The other night I stood in the kitchen with a fussy baby in one arm, while cooking dinner with the other. As I stood there I felt a temptation creep in. At that moment I felt tempted to take a picture of myself, then post it on social media as a way to toot my own horn so to speak. “Look at me, rocking this mom thing! I’m handling it all! Long day at work followed by making dinner for the family while holding a baby in one arm! I’ve got it all together. I’m rockin this mom thing!”
Some might think that it was silly that it was tempting for me to take a picture. Some might not see anything wrong with posting something like that. Some post things like that on a regular basis for the world to see and admire (or envy) but the ironic thing is that I didn’t actually feel like I was “rockin this mom thing” at all. Truth be told, I felt like I was failing…big time!
That day I had overslept quite a bit, and was 15 minutes late to work. I went to work in the clothes I slept in the night before. In my rush to get out the door I forgot to take important medication, forgot some items I needed to deliver to a friend later in the day, forgot the baby carrier and nursing cover. I had even forgotten the baby’s socks. The only thing I did bring to work with me, were the bags and dark circles under my eyes. Definitely didn’t feel like I was a rocking life at all.
If I HAD taken that picture (which I didn’t) I would have taken it at an angle where you saw the clean spot on the stove, and couldn’t see the overflowing sink full of dishes in the background. If I HAD taken that picture you would have seen me standing there with dinner simmering on the stove top, and not been able to see the old McDonald’s cups from the day before. If I HAD taken that picture I would have taken it at an angle where you might think I was cooking something gourmet, rather than just boiling water for minute rice. I would have made things look as good as I could, because they didn’t feel very good at all.
But why? Why was I tempted to snap a picture in that moment, and share it?
I was tempted to post something that looked like I had everything together because I felt like I needed affirmation. I needed someone to say “wow tired momma, you’re doing a good job.” I was desperate for any sort of affirmation I could get, because I felt like a hot mess. I just wanted someone to tell me I was doing a good job, even though I was falling short.
My house is a disaster.
My family has been living off of cereal and hot pockets.
I was very late for work with no one to blame but myself.
My clothes were dirty.
The laundry and dirty dishes are overflowing.
The bills are overdue.
Our schedules are over booked with no end in sight.
I haven’t started Christmas shopping.
I forgot to tithe.
I never finished the thank you cards I started making from my baby shower.
I haven’t decorated for Christmas.
I haven’t taken down the birthday decorations from August.
(The list goes on and on)
I felt like a mess.
And then I remembered Martha…Stewart. I marveled at the Martha Stewart’s of this life. The ones that seem to have it all together. The ones who juggle all of their tasks flawlessly. The ones who are organized, and well kept. The ones who have home cooked meals. The ones who go to work in clean clothes. The ones who remember their medicine and socks for the baby…
Why can’t I be like Martha?
Then I realized I am…
“Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”” Luke 10:38-42 NKJV
I’m being like Martha. I’m over committing and exhausted. I’m focusing on tasks rather than enjoying this season of life, and this incredible time of year.
If I was more like Mary, and spent more time at the feet of our Lord, I wouldn’t feel like I needed affirmation like I did that day. I probably wouldn’t feel like as much of a wreck even when I’m not doing as good of a job as I hoped for. He would bring rest to my weary soul. He would affirm me, right where I am.
So that’s what I did.
I sat. With the Lord. The laundry can wait.
Are you being like Martha this Christmastime? Are you struggling with pretending to have it all together like I was tempted to? Are you desperate for some affirmation because you feel like you’re trying your best even when it’s not enough? Are you so focused on your to-do lists that you are rushing through this season of life rather than enjoying it? Do you feel like a mess because you don’t have it all together like you are wanting to? I’m praying you’ll aim to be more like Mary and less like Martha.
In His Love,