To The Mom Who Is Exhausted, Depressed, and Completely Overwhelmed…

5 Lessons from the Prophet Elijah

Before I had kids, I knew exactly what kind of a mother I wanted to be.

You know, the kind of mother who kept a perfectly clean house, who served delicious and nutritous meals, who had fun with her kids and never raised her voice.

I wanted to be a super-mom. I wanted to be the best mom that the world has ever seen.

If you are exhausted, depressed, overwhelmed, and even resentful, you are not alone. Elijah felt this way too, and God's response might surprise you!|Lessons from Elijah

But nine years and three kids into this parenting journey, and I find myself hiding in the bathroom with the door locked, longing for just a couple of moments of peace. I feel overwhelmed, exhausted, depressed at my unmet expectations, and maybe even a little resentful of my circumstances.

Don’t get me wrong! I love my family with all of my heart. But, sometimes, it just feels like life is asking too much. I am ready to turn in my super-mom cape and be done!

Which is perhaps why I love the story of Elijah so much.

Now Elijah was a true super-man prophet.

I mean, seriously, this guy had been fed by ravens, raised a boy from the dead, called down fire from heaven, led in the destruction of 450 prophets of Baal, by prayer ended a 3 and a half year drought, and outrun a king in his chariot.

But, somewhere in the midst of being a super-man prophet, Elijah got tired, overwhelmed, and discouraged. Things weren’t going the way that he thought they would.

After all of the miracles that Elijah had seen God perform, it only took the threat of a wicked queen to send Elijah scurrying for the wilderness, seeking cover under a juniper tree. (No indoor plumbing, you know, so he couldn’t just lock himself in the bathroom.)

The super-man prophet Elijah had “had it”! He was ready to throw in the towel and be done. “It is enough; now O LORD, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers.”

In Elijah’s words, I hear my own heart cry as a mother. “Enough, Lord! I thought I could do this. I can’t! I had ideas of how this should go. It’s not going that way, Lord, and I am ready to be done! I love my kids, but I just can’t handle this anymore.”

Now, Elijah knew God’s power. God would have been perfectly just in raining a little fire down on Elijah for his doubts, frustrations, and resentments. But, God didn’t do that. Instead, God’s response to Elijah is quite surprising:

1. God let Elijah sleep.

If you are exhausted, depressed, overwhelmed, and even resentful, you are not alone. Elijah felt this way too, and God's response might surprise you!|Lessons from Elijah

Dear mother who is about to give up, how are you doing in the sleep department? As a fellow mother who knows what it is like to go for six months without ever once sleeping through a whole night, may I encourage you to make sleep a priority? Before you laugh bitterly and click away from this post, hear me out.

Making sleep a priority may mean that you have to take your super-mom cape off for a bit. Trust me, I know how difficult that can be. But, you are not going to be able to be a super-mom anyway if you are constantly exhausted.

  • Let some things need to go undone.
  • Let go of some expectations or responsibilities for a season
  • Take naps when you can.
  • Ask Grandma or a close friend to take the kids for a day so that you can get some sleep.
  • Allow your husband to put the kids to bed a couple of nights a week so that you can get to bed earlier.

If the Prophet Elijah couldn’t go on without getting a little sleep, chances are you can’t either! If you are exhausted, find a way to get a little more rest.

And, while you are at it, ask God to change your focus from yourself and your to-do list so that you can rest in Him. Because, only when we discover that life is all about Him and not about us, can we truly find rest for our souls.

2. God gave Elijah food and drink.

If you are exhausted, depressed, overwhelmed, and even resentful, you are not alone. Elijah felt this way too, and God's response might surprise you!|Lessons from Elijah

God knew that Elijah not only needed to sleep, but he also needed to eat.

How are you doing in the food and drink department?

Have you ever found yourself yelling or in tears at 4:00 in the afternoon, only to realize that you are living off of two cups of coffee, two cokes, five gummy bears, and six gold fish that you snuck off your toddler’s food tray?

You can’t be a good mom if you are depriving your body of the food it needs to function correctly.

If you feel completely overwhelmed, consider if your diet may be partly to blame. Look for ways that you can take care of your body with healthy food and plenty of water. (And, while you are at it, consider scheduling a physical with your doctor if it has been awhile!)

3. God reminded Elijah of who He was.

If you are exhausted, depressed, overwhelmed, and even resentful, you are not alone. Elijah felt this way too, and God's response might surprise you!|Lessons from Elijah

Even after receiving rest and physical nourishment, Elijah was still pouting, angry and resentful. God pursued after Elijah and showed him His strength, then spoke to him in a still and quiet voice.

Are you making time in your day to remember Who God is? Seek God through the reading of His Word and prayer. Listen for His still quiet voice. Make worship a part of your daily routine.

Because, in the end, you can never be a super-mom. But, you can serve a super-God. He will make you all that you need to be for your family. He can see you through when you are ready to give up.

4. God told Elijah that He wasn’t finished with him.

If you are exhausted, depressed, overwhelmed, and even resentful, you are not alone. Elijah felt this way too, and God's response might surprise you!|Lessons from Elijah

After Elijah has been restored physically and spiritually, God gave Elijah his next assignments.

I am so thankful for a God Who doesn’t give up on us! When you feel like you are done, be assured that God isn’t done with you. He will continue to use you for His good purposes until the day that He is ready to welcome you home into His eternal rest.

5. God gave Elijah a friend.

If you are exhausted, depressed, overwhelmed, and even resentful, you are not alone. Elijah felt this way too, and God's response might surprise you!|Lessons from Elijah

Have you ever felt the intense loneliness of motherhood?

