There she stands, in front of you in the checkout line. She is coordinated from head to toe, her hair is clearly washed, her makeup is on...and her children are quietly standing there instead of picking up every ridiculous item on the stand that is clearly meant to drive all moms insane! (put the candy somewhere else please!!) Without warning the thought invades your mind..
"I want to be like her."
In a matter of two seconds you've created the standard for yourself and then found yourself lacking. Clearly that Mom has found the secret to success. Clearly, she is Wonder Mom. Clearly, you are missing something. You leave the store more determined than ever to get it right tomorrow. The thing you might forget, standing among the trinkets and chocolates, behind that Mama who you decided is better than you, is that she is on her own journey, and you don't know her story. Maybe this was her first day in a month that she got up and coordinated herself. Maybe she never leaves the house without makeup because she is so wounded and afraid she is not pretty enough that she can't even be seen in public without a mask. Maybe her children just got a wild hair and decided to ACTUALLY LISTEN this time and not grab everything at eye level.
Maybe she is on a journey just like you.
Don't do it, friend. Don't give that mom an imaginary badge, because what you see in two seconds seems better than what you have in your own lap. This journey is long, hard, and different for every soul walking the planet. Some of us have pointed ourselves in the direction of Jesus, some still haven't, and we are not equipped to measure our worth up next to what we see in others.
I spent that early season of Motherhood trying to fit into a different season. It was exhausting, and I kept failing. I was tired, my baby was sick a lot, and I didn't have the energy to be "like her"...but I sure tried. The Bible says God works strength in our weakness, and I think sometimes what we do is we borrow weakness. That's just what we are doing when we measure ourselves up next to each other.
We are borrowing weakness.
Each of us is in a season of life. We need strength for this season, not the one that hasn't come yet and definitely not someone else's. When we look at other's and decide we are lacking, we are essentially telling God we need strength to be like them.
Sounds crazy, but it's just what I did for a long time. I called "her" strengths my weakness and then was ashamed when I didn't measure up. No, friend, no. That is not how this works! God gives us grace for THIS moment, and he works strength in THIS weakness. You don't have to search out your measure of worth in someone else and you don't have to try and borrow their strengths. It's okay to live right where you are, and embrace your own mess. It is perfectly okay.
So what does THIS season look like for you?
For me, there are days I get up, I shower first thing, and I look somewhat coordinated..but there are just as many days that I stay in pajama's ALL DAY. There are days that I forget the clothes in the washer for the third time and so I sniff them to see if they have mildewed yet...which they usually have...and so I have to waste water by washing them again. There are days that dinner is a sandwich,
or a bowl of cereal because I DON'T WANT TO COOK. There are days that when my alarm goes off, I hit dismiss instead of snooze and roll over and go back to sleep. There are days that I am PMSish and I get grumpy with my people. There are days that I extend grace, and days that I forget.
There are days I might mark as a success and days that I just smirk at and give a big fat
The bottom line is this: I am on my journey, not hers. I don't know her heart, her struggle, her triumph. I can only bloom on my own path. And what should I do when I see her looking more efficient than me, in the checkout line?
Give her a happy thumbs up and instead of borrowing her strength, whisper a prayer for grace to abound in her journey.
Live in your own weakness, friend, that is where God is working strength. The beauty of it all was that when I finally embraced my own mess, my own season, I discovered grace. Grace can only be found by you when you grab tight to your own journey. You are enough, just as you are. Embrace the bad days, embrace the good days and for the love of everything...
DON'T TRY TO BE WONDER WOMAN!
Be you; wonderful, glorious, messy, beautiful you.
And now, I'm off with my greasy hair, and my unwashed self, to take my daughter out for a doughnut date because, really, doughnut date's are what life is all about.
Happy Friday, friends!