Give thanks...for you
When’s the last time you thanked God for how He created you? If you’re like me, it probably doesn’t cross your mind. I’m thankful to God for a lot of things; I tell Him so when I pray. I’m thankful for my family. I’m thankful for my friends. I’m thankful for Jesus. I’m thankful for my home. I’m thankful for forgiveness. I’m thankful for books. I’m thankful that I get to be a mom. I’m thankful for neighbors that feel like family. I’m thankful for my kids’ schools and their teachers. I’m thankful for my church. I’m thankful for almond extract and guacamole, obviously not combined. All that to say, I’m thankful for a lot of things, a lot of people, a lot of blessings. One thing that hardly dawns on me to thank Him for is…me.
It occurred to me the other day that I’m really good at putting myself down. Most of the time I do this in my head, but from time to time, I’ll give myself a good tongue lashing. I’m so quick to acknowledge what I think my failures are and let them take root into my identity. What’s funny is I never consider whether God intended for me to be good at the thing I think I’m failing at. What if my shame is over something God never meant for me to attain at all? What if I’m undervaluing my own uniqueness in efforts to be something I was never supposed to be in the first place?
I’m not sure of anything that fuels self-loathing more than social media. In a place where everyone is showcasing their successes, it’s easy to believe we have failed or are somehow “not as good as _________”. And moms, we’re the worst at this. Can I spit some truth for a second?
If you are a stay at home mom and are not in multi-level marketing, you are still doing enough.
If you are a working mother and did not sign up to bring 100 snacks to celebrate the 100th day of school, you are still doing enough.
If you have little kids and your husband travels so you feed your kids Chick fil A more than you like to admit, you are still doing enough.
If your house is a wreck and laundry is piling up because you have other things going on, you are still doing enough.
If you don’t workout consistently because you work and have kids and have a full plate already, you are still doing enough.
If you don’t take your kids to Disney World every summer and post about it, thank you.
I’m just saying I think we can get bent out of shape over others’ successes thinking we are supposed to be doing the same thing when in actuality, we’re not. We were created for something different. What if instead of wishing for different things or criticizing ourselves for what we’re not, we took a minute and thanked God for how he made us? I wonder if He shakes His head every time He hears us being critical of ourselves? I wonder if He ever wants to whisper in our ear, “Pssst, I made you incredible. One of a kind. And I spent a lot of time on getting you just right. I wish you would realize what I’ve known all along.” Just because talents aren’t valued by the world doesn’t mean they’re not valuable. God’s economy is upside-down, remember?
So instead of making a list of your shortcomings, why not take a minute and thank God for an amazing quality He instilled inside of you. Even if it takes you a minute to think about it, take the time. It’s not being braggy to recognize something good about yourself. I think Christians are the worst at saying they’re good at anything because we wouldn’t want to sound conceited. I bought into this for a long time. But if as Christians, we walk around feeling horrible about ourselves and saying horrible things about ourselves, what are we actually saying about God’s handiwork? When we criticize ourselves, we criticize God’s creation. Who are we to do that? We’re not perfect. This is not about thinking we’re perfect. This is about discounting the fact that we were made in God’s image. Own how God made you. So what if you aren’t cubic zirconia level in a multi-level marketing company; you might make a mean chicken piccata. So what if you don’t get matchy family pictures made every year; you got every kid to every place they needed to be this week. So what if your home isn’t curated to look like a magazine cover; people feel loved when they come to your house. So what if you’re not the boss where you work; you made sure everyones’ schedules ran smoothly all week because you are a boss at admin. So what if you didn’t work out every day this week; you went on a walk with a friend who needed a listening ear. We don’t all have to be good at the same things. That would be boring. It takes all kinds of kinds and that’s exactly as it should be.