This was originally written in September 2014 for my MOPS group newsletter and it’s a slightly cleaned up version of a much older post.
About a year ago, a friend of mine said something to me that was so utterly profound. She had read this quotation by Steve Furtick that said, “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” For a year now, I’ve chewed on that statement time and again. Why? Because that is what life has become.
Honestly, that is what blogging, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest tend to be: highlight reels. How many mommy bloggers have it together as much as their lives appear to be? Seriously? All meals are organic, bought with coupons, prepared weeks in advance as freezer meals, and easily complete the food pyramid for the non-picky children. Not a drop of high fructose syrup, fast food fries, or pop tarts enters a mouth in those houses.
They train up their children to model Biblical behavior without ever the need to raise their voice, wake up at 5am to exercise and have their morning Bible study, shuffle the kids throughout the day to various activities, prepare and deliver a meal to a new mom, volunteer on a committee at their church or school, and are super organized in their immaculate house. Oh, and they still have enough energy to have sex with their husbands more than once a week.
I see their “highlight reel” on my Facebook feed just as I realize we are out of milk, I’m cleaning up dried up French fries from under the dining room table (probably from last week), trying to order a pizza, and yelling at the kids as I breakup an argument over who gets to be the #1 controller on the Wii to play Super Mario. Did I mention I am in the same pair of jeans I wore the last four days because I haven’t done laundry in a week? Good thing I haven’t worked out. Those yoga pants don’t wash themselves. Febreeze, what would I do without you? I have to have something to wear for my MOPS meeting tomorrow that smells fresh.
And now my kids are crying. I probably shouldn’t have yelled… Again. The Bible says “A soft answer turns away wrath.” I read that in my devotion, uh, um… A couple weeks ago. Yep… I need to quit ignoring that daily reminder from my Bible app.
If only I wasn’t always so tired… I could do better at Bible study. I could exercise. I wouldn’t be stressed so much. My anxiety would not be overwhelming at times. I wouldn’t feel so… Depressed? I might be a more attentive wife. I would be a nicer mommy. I would be sally homemaker. I might actually be like that perfect mom on those blogs.
My life would look really good, too, if you only saw the highlights. But that isn’t who I am. I am a flawed person with human weaknesses. I feel pretty crazy at times, like I am about to lose it. I feel completely like A Beautiful Mess. The wonderful thing is that God loves me and covers my mess with His grace. The Apostle Paul said it best in 2 Corinthians 12:9 “Each time he [God] said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” I’ll take God’s grace working through me. That’s much better than the pressure of living up to someone else’s highlight reel.