A young mama that could

Do you remember the children’s book The Little Engine That Could? In my opinion, it shouldn’t be just a children’s book–it should be a book I read over and over again, because often I need all the encouragement I can get.

This last weekend we moved for the second time in under two months. Packing up all our family’s belongings and moving them twice in such a short time has given me time to ponder on what I am made of and how much I can endure.

young mama that could

Parker putting the boxes to good climbing use.

These moves were hard for me, in fact, this last couple months has pushed me to my limits, tested my stamina, and most of all, shown me how much I need God. I’ve been lonely for friends, missing my husband who works long days, and feeling trapped inside as the weather turned cold and I had no car, no outlet.

Then, one night, I couldn’t handle it anymore. We stayed out late to have some fun together as a family, but when we got home our boy was overtired, crying, and to top it off, threw up his medicine when I gave it to him. I lost it. Right there, right then, I lost it. My patience flew out the window and my usual calm voice was shattered with sharp tones.

I left the house and found somewhere quiet. I poured out my soul to God. All the stress, all the lonely days, had dried out my heart. I felt I had little to give, because I was running on empty. I pleaded with God to make me more than I was, more capable than I was, more patient than I was, more positive than I was, more reliant on Him.

He did. He made me more than I was.

I’m a little young mama that could. I could because God was pushing me up these hilly trials. I could because He strengthened me. I could because He healed my lonely heart and filled it with His love. I could because he gave me the faith to keep going and keep saying:

“I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…”- The little engine that could

Whatever it is we struggle with each day, we can do it through Him. We can be made more than we are. We can be the mamas that could.

How do you remember to turn to God for strength? How do you find encouragement to keep going when the days are hard? As always, I would love to hear your thoughts!

This post was included in the Transparent Tuesday Link up on Our Growing Roots.

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18 thoughts on “A young mama that could

  1. Oh, Marla, this post really resonates with me. As you know, I’m going through my 4th move in under a year (the last one thank you God!) and I too feel I am at my limit and actually have been for quite a while. But somehow, again, I’m doing all the millions of things that need done and still managing to wake up each morning and face another day. No one can tell me this is me doing all this. No way, no how. I have someone up there looking down on me and giving me those reserves that I didn’t have before. They see that I’m lonely and they surround me with good people that help me. I feel so alone and I get an e-mail from my mother worrying just about me in all this, not the move, not the house, just me and how I’m getting through things. Small steps but all there to make us Mamas that can…..(I won’t presume and use the term “young” like you did, cause I’m feeling every single one of my 47 years right now….) I’m glad you are through the worst of it but more importantly I’m really glad you know you’re not alone and that you can handle much more than you think simply because you are not alone.

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    • Torrie, your comment touched my heart so much. These moves have really brought us together. I had not idea that this was your 4th move in under a year! I cannot even begin to imagine what that would be like, 2 was about the death of me. But, you are absolutely right, we could not have done this without our God giving us the energy and the ability to. I think the loneliness and not feeling like I belong anywhere has been the hardest. Not many people want to make a friend that will leave in 1 month or 3 months time. And I have a hard time wanting to make a friend that I will leave. But, still, God has given me people to talk to, to lessen the loneliness. He has helped us get through more than we could by ourselves. If anything these moves have brought me closer to God and given me the opportunity to see how much He is so aware of me; It seems as thought it has done a similar thing to you.And that is a blessing. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and feelings, Torrie, it brought peace to my soul to read your thoughts. 🙂

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  2. Oh man! I’ve been there. At the end of my rope, losing it. You’ve moved twice?! Yikes! We just moved and I have never been so stressed out in my life! It’s great that you can turn to God and find his love and strength. I hope your week gets better my friend!! 😄

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    • Oh Tarynn, it is so nice to know I’m not the only one losing it! 🙂 And yes, we moved twice in just over a month. It was a whirlwind and so stressful! I don’t want to see more boxes for… a LONG time 😉 And yes, in a strange way I feel grateful that these moves helped me turn to God more, because I definitely couldn’t do it by myself. Thank you for sending happy thoughts!!

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  3. I remember the feeling well. We moved away from family and friends when my oldest daughter was just a year old. My husband took a job that kept him away for long hours and I spent a lot of long hours feeling lonely and, often, at my wits end with my little one. For me, those baby/toddler years were the hardest. But, like that old saying – ‘motherhood – the days are long but the years are fast’ – I’ve discovered that’s true. We’re all young mamas that can.

