09 April 2010

Who We Are

This post has been swirling in my head for a week or so. Don't get the idea that it's going to be brilliantly written or more captivating than my usual posts(I never make such lofty promises). It probably won't be, but it is something from my heart that has really been on my mind.

Have you noticed how much we compare ourselves to other people? I think that everyone, even those with the highest self-esteem, has fallen into this trap at some point in his or her life. It's a difficult pitfall to miss. We see someone who is smarter, prettier, stronger, wealthier, healthier, more talented, etc...and we want what they have. It's similar to the reason Eve grabbed the fruit in the garden. She wanted what wasn't hers, what God never intended for her to have, and she was harmed because of her choice to give into that desire. We, also, are harmed by our desire for characteristics and talents that we do not possess. Girls long to be beautiful, and if they feel they are not, they believe they are worth less than the girls who they view as beautiful when the truth is that God sees each of His creations as gorgeous, flawless and perfect. So why do we want what others have, or, if we don't necessarily want it, why do we view ourselves as less than someone else because we don't want it but feel the pressure of society causing us to think we should want it?

Women are terrible about this. We forget that we are all created in the image of the same God, and that He blesses us each with different talents, gifts and abilities because we are designed to complement each other. Our unique personalities are designed by the Creator for a specific purpose. For example, I have a friend who lives in the middle of a forest, raises goats for milk, chickens for eggs, homeschools her children and desires to be nothing short of the center of God's will for her life. This is God's will for her. I have no doubt about this because she thrives in this environment and so do her husband and children. I have another friend whose life couldn't be more opposite in that she lives in a somewhat urban area, you couldn't pay her to raise chickens, and her children go to a public school, but, she also desires to be at the center of God's will for her life. I don't doubt her choices or the fact that her life is centered in God's will for her either. If God wanted us all to be the same, then one of these two very godly women would have to be wrong. Neither of them is wrong. God designed them differently on purpose. He put them exactly where they are because he knew they would thrive there or learn to be content. He knew that the gifts he gave to each one had a perfect purpose.

Mothering is different for me than it is for you because I am different than you are. I enjoy traveling and experiencing new things with my kids. I love to cook healthy, from scratch meals for my family. I like to do crafts with my kids, though I'm not the most creative crafter out there. Homeschooling is a blast for me, and being up-to-speed on things like curriculum and homeschooling philosophies is interesting to me. I love throwing parties for my kids complete with cakes decorated by me and fun party themes and games. However...my house is usually a little cluttered; sometimes it's a lot cluttered. My floor doesn't get mopped as often as it should. I can't sew anything more than a button or hem. I purchase costumes for my kids because I can't make them and don't really want to learn to do so. I don't make anything special for breakfast most days of the week. Cereal and yogurt are what's served most of the time with the occasional dish of hot cream of wheat or scrambled eggs and toast. I consider some of these things to be shortcomings, especially when I look with envy at other moms who do all of those things that I wrote after the "however" in this paragraph. Those moms, however, don't do all of the things I posted before the "however." We can't all do it all. That's not the way we were designed. God designed me to love and enjoy certain tasks and not others. He made you to love those things. Thanks for filling my gaps when I need you to. There's the key. We're designed to help each other.

I may falter on what I'm about to say in the near future, but I am committing to being content with the way God made me. I don't need to create fantastic costumes for my children to wear or mop my floor everyday to know that I am the center of God's will for my life, and neither do you. You don't like to decorate cakes? Purchase one or bake the cake, slather on some frosting, stick in a candle and sing Happy Birthday. Your kid is going to love being the center of attention either way. You don't like to travel? Make special memories at home with game nights, movie nights and walks to the park. You don't like to cook? Well, you can't get out of that completely, but so what? Keep it simple and quick. That's what Rachael Ray is all about, and she seems to be doing pretty well.

However God designed you, be grateful for what he gave you to use, and use it to serve Him with your whole heart wherever He has planted you no matter what your circumstances are. You are designed uniquely by a perfect heavenly Father. He doesn't make mistakes.

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