Oh, my goodness. How many times have I looked at another woman and thought, Wow, she must have it all together. Have you been there?
It usually goes something like this…
I’m having one of those morning where getting ready took about three hours because I was constantly correcting my kids, redirecting them from playing in the bathroom cupboards for the 100th time (why haven’t we put up the kids locks yet?!?). I’m trying to convince my four-year-old to play with his little brother so that he stays occupied for two seconds. My hair, of course, is having one of those days when the weather is more powerful than all of my hot tools and it just sort of gives up. I’m looking at my make up and trying to decide what I can put on to look pulled together and still be done in the 30 seconds I have to myself. (Would it be weird if I just wore sunglasses all day!?)
Breakfast part two is being requested but breakfast part one is still all over the floor and table because my one-year-old is still in a phase where throwing the food is more fun than swallowing the food. All the snacks have been eaten and I still have to repack them for our outing. Oh, and we’re out of diapers because sleep deprivation has broken down communication between my husband and me on things like necessities!
Are you feeling anxious yet? Because reliving that through writing it out made my heart beat a little faster!
So, there’s a picture of my morning. We finally get out of the house and make it to our outing: grocery store, play date, Bible study, Mom’s group, wherever! I’m feeling a bit frazzled, and there she is. That woman who looks totally calm. She’s quietly smiling and talking with friends. Her children are impeccably dressed, she looks perfectly put together. Her hair is, of course, wonderfully smooth and shiny! (Can you tell how much my hair is loving this weather lately?!)
My head is still spinning from my morning, calm sounds like an unreachable ideal, and now I’ve started to beat myself up with envy and comparison. WHY? Why do I allow those awful, self destructive thoughts in? I don’t even have time for them!! And yet, there they are.
Have you been there? I think we’ve all felt like this. I’m betting you’ve also been the woman who looks totally pulled together and calm, too. The one someone is looking at and wondering, “Wow does she do it?” “How does she always seem like she has it all together?”
Here’s a secret: NO ONE HAS IT ALL TOGETHER. Even if it looks like it. Even if it seems like everything is calm and serene in her life. Even if she looks stunning every single time you see her. Even if her kids could basically pass for perfect little dolls. Even if she’s the future Queen of England and she has staff to do everything!! (I love Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge!) No one is perfect. It’s impossible.
So she might have one area of her life together but I guarantee there’s another part that’s a mess. It might be a really great day and everything is working together for her, but tomorrow, or even this afternoon, will be different. Because kids. Because life. Because weather and hair don’t always get along!
Recently, I was talking to two of my girlfriends about life. (Names have been changed, of course!) Ashley was commenting about how she never felt put together. She mentioned another friend, Eva, and how she was always so pretty and pulled together and how she wished she could be like that. Seriously, THREE DAYS LATER, Eva told me she hated all her clothes and needed to go shopping because she felt frumpy compared to the other women she saw!
WHY do we do this to ourselves??!! Comparison is the thief of all joy. Let’s give ourselves some grace. Grace for the days when we can’t get it together. Grace for the days when we can. Because tomorrow is coming. Grace to just show up. Being present, in any state and connecting with our friends and encouraging one another and walking together in this crazy life is so much better than looking like we have it all together.
Let’s let grace spill out of us so abundantly that the grace we’re showing ourselves washes over the woman who struggle to give it to themselves. So when she looks at us she sees NOT that we have it all together, but that we have grace we’re ready to shower onto her.
Because giving grace and showing up are better than anything else we can do.