So we all know that motherhood is a beautiful thing.  It's rewarding and sanctifying and scary and amazing. And it's certainly one of the most valuable roles a woman could ever play. But I felt the need to say something today. To those of you ladies out there feeling a bit lost and unseen due to the long list of responsibilities that your Momma hat requires, be encouraged.

Before you were a mom, you were a woman. An individual! You brought value to this earth long before you were tasked with caring for babies. I feel passionate about making sure women don't lose themselves during these overwhelming years of giving so much to others. As I was reminded by one of my favorite books, Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge, God designed women to bring beauty to the earth. Our eyes, hearts, and minds process the world differently than men. And our strengths and purposes are exclusive to us.

From pages 7-8 of Captivating:

"And in all the exhortations we have missed the most important thing of all. We have missed the heart of a woman. ... Because God knows that our heart is core to who we are. It is the source of all our creativity, our courage, and our convictions." ... This well-spring of life within us is the very essence of our existence, the center of our being. Your heart as a woman is the most important thing about you."

Although many of us were designed to bear children, we were also designed to bear God's image. Imago Dei. And being a Mom or a Wife is not what qualifies you. It's simply that you were created in His image with purpose and heart. And with your own unique set of passions, hobbies, and interests outside of your role as a Mother.

What are they? Don't let go of them! Write them down with great expectancy. Pray over them with great fervency. Tell your friends about them with great excitement.

Of course there are times when you need to push pause for a bit because God has you in a certain season. But He doesn't expect us to forget those passions or lose interest in those dreams. In fact, He designed those very specific parts of our souls. It's part of our calling.

I know many of you are stuck in the "everyday-ness" of the everyday. Somedays I feel like I prepare, serve, and clean up food in a repetitive pattern all day long. House chores, responsibilities at work, extended family obligations, and to-do lists that bog us down are relentless. But don't lose your feminine, one-of-a-kind, lioness of a HEART!  Even if you can't pursue your dream at this moment, it doesn't mean it won't happen. Enjoy the journey, no matter how small and painstakingly slow your steps may seem.

God sees you. Do you get that today? HE SEES YOU. He delights in you and promises that He wants what is best for you. Even during the tough confusing stuff. And especially during the painful character-training stuff. You're being equipped for the next step of your calling.

I am no feminist. Far from it. But I am a believer in God-designed femininity. And I believe in encouraging my fellow weary mothers to pursue their life's purpose, above and beyond the soul-changing journey of motherhood. Because yes, of course, raising up little ones is a monumental thing.  But it's not the only thing. We are first and foremost daughters of the King. Live it. Indwell it. And surround yourself with people who will remind you of it when you forget.

Bri Carlisle is wife to Mike, and mommy to Ashley (7) and Dillon (5). She loves curating pretty pictures and words over at her personal blog, Woven. You can also find her on Instagram.

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