In my mind there is the me I wish I were. You know, the woman who is the greatest friend, the best mom, the stellar wife. The woman who is always kind, always helps, always has the house clean, always has a great dinner on the table, the kids are happy, have lots of attention and always have a new craft in the works (that’s developmental of course). The woman who never gets angry, never raises her voice at her kids and surely never swears out loud. A woman who is memorizing scripture and gets up before dawn to read and journal for an hour. Oh and don’t forget the woman who works out consistently. Oh this is the me I wish I were…..
And then there is reality; there is sickness, there are unexpected needs that arise, there is an unforgotten item from the store that is essential for the dinner, and then the dinner is unsatisfactory to those perfectly mannered children and well, there goes the tone of voice, the kindness and well hell, the Spirit has left the room. These moments happen and this can be the real me, the me I wish I were seeming so far away.
I mean really, can you relate?! There are days that I can be so hard on myself. I’m a very black and white thinker, I’m all bad or all good for example. There is no such thing as the perfect woman, wife, mom, friend, etc. (I don’t know why I think there is) If there were, we’d have no need for God. And besides, we need to teach our kids what it looks like to walk through life well. Model asking for forgiveness along the way, navigating the imperfections of life, next to imperfect people in life, in a way that pleases God. And that doesn’t require perfection, but It does require humility (I’m working on it).
Sometimes when I realize I’m not quite the ideal me I wish I were I can allow lies to sink deep into my heart. Lies that I’m not good enough, I am a bad parent, I’m a bad wife, I’m failing, etc. Satan wants us to believe lies and feel defeated, stealing our joy. So even though I’m not perfect (and never will be) I need to fill my mind with Truth. I am loved, I am forgiven, I am wonderfully made, I have something to offer. God believes those things about me even if someone else doesn’t.
I’m reading a great book called Hope for the Weary Mom and I read a paragraph that summed up this feeling pretty well, she says,
Are you weary friend? Do you feel you don’t measure up? Do you know HER (the perfect mom in our minds)? Does she seem to point her finger at you, as well? Nothing keeps us weary like the illusion everyone else has it all together. I’m learning more and more, they don’t. But in that moment, when SHE shows up, I know I am easily convinced. What if, in that moment, instead of listening to HER, we cried out to Him? He, who is waiting to strengthen us, and not judge. He is hope. And surely, He will come running. What if we found our hope in Him, we shared our own life-giving story? It could be a beautiful thing.
Maybe today you need to be more gracious to yourself. Take a breath. Remind yourself that your kids, your spouse, your friends, don’t require perfection. Just a real person, with a soft heart, willing to be humble when you mess up. Extend grace to yourself and to others.
By the grace of God I’ve come a long way. And by the grace of God I will continue to grow more and more into the me I wish I were (not perfect, but more mature at least).