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{Luke 12} My Non “Perfect” Life

The Pressure to Pretend blog

(Picture of my girls BEFORE the “take the baby and run” incident! I promise they don’t normally ALL dress the same….I found these dresses at Costco and well…they love the color purple. I know one day they won’t all want to wear the same dress so I’m enjoying it while I still can.)

Part of living and leading like Jesus is living an authentic life. My husband knows I’m not a “perfect” wife. My children know I’m not a “perfect” mom and if you were in the restaurant this past Sunday, you too would have known my life isn’t “perfect.” But you know what, the more I get to know Jesus, the more I’m done with “perfect.”  There is only one who is perfect and it’s not me.

Yes, if you were in that certain restaurant this past Sunday, please allow me to apologize. My youngest was “that child” and yes, I was “that mom” who was running, yes running out of the restaurant with a screaming child. A child who was a little too tired after church to sit through a Sunday afternoon lunch with our whole family. I knew the risk, yet I still choose to see if we could do it……and failed miserably. Sunday after church luncheons with one and a half year olds just don’t go that well these days. I knew better. And so after the 10th time of trying to get her mac-n-cheese into her little mouth, all by herself own mind you, and failing yet again……she had finally had it and let the WHOLE restaurant know! I grabbed her and ran for the nearest exit, catching some of the glaring faces as I sped past. I tried to smile and mouth, “so sorry” as I hurried to the doors…doors that seemed MILES away.

Once outside I tried soothing her, walking with her and distracting her…..but nothing was working. Finally in desperation I prayed, “Lord please let the car be unlocked because I have no where else to go.” (Remember, I had ran out of the restaurant not thinking I should have picked up my purse…..it’s called survival mode) In God’s goodness, the car was indeed unlocked (I’m normally very good at locking my car) and she and I were able to have a good cry once we were safely buckled in…..yes, I don’t know why I put my seat belt on too, partly out of habit and partly because I needed to be held together in the seat also. 

I sat in the car crying and thinking of YOU! Yes, you. I thought, “Ohh if they could only see me now.” They would all KNOW that I’m not perfect and then it hit me. Maybe some of you need to read these types of stories too. Maybe you have struggled in your life, in your parenting, with your families trying to measure up to something that was never intended for you to measure up to. If I’m speaking to you, please know this…..we all lead sin stained lives. We all have days where we feel like failures. We are ALL in need of God’s generous grace. You are not alone.

In Luke 12 we see Jesus giving a warning to His disciples even though thousands of people had gathered to listen to Him speak….gathering to the point they were trampling on top of one another, (vs 1) Jesus first addressed the disciples, and warned them about being on their guard again hypocrisy. Don’t be tempted to “pretend.” Don’t pretend to live one way like the Pharisees do out in public for everyone to see and yet live a different life in private.

 “There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.”- Luke 12:2

Let’s be the same person in public as we are in private.

Our families are watching.

Our friends are watching.

And yes, even strangers in restaurants as you run for the exits are watching.

I’ll be honest with you, I struggle with the desire to please. I am happy when I can make someone else happy. And though that doesn’t seem like a bad thing on the surface, it can cause a lot of pressure, turmoil and stress on the inside.

I don’t like running out of restaurants with a screaming child.

I don’t like feeling like a failure.

But then I read further in Luke 12 to verse 5:

“But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

Jesus lovingly reminds the crowd….and me, that I am not to fear what others think of me. He releases me from the pressure to pretend.

I’m not to fear anyone except God…..the one who created me. The One who LOVES me. The One who knows all my flaws, short comings and sins….yet hung on the cross for me anyway. Yes, fear Him because He is the ONLY one who has power over my life. Fear Him, meaning…..realize He is holy. Fear Him in a good way, an honoring way…not in an “I’m scared of God because He is mean” kind of way, but because God is good. God is love. And because He loves you and knows you….even down to the number of hairs you have on your head.

Be you…flaws, failures and all … run to Jesus like a mama running out of a restaurant with a crying child….run to him with all your hurts, pain, disappointments and heartbreak. He loves you.


God Working Through Our Lives Blog

Do you struggle with feeling like you have to have it “all together”? What truth has God spoken into your heart today concerning His love for you and his desire for you not to pretend?

 

 

Love God Greatly!

angela

 

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Comments

  1. Thank you for your honesty. So many today think everything is rosey all the time…true crying babies are good to read too!

  2. thank you, this was great one for me. Not only am I a people pleaser, but I am the mom that gets “the look” very often. My 3 year old son has developmental delays, the most severe being his speech. This results in him screaming and crying when he can’t communicate. He used to have full blown melt downs several times a day. I always wanted to be the “perfect mom”, so having people look at me like I am a horrible parent was, and still is hard sometimes. But I have learned what is important, and my son is making great progress thanks to God!

