Tuesday February 22, 2011

I have always made an effort to keep my blog lighthearted.  I stick to the simple things in life, what we are doing, humorous stories about the children, the occasional recipe or sewing project…  I have never been very comfortable expressing my personal or spiritual thoughts ( and even as I type this I am reluctant).  The written word is so stark and unforgiving, but I’ve had something on my heart for a while now and I haven’t been able to shake it.  So I will speak plainly and quickly.

Generally speaking, when I hear women discussing other women it is usually done in one of two ways. 
{Obviously these are exaggerated a bit for the sake of example}

“Oh she is SO wonderful!  Everything she does is so perfect and effortless.  I wish I was more like her.  I feel so guilty and inadequate.” 

OR

“Can you believe her?!  Who does she think she is?  God’s gift to motherhood?  I’m sorry but nobody’s that perfect!”

So often these conversations are laced with guilt, envy, suspicion, or anger.  We look at these woman and we put them on pedestals, or we frantically look for the chink in their armor… not to protect, but to expose and rejoice, “SEE!  She’s not all that she’s cracked up to be!” 

If you don’t hear another word I say please hear this:
Do not waste another nanosecond of you life ridiculing or envying another woman’s life. 

She is running her own race using the gifts that God has given her, and carry with her burdens and sorrows that you know nothing about.  As wives and mothers our days may seem filled with laundry, dinners, sippy cups and diapers, but the truth is everyday we stand on a battlefield.  We know the enemy.  We know he is real.  Satan wants our marriages to fail.  He wants us to feel alone and defeated.  He wants our children to wander this earth faithless and hopeless.  We will not make it by ourselves.  We need each other.  Together and united we are unstoppable.  Not only are we a force to be reckoned with now but we are raising the next generation of saints.  But when our focus is taken off of the enemy and turned on each other we leave the most vulnerable among us exposed.

I could list the scriptures about envy, anger, jealousy and strife.  I could call them for what they are, but I won’t.  I’m a practical woman and the bottom line is: we don’t have time for this nonsense.  We have been given this one life, this ONE chance, and we have to make the most of it.  The road is long and difficult and the stakes are high.  We don’t have time for pride or apathy.  I have wasted too much precious time and I don’t want to do it anymore…

You are my sister.  I will not idolize you.  I will not despise you, but I will run with you.  I will protect you, and together we will finish strong.

47 thoughts on “Tuesday February 22, 2011

  1. foreveranoatneygirl_n2Hisown

    Could not agree with you more April!!!
    the whole wasted enough precious time thing…right there with you.
    i think the best and possibly the most effective way to band together and support and encourage one another is by holding each other accountable and calling each other to those hard places where we sometimes don’t want to look in our hearts…surrounding ourselves with women of faith, with women of virtue, and with women who have gone the same path we are now on is very important (speaking for myself anyhow).

    LOVE this post, and you too!

    btw..you should go down these sort of paths more often, cuz i really like the way you think!

    ♥~R

    Reply
  2. appalolly

    I agree with what Rachel wrote…you SHOULD go down this path more often!

    Absolutely loved what you wrote.  What a great challenge and reminder. That last paragraph was awesome!

    Reply
  3. Esther_lynn

    I think you do well expressing yourself. =) And I couldnot agree more. I remember one point in my life I was kind of pitying myself, thinking everyone else’s life looked easier. But then I got real with myself and asked myself which one of my friends would I like to take on their set of problems? It was a very good reality check for myself and has helped me be content with my life as imperfect as it may be. =)

    Reply
  4. purplesecrets

    You are my sister.  I will not idolize you.  I will not despise you, but
    I will run with you.  I will protect you, and together we will finish
    strong.

    Love this.

    I’m glad I chose to read this blog… *subscribes* :)

    Reply
  5. ABAHM

    I like the way you think and speak!  Yes!  One of our favorite verses is about encouraging and lifting one another up…that is what we need to do more of good post!

    Reply
  6. redladybug18

    amen girl! 
    “But when our focus is taken off of the enemy and turned on each other we leave the most vulnerable among us exposed.”  So true…if Satan can just get us fighting with each other he doesn’t have to fight us!

    Reply
  7. grace_to_be

    thanks for this, april!

    more than ever our focus has got to be on the REAL battle, and not one another. women especially seem prone to get hung up in such 3rd grade cattiness among themselves… how we need genuine walk beside you christian sisters in this day and age~ willingly extending to each other the same grace WE have been given!

    so glad you stepped past that feeling of ‘reluctant’ to speak your heart. i like
    when people speak plain, and quick.. though i’m not very good at that
    last one myself! ;)

    Reply
  8. mytoesareblue

    amber (grace2be) recommended this..and i’m glad that i read it. what a powerful reminder. there is so much in this that i need to take to heart, i’m glad that you followed what was in your heart. it is difficult sometimes to truly express on the page what is deeply within our hearts….but sometimes the burden will not leave us as it is a message that needs to be written down not only for our own reminder but perhaps because someone out there needs to hear it too.

    thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  9. cmdr_keen

    This was worth posting and reading. It’s so true. Comparison and judging go hand-in-hand, and it’s far better to concentrate on your own lives and work on your family – i.e. things you can control personally – then spend energy worrying about things you can’t control.

    Good post.

    Reply
  10. rugbana

    Came over from Amber’s recommend as well.  We must of been on the same wave length yesterday   I posted a blog about real motherhood and how I am tired of the competing/judging.  “She is running her own race using the gifts that God has given her, and carry with her burdens and sorrows that you know nothing about”   So true!!!

    Reply
  11. pettybunch

    Also here on Amber’s rec.  I appreciate your words so much, and even wish we would apply them to all our Christian brothers and sisters - we do spend so much time finding fault with one another rather than encouraging one another!  Glad I stopped by!

    Reply
  12. inanorchard

    @foreveranoatneygirl - I love your comment!!  You articulated so perfectly what I think the solution to this problem is.  Surrounding ourselves with woman who are virtuous, who will rally around us, hold us accountable for the sake of love and all that is at stake. You are a sweet friend with a courageous heart!

    Reply
  13. inhislight07

    I love this.  It put to words so many things that have been weighing on my heart lately.  The comparison monster is crazy!!!  And it never ends until you cut its little head off.  I am working at cutting it off once as well.  Our sermon this Sunday was there is more than one way to get to the beach from the water.  Basically what you said run your race, get there how the Lord tells you to get there, and be content with the things and methods he has given you.  Thank you for putting it so plainfully beautiful!

    Reply
  14. lifeisadance

    Wow, AMEN!!!! This is the best bit of blogging I’ve read in a long time! Thank you for being willing to be vulnerable and share your heart! And I’d l love to hear more from that beautiful heart…

    And I love that last line as well… “You are my sister.  I will not idolize you.  I will not despise you, but I will run with you.  I will protect you, and together we will finish strong. ” That is really what we as women need and want  from each other. I think the criticizing as well as the pedastal-holding comes from a deep insecurity, and rather than running to God with that, it’s taken to other people and we try to validate ourselves by judging or by idolazing.

    GREAT WORDS, APRIL!!!

    Reply
  15. grace_to_be

    had something come up this morning and i immediately had this post come to mind… and it encouraged me to respond the right way. God has a way of bringing things to our attention at just the right time, doesn’t He? Cool God He is. :)

    Reply
  16. writersblock02

    Oh I just found this post now.  Love it!  It is something I have been journeying through for about six years now, and FINALLY feel like I truly give grace to other mothers, no matter how they do things.  It feels so free.

    Reply

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