The Long Defeat

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This past week, my husband was gone for a few days. The house didn’t burn down. I made zero trips to the ER. I never had to call poison control.

And I lived to tell about it.

And I am glad he’s home.

As I went to bed the night before his return, however, I contemplated my behavior as a mom. I blew it in so many ways. Impatience, crabbiness, hurriedness. And recounting them to God before bed was a stunning reminder of my inadequacies. Why can’t I just control myself better?!

This morning as I listened to Sara Groves’ song, The Long Defeat, on the Tell Me What You Know album, I was reminded about this journey as a MOM and the difficulties involved. When I saw Sara Groves in concert last winter, she described this song as being one in which we are inspired toward doing something difficult, knowing that we could fail, but trusting God in it — regardless. Is that the MOM life, or what?

Here are the lyrics:

i have joined the long defeat
that falling set in motion
and all my strength and energy
are raindrops in the ocean

so conditioned for the win
to share in victor’s stories
but in the place of ambition’s din
i have heard of other glories

and i pray for an idea
and a way i cannot see
it’s too heavy to carry
and impossible to leave

i can’t just fight when i think i’ll win
that’s the end of all belief
and nothing has provoked it more
than a possible defeat


we walk a while we sit and rest
we lay it on the altar
i won’t pretend to know what’s next
but what i have i’ve offered

and i pray for a vision
and a way i cannot see
it’s too heavy to carry
and impossible to leave

and i pray for inspiration
and a way i cannot see
it’s too heavy to carry
and impossible to leave
it’s too heavy to carry
and i will never leave

So, today I pray for a vision and inspiration and a way that I cannot see. Motherhood is too heavy to carry — on my own. I may fail to be the perfect mother I think I should be. “Victory” may not look the way I expect it to. But it’s a challenge I never want to leave, though I may fall many times.

And the beauty of it all is that God is faithful to lead me and not to leave me. What a joy to behold and what encouragement to carry on, despite my inadequacies!

He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms;
he will carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead those that are with young.

Isaiah 40:11

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  1. Jessica,
    Loved your blog comments today. being a Mom is not an easy job but it sure keeps us on our knees!
    I Loved your comments to BooMama on modesty so I followed you back to your Blog!
    My good find!!
    Bless you,

  2. Hi Pat,

    Thanks for your encouragement and for stopping by. Hope you’ll come back soon.

  3. It’s so easy to sell ourselves short as a mom, coworker, friend, brother or sister. I am always looking to improve myself. I have found that I can easily find my mistakes and dwell on them. I am sure if you reviewed your week without your husband, you could easily come up with a list equal to or greater than your failures. Thanks for sharing; it is nice to know there are others who focus on being the best parent he/she can be.

  4. Tis a true ordeal, not being the mother we think we should be, yelling or losing patience, not being in the moment. It is good to know we are not alone and we can hit the restart button and try again. I have adopted my children at home from the foster system and they come with a lot of issues and behaviors my first kids did not, or at least not at this level. I pray all the time for strength, wisdom and patience. Thanks