    • Ohhh Cindy! Praying for you today, sweet friend! I know it’s emotionally and physically draining going through those situations. Being a mom isn’t easy but what a blessing that your son has you! Honestly, going through situations like what I shared today only creates in me more compassion when I see other moms experience the same thing. Praying that next time you experience something like this, God will bless you with a sweet woman to smile at you, pray for you or extend a word of encouragement. :)

  3. Today is one of those day as is most days….feelings I know are not one of Life Giving but Life Taking. How many times do I find myself complaining about whatever frustration is eating at me that day, or playing the “down on life” game with myself and worse those around me taking/robbing Joy from those that should be recieving Love and Grace. Today is one of those days I find myself reading your post and crying and thinking “what am I doing”….Is God not My All in All, am I putting more faith in Me and My Life than in the Maker of It All??? As I get ready to step into the shower to start this day and the temptations will sure come at me I want to wash the Sin that is filling my soul and to return to the Lover of My Soul and to proclaim His Truths, His Promises This Day and each day.
    Thank you Angela for allowing yourself to be open for us to see and to allow the Holy Spirit to your times of struggles to prick our own souls and face this day with His Eyes, His Mind, His Heart and His Action and giving over our flesh to Him and Him ONLY.
    I need Him every hour….
    Love,
    Na

    • Ahh yes, the importance of what we allow our minds to focus on! Just give it all over to Jesus, Nancy! Allow His truths to fill your mind instead of lies or worries. Praying over you today!

  4. Not only does this speak to my heart about letting go of the “need” to be a pleaser and look like everything is perfect, let helps me to let go of my judgmental attitude that I can have toward others. I have to admit it and I’m sure I’m not the only one – sometimes we see others in a moment of crisis like yours and think “what was she thinking?!” We expect grace from others when stuff like this happens, but we don’t always give it. Lord, help me to give the grace and encouragement that other people need!

    • Ohh Kelley, I’m guilty of the same thing! Before I had kids I would think, “I’d never allow my children to behave like that….” at that time in my life I hadn’t experienced “survival mode!” :) So thankful that God allows these opportunities to remind me to continue to extend grace instead of judgement. :) Joining you and praying that I will be a grace giver & receiver. :)

  5. Michelle W. says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. As you can imagine, I have dozens of my own screaming child(ren) stories to share.

    Your honesty and the work you do with Good Morning Girls on our behalf is a real blessing.

    Michelle

  6. Wow, thank you for sharing! Yup, that would have been me also. This really speaks to me because I have the same “people pleaser” attitude. I need to let go and let the Lord take care of things. No pressure. I’m not perfect but I serve a perfect Savior!

    • I know! I can’t believe I still struggle with some of the same “people pleaser” tendencies that I did when I was younger…….still a work in progress. So very thankful God has patience with me, just another reminder for me as a mom. :) Growth takes time….be patient with others and ourselves. :)

  7. Thank you so much for sharing and being open about this topic. It’s all to often that I struggle with this very thing. I really needed to read this this morning as I’m home with my three daughters, two of whom are sick with the stomach bug. It’s been a rough week and this brought me to tears. In the business of the sickness I’ve put off my time in the word and grown resentful of the illness rather than focusing on my sweet children. I made sure to wake up a little early this morning for my quiet time. Thanks Angela :)

  8. I feel like this post was written for me. Thanks so much for sharing.

  9. thank you for sharing….i was having one of those mornings being hard on myself for my many failures….

    • I’m preaching to myself here….but don’t listen to those lies. No one is perfect. We all make mistakes…..that’s why we have grace and sunrises….a NEW day is coming! Pray, ask God for His help and then move forward in faith following in His footsteps. :)

  10. Thank you for this post and for your honesty! I have struggled with this very thing for many years – actually ALL of my years as a parent up until the past few. I always felt like I never ‘measured’ up to other moms because of my shortcomings (we all have them but I was convinced I was the only one). I’ll never forget this particular “friend” who always felt it necessary to compare our children and mine, of course, were never as good as hers…..that always added to my feeling of failure as a mom. I vaguely remember when the ‘change’ within myself came but I know it came from knowing that I was to seek GOD’s approval and HIS will instead of others or my own even. As long as I am obeying the one true King – well, nothing else really matters, huh. And that friend, God showed me that she reacted that way out of insecurities of her own – all I can do is love her through her hurtful words and actions (from more of a distance now than before). So, if you ever visit me, in real life, be prepared for a ‘not so perfectly kept’ house and children being children (even laughing loudly and running through the house at times) – cause, friends, let’s be R-E-A-L together :0)

  11. Renee Runyon says:

    My boys are grown now, so this type of meltdown rarely happens any more ;-) but I’ve dealt with the perfection/people-pleaser issue my entire life. It’s only been in recent years that I’ve been able to let it go, accept that only God is perfect, and live in His grace. It’s SOOOO freeing!!! I thank the Lord for releasing me from my self-imposed burden, and now I can focus on living for Him and not for myself. (After all, people-pleasing is kind of a selfish ideal, once I got thinking about it.)

