I couldn't sleep, anxieties tugging at my mind. I logged into Pinterest and got lost in a world of virtual perfection. Beachy home decor, photo shoot-ready outfits, a different messy bun and braid combo for each day of the week. I finally crashed into bed feeling inspired - tomorrow I would look amazing and work my abs like a pro.
The baby woke to eat at 4:30. The middle one poked me awake at 7 - poke, poke, poke, on my forehead. I dragged myself to the bathroom while one eye refused to open. I made an effort - blew out my hair and put on eyeshadow - but no abs. No scripture. No quick-and-delicious breakfast frittatas and power kale smoothies. No perfection.
Tonight I sit folding loads of laundry and unloading some burdens onto Jesus. I lay out my faults for Him - procrastination, laziness, envy, insecurity, undisicpline. Things that I once thought were signs of immaturity, that I was sure I'd grow out of once I hit 30 - and that I have to now admit are just parts of who I am. I lay my heart bare for Him, and wait. Listen. Gently, lovingly, He disciplines. Reminds me of a simple truth.
that when I compare, whether I come out ahead or behind, it is a foolish exercise in pride. It destroys what He is trying to accomplish, which is to transform me into the woman He designed me to be. With my own strengths, talents, and gifts. And whatever I am good at - wherever my skills and talents align with my passion - that is where God wants to use me.
(I know, you'd think I would have understood this by now. But I'm a little slow sometimes.)
Case in point: I am not a great singer, to say the least. But I love to sing so much, and I always wanted to be an amazing singer. So now I have these friends who are amazing singers, and I feel jealous of their talent.
But God speaks the truth to me: "I didn't call you to minister through song. If I wanted you to sing for people, I would have gifted you with a voice people would want to hear."
Harsh. But, I love to sing. Like, passionately.
"Awesome. Sing passionately for your kids. Sing songs about me all day long so they will hide my word in their hearts."
Well, that's lovely and all, but where are the accolades for that?
"I'm supposed to get the accolades, remember?"
Ouch. He disciplines. He loves us too much not to.
Then God lays out for me what I can do. Where my gifts intersect with my passions. I'm funny, and I love to make people laugh. I write well, and I love to write. I'm gifted for hospitality, and I love to have people in my home. I'm a good listener. I make a mean pulled pork. I do great animal noises. I'm reaching, but you get the picture. Figure out how God has gifted you, even in the little ways, and ask Him how He wants to use them.
So I ask, and He instructs me in the ways I should go. How to use my gifts to encourage and bless and minister to the people He places in my life. And how to seek help where I fall short - glean wisdom from His word and from others who are strong where I am weak. I may not be naturally as patient with my children as another mom, but I can watch and learn from someone who is. Not with a jealous heart, but with a humble and honest one.
And if I can't design the perfect bedroom or apply eyeliner or bake the ultimate chocolate chip cookie? Well, that's what Pinterest is for. :)