Elijah complained several times to God that he was alone. God’s response? God assured Elijah that, in fact, 7,000 people in Israel had stayed faithful to God. And then, God gave Elijah Elisha, a young man whom Elijah was to train. I am sure that Elisha was a huge help and comfort to Elijah.

Are you surrounding yourself with Christian friends who can walk this parenting journey with you? You won’t survive on your own.

Be humble enough to let your super-mom cape slip a bit and admit to close friends where you struggle. You just might discover that they are struggling in the same areas! It is so helpful to know that we are not alone.

I love how God lifted Elijah back up when he was exhausted, depressed, resentful, and completely overwhelmed! God let Elijah sleep, gave him food, reminded Elijah of Who He is, gave Elijah his next assignment, and provided Elijah with a friend and companion.

I know that God can do the same for you. Will you make this a matter of prayer?

By the way, you can find this whole story in 1 Kings 17-19. It is definitely worth the read!

Do you struggle in any of these areas? Do you find it comforting that even a great prophet of God faced similar feelings? I would love to hear from you. Please scroll down to comment.

More Posts from Path Through the Narrow Gate:

Do you really know how to pray for your children? |Path Through the Narrow  Prayer Journal pin  Is life not going the way you thought it would? How can Christians deal with crushed expectations? Lessons from Peter...

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127 thoughts on “To The Mom Who Is Exhausted, Depressed, and Completely Overwhelmed…

  1. Hi,
    I enjoyed your article. My wife and I are at this point we have 8 children and we are bOth overwhelmed with our responsibilities. One great aspect is that we are strong in our faith and we have a great marriage. The problem seems to be our businesses. We started an online business 15 years ago and it has grown but my wife is constantly working with it I had to start helping regularly. We don’t want to quit it because it is doing so well. Also I am over a non profit that I basically inherited and we have several rental properties.
    The problem could be this. But also my wife because of our religious convictions has trouble having close friends. Also 2 years ago we had an incident with her father whom she was close with. He is a narcissist personality. Since the break he has not much to do with us and she is only close to one sister who live miles away. The children often overwhelm her but they didn’t in the past just occasionally so this makes my businesses become neglected because I have to stay close to the house in case of an incident. Also she hardly ever drives. This is partially my fault because I would tell I would just take her when I get home.
    Also I think not getting enough sleep with a nursing baby. We are Catholic and practice the true teachings of our faith. When my wife quits nursing she usually gets pregnant and we are not ready for that yet. So any suggestions?

    • John, this is a difficult situation and my heart goes out to you and your wife. May God be with you and direct you. I think your wife especially needs a good friend, but that can be so hard when the kids are little. Is there a way that you can help her get out of the house maybe once a week to spend some time with a friend? Maybe at a Bible study or church event? I am praying for you!

  2. I myself am a single mom and I want to say thank you, these words felt like a huge relief for me right now. I have done alot of these things and I really do feel like just letting my cape fall off. It isn’t easy but I’m hanging there still. So I say thank you again.

  3. I am a mom of twin toddlers and a 13 year old adhd son. I am seperated and doing it all on my own ..I absolutley am going to lose my mind. Every single day with all the messes and the noise.things getting broke or messed up.i cant have anything nice. I have no time at all for myself.i am extremely exhausted.I dont sleep well I’m definitly sleep deprived. I feel like a crazy monster most days .I Yell and i scream all day. I want my kids to listen and behave. I need a purpose besides this motherhood stuff. I go days without Showering sometimes and i most definitely go without feeding myself. My entire life is , taking care of my childeren whom i love more than anything in this world. We do attend church every sunday but still i feel alone most of the time .The house cleaning has to be the most overwhelming of it all. I just want to get away sometimes😥

    • Shyla, I have no words, only prayers. Please know that I am praying for you right now, that God would give you the strength to keep going each day, day after day. May He comfort you and bring you peace and a friend to put her arm around you and to help you through this difficult time in your life. May God be with you.

    • Join ministries with childcare and speak to leaders about your children benefitting from the extra support as a children of a single parent. Loving your kids includes looking after yourself. Sometimes work outside the home is the best gift you can give yourself. Be careful to not equate SAHM with “better mom”.

  4. Thank you very much for this post. I love being a stay at home mom but sometimes I struggle to keep things together. Lately I’ve been so exhausted that I’m yelling and snapping at my children a little too much. I’ve been feeling like a horrible mom and a terrible example to my children. It’s been difficult to keep God as my focus and even my quiet times with Him seem more like a routine/check list. I am trying to learn that I don’t need to have everything together and be perfect. The only thing I can do is do my best and God will cover the rest. Thank you for the encourgement and reminder!

  5. Thank you sooooooo much for this.. I feel like I’m falling apart but I don’t have time to fall apart… Reading this from beginning to end felt so real it was like you were literally reading my heart. I’m so thankful and grateful for everything God has given me. It’s so hard to complain but I’m so tired and I don’t have anyone to help me. So I’m going to try the things you suggested but reading this really helped me so thank you!

    • I am praying for you! I love how real God’s Word is, and how much the struggles of Elijah mirror our own struggles. God is so good to us! I am praying that God will give you peace and strength during this time in your life.

    • Have you asked Him, Jennifer? Have you brought your exhaustion, your discouragement, your pain to Him? I am praying for you. May God be with you and you bless you.

