The first danger comes from reading about some accomplishment of mine, and then feeling grumpy or guilty because you haven't personally accomplished the same thing. Suppose you see a picture of a coconut cake I made from scratch, and you only ever make cakes from boxes or buy them already made from the store. How does that make you feel? Or imagine that you see a picture of one of my older boys cuddling with and reading to one of his little brothers, and you think to yourself, "My oldest would never take the time to do that for my youngest!" Does that make you feel unsuccessful as a mother?
Please, friends, do not fall into the trap of self-doubt and "I'm not good enough" thinking. Do you know how many things I can't do, how many areas of life I absolutely stink at? Let me tell you just a few: I can't sew a stitch, I never exercise and would probably keel over if I had to run a 5K, I'm not consistent with cleaning and as a result, there are always some areas of my home which are in desperate need of attention, I still have boxes of papers in our garage that were never unpacked after we moved here more than 9 years ago, and even worse, I haven't been able to completely train the selfishness and me-first mentality out of my children (or myself either!) so unfortunately bickering happens every day around here. And that's just for starters.
When you see the good things I share, the moments of peace and kindness, the areas of beauty and order, the sweet things my children say and do, please remember I'm only human, too, and do not give in to insecurity as you compare your life, your home, your family to mine.
But there's another danger: when I share my struggles and failings, it might be tempting to think of how much better you are than I am. And certainly, in some areas, I'm sure you are better! Maybe you find putting your children to bed a wonderful, bonding part of your day; and you wonder how anyone (including the author of Spilled!) could ever have such a hard time with it. Maybe you find it easy to be self-disciplined with your own bedtime and your own rising, and you don't understand why others can't seem to go to bed when they should so that they can hop out of bed cheerfully in the morning. Maybe sewing is to you a piece of cake, and you marvel that there are women who break out in hives at the thought and feel their brains turn to mush when they as much as look at a pattern. Maybe you are strong in these areas of weakness for me - and more. However, the snare of pride is so quick to trap us, and I urge you to be on your guard against it.
What I share on my blog are just bits and pieces of our days - usually the good, occasionally the bad. You - and I - know that, of course; but isn't it so very easy to forget that as we hop around from blog to blog, peeking into the thoughts and activities of others? Doesn't it seem like some people's lives are so perfect? Or, on the other hand, like some people are so unhappy and complain all the time? Isn't it hard to keep perspective, to consider the totality of a life and not just the snippets we see on a blog?
When I feel like things are going well, and I'm tempted to pat myself on the back, Psalm 115:1 pops into my head and helps me to regain a humble heart once more:
Not to us, Lord,
not to us
but to your name be the glory,
because of your love and faithfulness.The glory is His and His alone.
On the other hand, when the knowledge of my shortcomings swells within me and threatens to overwhelm me with sorrow and guilt and shame, I lean on the words of 2 Corinthians 12:9-10:
But he said to me,
"My grace is sufficient for you,
for my power is made perfect in weakness."
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses,
so that Christ's power may rest on me.
That is why,
for Christ's sake,
I delight in weaknesses, in insults,
in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.
For when I am weak,
then I am strong.The strength is His and His alone.
May these thoughts and verses make it easier for us as blog-writers and as blog-readers to walk the line of righteousness, avoiding both pride and insecurity. May Jesus-inspired humility and God-given confidence be found in mature balance in each of us!