You know, that little twinge of frustration that grows each time you open a Christmas card. The ones from friends or family where the picture inside looks like it's been pulled straight from a Norman Rockwell scene.
Have you noticed THAT yet?
All of the clothes coordinate.
The kids' hair looks perfect.
The lighting's just right.
The perfect caption on the card.
Heck, you haven't even had time to take a picture yet, much less mail Christmas cards.
And then that feeling sneaks in. All those inadequacies coming rushing to the front of your mind, crowding out all else. The inadequacies are all you can think about, and if you were a good mother, a good wife, your life wouldn't be like this. Your Christmas card would be like theirs. Why-can't-you-just- get-it-together?
They seem to be the family you wish yours was.
Ahhh.... there it is. Seem.
A very wise lady named Cylia once told me there is often deception in perception, and I've found that to be true many, many times.
When you gaze into the eyes on that seemingly perfect Christmas card, what you can't see is the dirt on her bathroom floor. You can't see the moldy leftovers in her refrigerator. You can't hear the conversation she had with her seven-year-old just moments before the photo was taken because he refuses to stop touching his little sister.
I promise you, sweet friend, those types of things are there beneath the surface of the photo, you just can't see them.
Be careful not to assume what you perceive about another as truth and measure that against your reality. You will always come up short and the enemy loves to find you in places like these so that he can continue to discourage you.
Maybe you haven't gotten your Christmas cards together yet because your house is full of life, which explains the crumbs on the kitchen counter. Maybe you haven't had time to stop for a family photo because your calendar has been hopping from a life blessed with family and friends.
Daughter of the King, this season is full of things to do, but comparing yourself to someone else is not on that list. Neither is allowing the enemy to discourage you with feelings of inadequacies. Remember, there is always an unseen element and sometimes what we see leads us right into the arms of deception. What we see is often the temporal.
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:18
Can we agree to not be envious of the family on the Christmas card? Instead, as we open those cards, let's stop and pray for those other women who are so precious to God. She's probably feeling just as inadequate and stretched as we are.
Let's pray this verse for her, that she would be reminded of this truth:
Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God.
2 Corinthians 3:5
And you, sweet sister, need to know something too.
You're doing just fine. You are adequate because your God is adequate.