Pastor's wife who runs the children's ministry, counsels women, bakes bread for the elderly, directs the choir, and dresses her whole family in coordinating outfits every Sunday.
Homeschool mom of 17 who makes all the kids clothes, who only feeds her family organic whole foods that she's grown and canned herself.
Who writes and speaks at women's conferences about her 5 adoptions and the non-profit she runs, and the 84 books she's written. Oh, and she only buys fair trade, has craft time once a week, and documents everyone of her children's milestones with scrapbooks and Facebook pictures.
Oh, and whose house is so clean that you could eat off the floors (and she only uses non toxic cleaners to do so). She always has snacks made from scratch in the oven when you drop by, and sends you home with fresh honey from the bees in the backyard."
Ok, so maybe I am being a little over the top, but that's what I see portrayed so often. And then I believe I need to aspire to be like her, with her perfect little self. So, I resolve to do better. To get up earlier. To support my husband better. To speak only kind loving words as I parent. To provide healthy meals that include all the nutritional food groups. To only bake from scratch and not out of a box. To make better choices with my money, and to plead the case of the orphan.
Then, then I start my plan. And almost as soon as I start, I fail. I don't get up early because Elliott has decided it'd be fun to make me up 4 times between 2 and 5am. I hand my daughter a prepackaged clif bar as I yell, "hurry up or we will be late" and storm out the door for church. Then, I realize that I forgot to put the pork roast in the crock pot before I left the house. Guess we will have ham sandwiches for lunch again.
Here is what I am learning: I will fail daily. I will sin and screw up and need forgiveness moment by moment. That's the whole reason Jesus came. I couldn't, and still can't save myself, or do enough good things to reconcile my relationship with Him.
There is a lady at church who I aspire to be when I grow up...and the other day I heard her say! I need to stop striving and simply abide (I probably didn't get this quote exactly right, please forgive me). Oh how true are her words. John 15 is one of my favorite passages of Scripture. Abide in Me. Cling to Me.
So, here is my new plan. Instead of holding my life up and comparing myself to the impossibly perfect women I read about, I am going to ABIDE in Christ. I am going to wake up each day and ask God for the strength to abide in Him. I am going to follow Him, and his call on my life: to bring Him glory. I can bring Him glory only when I abide in Him and seek to live my life in a way that reflects His character and therefore points my children to Him.
Because, friends, I'd not want Sveta to grow up and become a mom who thinks she is a failing Supermom. And I don't want to live pretending and striving to be something that matters not. I want to live abiding, and teach those who watch my life, that I am not a failing Supermom.
I am simply a disciple of Jesus who desires to abide in His love, that others may be drawn to abide in His love as well. Because, in His love is the best place to be. And He loves whether I have made brownies with a box mix or with the flour I ground from the wheat I grew (or didn't grow).
I pray that you are encouraged to abide, rather than strive!