Last week, we talked about lowering our expectations for others, all the while keeping them high with God, in whom all our hopes are supposed to rest.
But there is another part of expectations we should probably talk about.
Expectations of ourselves.
Yikes. Sore subject for some of us, I know!
But I was thinking while in the shower the other day(I do my very best thinking there!)….Is it really about what WE think we should be? Or is it more of who we see OTHERS to be? I think our expectations of ourselves come largely out of comparing ourselves to EVERYBODY ELSE. Let’s face it. There are those in our lives who APPEAR to have it altogether. Their children are always clean, and they themselves look like they stepped out of a catalog. But we don’t really see what’s going on at home. We don’t see their fears and crazy habits, either. Because some people are just better at hiding it than others. So, it really isn’t fair to me to adopt a standard that is only a facade, right? And you know what? There are a few people in the world that DO have it all together. RIGHT NOW. They may have a seriously messed up story to tell you about their past. And if not, they WILL one day.
And maybe another part of our self-expectations comes from the feedback we receive from others, which just feeds our doubts. I’ll give you one example, but trust me- I have tons!:
A couple of the moms (most of them never do this!) that I pass in the daycare seem to be accusing me with their giant, judgey eyeballs, and spewing words like acid, “YOUR CHILD (some people have an unsettling ability to make those two words sound like a disease or something!) is running way down the hall! You’d better go get him!”, seemingly sending me into some kind of damnation for awful mamas because I can’t keep up with a kid who sprints and also watch out for one who grazes when she walks! When I walk out that door, I have begun to think that I’m a careless mother, who can’t keep track of her children.
So, what other things am I doing wrong?
This is sooo not the kind of life God wants for any of us! He doesn’t want us hanging our head in shame because success for us doesn’t look like it does for our next door neighbor.
We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise
Some of those work colleagues, or the moms at the playground, although they hide it with shallow smiles and neatly pressed suits, are just as insecure as the rest of us. But in that moment they bragged about their kid learning Mandarin at age five, or just had to mention that they have a lakehouse in Tahoe, they made YOU feel worse than THEY feel.
So, mission accomplished.
Let’s remember that there are no perfect people, no matter how much they might try to convince us! And EVERYONE is fighting a battle we know nothing about.
And the battle that comes from purely within? I have some verses for us, too!
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
GOD DOESN’T EXPECT PERFECTION FROM ANY OF US! He loved us before time began, knowing all the horrible mistakes we would make, and He will slowly work in us, if we let Him, to make us resemble Him more and more each day.
And that IS perfection! The process of “becoming more perfect”!
That is good enough for me!
It was this theme that sort of “birthed” an idea to have a group of moms, committed to encourging one another to NOT strive for perfection! But instead to strive for “moments” that will matter to you and to your children, not because of their grandeur, but because of their simplicity! The group is called “The Mom of the Moment (M.O.M.)”, so please pray for us as we try to live this life with joy! Thank you!