Have you ever looked at another mom and immediately felt inadequate? Do you allow your own self worth and value to be determined based on how well someone else does at being a woman? This post is possibly going to splatter into a dozen different directions as I rattle off the various points, but they all lead to one place: Women should NOT let their worth be based on how they feel they measure up to someone else, nor should it be based on how other people see her. Be a woman of character. Have some substance!
I will put myself on the hotseat first. I am a Christian. I am not perfect. I am not wonderful. I am not great. And sometimes I’m not good. But I am God’s. To those who this offends, the “X” in the top right corner is there for your use at any time. But I do not shy away from my faith. Has it caused issues among my friends over the years? Yes, it absolutely has. Have I compromised in areas where I knew I shouldn’t? Yes, I absolutely have. Do I have people who think I’m too weak to stand on my own, and use God as a crutch? Yes, I do. Do I have people who think I’m a prude because I don’t actively participate in what is “normal”? Of course. But my faith remains. Just because it isn’t someone else’s “ideal” way to live does NOT mean I am going to just cast it aside. Your praise is far less important to me than God’s. And my standards are set based on what I feel is right for me. I have just as many skeletons in my closet – there are just as many ghosts from my past. But I don’t have to let them own my soul. Every tomorrow is new with hope. And every yesterday is forgiven and forgotten. Don’t let someone else’s way become your own. If you have a path you’re supposed to walk, then square your shoulders, head up, and put one foot in front of the other. Others may not understand it or agree with it, but most of them – *if* they love you – will respect it.
My next rant is for all moms. I wish I could pinpoint when it happened. At what moment we went from looking like June Cleaver to looking like Jennifer Aniston. At what moment we were expected to cook like Julia Child instead of like our mama. At what moment we were expected to dress like Heidi Klum, be a lady like Audrey Hepburn, be exciting like Marilyn, be crafty like Martha, and be patient like Mother Teresa. We all have that friend, don’t we? You know exactly who I’m talking about. She’s the one who wakes up so close to the crack of dawn that it’s basically still yesterday. She’s the one who makes breakfast for her litter of children, lunch for her husband, carpools the neighborhood to school, decorates for the PTA meeting, jogs 9 miles (*while* taking orders for the school fundraiser!), repaves the driveway, mows the yard, picks up the children from school, gets everyone’s homework finished (*while* finishing the perfect pot roast), and has her home spotlessly cleaned and her makeup flawless for when her perfectly handsome husband walks through the door after work. You know her, don’t you? She’s the one you see on FB endlessly making you feel completely inept – as if the job you’re doing as a mom will literally never match up. As if you will never be perfect. And you feel like a hot mess. Can I say something? STOP IT. You are not going to be perfect. And the best news is: SHE isn’t either! You are a beautiful, capable, strong, and powerful person. Don’t let that chick be how you measure yourself. So if you need to hide her endless FB posts on her constant awesomeness, DO IT. Seriously. She won’t know it, and you’ll feel better. Stop. The. Madness. For serious.
Lastly – and this is more for teenagers – don’t be a wimpy dingbat. Women are created to be strong. Even Proverbs 31:17 says She girds herself with STRENGTH and makes her arms STRONG. We aren’t meant to be helpless or drama queens who can’t behave ourselves or take care of ourselves. Yet so often, we pigeon hole ourselves into this fashionista world where crying will get you anywhere your mini skirt and heels can’t. That’s really ridiculous, girls. Stop showing your rear ends and put your tongue back in your mouths. If a guy is going to respect you, he’ll do it because you *aren’t* acting like you’re in training to be the next Kardashian. And if he doesn’t pay attention to you unless you act like Miley, then you really need to set your sights (and standards!) a little higher. Be a lady, but don’t take crap. Paint your nails, and do some push ups. More Rebecca St. James and less Brittney. Really. It may not seem “cool”, but if you let other people define what is cool for you, you might as well go ahead and put the key to your happiness and success in their pockets. And then be prepared to follow them around forever hoping they’ll give it back. Stand up and be unique. Stop trying to be like every other girl. Because ya know what? Some day, you’ll meet a man who appreciates that you AREN’T just like the rest.
I wish I could begin to explain what started this rant in the first place, except that it is a culmination of instagram photos, and facebook posts, and news articles. It is that moment when you’re looking at your own daughter and hoping that she makes just *one* less mistake than you. It’s hoping that she measures her worth, not by how other people see her, but how she sees herself. It’s hoping that her honor matters more to her than the opinions of her friends. And it’s hoping that I can set myself out there as an example of how – even if she does make some pretty crappy decisions (as I did!) – she can still become a woman of character. As I said, I haven’t even a glimmer of a halo, but I have the knowledge that God sees my heart. And I know that I have some substance!