  6. I have a three yr old and a one year old. Obviously I’m overwhelmed if I searched for this on Pinterest Lol. They are driving me nuts. I’m at SaHM, My husbands work schedule is crazy works at night and sleeps during the day. Just to wake up and get ready for work again. So he can’t help as much. Maternal grandparent work full time and paternal grandparents are busy raising their grandchildren so not much support from family members. Lately my 3 year old has had enough tantrums that I can’t stand the sight of him. It sounds horrible, I know! I love my kids, but I never thought adding a second child would be the challenge it is. When it was just my 3 year old, I had so much patience (he was also not 3 yrs old at the time lol). But the moment my 2nd child was born she flipped our world inside out not only because we were happy she was here but also because she cried 80% of the time due to colic. Little by little I felt that I was loosing myself and falling into a funk. Then because of the crying I started becoming more impatient with my older son, which the guilt at night was horrible! So here I am trying to find a way out of this “funk” because I want to go back to that happy mom and person I once used to be. I know I’m not alone in this journey and I know I’m not the only one…probably commenting on this blog because The truth is that saying this out loud or to friends sounds harsh and not many would quite understand the feeling. I’m exhausted, overwhelmed, and a little lost….any comforting words???

    • I am praying for you! I appreciate your honesty and I wish I could talk to you over a cup of tea or coffee! There are seasons in motherhood, and you are going through a very difficult one right now. Sometimes God brings us to the place of truly understanding that we CANNOT do it ourselves and that there is NO GOOD within ourselves – so that we turn to Him and surrender our lives to Him. Do you know Jesus Christ as your Savior? Do you know how much God loves you? I am praying for you, that you would come to know God if you do not already, and that God would place people in your life who can minister to you during this difficult season. May God be with you!

    • Dear Unknown,
      It gets better, ‘this too shall pass.’
      I have 4 girls in my house from 12-18 with one about to leave the nest so I can relate. The 18 year old NEVER slept through the night until she was 6, medical issues. The 18 year old and 16 year old were 20 months apart and life was crazy then. Some tips:
      Pray, even cry, yell and pitch fits to God, he gets it and He loves YOU!
      Find every moment you can to spoil yourself. Ice cream helps.
      Get out of the house. Walk it off, listen to some music, fresh air is good for you and cranky kids.
      As hard as this is even for me now, say and know: I’m doing my very best and that’s all I can ask of myself.
      Exercise with your kids to music and shake it off, the stress that is, and they love to move their bodies and dance.
      Join a church, take advantage of children’s church, and some peace and quiet. Our church a couple of times a year has a date night and babysit for free for seveal hours. And you’ll fellowship with other moms that are your sisters in Christ. There are moms with older kids like me that would be glad to give you a break for a night, for free.
      Don’t isolate yourself, there is safety and sanity in numbers.
      What you do is the most important but hardest job on Earth and one day as I am experiencing, you’ll be wishing it wasn’t over.
      God bless you!

  7. I really needed this today, thank you, unfortunately my husband is a terrible father and not helpful, I definitely need a friend!

  8. Im so confused. I have a 2 year old daughter and have not woked for the last 4 years. I am so blessed to have the opportunity to stay home home with her, but about 4 months ago I started feeling empty, anxious and somewhat depressed. At first I thought that it was because I was overwhelmed with house chores, but now as I see everyone( my sister and her family are temporarly living with us) come and go from work, i feel like Im missing that. I talked to nobody during the day, I get up to the same thing everyday. I feel like I have no purpose. I have not felt like this before my daughter because I have always worked. Now Im confused. Should I go back to work? Will this pass? Or will I feel guilty of finding a job and leaving my baby? Please help. I really have nobody to share these feelings with. I hardly have any friends and my sister is too busy with her own family.

    • Alisa, I am praying for you! I cannot advise you on what to do. I will say, though, that you will always feel empty if you find your sole identity in being a “mom”, and you will also feel equally empty if you try to find your identity working. Ultimately, it is only through finding our identity as daughters of God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our sins that we can find true peace and purpose. I am praying that God will bring friends into your life that will help point you to Him and encourage you. I would also strongly encourage you to seek Him through Bible reading and prayer and to look for a Bible preaching church in your area. May God bless you!

  9. I’m laying here wide awake at 2 am, after a horrible night with my son. Running all over church, completely disrespecting me. Not listening. I was notified and embarrassed. My girls both struggling in school and one I will take to the psychiatrist tomorrow! Yes, I’m a great mom, that sarcastic voice in my head screams! I cried all the way home from church! What a failure I am! Why bother! I stink at this parenting thing! Obviously! No other kids act like mine. It must be me! I give up! Can’t I just run away from it all?! And then this passage pops up! Thank you! I know God is listening, now it’s my turn!

    • Niki, I know that God does hear you and me. I am so thankful that He is with us through these trials! I am praying for you. May God be with you and with your family. May He comfort you and show you the path in which He would have you to walk. May He give you the courage to keep going each day when you are tempted to give up.

  10. This is a post I just keep coming back to! Thank you for taking the time to flesh out these thoughts and share them. I think what speaks to me most is that even when I want to give up, God never gives up on me. That is the motivation that pushes me through all those tough motherhood moments