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    • Thank you, yet again, for making me feel so understood! I so relate to what you are saying. It is amazing how fast my boy seems to be growing, yet so many days I watch the clock tick by yearning for my husband to get home so I can have some company. The loneliness is so hard, and I cannot imagine your situation of not have family around at all. It must have been hard. I have family around and it saves me often. But, like you said, we are all mamas that can. We can and we do get through the hard times and come out stronger–and then we’ll probably wonder where all the years flew away to! Thank you for sharing your thoughts 🙂

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  4. When my oldest was three he had this entire book memorized! I think I read it to him every night, and not just for him, but probably more for me. 🙂 I haven’t moved like you have, but this post certainly hit home! God really does grant us more strength than we could ever have on our own. I’ve seen it every day in my life and in others’ lives in very, very real ways. He truly is a God of miracles! So happy that you made it through and are settled in your new, beautiful home!

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    • I love that your son had it memorized–you probably did, too! And Chelsi, I totally agree with what you expressed. The trials we go through really do end up feeling like a blessing. During these last couple months when I felt my life was falling apart, I could more easily see God’s hand putting the pieces together, even putting me back together, and that has been an amazing experience. Just like you said, “He truly is a God of miracles!” Thank you for sharing, Chelsi, I certainly have a friend in you. 🙂

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  5. What an inspiring post. There’s not a day goes by that I don’t pray for strength, patience, and a bit of grace through my day. It gives me a bit of peace to know that no matter what, He’ll guide me through raising my child, one day at a time. Keep at it, Marla. You’re doing marvelous and your strength is admirable beyond words. When all seems lost, always remember: “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…”

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    • Maria, you are so kind. When I read your comment earlier today it brightened my day so much! I love how you turn to God each day. That is an inspiration to me, because often I forget to turn to Him, until I’m in a bind and already falling apart. Maybe if I went to Him first, I wouldn’t come unraveled as much. 🙂 And you are so right, it brings so much peace to know that we are not raising our children by ourselves. God is our right hand man, our daily companion, even if we are feeling lonely. 🙂 It reminds me of one of my favorite scriptures: “I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.” (D&C 84:88). We are being held up by God each day 🙂 Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Maria!

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  6. I’m so glad you were able to find the peace during that tough moment. Being a mom is never easy and tough times like moves and loneliness only make it harder. Hang in there! You are definitely not alone in your journey 🙂 #blogma

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    • Thank you so much, Norma, for helping me not feel alone. Motherhood is such a paradox to me–being so busy and surrounded by little people, but still feeling lonely. And yes, I’m so grateful I can always find peace in God. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

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  7. Oh, yes. This is so good. I have been there. I moved 3 times in one year. Once while I was about to give birth, again 4 months later, and yet again within 6 weeks of the 2nd move. It was a lot. Motherhood has this way…. this way of refining us. Bringing us to our knees where we can’t help but to look heavenward and plead for guidance, because suddenly we feel like children ourselves. Your post really touched me. I’m so glad to find you and I’m so happy that you linked up with me today! ❤ I had to tweet your post. So, so, beautiful.

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    • Oh my, Mel, your 3 moves in a year surrounding a birth sounds absolutely exhausting, not to mention emotionally draining. You are so right though, motherhood has a way of refining us and strengthening us, even thought it seems like we are actually falling apart in the process. And isn’t that interesting, as we learn more, we become more and more childlike? Our children often are our greatest teachers. I’m so glad that you enjoyed the post and that we could connect! I look forward to reading more from you. And thank you for sharing–I feel so honored 🙂

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  8. I have not read that book in forever! I think I should revisit it… it would be a great little encouragement for our whole family. 🙂 This is such a relatable post Marla. I just love how honest you are- yet always able to encourage and reaffirm us mommies to believe in what we can do, especially with His strength. I will come back to this when we face our possible move in the summer. Hopefully now you can put your feet up and rest and take your time unpacking? 🙂

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    • I’m so glad you could relate to this post, Kim! And I’m glad that you appreciate the honesty and realness 🙂 We really can do anything ahead of us when we lean on Him for our strength, and that is such a comforting thought. I hope things are going well with your moving plans–deciding on a house, even a city can be so difficult, so I’ll be thinking of you and your family! And yes, we are taking things slow and just unpacking as we go. It is wonderful to feel settled in time for the holidays 🙂 Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Kim!

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  9. i think we have all had those days (at least i know i have). where we are cooped up in the house for days running around trying to take care of the kiddo’s while stilll trying to get supper ready for the husband and the house somewhat in order. there have been some days where i just broke down and cried because i was SO tired of dealing with a cranky toddler and the potty accidents and this and that. thats the time when we need to take a deep breath, relax and focus on Christ’s word. and just tell Him about it. it’s okay to say, “hey God, this is tough.” but the important thing is that we trust in God to get us through this time (it WILL end) and lean on our husbands for love and support. thanks for posting. be blessed!

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    • Oh, thank you for being so open and sharing your reality. Some days it really does just become too much for to handle. And it is so nice to know at those times that God really is there for us. That He hears our prayers and He will make us strong so that we can continue on. Thank you again for such a sweet comment! 🙂

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