The other day, I was talking to a friend and she said her ex had a issue with her letting me watch their little girl. She said he asked her, “isn’t Angel’s mom … isnt she that struggling mom?” Later when she asked him to explain why he said that, he said something about a birthday party, and I immediately remembered what he was referring to.
Their little girl had a birthday party a few months ago to which I showed up without a gift. I still don’t recall if the reason was because I ran out of time or didn’t want to spend our money on buying a gift for a little girl that, at the time, I didn’t know. I remember being exhausted that day and driving away from the party feeling inadequate and a little guilty, but hoping that it wouldn’t matter.
I’d asked that man a day prior, if she had a certain Barbie movie which I had already wrapped up ready to give her, but he looked at me, smiled and replied to the affect of, “yep, I’m afraid so. I think she has all the Barbie movies.”
So it looks as if he, many months later remembered that about me… perhaps it was in combination with another judgment based off of something else…maybe how I look or what I drive (not sure) and found it appropriate to assume I was struggling mom. I don’t know why, but that just didn’t sit well with me for several days.
I realized that I had this pride welling up inside me that fueled a desire to call this guy up and rattle off how we’re making more money than ever (possibly inadvertently interject a figure there), and how I used to teach preschool and early childhood development classes in Texas, and how dare he even conclude that because a parent doesn’t show up to your child’s party with a gift, they must be struggling and therefore probably unfit to watch your child… (and whatever else my big ol’ pea brain could come up with as a defense against his unfair label).
But how foolish. So many times when I’ve thought of words to use to retaliate, they are nothing but prideful and just… LAME.
God is teaching me a fresh level of humility. One that forces people to make a judgment of me by my lifestyle – not by whether I bring a gift to a party, and not by my words (praise God!). But to be still, be quiet, and be a light by the way I live.
These are some scriptures that have come to my mind:
…so they may see your good works and glorify God who is in heaven…
…if any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition…
…think of others more highly than yourself…
…pray for those who mistreat you…
You know, I can’t help but wonder if this kind of snap judgement was also revealed to me to prepare me for what is to come when we move into a smaller place soon out of obedience.
There will be assumptions made as to why we downsized so dramatically. I need to be more prepared. But since God is then one who is asking us to make these life changes, I will only answer to God (and in that, to my husband who God has put over me).
Let them think what they will… and let me boast in my riches – not of any material wealth, but of my rich relationship with the One person I should seek to please. Closeness with Him and how he speaks to me – stories of his faithfulness – these are the boast-worthy things of life!
Yeah… I’m a struggling mom. I struggle all the time with my reactions to people and most recently, to my God and all that he requires of me as his follower.
I may struggle, but that’s OK. I’m learning to be OK with it. As long as I’m leaning on the Lord, being transparent, and trying to be obedient.