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31 Days to Shine: Silencing The Inner “You Stink”

October 7, 2013

The excerpt below is taken from a post I wrote for The M.O.M. Initiative, published November 8, 2012.

Have you met her? She can be a quiet whisper, or an irritating shriek. She loves it when you’re sad, thrives when you’re mad, and wants nothing more than to see you miserable.

She tells you you’re not good enough. She compares you constantly with your friends, other mothers, and all those pretty pictures on Pinterest.

What kind of mother ARE you?
You ALWAYS get it wrong, don’t you?
Nobody else feels like this. Just YOU.
Ketchup doesn’t count as a vegetable. It never has.
You’ll never be good ENOUGH.

She’s had a lot of names, but me? I think this suits her best; Lois Shea in her essay Big House, Little House, Back House, Barn from Leslie Morgan Steiner’s The Mommy Wars, hits the nail on the head.

We have an awful tendency to see our own failings as mothers – real or imagined – in one another’s strengths. [My friend] calls this phenomenon, only half-jokingly, the inner “you stink” voice.

I hear her when I’m worn out, spread too thin…she’s loudest when my load is heavy and my resources few. Every Facebook entry when someone else is making a better dinner for their family than I am. Every homemade costume, every organic meal, no matter how hard I try there is always someone, somewhere doing it better than I am. Whatever IT is.

I will never measure up to the Pinterest-perfect ideal.

And neither will you.

But here’s the thing…

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Ephesians 2:10, (NASB)

While our lives may not be Pinterest-perfect, we ourselves are the workmanship of God! Not something assembly-line- made, but carefully thought-out, planned, and hand-crafted. This same word, “workmanship,” was also used to describe the creation of a work of art, or poem.

You are the poetry of God. Exactly as you are. Not what you do, but who you are. 

Whether we serve organic or fast-food, whether we get it right today or get it wrong, whether our garments are hand-made, or store-bought, whether we missed the mark or saved the day…we are, without question, the handiwork, the finely-crafted, the carefully-planned poetry of God.

If that doesn’t make us Pinterest-worthy, I don’t know what would.

Go then, and be shiny today! Don’t just do it for yourself, do it for her. She needs your glow.

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