I have a confession to make: I have NO idea what my natural hair color is! I could guess, but that’s all it would be: a guess.
Here’s another one: I have an expensive coffee addiction! Just ask Starbucks and my husband.
Do you have time for one more? I only clean my house when I know that people are coming over. Luckily, we host a small group, so it does happen at least every two weeks; except I honestly couldn’t tell you the last time I mopped all of my floors!
All of this confessing leads me to ask myself what exactly is the motivation behind keeping some of these things hidden? Why do the majority of us feel like we are in a secret competition with everyone? Wouldn’t life be a lot happier if we just were honest with each other. Up front with each other, like “Yeah, I did run today, but I also skipped vacuuming to watch TV while the kids napped. Then I ate three Krispy Kremes; so I kinda had to run!” Instead, we try to make it seem effortless and perfect. While posting things on Facebook and Instagram that make us look like we have got it all together! Like we are the most wholesome family on the block. Like our marriages are perfect. Like our kids are straight-A, smarty pants, athletes who never EVER do anything wrong.
I have a clean, messy, lovely, quirky, mouthy, kind, loud, and sometimes organized home that runs a whole lot smoother when I am able to put an end to the comparison and competition. Wow, this is so much easier said than done! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our first response was always one of kindness instead of comparison? What if we were able to just take a second and think before we judged?
What if that neighbor who works full-time at a job she loves, who always seems like she has extra time and a clean house, would love to be chasing and cleaning up after a 2-year-old?
Maybe that homeschooling mom who is always smiling wishes she could find the courage to tell you it’s really hard.
And that stay-at-home mom who always seems to have it together, maybe she can’t stand the sound of her quiet house.
What about that family who is always running late? Who always seems like they’re moving from one chaotic mess to another. Who look like they could always use an extra pair of hands….maybe they LOVE it. Maybe what we see as chaos is their “clean, messy, quirky, mouthy, kind, loud and sometimes organized” life.
But we will never know unless we stop putting up these walls. We will never fully understand until we are willing to stop pretending. Just like you can’t fully appreciate a gift until you give, you need to be willing to accept help in order to understand how to help. So often we want to give, but have trouble when it’s our turn to receive. We struggle with the fact that we need help too…that everything isn’t always perfect. Or that the way life looks through the eyes of social media may be a little “embellished” for the sake of public opinion.
Confession: I am always behind on the laundry. My kids beds are NEVER made. I usually put off grocery shopping until there is nothing in the pantry but pinto beans and oatmeal. And honestly, leaving my nursing career and staying home has been a much more difficult transition than I thought it would be. My family loves it; but sometimes I feel lost.
I’ll say what I have said before; I completely believe God created us to need each other. To find community with each other, and build relationships with one another. No good comes when we compare ourselves to one another. No one wins when we build walls around our lives. When we paint the picture that we don’t need anyone we only hurt ourselves.
So, let’s take down the walls. Let’s put an end to all the pretending and comparing. Let’s be honest with one another. I know it’s not going to happen all at once, and it’s probably going to take some real, honest effort for most of us. But, I am confident it will be worth it in the end. The people God has placed in your life are not there by accident. He wants us to depend on Him. He wants us to depend on each other. I will choose happy this week because I am not alone, and help is only an honest moment away. Let’s all stand together, helping each other, as the walls around our hearts come down.