    I also want you to know, Angela, that all parents have been in the same boat as you, with a screaming child out in public. Now that my children are past that stage (!), I can commiserate with younger parents who are in that uncomfortable position! Of course, that makes me wonder that if Jesus was tempted in every way as we are, yet wasn’t a parent, what exactly WAS his temptation? :-) I’ll add that to my list of questions to ask when I get to Heaven!!!

    Thank you for sharing your story, and I must say that your precious girls look ADORABLE in their matching dresses! As the mother of three sons, I never had this privilege.

    May God bless you!

    • Ha! Fun point to ponder, Renee! :) He might not of had small children, but the way the disciples acted sometimes….I think He was still doing a lot of parenting! Hehehe! :)

      Oh and 3 boys are just as adorable!!! :)

  12. Colleen Allison says:

    Welcome to my world. : ) You are not sinning or a failure. You are a mom whose child is tired and screaming. It does not reflect upon you in any way. I am glad you shared this for those of us who have kids with Autism who deal with melt downs or anti-social behavior in public on a DAILY basis. I have 6 kids and #6 has Down syndrome, Autism and Severe Apraxia. If anyone previously thought I was a “perfect mom” they were wrong. Having well behaved, polite children does not make me a good mom in God’s eyes. When I hold it together away from public eyes and am loving to my child, when his behavior is uncontrolled and there is poop smeared on the wall, or he is crying because he is so upset and can’t communicate with me. When I take the time to reassure him it is “Okay” and make him feel loved though his whole world is out of control–doing that away from public eyes–that is a “good mom” in my Father’s eyes. Even if I am in tears, as long as I lean on Christ and His strength–He sees me through it. Anyone who ever came up to me and complimented me on my parenting skills for a typical kid–oh–that is nothing–only Jesus sees my true parenting skills when I am stretched to the limit and no one else is watching and I am parenting my child with special needs.

    • Ohh Colleen, thank you for all your hard work. I know it must be so hard, I only experience random occasions…..not normally everyday. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. Reading your story has helped me to. And you’re right, Jesus sees you and all the love and sacrifice you are providing. Thank you for loving so well!

  13. Oh Ang,

    It is just THIS year (Tess at 4!), that we’ve felt like we can finally go out to eat after church… having any sort of a social life at this stage is so.very.hard! I laughed at you buckling yourself in :), but I too have had many good cries just like yours. Oh, to not pretend and break down the walls – even within the church! – to expose our less than perfect lives, is so freeing and comforting!!! May I RUN after freedom in Jesus, and the glory that He gets from my dependence on Him. Lord, use me in all of my imperfection!!

    Loved this today!!
    Whitney

  14. Thank you! I needed this today!

  15. mELISSA R says:

    Thank you for sharing this story, Angela! My one-and-a-half year old does the same thing when we try to go to lunch after church. It is comforting to know that we are not the only ones. I am a people pleaser too and care about what others think about me, but am learning that just makes me crazy and I must not care about what other people think about my parenting skills, etc.

  16. Amanda Cross says:

    I’m so sorry that you had to feel the embarrassment of running out with a crying baby, but glad you shared this story. I recently had an experience where I became angry at the doctor’s office. I had been experiencing some tingling and pain symptoms when I laid down on my back or either side. When I stood up beside the bed, I got relief. I had already been to a neurologist about this, but in my desperation to find relief, I went to the walk in clinic. The doctor couldn’t find anything physically wrong and decided it must be anxiety causing this since I’m still working through some things (with God’s help). The doctor also wanted to give me a prescription. I’ve been down that road before and I didn’t think it was the answer. It can help with the physical symptoms, but it can’t free a fearful, sinful heart. I felt angry and that anger turned to tears. Here I was in the doctor’s office upset and crying when I “should” have kept control of my emotions. When I got home I cried out to the Lord. I started taking a magnesium supplement that night because of something a friend sent to me. I have found relief from the tingling since. I am thinking it was a combination of prayers from friends and the supplement. This world doesn’t like messy human emotion. There is so much intolerance toward it that many people are prescribed medications that just numb them. This was what pressed on my heart in that moment. I am tired of people being made to feel that something is wrong with them if they have messy emotions. It also bothers me that so many people are then offered a prescription. This is done from children to the elderly and it is wrong. I want to clarify that I think there is a time and place for medication to help restore balance in extreme cases. For most people though, I think what is most helpful is getting into God’s Word, repenting, getting right with God and other people, and getting enough rest and good nutrition. Angela, thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your story of human emotion. It is often messy, but without it we would be robots.