  11. When I married the father of my children , I couldn’t wait to have children. I wanted to be the best mommy God created me to be.. Do to healthy resons I was told I couldn’t bare children.. I begged God to have mercy on us and make it possible. Five years later I was pregnant with my first child and God made it possible for me to stay home and raise my babies, six years later I had my second. God Blessed us with 3 beautiful daughters! (we lost Emily when I was seven months pregnant) We unfortunatly divorced after 16 years of marriage and I had cosidty.. My oldest later went to college and was there for 1 semester then moved back but chose to live with their dad and step mom. I was hurt and in disbelief..(she later told me her dad had told her , if she moved back with me I would have her dropping and picking up her sister from school. Which was not true. I loved taking sister to school because we would pray on the way there and talk about dinner etc… And I loved picking her up from school because she would tell me about her day and all the 7th grade drama.) My youngest later wanted to move to her dads because her sister lived there, which is 5 minutes from where I live. My 13 yr old daughter suggested we do a 6 month trial so I would continue to receive child support. Seriously … (A 13 year old would not have a clue about a trial period that includes child support, that idea came from her dad… ) I wanted to die when she mentioned living with him. The thought of her not living with me was devastating. I remember driving with my rear view mirror down looking at them while on their car seats.., I didn’t want to miss a thing.. And I still don’t… I love being a mommy to my girls, they are my babies. She’s lived with him for 1 month now and I’m depressed, lonely and I just want God to take me home… I’m still the faithfull person I was many years ago and I believe in miracle because he blessed me with 3. God Bless ❤️

    • Laura,
      My heart is breaking for you as I read your post. It must be so hard for everyone but especially for a mama.Remember how long the father waited for the prodigal son, everyday sitting, waiting and watching? As soon as he finally saw him, he RAN to meet him. (Luke 15:11-32) I’m sure you’ll be that way for your daughters. I’m praying that this wish for moving in with her dad is just a , “grass is greener on the other side” moment that will pass. Keep your head up and keep following God.

  12. Thank you so much for this! I am a mother of 5, and we have ball practice, dance class, cross country….just so busy all the time. I feel like I never stop. It has gotten so overwhelming lately. This brought a new perspective! Thank you!

  13. Thank you so much! I have four kids who all have autism. This was just not the way I saw my life headed. I am so busy with them I never take any time to take care of myself. I have been neglecting my walk with God in the process. This has really helped me see what needs to be done. Thank you.

  14. This was exactly what I needed today! I was looking for organization printables and honestly just read the first sentence and just felt like you were speaking to my soul! Thank you! I feel truly blessed for finding this today <3

  15. I can’t wait to start doing these things in my life. This was just what I needed and was a blessing to me. Thank you

  16. Thank you for this! I am all of these things on an almost daily basis. I’m a single mom of two; one of whom is a special needs child. Due to his issues, I’ve homeschooled them all their lives. That means there’s never enough money. There is one family member who has offered support; the others have expressed their distaste for my choices. I am in doctors’ offices at least once a week, but sometimes up to three times. There is no personal life. I am definitely overwhelmed and exhausted; and needed to read this.

    • I am praying for you, and for your children. May God bless you and keep you and bring you the Christian friendships that you need – people who are willing to reach out and help. I will be praying for that, especially.

    • I will be praying for you. I have four kids with special needs myself. I cannot imagine doing it alone. I will pray for peace and strength for you.

  17. Hello!

    I am a mom of three. Boy (8), Boy (6), and Girl (18mo). 4 & 1/2 years ago, my husband at the age of 32 was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure due to a virus. October 2014, only a month after our daughter was born, my husband required a heart transplant and was fighting for his life in ICU. A heart didn’t come in time. He had to have a Left Ventricle Device implanted to survive without the left side of his heart functioning. April 2015, he received his new heart. When coming out of sedation, the nurses found that he had had a stroke. We learned that it was a large sized stroke that caused brain damage. My husband had to relearn to swallow, walk, talk, and use his right hand. November 2015, I received a call at work saying that my husband was convulsing, had stopped breathing, and was unresponsive for several minutes. He now deals with seizures due to a scar on his brain from the stroke.

    This whole long story to say: I take care of three young children and my husband. I am now the provider for our family. I am completely overwhelmed, stressed, exhausted, but cannot drop anything because my family depends on me. We do not live near family because my hometown does not have my profession.

    Thank you for this article. Greatly needed.

  18. Is is just me, or does everyone need to highlight the words to see the entire article? This is beautiful, by the way. Thank you for sharing this sweet experience in God’s word. This Mom of seven really needed it!

  19. This is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing! I do find my days go a lot better when I start out in God’s word. It is so easy to get overwhelmed and then the whole family suffers. Moms need breaks as well to regroup and refuel. We can’t be what our family need us to be if we are not taking care of ourselves! Thank you so much for your words. So inspiring!

  20. U can’t imagine how much I struggle during weekends cos I work. Dr always seems too much to do & I always make d mistake of thnkn I can actually do it all. Ds article has however opened my eyes. Thank U so much.

  21. thanks a lot for this message..very encouraging and helpful to a mom like me..hope you continue yo serve God through this..God bless..

  22. Thank you for this message! I struggle daily with trying to be the Super-Mom and blame myself when it all falls apart. I have recently started just having a moment of sitting and talking to God with no intteruptions. It really is a great way to start or end the day! Thanks for letting me see I’m not alone with these feelings.

  23. I so needed this. It’s so comforting to know that I’m not alone in these struggles and so amazing to see that God is the answer. Thank you so much for this post!!

