Do you ever have those days where one minute you are basking in just.how.amazing. it is to be a mom. How precious your children are… How well they do x.y.z….and before you know it, BAM! That “perfect picture” is shattered! That was our family earlier this week. The weather was amazing, we were all outside playing. My husband was doing some landscaping, while also taking breaks to blow bubbles with baby cakes, and then letting the big girls “help” him with the mulch. Bike riding, bird watching, chalk drawing (and spelling work ) and then it hit…..I’m not sure what the fuss started over, but it was big and ugly and time outs followed….ugh. And immediately that mean voice in my head starts blasting me about my mothering. (Please tell me I’m not the only one with a bully in my head!) I know logically that children are just that, children. Three girls all 5 and under are going to squabble from time to time!
You see, the problem here isn’t 2 or 3 girls fussing. Its the lie of “picture perfect”. its unattainable, by anyone. But if we aren’t careful, we can all get in the cycle of comparing ourselves to this standard…..and may I even say to each other? It is so important for us to be real with each other. Life isn’t a big pintrest board, filled of only the beautiful and crafty things we accomplish. It’s feeling like pulling our hair out and oh-my-gracious is it only 9am! Its struggling, some days, to be the spouse God calls us to be, to speak kindly to the little ones when we just want to scream.
Are you ever a little scared to let others see the imperfections?
But when I’m hiding behind picture perfect, I’m believing the lie.
Yet its when my picture perfect is shattered that I am reminded that I don’t take a breath without Jesus. He breathes life into this mama when I’m tired, and weak, and lacking all of the fruit I’m supposed to be bearing. Its not pretty to look at the shattered….but thats not where my eyes are supposed to rest. Praise God for that! “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most” – Hebrews 4:16
We belong in community with one another. And when we open up and let our imperfections show, that is where true friendship begins. We need friends who can speak truth into our lives, who can hold us accountable, and who we can laugh and cry with over the ups and downs of life. When we can actually be real about life with our girlfriends we stop hiding behind the lie….and sister, that is where freedom can be found! And as we receive Gods mercy and grace, it will overflow into our lives with our families and friendships.
So… the real joy that day came after the time outs: we talked about how the girls acted, I asked them to recall their actions and think about if thats how Jesus would want to see them act (that was a big NO!) And then getting to hear their answers of how Jesus wants us to treat our sister…and the giggles, and hugs and I’m sorry’s and thats ok..and hey– you want to go ride bikes together?? As their mom, I long to live out the words of Hebrews 4:16 before their eyes. That audience is really the one that matters. They see me on my good days, and my bad. Their lives are the ones on which I will have the greatest impact– whether for the good or the bad. And some days, its mama saying “I’m sorry”, and they get a small glimpse of just how much their mama needs Jesus, too.