  17. Jen Thorn says:

    Thanks so much for this post Angela. I just love it. It is so nice to know that we are not alone and if we are open we can better pray for each other. Kilian is about to turn 3 and I feel that we are finally getting to a point where we can go places without feeling like I need a vacation afterwards. :)
    Love Jen

    • Ohhh Jen you made me laugh……I feel like I need a vacation sometimes too after dinner out with my youngest. Ha! :)

  18. There must have been something in the air on Sunday. I think this would describe us, except our crying was all through worship (in the foyer). Thank you for sharing.

  19. Ah! I can so relate to this post…my cheeks burn red thinking of a time I had a similar situation not to long a go. Except, my daughter was 4…she skipped the terrible 2s but the 3s and the first half of the 4s made up for every bit! After she had dropped her second hamburger on the floor (because she was fooling around and not sitting still) I calmly stood up to take her outside to the car but she went into a full temper-tantrum. Talk about glares…when an “older” child has a temper-tantrum folks immediately assume the child is spoiled and undisciplined….which I can assure you is not the case…anyway I tried to remain calm but I had to carry her out of the restaurant and she was kicking and flailing…so much so that her hair band flew off onto a nearby table and her shirt came right up over her head. I just kept my eyes on the door and kept walking. Thankfully, she is now five and grown out of this phase. Thank you for this post…it is hard to remember we are not alone when we are in the middle of it.

  20. Jesse Newberry says:

    Oh my how this sounds so familiar. I have a almost 2 (May29th) year old and I have a similar story. We went to the Zoo Saturday bought a whole years membership. So excited it was my self, my husband, my 8 year old little girl and my son “that kid”. It was my sons first time to the Zoo. He fell asleep literally 5 minutes before we got there. I thought to myself it will be fine this will be a great day! Not so much. He didn’t want to ride in the stroller every time we left one exhibit he kicked and screamed and through a total fit! I was so embarrassed. So was my husband and poor Sara didn’t get to enjoy it as much as she wanted to because we had to rush. I thought never again… I will though next time I will just make sure he has a nap first. We all have our moments. Weather it is screaming kids or something totally different. I know I am not perfect and never will be. It is stories like these that make me feel like I am not a complete basket case. Thank you!

  21. I am not a young Mother but I went through many a crisis because my son now 47 is brain damaged and autisitic. Autism was an unknown term 47 years ago. Where I live mentally challenged children were kept hidden or locked away in institutions. I refused and with God’s help decided not to hide our son but to educate the public. Mind you over the years I have shed many tears. Sometimes because of insentitive comments and sometimes from fatigue. I could never have weathered the storm without God’s help and my faith in Him. I actually linked up with a psychologist and we developed the first curriculum for special education and opened up the first special ed class. Before my son’s mishap I had no idea that there were those hidden away from the public. I thank God that I was chosen to do something about the situation, even though at first I didn’t understand why this all happened to my son and to our family. It hasn’t been easy but our son has brought us a lot of joy over the years.

  22. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I am just now getting to finish my bible study from this week (yes, I let life come first). Your story and convicting words have struck my heart. I have understood that we need to put Him first and worry about His thoughts and judgement and not worry about others, but I have never put it ALL together, and just let it go (esp. as a homeschooling mom). He is with us and will take care of it all. Thank you!

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  24. Denise Ross says:

    Gosh only clicked through to this today.
    Spoke to me big time. I’ve been convicted after the last few months that the person I present at work needs to be in line with the person I’m at home with my family. I’m loving that you say you’re done with being perfect, because we’re only perfect in Gods eyes, and only by the blood of our most gracious Savior. This was so wonderful to read today for me. god continue to bless your ministry. I’m gaining a lot from your blog and your bible studies. Thankyou so much. I really look forward to getting up before my family to have my time with God

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  1. [...] sets us from “the pressure to pretend” we are perfect.  (Angela tells it like it is in this post at Good Morning [...]

  2. [...] more. Here is a fabulous article with this same message by Angela of Good Morning Girls: My Non-Perfect Life. She shares an embarrassing “pit” of a moment that most moms can relate to. I [...]

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