Good Job, Mama

Pregnant Mama with little boy

I watched my kids weave through the pumpkins, enjoying the sun on my face and the brisk autumn air. From the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of a mama, belly ready to burst, buying pumpkins with her little one. He was near 3 years old and a cute little button of energy. I observed as she maneuvered around pumpkins with her pumpkin-sized belly, hand holding her sweet, lively boy.

He asked for something, she told him no, and two seconds later he was on the ground flailing in the dirt, letting her know *exactly* what he thought.

I saw the exasperated look in her face, the desperation, the exhaustion, the overwhelmed feelings sweep over her. 

And, quick as that, the Lord whispered to me, “Joy, go over there and put your hand on her shoulder. Whisper to her, tell her she is a great mom, encourage her heart right now.

My immediate response came just a fast, “Lord, she and everyone else here will think I’m nuts! This is America! You don’t just walk over to someone stranger and put your hand on their shoulder!”

He urged me gently again, “She needs your encouragement right now. Go ahead and put your hand on her shoulder and tell her she’s a great mom.

So I did. I swallowed my embarrassment and my pride and walked over. Face hot and palms sweaty, I put my hand on the dear mama’s shoulder. I quietly whispered, “You are doing such a great job. Hang in there, mama. We have all been there. You are doing a great job.”

She looked up at me, startled, and then grateful. She offered a tear-filled, “Thank you“, and we shared some tears and a smile and the knowing bond of motherhood.

No matter our differences, we all share those desperate mama moments when we need a hand on our shoulder telling us everything will be okay, don’t we?!

Who do you know that could use a hand on their shoulder, an encouraging word spoken, a smile? Are you like me, you don’t want to appear foolish, so you hold back? Here is my challenge…. just do it!!

Are you like the mama at the pumpkin patch? Do you need encouragement today?

Leave a comment and let us put our hand on your shoulder, pray for you, and bless you.

Now, let me whisper to you, “YOU are doing such a great job. Hang in there, mama. We have all been there. YOU are doing a great job. Good job, Mama.


Joy GraceFullMama


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  1. Amanda Burt says

    Wow, what a great post! It even brought me to tears at the end. But I realize, that that those wishes are not for me…….. I am NOT doing a great job. My sweet 6 yr old, isn’t so sweet right now. She is full of attitude and a recent batch of lying. And, sadly I feel it is my fault. I am too quick to lose my temper. As I sit here in the wee hours before my girls get up…..I am praying. Praying that with this new morning He will bring me the strength I need to do better. ……To earn that “Good Job” encouragement. Here’s to a new day.

    • mreeanne says

      I think those words of encouragement are especially for you! You have noticed some problem areas and are taking them to God. You are asking for Him to give you strength. You realize that you can’t do it on your own and are turning to the One who can and wants to help you. You are not perfect and God doesn’t expect you to be; He wants you to turn to Him and that is exactly what you are doing! You are doing a good job and God will help you do even better. You are in my prayers.

      I’m going through the same thing with my four year old. She can be so sweet, but she is a horrible liar and doesn’t listen to me or my husband. I also find myself being very short tempered and I hate being that way. So I understand where you are coming from. Keep trusting God and He will help us through this.

    • Sara says

      Dear Amanda,

      God made him, who never had lost his temper, who always had been a perfect parent, to BE your bad temper and failures, so that YOU could become the righteousness of God.

      In yourself you can’t do this mom thing, you fail, fall short of the righteousness God demands. But Jesus lived a life of being the perfect parent for you. When God looks at you, he sees a perfect mom, without tempers and failures, because of Jesus. And by his grace and his Spirit he wants to help you walk in this perfect identity that you already have.

      …At least that’s what God was teaching me yesterday, to apply the gospel to my mommying. I see how in general he has taken my sin and made me holy, but I still put myself down so much for not being supermom. I forget that my failures as a mom are also covered by his blood. I want to learn more about this, I think I don’t really understand the gospel even though I’ve been a Christian all my life. He sees us as perfect and holy, in all areas of our lives!

      Do not lose heart, Amanda! :)

  2. Samantha says

    I often want to encourage mums in that situation but have often been at a loss for what to say. Thanks for giving me the words – and the encouragement to step out of my comfort zone and just say something. I often try to encourage mums (even strangers) when I see them doing a great job of their parenting but it’s harder to know what to say when their little one is having a meltdown and you want to encourage them without giving advice. Hang in there and You are doing a great job are words which can go a long way to bless a mum’s heart. Thanks for sharing.

