We like to judge other people’s inside from our outside.
We see their cute photos on Facebook, their pins on Pinterest, read their blogs, listen to their stories. And we make judgments. Usually we assume the other person’s life is cute, organized, uncomplicated and full of adventures. Their reality is beautiful. But when we look at ourselves we see our messy, dirty lives, listen to the voices inside our heads telling us we’re failures and we feel the weight of it all. Our reality is ugly.
So many times I’ve closed my laptop and felt like I’m letting myself and my family down. Photos of Eleanor’s birthday party would never be re-pinned, friend’s babies who are younger than Edward have reached milestones he hasn’t and I don’t have an adorable picture of Ryan and I to post. Basically, I’m a failure.
But if I think how my life looks from the outside, it appears different than how I experience it. From the outside it looks like an adventurous young married couple growing a happy family while trekking across Europe and North America. While this extremely condensed version of my recent life is correct, it doesn’t include the hard decisions, growing pains, fists shaken at God and times of weakness.
So if my life appears much rosier than it actually is, can’t everyone else’s? Why do I assume I’m the only one who can’t seem to throw a perfect dinner party, always use the most appropriate disciple method for my child or generally get my act together?
We all have struggles, we all have weaknesses. We all need to give ourselves a break and live the way God has best equipped us to and not strive for an unobtainable standard. Our lives are never going to be perfect and the sooner we can accept the imperfections the sooner we can get on with the beautiful life God has placed us in. Is it going to be disappointing at times? Yes. Will we be frustrated with our limitations? Yes. Even with our shortcomings can we find great value and meaning and impact the lives of others? Absolutely.