I Am Superwoman…
Do you ever have days with a great perspective? Where you think to yourself, “I am Superwoman! My toddler ate kale, spinach, and all the healthy things today! She took a three-hour nap! I cleaned the entire house and had dinner made before my husband came home! I had my quiet time with God, and did two loads of laundry. I. Am. Superwoman!!”
Cue the eyerolling or hysterical laughter.
Maybe that happens once in a blue moon, am I right?
…Or Maybe I’m Not Superwoman
But most days around my house, things don’t look quite so super. The fruit cup has been thrown all over the kitchen. My floor is only clean-ish because my two dogs lick up the toddler’s thrown food and a robot vacuum picks up the dogs’ ever-shedding fur. When naps aren’t as long as I need them to be, everything else seems to fall apart too. Clean house? Well, at least everything is off the floor at some point so the robot vacuum can do its thing. Sometimes things get moved from floor to bed and back again…several days in a row. Of course dinner gets on the table–it comes straight out of the crock-pot, or the freezer, or to-go boxes. Even though quiet time with God is even more necessary than coffee, often it does not happen. Laundry? Well, everyone has clean undies, so we’re good, right?
Today was totally one of those days.
And it was a Monday which made everything even more unpleasant.
Sometime between nap #1 and lunchtime, I FaceTimed my mom in pure desperation, distraught over the fact that my daughter’s main food groups seemed to be Cheerios, apple juice, and animal cookies. I felt horribly guilty about getting mad at her earlier for pulling my hair (her favorite pastime). And the house–oh, the house. I had turned off the robot vacuum mid-session because I just couldn’t deal with ALL THE NOISE anymore.
My mother in all her infinite, life-speaking wisdom addressed the food group issue first.
“Look at it week by week. If she gets what she needs each week, she’s good. And she is. You’re doing a good job. Just take it week by week.”
Week by week.
I’d heard that before. Way back during my nursing school days. All the doctors would say to me, “Just take it a week at a time. If you think much farther ahead than that, you’ll go crazy.”
So that was how I functioned. A week at a time.
Week by week. I can do that. I’ve done that. So I can do that now.
When everything is crazy and feels like it’s out of your control, it’s so easy to loose perspective. To think that ALL your child is eating is Cheerios. To feel like you can’t get anything accomplished. To think your entire world exists solely within the walls of your home.
But how do you get perspective when it really does feel like your entire world exists within the walls of your home? (Stay-at-home and work-at-home ladies, I’m talking to you.) Or what if your entire world feels like your office and your job and your co-workers? (Career women, here’s your sign.) Or what if you’re in that in-between place where you’re still trying to figure everything out? (Single ladies post-college, there’s yours.)
How Do You Get Perspective?
How do you get perspective when everything seems so big? So out of your control? So hard?
Yes, intentionally. Otherwise, the only perspective you’ll have is whatever you put in front of your eyes and ears. And “whatever” is exactly where the Enemy is lurking.
Whatever scrolls by on your Facebook, Instagram, or other social media outlet.
Whatever that model looks like on the TV commercial during Saturday’s afternoon football game.
Whatever the magazine headlines at the grocery store check-out line say.
Whatever the Enemy whispers to you as you wipe up another mess off the floor, squeeze into those tight jeans, or loose your cool behind the steering wheel.
“You’re not cut out for this.”
“You’re not skinny enough.”
“You don’t take good care of yourself.”
“You’re an emotional wreck.”
“Your house doesn’t look like the one in the Southern Living catalog.”
“You’re wasting your time.”
“You’ll never reach that goal.”
“He doesn’t think you’re important.”
“They don’t love you.”
HALT! Right there! Because that’s exactly where he wants to get you, and if you let him keep talking to you like that, he will.
It’s time to speak up and send him back to hell and get some perspective that isn’t his.
Are You Ready for a Different Perspective?
Ok. Let’s go.
Who are you, sister?
You are loved. (Romans 5:8)
First, we have to get back in the Word.
