Just found this in the drafts folder, written in October no doubt, I believe I walked away to go nurse a baby or kiss a wet head goodnight. Anyway, it’s good, and I meant to finish and post it, so here it is.
We recently attended a required Confirmation parent meeting for our second child, Terese. This is her last year of Confirmation 2 and I can’t wait to see this amazing young woman take that strong step into adulthood and make the committment to be a solider for Christ!
The meeting wasn’t particularly bad, our RE director was letting us know about the differences between raising boys and raising girls and had several activities for us to participate in to illustrate her point. One such activity was meeting someone new to us and asking a series of questions of that person. Innocent enough activity, right? I answered questions about my personal life reluctantly, sheepishly.
“How many kids do you have?”
“oh, ummm, eight? The oldest two are girls, then six boys” (it’s here that the baby demands a cuddle, smart little one!)
The response was predictable “WOW, EIGHT?? Huh. I have 3, and I am quite thankful this is my youngest and I’m finally done. Eight, huh? Wow. huh. Wow”
Then we went back to listening to more talk before the next questions were required.
I had to name a hobby I enjoyed. I said “sewing”. I like it! It’s fun. I’m not incredibly good at it, but I don’t suck either, it’s what I would do with my time if I had any.
I got a bit of an overwhelmed eye roll and a response of “well. I just clean, it’s what I do. I love it.” (I gotta say I was a bit intimidated at this point, thinking THIS woman needs to never, ever step foot into my house!)
I started to feel a bit apologetic, as I usually do, at what God has blessed me with. Somehow we got onto the subject of homes and I mentioned that we had 20 chickens. Another exasperated eye twitch. Then, as happens, the question of education came up. Where do my children go to school. “We homeschool” I mumbled, head hanging, slightly ashamed, mostly because I was so tired of hearing how “amazing” I must be, how perfect my family sounds, how I must be the best woman in the world to be able to do all that because no one else she knows could. I was so ashamed of who I am and who God has called me to be. She did roll her eyes, she did slap her legs in resignation and say “of course. Why not. AND you’ve got make up on”. I sat, with my head nearly hanging, because without intending to, I have hurt a fellow mother. Just by mothering my own.
Later, I realized how insane that is. I shouldn’t be ashamed to be living out the life God has called me to. I shouldn’t be afraid to shout from the mountains that we love our kids and would welcome more if it were God’s Will. I shouldn’t be afraid of admitting that God has blessed our family so abundantly! None of these blessing should bring heartache, or fear, they are on loan, straight from the Creator, Himself! I do not stand in judgement over women who have fewer children, I don’t have time. I don’t stand in judgement over women who don’t homeschool, how could I? I can’t even find my school table right now! I don’t stand in judgement over the state of your home (have you seen mine???). I don’t judge you based on whether or not you work! I’ve been there too, working mom of two kids trying to make it all work. I don’t have time to judge. Really, none of us do. We need to stop the eye rolling and the heavy sighs and the comparing one to another. We are all doing God’s work to the best of our ability within the means we’re given. We need to start smiling at one another (and meaning it!) we need to love and encourage each other and we need to quit being intimidated by each other. We all have strengths and gifts, every one of us. We all have weaknesses, each and every one. That doesn’t make us “less” it makes us His.