Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Joy in Being Dearly Loved by God


All around us, we are surrounded with photo-shopped pictures of "perfection." Everything from magazine covers that offer "Tens Steps to Slimmer Waists" to the mommy wars of posts on who feeds their child a cleaner diet, women are constantly overtaken by looking the best and being the best. I hear women talk about weight as if it's meant to be the sole identity of a person.

"Oh my, don't eat that one! You'll gain a tire around your waist," announces one. 

"I can't have any more of that or it'd be too many calories," voices someone with a hinting tone.

"Hmmm, I'm going to post a picture everyday of myself working out. I'm looking pretty good and in shape," thinks another.

Then you have the mommy wars between women on who feeds their child better or who's child has the cuter clothes. One only has to look so far as Instagram to see the copious amounts of pictures of girls in tutus of the day or boys wearing ties. Yes, it's all very fun to show off your child with filtered cuteness. But how far do we need to go in proving who's the better mom? Isn't keeping your child alive, clothed, and fed good enough? Instead, we hear conversations between moms on whether they are the better one because they chose not to vaccinate or whether they didn't take part in the soccer snack since there was sugar in it.

"I could never feed my child THAT," suggests some outspoken mothers.

Better yet, women have resorted to posting pictures of the often healthier-than-you-are menus. How's that going to make anyone feel better?

"Boy, I sure wish I had fixed something as healthy as so-and-so did for their children. They've got a full spread of good food and I'm lucky to get to the grocery store tonight to pick up a frozen bag of Tater Tots and already cooked chicken."

Other women find it their duty to constantly compare outspokenly through social media or word-of-mouth, all that defines them through the use of articles and quotes. I admit, I've done this before too. My mind says, "I'll post this one and yeah, it'll prove my point to that other person who gets on my nerve with their opinions. Boom!"
Galatians 6:3-5  If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load. 

Proverbs 21:4 Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin!

JUST STOP IT RIGHT NOW! Since when did we become a society of women who insists on proving that they are the best? Everyone seems to be in a race to be the better eater, the smaller waist size, the smarter parent, or the more religious person. People giving each other opinions are overly done to the point that on the inside, it really makes no one feel any better. Instead, we are left with feeling defeated as though we can't keep up. 

Sure, the ideas on Pinterest are great. But what is our sole intention for it? Are we purposely doing this to outdo someone else? Are we just re-posting for the purpose of showing others we are more creative than them? No, I'm not saying it's all bad. I love finding cool hair-do pictures to try on my girls or some new allergy-free recipe to try. However, I'm guilty of wanting to serve the cool "soccer people" snacks that are Super Glued so that I could be the cool mom. Or in the past, I wanted to have the perfect kid's birthday party by having this or that. But what does it really say about me or my intentions? How did we get to this point of living in a "look at me and all I can do" world?

Yes, some of it can be helpful when you purposely share an article or well-meaning quote that encouraged you as a way to help others.  But then there are those that are shared for the purpose of saying, "Boo-yah! Take that because that's what I am hoping you'll know from me sharing this bit of information. What's that? Well, I'll raise you an anti-vaccine article but you can take that gun's rights article and keep it!"

The excessive posting of me-all-of-the-time is getting out of control. Not to mention, things that should be simple are now getting way too complicated. When it's meant to show that you can do all of this and more, that might not be such a great idea. "Lookie, look at me," is what it comes across to others sometimes. 

How about all of the pictures on social media websites? Is it really necessary to post a picture everyday? We are already aware of what you and your children look like so can't we limit the amount of pictures we share? I get that you think your child(ren) are the cutest. I've been there and once upon a time posted outrageous amounts of pictures too. Then it hit me. I realized that I was in that race to show that I had it all together. My children don't need to be shown as perfectly dressed for another picture posting or that I was a great mom in "appearing" to have it all together. Because in reality, I don't. 

I don't always get out of the door on my way to something with that five-star look. Some days, I need to leave the house without make-up on in order to get the kids to the dentist on time. There are other days, I feel drenched in sweat from carrying the twins and rushing from activity to activity that I'm sure the perfume I used that morning is long gone. Often times, I serve the kids cereal for dinner because we didn't get home from soccer until late and there was no way I had time to cook up the perfect "clean" meal. And gasp, the crumbs from breakfast are still on the floor long after dinner and maybe even in to tomorrow. 

So why are we as women so worried about how we appear on the outside to others? Are we creating an idol out of our self in proving our greatness? Why do we get embarrassed when someone shows up at random to our not-so-clean homes because of the chaos of the day? We all get stretched thin, so why would we want to push ourselves at "being" even more than what we have to give? Where is the joy in proving we are the best? Can't we be satisfied with knowing that we are dearly loved by God and that is all that truly matters?

Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility,  gentleness and patience. 

Proverbs 31:30-31 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. 

When was the last time you encouraged the tired mother at the grocery store trying to shop with small children? When was the last time you randomly paid for the person's coffee in the drive-through line behind you? When was the last time that instead of comparing calories with another woman, you left the weight talk at home and complimented her God-given strengths? When was the last time you thanked an older woman for the children she raised up into our society? When was the last time you invited someone into your home knowing that it wasn't all that clean but you offered the best you had and served them coffee/tea? When was the last time you brought groceries over to the woman who had a busy schedule? 

Proverbs 15:30 A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones. 

We can all do our part in being an encouragement to other women in this world. Instead of trying to be the "better woman," how about throwing those comparisons out the window and just be YOU? God loves you for you and that is all that matters. So instead of caring so much about what the world thinks you should be, go on and be the woman God wants you to be: an imperfect, not-all-together , beautiful mess.                                                                                                                   


No comments:

Post a Comment