  3. says

    I have been talking about this with my brood…to never withhold an encouraging word or compliment. If it comes to us, most likely we are suppose to express it to add value to someone else. Thanks for this post!

    • Tiffany says

      Do not give up hun, I know how you feel. I want to give up almost every day. You are doing a great job and just hang in there!!!!! Praying for you today!!!!

    • sarah says

      Saying prayers for you today Lindsay! Don’t give up, you can do this, God is with you, He will help you through it!

  4. Gina says

    I have needed and received encouragement. I have a 20 year old daughter that I enjoyed every single second of mothering the good days and bad days. I enjoyed every moment of teaching and loving her. She has left our family, is making bad decisions in her life, won’t visit us or call us or her brothers and sisters. Our hearts are shattered.

    • Amanda says

      Hey Gina! I just wanted to say I’ll be praying for you!! Don’t give up on your baby-girl. God knows all and sees all, just remember He is taking care of her even if she isn’t where she needs to be. God is telling you to just keep praying and keep seeking HIS will. You will be okay, just hang in there.

      Dear Lord,
      I am coming to You now on behalf of Gina, Father look after her daughter and keep her safe. Bring her back to her family, Lord. Give her family strength and shelter in this storm.. In Jesus’ sweet name I pray… Amen..

      Keep up the good work, Mama!

  5. Dani says

    Thank you for this post! I’ve been having a hard time with my little ones and needed encouragement. Being a mama is such a rewarding and difficult job.

  6. Tiffany says

    I really needed this article today. I am going in my third year of homeschooling and feel totally lost. I have a 9 almost 10 year old daughter and a 3 year old little boy. My daughter has been going through some major drama filled moments for about 3 months now. I dont know what to do or even what I am doing half the time. I feel like I am failing her as a mother and a teacher. I dont want to put her back in public school due to I truly feel that this is what God wants for us, but I am so frustrated and lost at times. I needed to hear the words that I am a good mama and I am doing a good job. Thank you. I wish I had someone that would just know that I am having a rough time and walk over to put their hand on my shoulder!!!!! God Bless you and thank you again!!!!!

  7. Melissa says

    Thank you for such a timely and encouraging word! I really felt like it was the hand of Jesus using this to bring comfort. I have a 4 year old girl, 2 year old boy and am 20 weeks pregnant. I feel completely exhausted, frazzled and uncertain I am doing anything right. Last night my kids were running wild and playing and screaming. Suddenly my daughter screamed that they hate me :( It completely shattered my heart and crushed my spirit as I feel like I am living completely self sacrificially for them. She didn’t know what she was really saying as a second later she said that she loves me so much. But my pregnant emotions have shaken me to the core. There is either death or life in the power of the tongue. Thank you for this and encouraging that everything is going to be okay – sometimes us moms can be so hard on ourselves!

  8. says

    Thank you for sharing this! We all need a bit of encouragement on those hard days, and what a blessing it is when someone does something to encourage us. I pray that many more of us will be that kind of woman for other women.

  9. says

    that was beautiful and God knew just how much I needed this post today. I do worry how I am raising the kids and if I am leading them right or hindering them…. So thanks for this.

  10. says

    I’m terrified I’m screwing my kids up with this nomadic life we live. The last two months of immigration/visa issues, uncertainty, changes, living place to place, week to week while we wait. My fear manifests itself with shouts that come to easily, exasperated sighs that express annoyance rather than love to them. God, help me, I want them to know I’m on their side; on their team. I’m just so tired. Worn down.

  11. Jessica says

    Thanks you so much for sharing! You are such an encouragement, and I really appreciate your sweet spirit, your honesty and transparency.

    I would truly appreciate prayers, as the Lord leads… I feel weary, discouraged and inadequate as I try to care for my husband and eight children.

    • sarah says

      Jessica I am praying for you! I pray that you will feel encouraged and blessed today. You are adequate! God has placed so many little hearts in your care because you are the mother they need!

