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Challenge: Finding Your Voice as a Parent

Stop telling me 'it must be nice'

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Stop telling me it must be nice.

Just stop.

It makes me think ungodly things.

When you tell me it must be nice to stay home with my kids–

when you tell me it must be nice to have so much “free” time and so much energy–

when you tell me it must be nice to have a husband that carries most of the financial burden

so that I can raise our kids and pursue my own whatever-I-want-to-be–

I get more than a little bit defensive.

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And the devil starts doing a little happy dance as my little thoughts become big rage sparked from little under-the-breath comments.

I find the need to explain myself.

Maybe if I just tell her how hard today’s been.

Maybe if I just tell her about that thing I did.

Maybe if I just point out the sacrifices made.

Maybe if I just point out my worth using all of these earthly, materialistic references.

And then God smacks me in the face with a little thing called gratefulness.

It must be nice–

and it is.

It’s so nice.

Things have been good and things have been bad; things have been extremely easy and things have been unbearably hard in the big moments of my little life–

but right now, things are just nice.

For every nice victory that God provides, there’s a whisper/worry/wrongdoing around the corner to blemish your freshly cleaned slate.

Of course you get to choose how scratch-resistant you make your own surface–

but even the good stuff, the 99%-scratch-resistant-straight-off-the-shelf-titanium-steel, will let a scratch or two in every now and then.

And it takes every bit of me and God to not make a hidden comment about her fancy things or lack of responsibility–

which I know not to be true.

You see, I’m just as guilty. She’s taking another vacation? She’s leaving her kids again after someone else watches them all day?

The dreaded words that almost leave my lips disgust me; I become angry at my own never-satisfied self.

It’s not just a mom thing and it’s not just women; it’s an ugly part of this human condition.

We’re taught to always be in constant competition.

But I KNOW her kids are easier than mine.

No, you don’t.

But I know her husband is home more.

But you don’t, though.

She rides the dang. gravy. train.

How do you know?

But God, the weight atop her shoulders just isn’t as heavy as mine?!

The truth is, I don’t know what Susan’s evenings are like with a husband who’s home every night.

I don’t know how Sally feels while sitting on brand new hardwood floors while she’s on the phone receiving not-so-good news.

I can’t browse through Fran’s dual-income bank account to see her mother-in-law’s month-late medical bills being overdrawn.

I can’t see the pain when I look at Pam-who’s-lucky-and-always-home-with-her-family as she sits in the front pew and cries while she sings.

This pain/ heartache that we attribute so easily to unbuttoned, undone imagery in the midst of poverty

has misled and misconstrued the ideal that nice appearances equal nice everything.

We’re the critics instead of the cheerleaders; we think we’re the coaches when we’re the participants.

And our scratch-proof titanium gear won’t hold up if we only play defense.

Spreading rumors about her weight loss won’t make you healthy.

Hating her privilege won’t make you happy.

Responding to her rudeness won’t make you righteous.

Glaring and gossiping won’t end your jealousy.

Calling out her confusion won’t bring you clarity.

God didn’t intend for us to have this “must be nice” mentality.

It doesn’t glorify Him and it doesn’t exemplify our beliefs

and quite frankly,

it just isn’t nice.

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