  24. that is the most encouraging thing I have read in a long time. I have 5 kids, a yours, mine and ours story. long story short we are childhood sweethearts… planned to marry and didn’t, found each other after failed marriages (each with two boys). got married and have a 1 year old daughter. I am a christian, he is not. the woman he married before me is the reason we broke up and she should never have had children – narcissist, abusive and ruining those poor boys – our life is high stress often. he works out of town half the week so I am alone alone with my 3 kids, when he comes home my boys leave and his show up. they are hard kids, disrespectful and defiant (understandably so but still hard). the situation has driven me closer to God and on my face at the altar more than ever. so the good side is that I have deeper relationship with my God than ever before in my life which I am thankful for…. but the difficulty of protecting the ones who need that along with nurturing and disciplining (the right way) those who need it is a hard balance to find…… I am a stay at home mom, full time artist and largely sleep deprived, lacking the amount of water I need in a day, not so much on the healthy meal track. the only thing I can say I am doing well is taking time to walk on our trail a couple miles and my cardio boxing class (1x a week)… needless to say I am a lonely, stress ball of not-so-super-mom-ness. this was by far the most encouraging to me in weeks and good read. I committed to read my bible through this year and although my reading time is broken up in bits throughout the day between school pick-ups, naps and cooking/reading has been well worth the commitment as I can feel the Lord working in every area of my home little by little just since I have decided to stay in his word…. so thank you for putting this out there for moms like me to see 🙂 it is nice to know that its not just me and I feel better than I normally do after being awake all night with a raging headache and crying baby… LOL

  25. I have to say .. Today has been one of the hardest days of my “mommy” life. I feel exactly the way that is described in this and am lacking all of those solutions. It is hard to convince yourself of something but I am trying hard. And this story helped me to look at things differently.

  26. This doesn’t just happen when the kids are young. As they get older, their decisions have deeper, long-term consequences. Super-mom expectations can happen at any stage on the parenting road. After 2o years, I have to say it’s hard to deal with the parenting results when kids are adults making poor life choices and become entrapped in the habitual lies they tell themselves.

    We all need to rest on God’s unchanging grace, always reminding ourselves our goal isn’t to be perfect; our goal is to follow Him. No matter where that leads, because sometimes, “the only way out is through”. Our walks through dark valleys glorify our Father, because we do not walk those roads alone… we walk in the footsteps of Jesus who glorifies the Father in us.

    • What a great reminder, Shannon! It reminds me of Psalm 23 – “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me;” May God bless you!

  27. I needed to read this. I am a SAHM to a one year old with very high needs (thus why I stay home to make sure he’s getting what he needs) and some days are so overwhelming. I decided to work on my master’s degree while staying home (I have an education degree) and can never seem to get anything accomplished during the day, so I end up staying up late at night to do the work. It’s exhausting, especially since the little one doesn’t sleep all night. We also have an older son and I find trying to spend time with him is becoming more and more difficult. Thank you for this post. I just needed to read that.

  28. Thank you so much . This was greatly needed in my life , especially today . I am disabled with 3 kids and a disabled husband . I also take care of my husbands great aunt , help with my grandmother with dementia and do what I can to help my mom who has recently broken her ankle in three places . It is reassuring that I can see a little glimmer of hope out there .

  29. I believe the Devil is always trying to steal our joy, I feel run down everyday raising four kids and this life is not how I pictured motherhood at all. I beat myself up about all the things Im doing wrong on a daily basis, and when I try to lift myself back up I remind myself of all the things I did wrong in the situations I was faced with that day and then beat myself up all over again. I am grateful for my Christian friends who lift me up and aren’t afraid to share their failures with me. We are all trying to do the best we can and need to lift each other up. I need to be stronger in my daily prayer as that is why God has given us this gift of communication with him, we are not suppose to carry this load alone and need to remember he is there when we need to fall to our knees and ask for help.

    • You are right, Angie, we cannot carry this load alone! I am so thankful that we serve a God Who can carry it for us, Who loves to hear our prayers, and Who never gives up on us no matter how many times we fail. May God bless you and your family.

    • Angie I totally agree with you, I think one of the ways Satan gets to us is by making mothers feel guilty that they can’t live up to the expectations of what they think should be the perfect mom. He gets to us through social media like FB, Pinterest, and many other sites where we see what the other moms are posting, fabulous vacations, family pictures doing activities together that we cannot afford, moms that are always volunteering at every school activity. Of course no one is going to post pictures of their messy house or laundry piles or the unhealthy Happy Meal your feeding your kids for dinner because your so exhausted you don’t have the energy to cook.The neighbors kids all play a musical instrument and a sport or dance and you are struggling to just keep your kids caught up in school. That’s when he sneaks in your head and you start telling yourself that your not as good of a mom as so and so and they always have their kids looking perfect every time you see them and they always look perfect and their house is always clean. So here comes the thoughts of “I’m failing as a mom, which means I’m failing as a wife and I’m failing as a housekeeper, I can’t make theose fabulous meals on Pinterest. So now you feel like a failure which leads to depression and low self esteem and pretty soon you’ve stopped your daily scripture study and before you know it you have lost your spark. Don’t let the Devil steal the most precious gift God has given us, the gift of Motherhood! I have learned through my struggles that we are the best mom’s for our kids and they don’t see all these distractions that make us feel inferior to another, they see us as Supermom and all they want is our love and time and to feel like they are a valued member of your family, not anyone else’s. If we keep Christ as the center of our life and family, the exhaustion, lack of sleep, tears and locking ourselves in the bathroom to catch our breath, Christ will be with us and when that all passes we will be stronger and ready to learn and grow for our next adventure that Heavenly Father has planned for us:)

  30. My children are grown, but Iive been looking after my elderly mother and Mother-in-law, both in a nursing home. I have felt this way so many times. Thanks for this reminder!

  31. Reading this was a breath of fresh air! I am a mom of two and a full-time nursing student and the feelings of “having enough” have came up on several hundred occassions in the past 1.5 years. I must remind myself that this journey God put me on is not about me, it’s not about trying to pass nursing school.. it’s about Him and that I can get thru this very trying season of my life by placing my trust in Him. We all know how important it is to get adequate sleep and proper nutrition yet we just don’t make it a priority and then complain about the consequences.. I know what I need to do and that is put God first and everything else will fall into place!

