Sometimes my children are perfect little angels around others. They smile politely and say things like, “please” and “thank you.”
Other times they arch their back, throw themselves on the floor, and squeal loudly when they don’t get their way.
Sometimes I leave the house and my hair is perfect, and my clothing is not only complimentary, but also stylish and stain-free.
Other times I pass the mirror quickly and shake my head over the hot-mess that looks back at me.
Sometimes when my kids do something ridiculous or disobey me I respond in a calm, yet authoritative tone of voice that conveys gentle and effective discipline while still supplying grace.
Other times I scream in a panicky, madwoman tone of voice that implies I may have zero parenting skills of which to speak.
Sometimes I come to a public party or event on time with the perfect, homemade dessert and my children looking like they come from the pages of a boutique ad.
Other times I come in late on two-wheels, hair standing on end, food-stained smocks on the kids, and some packaged edible if I’m lucky.
Sometimes people may thing I have it all together, but other times not so much. Sometimes maybe I kinda do, but it really doesn’t matter because I’m always just a single meltdown away from disaster. That’s just how it is. I have a full-plate, and sometimes that doesn’t bode well with an abundant amount of patience. Perhaps on occassion I appear completely serene, and maybe at that moment I even am. But here’s the thing.
I don’t care how it appears to you. I don’t care if I look like I arrived in a time machine from 1992 to you, or if you think I should pay more attention to my kids in that split second you see me on my phone. You’re only seeing a moment in time; you’re not seeing me.
I don’t care if you think my kids are well-behaved, or if you think they’re absolute brats. The fact is they’re both sometimes. But I love them regardless.
It doesn’t matter if you think I’m Super Mom (I’m obviously not), or if you think I need to work on it (I probably do). The fact is I’m trying. My kids see it, my husband sees it, and if I’m alright with Jesus then I reckon I’m alright. See, I learned a while back that the good Lord’s opinion of me is what defines me so whether you think I have it all together, or whether you whisper about how I don’t, I don’t care. Your opinion doesn’t make me or break me. If there’s anything I would desire to impart it would be that I’m a big ole mess (I probably impart that pretty well), but Jesus loves me anyway. I guess you could say I’m a work in progress. If you see anything, see that.
Do I sometimes care a little bit what you think of me? Sure. Let’s just be honest with one another. I am human after all. Sometimes I’ll put my best face forward for you to see. I’ll share the pretty pictures of everyone sitting around the table doing their school lessons. You won’t see where someone starts crying because they don’t feel like doing the reading lesson that day, or even the look of frustration on my face after forcing them to do it anyway. I guess sometimes we all care a little bit about what others think, but we shouldn’t. The only one whose opinion matters sees it all, all the ugly and unmentionable, yet loves us just as we are. Thank you, Lord.
So maybe you think I’m a weirdo, outcast. That’s cool. I kinda am. Maybe you think I breastfeed my babies far too long, am one of those kooky homeschoolers, and I talk about Jesus way too much! Guilty as charged! Your opinion doesn’t define me. I’ll keep feeding my kids microwave macaroni and cheese after a long day, and singing at the top of my lungs at the redlight. I can’t even keep up with Joneses. It’s all I can do to keep up with my own day. You do you, I’ll do me, and we’ll all live happily ever after if we stop focusing on the opinion of anyone outside our own front step. Am I right?
Because here’s the important part. We are all unique creations, a masterpiece in the eye of our designer. Each idiosyncrasy we see as a flaw, He sees as beautiful. He sees us as His perfect design. We should all rest in that.