I just found out recently that someone was intimidated by me. ME!! I never thought of myself as intimidating. Intimidated, yes, but not intimidating. When I asked this woman why she felt that way, her answer was because I seem to "always have it together."
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now that I have control of myself, let me graciously say....NOT!!!!!!!
It is amazing how we can get an idea of how someone really is when we only see them about 3 hours a week. The woman who mentioned her intimidation now lives out of state and we, obviously, no longer attend the same church. When she did, she only saw me Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights. She saw me smiling, dressed with clean and matching clothes. She saw me laughing with my friends and sitting with my family; our arms around each other, holding hands, or holding a little one on my lap. I guess I may have look pretty put together.
What this woman didn't see - what most people do not see - is the hurrying around the house before church. She doesn't see the Wednesday night dinner dishes still piled on the shelf as I didn't plan far enough ahead to get everything cleaned up before running out the door. She doesn't see the times where kids have to rummage through the DIRTY laundry sack to find a pair of matching socks to wear! She doesn't hear me raising my voice at my children to "get with the program!!" She doesn't see the tears I sometimes shed on the way to church in desires of having it together like so-and-so.
Should I walk into church looking as disheveled as I feel? I don't believe so. For testimony's sake, I put a smile on my face. However, I sometimes think this does more of a dis-service to my sisters in Christ than it does bless them. Those who know me well know that I struggle. Yet, they don't even know the extent. My pride keeps me from sharing too much.
I recently read one of the best books ever written for moms. Todd Wilson's "Lies Homeschool Moms Believe" is directed toward homeschool moms, but I think all moms struggle with some of these lies. I won't reiterate his entire book. I will highly recommend you find a copy and read it (it only took me about 4 hours). One of his main points was that by us moms acting like we have it all together we are often a discouragement to other moms. We all know at least one person who looks like they can do it all with no stress and we compare ourselves to her. When we're standing in the midst of our home looking at our dirty counters, listening to our children arguing, seeing the books piled on the kitchen table, we think about that person. We beat ourselves up with the thoughts that "so-and-so never goes through this. She is so organized. She would never allow her home or family get out of control like I do!"
Finding out that someone actually thought that I was one of those moms who seemed to have it together really confirms my beliefs that even those "perfect" moms are intimidated and wish they could be more like someone else. You've heard it said thousands of times before, but believe it this time - NONE OF US IS PERFECT!!!
By merely taking the time to talk with various moms, I find out that even the most "put together" struggles with fears, intimidations, anger, stress, etc. There is a formula to help us from being intimidated by one another - take time to talk and be real with one another.
I apologize to anyone if I have ever appeared to have it so together as to be intimidating. It is only by the grace of God that I am even able to put one foot in front of the other some days. Just ask my husband. For the bitter truth, ask my kids. But, I don't think my pride could stand that kind of honesty!
*NOTE: I recommend a video interview with Todd & Debbie Wilson over at Home Educating Family Publishing. *