    • Nicole, I know how hard it is to get through nursing school (I am an RN), and I know how hard it is to be a mother to little ones. I CANNOT imagine doing them both at the same time! May God bless you and see you through this challenging time.

  32. Thank you for this I needed it, I’ve had a rough couple of days and I was starting to slip ! These words of encouragement is exactly what God wanted me to read to re-establish my Faith in Him !!!! Thank you Jesus for being my Lord and Savoir and God bless you for blessing me with these words of wisdom !

  33. Bless you!!!! Thank u soooo much for this, I don’t realy have the time to type much right now, im a single mom having no sleep, stressed over so much thst needs done, not enough to catch up on, and having a special child, my sweet angel has down syndrome and had severe bilateral club feet, still having issues at times and currentlt, some health issues with her that seems to be Neverending g since october, almost nearly lost her to a serious illness in December, she desperately now needs cpap when sleeping waiting on insurance and doctors offices to approve, having a baby cutting 13 teeth or more all at once while sleep well its is just not happening not yet anyways, no breaks, no rest not even time to nap, let alone eating, well let’s just say your right on the money with that one haha, lucky to eat once a day. And even tho its been 16 months since I had an emergency c section with my little man that was 5 weeks early, I stil most definitely look pregnant. However constantly on the go, you would think I was skinny as a post but I’m not. Friends???? Well safe to say that they all have dissappeared and that alone is very dissapointing. GOD HAS A PLAN THAT I KNOW BUT I DON’T KNOW HOW I WILL EVER BE WHAT HE HAS PLANNED FOR ME… STRESSED, TIRED, EXHAUSTED IS ALL QUITE JUST AN UNDERSTATEMENT CURRENTLY… I’M PHYSICALY EMOTIONALLY AND MENTALLY JUST DRAINED OUT….

    • I cannot imagine what you are going through, Debbie, but I know that God is strong enough to get you through. I am praying for you. May God bless you and your family. May He watch over you and protect you and keep you when you are at your wit’s end.

  34. Amen! no matter the struggles in our life. We serve an almighty Lord. Once we surrender ourselves to him and fight the right way through prayer. The battles get easier to face. Turning myself over to the Lord has changed my life. I’m no longer walking with my own 2 feet. His feet walk alive in mine!!!! With that being said. He is a jealous God and you have to give all of yourself to him. I mean ALL!!! You can no longer live in the flesh. He wants to glorify in all things. Worship and praise him daily and always ask for forgiveness for your sins. We were born to be sinners not born to sin. Jesus was the only perfect man. Who was beaten to dead to hang on the cross to die for our sins. Past, present and future. Then he rose on the 3 day to live inside us. Saved by grace, walk by faith. Thanks for the encouraging words.

  35. I was having these exact same feelings today! I just happened to scroll across this. Gods perfect timing! Thank you for sharing!!

  36. Thanks so much for this. I’m a single mom trying to raise two kids up right and sometimes I just feel like hiding in my closet. To try and keep a household going, make money, and do all the mommy stuff is overwhelming but reading this put things into perspective a bit.

  37. Thank you for this. I truly needed this. I’m a single mom, so rest for me definitely hasn’t been an option. I’m also an elementary art teacher. I have not stopped working, working through school, and working as a teacher since the day I found out I was pregnant. The short 3 months I was home with my baby, I spent working on papers and finishing up grad school to be a teacher. He is 4 now. My mom and I gab been caretakers for both my grandparents. We lost both of them within a year. I am tired, cranky, overwhelmed, exhausted. I’m cranky to my sweet lil boy when I don’t mean to be. I always saw myself being the fun, nurturing mom before I became a mom. I mean I thought I’d do it differently than now. I’m disappointed in myself and constantly feel like I’m letting him down. I haven’t had a full nights Rest in almost 5 years now, since I was pregnant. I truly needed this article today and reminder of how far God has brought me. Thank you so much for this.

  38. Hi thank you so much for this, its so good to know i am not the only mom feeling like this! My husband is in a long term rehabilitation program and I am left to care for our two boys (1 & 4 years old). I am so overwhelmed most of the time I cry myself to sleep at night out of pure exhaustion! Thinking I should be handling this better like all the single mommies out there! This made me realize its okay to admit i am only human & as one person i can only do so much! Definitely going to make a effort to spend more time on myself from now on

  39. It’s as if you have an arial view of my life. My husband is gone for a year overseas after only being home for five months from the last deployment, we have three girls (9, 2.5, 9months) and our middle girl has a slew of health problems stemming from her also having Down syndrome. We are only ten weeks into our year apart and honestly, five out of seven days a week I cry myself to sleep out of sheer exhaustion and from being so dang overwhelmed. It is officially time to retire the supermom cape, quit trying to brave-face this so much, and just let some stuff go. This blog post has hit every single nail on the head for me personally. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    • Ashley, you have so much on your plate! I will be praying for you. May God bless you and give you strength to hold on to Him during this difficult time. God is so good and He will see you through.

  40. Thank you for this inspiration, God is great!!! I am a first time Mommy of a 4month old and Daddy left us almost 2months ago for another Mommy and her son. After we built on all our hopes and dreams and then decided to get married and have a child… I am still devestated that this is happening to my son and I, i cry every day from loneliness and I am already so exhausted working 40hrs a week and raising my boy alone. But! I have the utmost faith for my God that He has a better plan for us and that I will rise above our situation that caught me so unexpectedly. Thank you, this helps and inspires me like…. Wowwww.. what a journey to look forward to knowing that He is by our side!