True perspective comes from knowing the Word. And in these days, friend, we need to know it a whole lot better than we do. Not only do we need to be speaking it to ourselves on an hourly basis, we need to be speaking it into our husbands and our children. It is our responsibility as wife and mother and sister and daughter to speak life into the home we find ourselves in.
Secondly, we have to cut out talk that is not life-affirming.
And y’all, this one might hurt a little. You might have to cut some actual people out of your day-to-day life to make this one happen. (For more on how and why to do this, read Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. If you haven’t read this book, click on over and order it off Amazon or iTunes.) Even if the person is someone you can’t cut out of your life, the Boundaries book will help you with that too.
This also might mean disconnecting from social media. Whether that means deactivating an account, unfollowing or unfriending specific people, or simply deleting the app from your phone, you are being fed perspective through these outlets. It needs to be life-affirming. If it isn’t, it needs to go. Same with television shows and the music you’re listening to. Start paying attention to what is actually going into your mind. If it isn’t positive, life-giving, or speaking the truth, cut it out.
Thirdly, find the life-speakers in your church.
Plug in with them. This can seem like a daunting assignment. Where to start? Where will that fit in with this busy schedule? What if I don’t like them? Or, what if they don’t like me??
Do you have a home church where you actually feel at home? I’ll betcha they have small groups. Look at your calendar, find three nights you have available, and find a small group whose schedule lines up with yours. Sign up and go. Commit to it for a semester. If you don’t click with that group, you can most likely switch to another one. And I am praying right now that you will find a new best friend in that small group–someone who will like you for all your quirks and preferences.
What if you don’t have a home church? Do you know someone with similar values to you who has a home church? Or someone who is transparent about his/her faith, and it lines up with yours or where you’d like for yours to be? If you ask them if you can go to church with them one Sunday, they will fall out of their shoes, and when they come to, they’ll say YES. Their church also probably has a small group you can plug into.
Finally, find a community group who will lift you up.
Now, this next suggestion is really going to blow your mind. It’s gonna sound like CRAZY talk, but you could also plug in somewhere other than your church. What? Find life-speakers elsewhere?! Yes. Don’t spill your coffee.
Bible Study Fellowship. MOPS. MOMSNext. Your local community center or library might even have support groups who meet for all kinds of different reasons. Do you like to quilt? Maybe they have a quilting club. Go check it out!
Personally, I find a lot of positivity, truth, and life-speak in my weekly Mary Kay training meeting. Feel free to tag along as a guest with someone who attends. Maybe you will feel as encouraged as I do!
Whatever kind of group you find, the key is it needs to be a life-speaking, truth-centered environment. That is what keeps our perspective where it needs to be.
Proper perspective tells you:
- The world isn’t as dark and scary as the news suggests.
- That perfect moms don’t exist. But good ones do, and you are a good one.
- It’s 100% okay you let your children eat fast food three times this week.
- Nice people are almost everywhere. Not everyone hates everyone who is different from them.
- That you are cut out to do exactly what God has called you to do, whether that means you’re working four 12-hour shifts in a row this week, or you’re being deployed to the Middle East (or your husband is being deployed to the Middle East), or you’re getting a job promotion that you’re not 100% sure you’re qualified for. If God is calling you to it, you are.
You are enough.
The life-speakers who saturate themselves in the truth will remind you on your less-than-superwoman days that you are enough because Christ is in you. He is the rock, and His works are perfect. (Deuteronomy 32:4)
They are the ones who will remind you to take it a week at a time. To look at the big picture outside of the four walls of your house or your office space or this limbo phase you’re in.
It is the life-speakers who will pray for you, who will hold you accountable, and who will affirm you as you clean up the sweet potatoes off the floor after another attempt at a healthy lunch, drive another carpool to soccer practice after a long day at work, respect your husband, and go out for that 15th job interview.
Okay, so we’re not superwomen. But with the right perspective, we’ll realize that’s okay. We probably wouldn’t want to wear the same superhero outfit every day anyway, right? 😉
Your Sister in Christ,