Why did I choose today to let her pick her own clothes?! Of course, today we’d bump into her–the mom that makes me feel like the Peg Bundy to her June Cleaver.
I looked down at my daughter. Princess dress. Leopard boots. Red Christmas coat. Christmas was weeks past mind you. Unruly curls, wild and untamed. And too late for us to go unnoticed.
Fast forward a few minutes. Past the pleasantries and grocery store chit chat. And boom. My nearly four-year-old uttered the words of my nightmares. Everything went full on slow motion.
“I really like you guys. You are SO much better than me and my Mommy!”
You know the “I’m melting!” scene in The Wizard of Oz? I longed for that.
Poor Mrs. Cleaver was so gracious. She was quick to reassure my daughter (and possibly me) “Oh my goodness Marlee! That isn’t true at all!”
But seriously, you cannot bounce back from that. A few more moments of awkward tension and we said our goodbyes.
Embarrassed? Total understatement. Mortified. But mostly devastated. The very thought that my preschool age child is already acquainted with comparison was enough to make me crumble.
I am SO careful never to voice my insecurities around my daughters. I never verbally obsess about body image. I remind my daughters often that they are beautiful inside and out. I highlight their abilities and great qualities above their looks. I never obsess over my flaws (well, not in front of my daughters at least.) All that personal growth!
Shot down in Wal-Mart of all places (again!)
I’m well acquainted with the weight of having daughters and feel desperate to get it right. I’m constantly plagued with visions of my kids, sitting in therapy (chewing on strands of hair) discussing all the ways the I failed. My kids inheriting my issues is certainly not an option.
So how did my 4-year-old seem to read my very (negative) thoughts?
Was it possible that my feelings were coming out in subtle ways? Even though I never vocalized them? Or maybe, it wasn’t so subtle. Maybe my actions were screaming volumes above my words.
When we believe a lie, we can experience the far-reaching effects of that lie without ever speaking it aloud.
Sometimes I love God’s divine timing. I had recently started a fabulous bible study, The Quest by Beth Moore. Coinciding with my Wal-Mart debacle, the exercise for the day was to identify five things that you earnestly seem to believe, and who told you that. For better or worse.
If you are like me, I don’t spend much time on a normal day thinking about the core beliefs that shape my life. But I knew it was about to get real. So, I spent days digging.
The core beliefs that shape my life. Total honesty. Not the ones that sound good on paper, but total soul transparency. And when I jotted down my real and raw list over a 4-day span, this is where I landed:
- I earnestly seem to believe that I’m never good enough.
- I earnestly seem to believe something dreadful will happen to me and/or my kids.
- I earnestly seem to believe my past altered God’s plan for me.
- I earnestly seem to believe God doesn’t have a plan for my life.
- I earnestly seem to believe I have no gifting.
Sharing this list feels something akin to that dream where you show up on the first day of school naked.
But I believe we are at a point where we could all use a little real, raw truth. Because what this list showed me is that one lie perpetuates another lie.
If I believe God has no plan for me, or that he did but my past made it null and void, then it makes sense I’d live in fear of something dreadful happening. If I believe I’m never good enough, it makes sense that I would fail to believe God has a plan for my life. Lies. And more lies.
If I constantly compare myself another mom, I am tying my worth to the scale of her worth. I am the mother of Delaney and Marlee. I am gifted to be their mother. No one else’s. If another mother looks a little different in her momming, that’s ok. She’s a different person, with different children. Of course, it’s going to look different. I must learn to keep my eyes on my own lane.
If I believe my worth is tied to my looks, even if I never voice that to my kids, my actions are screaming something contrary. One of the best things about this exercise was identifying WHY we believe what we do. Call out the lie, then call out the source.
So why are women so fast to believe that our worth is inextricably tied to our looks? I believe most women carry this lie, but we’ve been fed it from so many sources. And true to form, one lie perpetuates another.
Last night I talked with a friend who just had an amazing weight loss. She was talking about how reaching smaller sizes and trying new jeans was so emotional. Step by step, having to say, “If these don’t fit, I will not get angry with myself.” Then crying hysterically when they fit.
We take these things SO personally!
And you begin to wonder, is it all because of a lie at the core of our beliefs?
Can I challenge you today, call out some lies! Identify the source, and shine some truth. Just as one lie perpetuates another, truth begets truth. It’s a chain reaction. I pray that for you and me today and moving forward, that truth replaces every lie that we believe at the core of who we are.
That we will know the truth, and the truth will set us free.
Becca Fee-Carter is a wife and mother of 2 amazing daughters. She lives in Kentucky where she enjoys obsessively reading, running 5Ks with her daughters and bargain shopping. She loves Jesus, daily discovering new facets of God’s grace, and the fact that she’s so far from perfect and that is just fine. Read Becca’s posts here.
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