    • You have an amazing testimony, Nanieve, as you praise God inspite of difficult circumstances. May God bless you and your son. May God remind you each and every day of His perfect love.

  41. Thank you so much for this. As a mother of 5, who also works 30+ hours per week, I get overwhelmed frequently with the separate demands of each child and my job and, sometimes, just want to lock myself in my bedroom and cry. I know I must push through my frustrations for them and look to God for the strength I need to do it.

    • Whether we are locking ourselves in the bathroom or running to the wilderness to sit under a Juniper tree, God is right there with us, waiting for us to acknowledge our dependence on Him. May God grant you the strength you need, Kristi!

  42. I have four children under 8. I was just thinking all of this – I am exhausted, depressed and overwhelmed. I am in grad school and attempting to sleep train a toddler. I have had it. I am so done. Thank you for the encouragement.

  43. My 17 yr old daughter just sent this to me. I am a full time divorced mom of a 17 yr old girl and 15 yr old boy(raising them alone most of their lives) I work 50+ hrs a week for the last 14 yrs. My kids both suffer from PTSD. On 12/10 at 9:55 pm my daughter called me at work to tell me goodbye and say that she loved me and her brother. Not to let him or myself think that we caused her to do what she was doing. I asked her to explain. She said that every time she tried to put the bottle of pills to her mouth she heard someone tell her to stop and call me. I know God saved my daughter. He made her call me. I rushed home and held her like she was a baby for the rest of the night. The next day she was committed and put under suicide watch. That was the worst week of our small family’s life! But God guided us through it. I don’t know every word in the bible, but I know in my heart that God is watching over us! And shows his love to us with every breathe we breath. I lost my mommy cape. The house is no longer spotless. There are other things that I need to do, like watching a movie with my kids or having a family game day with my entire family. God gave us the ability to heal our petty quabbles. And I will continue to praise him with my entire being, heart and soul😍

  44. I have been here for a long time… my oldest is 13… I was crying out to God this morning for help and relief, feeling guilty over everything I seem to not be able to do right, and I saw the title of this article on a friend’s page and thought, “Oh gees, not another info-mercial on how to ‘rest in God’… I just can’t take this right now. I need something concrete, PLEASE.” and I didn’t bother with it. Spent time with God, received some encouragement… fast forward seven hours, and here I am reading this, and I should have read it this morning, lol. It is right-on and common sense. And fills in the gaps from this morning. 😉 Thank you for sharing, sweet sister. This was a treasure today. <3

    • I am so glad that it was an encouragement to you, Melanie. This story of how God dealt with Elijah has been such a huge encouragement to me. Far too often, we Christians are busy giving each other “platitudes”, but God doesn’t do that. He truly understands what is in our hearts. May God bless you!

  45. Wow. So refreshing! I’m exhausted from hearing “You are lonely because God wants you to rely on Him.” Making God a priority is a daily goal but I hate the guilt for feeling like He isn’t enough. I know it is my weakness, I’m in prayer about my desire for a mom-friend. When well-meaning ladies tell me my loneliness is some kind of painful spiritual lesson, it’s just one more defeat. I don’t want to minimize the lesson. Even Jesus took time to be alone, but it’s nice to know it’s not a forever kinda of place to live 🙂

    • Oh, Lauren, my heart goes out to you! I think that God absolutely wants us to walk in community with other Christians and to have strong, true friendships. I will be praying for you that God would bring some special friends into your life. May God bless you!

      • Hi Lauren,
        I’m in the same place–wanting to find some mom girl friends. I was recently introduced to MOPS. It’s an acronym for Mothers of Pre-Schoolers and it has been a great group to meet other moms who are also “in the trenches.” I would encourage you to look to see if there is a MOPS group in your area. There are chapters all over the country. Mine meets at a local church, but you don’t have to be a member to attend.

  46. What a beautiful and uplifting story! My daughter is going through a tough time, raising a 3 year old and being pregnant with child #2. She is always tired from working all day, sick most of the time, and I pray for her constantly! Thank God that He sent her the best husband anyone could hope for. I hope she takes the time to read this story, as I know, she will greatly benefit from it! Thank you!

  47. So often. Not enough sleep, and eating. Also, the part of spending time with God had taken a side burned in my life the last 5years until recently. God never stopped pursuing me.

  48. I have lived the Elijah story. I am the mother of six homeschooling children and seek to serve Him in ministry. What you have written is so true. Our Father God is so faithful to keep us. This article has been shared many times since I posted it yesterday. Thank you.

  49. Such a great read! Sometimes I am just so completely overwhelmed with “mommy” responsibilities and I just snap and then everyone is upset; not my goal but it happens. Lord just give me the strength to be a good and loving mother and may the rest just fall into place.

    • We ALL fall into that temptation and snap. You are completely right, Gretchen, only God can us us the strength to be good and loving mothers. Thank you for that reminder and encouragement. May God bless you and your family.

  50. Thank you so much for writing this! The last few months have been incredibly difficult ones for me as a mom. My baby girl, number 2, just turned six months old. My husband took a job that had him away from home for a month, and then here around the clock for two months, and is now gone again for at least three weeks. My daughter is not sleeping through the night, and when she does sleep more than six hours, my son (almost 3) wakes up. I have been frustrated and discouraged because I can’t seem to even keep my house clean, much less do anything else with my life. Thank you for the reminder that I don’t need to be super-mom, I just need to be who God wants me to be, where I am.

    • Shayna, isn’t it a relief to know that God understands our limitations and doesn’t expect us to be super-moms? May God bless you and give you the rest and peace that only He can give. My husband has also had to travel a lot for work, so I know how difficult that can be. Hang in there!

