Dear Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter-using, Homeschooling mothers of 6 with one on the way, yet still an avid blogger, food blogger (with pictures of recipes step by step), and all those other people that seemingly have it “all together.” And Tumblr-using moms. Whatever that is:
I confess to you that I can’t keep up. I don’t know how everyone does it. I try to keep up and I end up just feeling extremely inadequate and beat down at the end of the day. I would love to blog regularly, sew my kid’s clothes, refurbish an old dresser, cloth diaper and puree all of Malacai’s baby food. But who has the time? It’s an effort for me to keep the house clean, laundry done, menu plan, spend time with the kids and apply proper love and discipline, do devotions, and take care of church stuff – all the while striving to be a patient and loving mother and wife who displays Christian qualities and enjoys the everyday repetitions of life.
It’s true that I love and enjoy reading blogs. I follow quite a few awesome mommies who love the Lord and seek to be more like Him in the midst of their chaos. I find encouragement and fellowship in their writings. It’s true that I think all of the above mentioned social media platforms can be wonderful. It’s no lie that I have spent way too much time moseying around on Pinterest or scrolling my Facebook feed just because I want to do something mindless. Meanwhile, my 9 month old is whining in his highchair and my 4 year old won’t stop interrupting my research of the latest status updates, the amount of “likes” my kids’ pictures have gotten, and what political platform meme someone has shared.
So, what is the problem here? Why do I feel that I can’t keep up? The problem is ME. My focus is always on me, my inadequacies, and my failures to measure up with everyone else. I don’t like it. I don’t intend to be so selfish. I don’t wake up and think, “How can I magnify Michelle today?!” Unfortunately, my flesh always creeps up and rears its ugly head.
In January 2010, Josh and I attended a Passion Conference with the college and career group from church. Beth Moore preached a sermon using a word picture that I will never forget. (All credit here goes to her.) Although I remember it, I don’t often apply it. Lately, it has been resonating in my heart and I need it to revive my selfish soul. According to Hebrews 12:2, this life is a race we are running. And though we have a tendency to look at everyone around us, we need to keep our eyes on the finish line, on Jesus, who is the Author and Finisher of our faith. The only thing I need to do is run and focus on Him. Keep going, eyes fixed on HIM (not the homeschooling mother of 6, all the blogs writers that I wish I would be like, and the moms who seem so much more patient, and kind, and creative with their discipline). Stop focusing on all the other runners in this race and what they are doing, and look to the One who makes all my inadequacies adequate by what He did on the cross. If we only realized the glorious justification that was accomplished when HE arose from the dead, we would stop trying so hard! We would stand in the grace of God knowing we are totally okay! Totally set free of false expectations. Totally set free from the bondage to this world and all the temporary pleasures it teases our minds with daily.
So I am going to read and re-read Hebrews 12:1-2. I am going write it on a Post-it and place it in front the window where I do dishes (because you know we spend a lot of time there), and I am going to soak in the truth of where my focus should be.
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”