“A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms”
As I scroll through my Facebook and istagram feeds, I see friends and family who seemingly have it all together. Pretty houses decorated like the inside of a southern living magazine, kids dressed in the best clothing, dinners that probably taste as good as they look, the latest gadgets and good looks to top it all off.
Here I am, my mismatched home decor, my daughter dresses in hand me downs, dinners that while they are tasty don’t always look pretty, I have an old cracked iPhone 5 and most of the time I feel like a disheveled mess. I may not have it all together but what I do have is so much better than that. I have all of the things that I need and I am happy. I don’t do those fun little crafts with my daughter, we aren’t always painting this or making paper mache that. I don’t cut her sandwiches into hearts and dinosaurs or make her grapes into adorable little caterpillars. Most days I’m lucky if I can get her to eat a grape, let a lone one that, heaven forbid, looks like a bug! Let’s face it most days I’m just happy she eats lunch and doesn’t get into my makeup drawer and smear lipstick on every surface or spill milk from one end of the house to the other. I find myself wishing I wasn’t such a boring mom or wondering why my friends always do SO many fun things with their kids (is the library really fun with a two-year old?) and I’m here at home just praying for a day without a tantrum. As a new-ish mother, I’ve noticed how I’m constantly feeling guilty that I haven’t done all these fun things with Scarlett or taught her how to do this and that, but why? Why should I feel guilty if I let her eat an entire bag of cheese puffs because she wouldn’t eat anything else? Why should I feel like leaving if she screams in Wal-Mart because I tell her not to knock things onto the floor? While Martha over there has the most calm and sweet kid in the world sitting nicely in the buggy. We as parents shouldn’t be looking to others to feel guilty about what we lack, we should be looking to one another for support and comfort knowing that we all do things just to make it from one parenting hiccup to the next. God gave us our children because he knew they were perfect for us to teach, sometimes screw up but always love. I have to tell myself almost daily, to stop comparing myself to any other mothers, Scarlett loves me because I am who I am. She doesn’t care that her grapes don’t look like a caterpillar or that I don’t make super fun crafts, she cares that I love her and make her feel safe.
My goal for this week has been to really be thankful, thankful for all that I do have and all that I don’t and learning how to stop comparing myself to anyone. I’m about to get uncomfortably vulnerable here.
It’s such a bad habit of mine but I am not the most confident person… I struggle a lot with not feeling good enough as a mom or not feeling pretty enough or in good enough shape for my husband. I’m sure every woman thinks this but my husband is handsome, so handsome in fact that I met him because 20k girls on Facebook shared his picture (story for another time). I often find myself on the verge of tears while getting ready for date nights or catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror from day-to-day. Thinking, “Is THAT what I really look like? Why would anyone find me attractive? Am I enough? I don’t look like the girls at the gym.” I wonder so often why my husband loves me because I am not as pretty or as fit as the girls at the gym (my husband is a fitness freak). But by some miracle he loves me and thinks I’m just as pretty with make up or without. He doesn’t care that I have ratty hair and sometimes unbrushed teeth, he loves my heart and my mind. My body and looks will slowly diminish over time but my heart will remain the way it was the day he met me.
Often those little comparisons steal my joy, they make me feel sad and down about myself and less than. When in reality I am enough, you know why? Not just because Abe tells me or because Scarlett still hugs my neck, even when her cheese slices don’t look like Eiffel towers. No, but because the Lord tells me so!
Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
Jesus says I am good enough. Not once in the Bible does it say look to your neighbor for your path in life or for protection, comfort or purpose. It tells me to look to the Lord and to lean on him! So why don’t I listen?! I am human non the less, I want to strive to tell myself what Jesus tells me every day. I want to love myself just as the Lord loves me.
I am enough.
I am loved.
I am forgiven.
How wonderful is it to think when we do not feel like enough all we have to do is call upon the Lord and he will make us feel all that we are lacking. I’ve come to realize no amount of makeup or house work or special time with my daughter will make me feel good enough like calling upon the Lord can. He is the only one who can fill that need.
I’d like to leave you with my great grandmother’s and my husband’s favorite bible verse.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.