Of Whales & Caterpillars - by Crystal Stine

There are times when this whole motherhood journey seems like one big lesson in failing gracefully. Those days when the too-early wake-up call is followed by an endless series of meltdowns over clothes that are invisibly too tight and the wrong choices for breakfast. When the daily daycare drop-off takes ten extra minutes of prying your toddler off your leg (when you know she is all smiles and “big helper” the second you walk out the door), followed by the dreaded mid-afternoon phone call asking you to come take your child to the doctor because she  might need stitches in her lip.

Because of yet another tantrum.

My prayers in the  midst of those days aren’t long, eloquent, deep prayers. There are no fancy words or thoughts worth blogging about. They are simple, motherhood-survival prayers, and I sometimes wonder if they matter. I use the measurements of the world to weigh the worth of my prayers for long nap times and peaceful church nursery drop-offs and I judge them to be small and insignificant. I add guilt to already insecure shoulders when I hear of other women who pray for their children’s spouses, before they even have children to hold. I wonder if I should be praying for my daughter’s purpose in life, future career, college choices, impact for the Kingdom.

And when I finally stop counting all the ways I think I’m doing it all wrong, God whispers, “It all matters.” 

God uses the big moments and small moments and everything in between to fulfill His plans in our lives. My pastor used the story of Jonah the other week to make this point, that the same God who commanded a giant whale to swallow Jonah and keep him safe also commanded the small caterpillar who ate the plant that was providing shade for Jonah. Every moment, from whale to caterpillar, was used in God’s plan. In the end, God was glorified, and His mercy was known. 

In the eyes of our culture, one of those “means” is more impressive. We rank and judge and think that the little, everyday prayers and desires of our hearts aren’t worth as much as someone else’s. We compare our caterpillar needs to “her” whale and doubt whether we should even put words together to share it with God.

My friend? Be encouraged! They matter, and God hears.

He is the God of whales and caterpillars — and knows every prayer of your heart.

Crystal StineCrystal Stine

Crystal has been called an encouragement and social media ninja and loves using her background in corporate marketing to help women pursue their dreams. Married to her high school sweetheart and currently raising/herding a toddler, Crystal has a heart for encouraging women — particularly other writers and mothers —  through the written word. Crystal is also a Virtual Assistant, (in)courage Community Leader Coordinator, and contributing writer at Allume and Mothers of Daughters.