Ann Voskamp. Just returning from a family funeral in impending rain and anticipating the arrival of my seven year old granddaughter who will spend the night and attend church with us in the am. I too am a grandparent who is very actively involved in this child since six weeks of life. I would not trade for anything but this gift is sometimes burdensome. I seek God’s hand on mine to guide and give patience when I really have none left. But if we don’t rise, how will they see Jesus? These Easter words are precious and I will print this to use during Lent.

  3. Your words hit like a shower of blessings. For over 45 years I have been a parent of two boys. Now a grandparent and great grandparent. A single mom for most of it. There is no other loneliness I have felt as when raising children on my own. No one to exchange joy, sorrow, ideas with. Loneliness for some dialogue with my sons, just to hug them. Oh, to go back to the loneliness of young children at home, again.
    Sons are sons until they take a wife. Its good to see them flourishing in family life. Now a senior, I long to be home.

  4. Just today I was tired by the frustration of being an active grandma to a five year old. Very wearying at this age. Your words were a reminder of why I am still parenting at this stage of life.

  5. I met you at the end of the service at CCC. I introduced myself to you. This is a hard time in my life and you speak words I need to hear…Thank you for all you do to encourage, strengthen, and build faith in women.

  6. Thank you! I needed this today! I’m a partial empty nester with our oldest who moved out in June last year and turning 20 this coming June. Our youngest is 13, and I cherish this time with her while missing our son. I’m proud of him, but oh how I miss him!
    I’ve been a stay home mama almost 20 years now and I’ve home educated going on 9 of those years.
    I’m a college educated woman who has laid “career” down at his feet, and I know I am content with His leading and blessings.
    I do however grow weary of the messages from society, and even attitudes from family that I should be working outside the home- my own father has criticized me abundantly.
    Thank you for this truth. I know it in my heart to be true, and it is good to be reminded.
    Thank you for writing this, for encouraging us!
    God bless you!

  7. Thank you for sharing this. May God continually blessed you with wisdom to share to a mom like me♥️More power to you!!

  8. Thanks Mrs.Rainey,

    I know we did not speak,but it does sound like me. You are also speaking to the grandmas out there. It is so hard but I am grateful someone understand. Thanks again, love

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