Being a single mom is perhaps the most difficult, most critical and least applauded job on the planet. From getting the kids up in the morning to fixing breakfast, helping with homework, taking them to the dentist, putting away groceries, reminding them to clean their rooms, turning on the dishwasher, switching the laundry and tucking them in at night, single motherhood is a one-woman show without backup or time to pause for a breath. It requires mending our children's broken hearts when our own hearts feel as if they are bleeding out.

God holds a tender, watchful and loving place in His heart for single moms. Motherhood is closer to His work than any other, and for those of us who are doing it alone, He has a few things He is reaching out, with arms extended, to share with us.

1. You are doing an amazing job

This may not be where you wanted to be, but He is so pleased with how well you are doing. You could have run away (That tropical island you dream about seems so appealing sometimes), but you are choosing to be here with His children, caring for them when they need you most. You are not perfect and that's OK! He doesn't ask for perfection; only that you are willing to try. And look at you! You are here! Doing the best you can. You are doing an amazing job.

2. You don't have to impress people

You don't have to keep your house clean all the time, or compete with the woman next door. Your job is to love and nurture your children, and anything else you get done is icing on the cake. Like all women, you have a tendency to compare your own weakest parts to others' strengths, but please know that He sees all of you, your weaknesses and your strengths, and loves you exactly as you are; dishes in the sink, laundry on the floor, collapsing into bed and all.

3. You are not alone

He is there for you, and places angels around you to help. Some of those angels are unseen, and some look like regular people. Don't be afraid to reach out for help. All you have to do is ask.

4. You are beautiful

Your eyes sparkle when your child brings you precious little moments of joy, and fill with tears when you think no one can hear you alone in bed at night. Your arms are carrying much more than you ever thought they could. Your hair may not be perfectly in place, but it shows the dedication you put into keeping everything else in place. Take a moment to see yourself as He sees you, to tell yourself that you are beautiful.

5. You need time for yourself

It doesn't have to be a lot; even a few moments can be rejuvenating. There's a story of a young woman who was in charge of caring for a small flock of chickens. She wanted to do the best job she could, so she went into the yard with her apron held out in one hand full of corn for the chickens and scattered seeds with her other hand for them to eat. The chickens flocked around her, scrabbling in the dirt for the corn. After a while the corn was gone and the chickens started to cluck loudly, asking for more. Because she loved the chickens, the young woman stayed and tried to comfort them. Soon they became so hungry they began to peck at her feet and ankles. This young woman is very much like you. The chickens are like your children. They need you and flock about you and sometimes they need so much that it feels as if they are pecking at your feet and ankles. You need to do the same thing the young woman needs to do: Take a break to refill your supply. You can only give so much before you are depleted. Take time to restore your emotional supplies so you can care for your little flock.

6. You are loved exactly as you are

He loves you with all of His heart, and although it may be hard for you to see at times, others love you too. There is nothing you need to change or do differently to be worthy of love. You are you, and you are lovable exactly as you are.

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