I was reviewing a sample book that I was given about the myth of being a perfect mom. Most of us consider ourselves more highly than we ought, but a busy, exhausted mother, falling apart at the seams, when everyone else seems to have everything together, may be a bit hard on herself, wondering if she’ll ever get this motherhood thing right. In the first chapter, the author states the problem: we compare our insides with someone else’s outsides.
How well I remember all those fears and doubts during the years of home educating my four children! We are all very good at wearing a façade (many facebook folk excel in this area!). Not many others know our imperfections, our foibles and our struggles, but we all have them. Scripture testifies to this and we all know it in our heart of hearts. Yet, when we are harassed and harangued, we look at others who seem to have everything under control and wonder if we’ll ever get there.
When there is a moment of quiet and we can consider the situation with sober judgement, we of course recognise that even the most organized have troubles of their own. We know we are making a wrong comparison, but it happens so easily when our worlds seem upside down with busyness. Tiredness leads to all sorts of trouble and we are our own worst enemies when we don’t control our thoughts. We need to build in some down time – some thinking time to get our minds straight again. We need to take our real and perceived inadequacies to Christ and ask him to reveal to us where and how we need to change.
Another problem with such comparisons, is that we are so busy looking at what other people have right and what we have wrong, that we fail to recognise (and be thankful for) what we are getting right. This diminishes God’s grace to us. God has a plan and a purpose for every family individually, and what is right for one may not be right for another. The situations in which we find ourselves are not coincidental and we need to open our eyes to see God’s hand in it all.
We must be careful not to chuck out the baby with the bathwater. While wrong comparisons cause all sorts of trouble, it is good and right to learn from others. God does not teach us the lessons of life in a vacuum and he may well choose to use other families to be the means of our change and growth. Our energy is best spent listening and learning, rather than comparing and despairing! I am very grateful to my sisters in Christ who helped and encouraged me during the busy mothering years.
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Some Bible specials. We have managed to pick up some end-of-range bibles ate very reasonable prices:
ESV Bible, Zip Purple Leather. R195
NIV Value Paperback Bible, Green Forest cover. R40
NIV Larger Print Paperback Bible. R60
ESV Large Print Hardcover Bible. R185
All things Reformation! Next month is the 500th anniversary of Luther nailing his colours to the mast and we have had a plethora of books on the subject. For the those of you who prefer learning history through novels, we have bought in Storm. This is a novel about the life of Luther written by Reg Grant. Paperback; 400pp; R95. We also still have copies of the Calvin novel called Dawn of an New Light by Ansie van der Walt. R80.