Being a stay-at-home mama and wife can be a thankless job sometimes.  You don't get the "Great job on that project!" or a bonus or get to leave work early for the day.  HOWEVER.....you have one of the most important jobs in the world.  While you may not get "public" recognition, God sees and knows every little thing you do.  He notices how you thought of every little detail when planning your child's party or a special lunch. He sees you fixing the 100th cup of milk and presenting it to a little smiling face.  He even sees you folding laundry, cleaning the toilets and the other "non-glamourous" parts of the day. 

Steven Curtis Chapman has a song called "Do Everything" and it always "seems" to come on the radio at the perfect time when I need it.  (God's timing is perfect!)  It serves as a reminder that I'm not doing or shouldn't be doing what I do to get recognition from anyone.  (Though it is nice to get praise now and then.)  I should continually be doing what I do to glorify God because at the end of the cluttered living room, laundry washing, putting sleepy faces to bed kind of day, it's ALL THAT MATTERS!  God has put us all where we are and in the jobs we have (or lack thereof) for a purpose.

Here are the first couple of verses of the song:

Do Everything 
Steven Curtis Chapman  

You're picking up toys on the living room floor for the 15th time today 
Matching up socks 
Sweeping up lost cheerios that got away 

You put a baby on your hip 
Color on your lips and head out the door 

While I may not know you, 
I bet I know you 
Wonder sometimes, does it matter at all? 

Well let me remind you, it all matters just as long 
As you do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you, 
Cause he made you, 
To do 
Every little thing that you do 
To bring a smile to His face 
Tell the story of grace 
With every move that you make 
And every little thing you do 

I don't do the things I do to get anything back in return.  I focus on taking care of my girls and husband and sharing the love of God when I can.  I am thankful when He puts people around me to encourage me because, let's be honest, being a stay-at-home mama is not an easy task!  I have been blessed with several of those people in the past couple of weeks and wanted to share how I have been encouraged by them.

Easter Bonnet Contest = Surprise Encouragement
I get totally into whatever my girls are doing, so as you know, I decided to make a bonnet to wear to the event even though I couldn't enter the contest.  When we arrived, I was the only adult there (if you don't count the Easter Bunny!) who was wearing a bonnet.  I got some smiles as we walked around the mall, but I wasn't doing it for anyone but my girls.  

Below is an excerpt from my email exchange with Ed. Cassidy, Marketing & Sponsorship Director, who emailed all of the participants a group shot.  I asked if they still had two pictures they took of us and of Sweet Girl with her prize and if he could send them to me.  They did and he sent them!  He was a nice guy in person and nice to chat with via email.

ME to ED:  When I heard we were going to get the group shot sent to us, I never expected this!  Thank you so much!...My girls and I had an awesome time!...I wrote a blog post about the contest if you are interested in reading it.  (Gave him the link.) 

ED to ME:  Angela, so appreciate your blog post!  Please find two photos attached – and personally, I think your bonnet was a winner!

ME to ED:  THANK YOU SO MUCH!  These pictures are priceless!  I don't have many with my girls because I'm usually the one taking the pictures!  Thanks for the compliment on my bonnet.  I always like to participate with the girls and have fun!  The people around the mall seemed to like it, too.  :)

ED to ME:  Your girls are lucky – every parent should be inspired by you!

ME to ED:  Thank you!  I am blessed to have such great girls!

Talk about encouragement and from a very unexpected source!  Ed's words mean a lot to me and came (of course!) at the perfect time.  While I don't do things to get praise, it is nice to get positive feedback and to get noticed for the things I do.  I think all humans are that way. :)  To me, this also serves as a reminder that everyone is aware of everything you do so it's even more important to do what you do to glorify God!

The "thankless" part of being a mama and wife has been a new concept for me to deal with because I was very grade-driven and then performance/work-driven before becoming a mama.  I liked getting graded, the competition and progress reports.  (I know, call me crazy!) Those things are gone.  It's just me being more aware of the fact that all that matters is that I am doing everything I do to the glory of God.  That's not to say that I wasn't relying on God or doing things to glorify Him before, it was just easier to feel appreciated in those different environments.

Who knew an Easter bonnet contest would be such a blessing to me?  God did and I am thankful for it!

**All photos and text are property of Angela Pounders and can not be distributed without permission.  

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