  51. This was a great and encouraging message! I would like to read this story in the bible. Where could I find it? Thanks!

  52. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! It is wonderful to know I’m not alone. This ‘issue’ must be in the air, in seeing how many people are going through it at the moment! 😉
    My friend and I have talked about how hard it is being a mommy, even when you have great kids! Exhaustion is the top of the list, every day! Just figuring out when I’ll be able to rest next is exhausting! In the ‘dry times’, it’s somewhat hard to focus and remember who is in control…that no matter what comes our way, He will provide! But, that’s where friends (and perfectly timed articles!) come in to play! 😉Thank you again!! God bless…..

  53. Thank you, Anna! This was encouraging to me. I am often shocked at my arrogance in thinking that I can overcome my own overwhelming circumstances on my own – and I usually fall flat on my face when I try. I desperately need to be spending time with God – and unfortunately that is the first thing to go. So thankful for His patience with me.

    • God is so patient with us in our weakness, reminding us over and over again of our dependence on Him. I am so thankful to be able to serve such a gracious and compassionate God! Thank you for your comments, Kris. May God bless you and your family.

  54. Beautifully written article and analogy. I remember the feelings of being completely overwhelmed when my four children were young, living in a neighborhood where the women were less that supportive and more competitive. It was difficult. I now find myself navigating one young adult daughter, two teenage daughters and a younger son, and I feel close to the same, with the exception of their ability to drive themselves. (whew) I think the principles you mentioned apply to many situations when we feel anxious or in need of regeneration, so I’m planning on starting with number one, sleep and moving down the list. 🙂

    • Isn’t it comforting to know that even God’s prophet Elijah had the same feelings and needs that we have? I love how graciously God dealt with Elijah’s weakness. Thank you for your comments, Jen. May God bless you and your family!

  55. You have ministered to me today in ways I cannot begin to explain. My children are not babies anymore. My oldest is 25, then 23, 21, 20, 17, 13. But believe me the stresses of parenting young adults can leave you exhausted, overwhelmed and lonely. Thank you for this wisdom.

  56. Thank you, I needed to read this. I have been struggling with my faith and my role as wife and mother. I feel nothing I do is ever good enough or I’m not doing enough. I have strayed away from God and the church. I am trying but Satan has a pretty tight grip and pulling down further in the rabbit hole. I’ve have got to set aside some time for me to just be and study the word of God. Please pray for me.

    • Fenesha, I am praying for you. My heart goes out to you, as I often face this same struggle of feeling like I am not enough. The truth is that you and I are both NOT enough. Only God can ever be enough and He is EVERYTHING! Cling to Him and to His strength. He can get you through. May God bless you and keep you in the palm of His hand (John 10:27-30, Romans 8:37-39)

  57. This is really encouraging to me… I am a mother of four… suddenly. Until the New Year, I was a mother of one four year old boy and working in the Navy, stationed overseas for the last few years. Since January, we have moved to the US, I have become a stay at home mom, my husband has begun working outside the house, we have a newborn, adopted two special needs toddlers, and bought a house. I am definitely overwhelmed and exhausted. I am glad you posted this.

    • Cassie, you have had so many stressful (and good!) life changes lately – No wonder you are overwhelmed and exhausted! I am praying that God would strengthen you for the beautiful but tiring work of motherhood that He has called you to. May God bless you and your family.

  58. Oh Anna, I’m almost crying reading this. My little daughter was always the sweetest and most easygoing child I knew. But know, as she’s growing, she started to walk and wants to explore all the not-allowed areas of the home, gets in all kind of trouble, and has her opinion on eating the lunch or going to bed…And I found myself shouting at her! This sounds probably ridiculous, but I was shocked more then she was. How could I lost my patience with this little blessing, answer to 3 years of prayer?? And yes, the reason was exhaustion. Lack of sleep, too much coffee and sugar, very little quiet time, zero exercise.
    Thank you for this post. It’s wonderful how the Bible has an answer for every question in our life.

  59. Have you been sneaking into my quiet times the last couple months?? This is just what I was struggling with and those were the things the Lord told me to make a priority 🙂 Thank you for the confirmation. I have been a little better since I have focused on these things and let some other things go–sleep is still lacking, but we had a bought of illness where the kids needed me at night.
    Anyway, I know the biggest thing I’ve been learning is yes, it’s not about me, I am only “dust” and need The Holy Spirit’s power every day. I knew how his power worked when I was a youth pastor and was speaking and teaching and prophesying, but to need Him in the ordinary tasks of homemaking and motherhood?? It was foreign to me! And I need to let go of the details… A lot of them God will take care of. There are so many details to consider throughout the day with kids that it can get so overwhelming. PB&J for lunch and a simple crockpot meals are sufficient… Matching socks can wait… Even brushing my daughter’s hair is something I don’t do every day anymore. ☺️ I’m going to go rest in His presence and put aside my to-dos for a few hours now. Thank you, Anna Joy

    • Simpler meals and mismatching socks have become my family’s norm, lately, too! I think that sometimes God brings us through these times of exhaustion and weakness to remind us that we can do nothing without His strength. We must completely rely on Him. We truly are only “dust”. May God bless you and your family, Ashley!

  60. How timely! I ran around all day yesterday trying to stay on top of things and was committed to an early bedtime for the kids so I could relax last night. They didn’t cooperate at bedtime and I acted selfishly. This morning, I realized I’m just flat exhausted. I’m taking a day of rest. 🙂 Thanks for the reminder that we can all get to that point.