In my post “Chasing Perfection” I said that I’d freed myself from feeling like I needed to measure up to the moms around me, and since writing that I’ve been asked repeatedly what it was that finally set me free.
Honestly, it wasn’t anything big. It was just a commitment to be me, a refusal to mold myself into someone else. And it was not (and is not) easy.
I’ve heard lots of quotes on this. Emerson said, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” e.e. cummings said, “To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” Shakespeare said, “God has given you one face, and you make yourself another.”
But this isn’t just something we tell ourselves; it’s something God tells us. It’s in the very first chapter of the Bible when God looks at what He’s made and says, “It’s good.” David talks about being formed in his mother’s womb by God. God Himself asks Moses, “Who made your mouth?” Paul says that every Christian is a unique member of the body—that God made ears and arms and toes and lungs—that He made us different on purpose—that He wants us to be what He made us to be.
And so, as a mother, I know that God wants me to be the mother He made me to be. He doesn’t want me to be you. And He doesn’t want you to be me. God gave me talents and abilities and even knew what my weaknesses would be. And He put London and Eve into my care knowing they would have a creative, spontaneous, sometimes too spontaneous, and often too impractical mom. To try and be some other type of mom would be to defy God’s plan for me. I really believe that.
Now, I’m not saying that I shouldn’t try to be better, that I shouldn’t work on my weaknesses, but I am saying that I should never look at someone else and wish I were them. That’s saying to God, “You made a mistake.”
I heard this quote recently and it totally motivated me to get busy being myself. The speaker said to an audience full of church leaders and teachers, “When you get to Heaven, God’s not going to ask why you weren’t more like Moses. He’s going to ask why you weren’t more like yourself.”
So, I am busy being fully myself, being exactly the woman God made me to be, and, like I said yesterday, it feels wonderful.