      • Jessica says

        Thank you so much, Sarah! I truly appreciate your prayers and encouragement. May God bless and encourage you today as well. =)

  12. Dayna says

    I’m a mother of a 7 year old and an almost 3 year old. I too have experienced the desperation some of you have commented about. My heart goes out to all of you. I think as mothers we all struggle because we want our children to act perfectly at times. We expect them to be more than they can be and forget they are children. I struggle with anxiety, and I often stress over moments that I should be capturing on camera. Like my daughter playing in the food coloring last night while we made cookies and turning her hands and face green. After rushing her to the bathroom and getting her in the bath, I had a late thought of “I should’ve laughed more at that and took a picture for later”. How often have I missed those moments! I find the less hateful and quick to yell, the more surprised my children are. I don’t want them to feel they are a disappointment to me because they are just being children. My prayers go out to all of us mothers who need a little encouragement each day.

  13. says

    Today while I was shopping with my two older kids , a little girl dropped her precious loly pop on the very dirty street….the little girl rushed to pick it up, So I quickly looked at the mom and got the approval to blow the dirt off ….happy 2 year old – i said sanity is more important , I understand, plus they say it strengthens the immune system, And she looked so thankful to meet someone who understands! Because only a mom who has been there understands.

  14. says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this, Joy! I am a brand new mom (my baby girl is 4 months old), and working part-time 5 days a week. I’m learning that it’s okay to have hard days, and it’s okay to feel like I’ll never feel rested ever again! Thanks so much for this encouragement today.

  15. sarah says

    My heart goes out to all of you today! I’ve had so many of the same desperate thoughts as so many of you. It’s so easy to feel discouraged. I just had baby number 4, and he’s been colicky and so difficult. I’m tired, often overwhelmed, but I know God is here. I think it’s supposed to be hard so that we see that we can’t do this on our own, but only with His help. When we feel empty we need to ask him to fill us back up, when we feel broken He is here to fix us, when we feel like we are not enough we need to realize that’so true we are not enough, but that we need Him to be enough! This has been so encouraging to me!

  16. Heather says

    I just read this post. I haven’t read any if the comments yet. This was beautiful and I just couldn’t hold back tears as I read. I can relate to the pumpkin-bellied mama in more ways than one — I am currently struggling, at 37 weeks, through my fourth pregnancy and have many difficult days with my other children at home as pregnancy has never been easy for me. So often, we young mamas feel judged by others, we assume we know what others are thinking of us as we are out in public with our children and, while we often rationally know that many of these thoughts must originate from the father of lies and/or our own insecurities, we could all benefit from being encouraged by other moms in the way described in this blog post. What a gift you gave this mother. I understand why you protested and hesitated to God’s prompting, but I know I would have been blessed beyond measure had I been the one you ministered to. Thank you for sharing.

  17. kathie says

    Wow! Thank you Jesus! I needed to read this.. right this minute. My heart is tired, I am exhausted after chasing a near 3 year old, who has severe food allergies, and a 1 year old all day; doing continual battle trying to return my 10 year old daughter home to live with us (she lives with her father) but feeling this is a losing battle (she goes hot then colder with me). Frustrated, because my husband is resentful and hurt over being laid off for the third time in 2 years. Sometimes, I cry out to God and beg Him to drop a friend in my lap with whom I could laugh and cry with. Life is frustrating and sometimes, we need that hand on our shoulder, letting us know that things wilk be OK.
    Thank you.

  18. says

    Thank you, Joy, this is inspiring! I praise God that you heeded his leading and encouraged that woman. You make me want to do more than share a sympathetic glance, but really reach out and encourage, not worrying about looking foolish. We have all be there (and will be sometime again soon)! :) Thanks for sharing this story.

  19. Melissa says

    A lady blessed me the other night as well. I had my six week old son with me at the laundry mat, as I started putting my finished laundry into bags, my son decided he had to nurse. I put my poncho on pulled him under and preceeded to fill bags one handed while feeding him. A lady from a nearby table (who had been in the process of folding her own laundry) came and held my bags while I loaded with my free hand.

    Praise God for the grace of strangers.

  20. Nici says

    Thank you for this wonderful post. I so appreciate the reminder to encourage others in the journey of motherhood. I would truly appreciate prayer for myself as a homeschooling mom. I just feel stretched and need to draw strength and vision from the Lord. Also for healing, I have a medical condition called PMDD (which is essentially a severe case of PMS for a week every month) that makes it really hard to be a good wife and parent. Thank you for your ministry!

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