I love to read other Christian women's blogs. Well, for the most part I do. Sometimes I get a bit intimidated. It doesn't take long to get the feeling that other women are quite a lot better qualified than I am in how they do the whole thing: how they live out their faith, how they write, how they pray, how they remember Bible stories and relate them to their lives. If I read them and then turn to examine my own ways, I can easily see the many ways that I come up wanting. My housekeeping. My application of Scripture. My attitudes. My ability to be the friend some of my friends need. Lots of things! I do fall short. Reading them this morning made me look at things this way. I have to stop and do something else.
(A parenthetical note to my readers, if I ever have that effect on you, please dismiss it. All you have to do is come here and check around a corner or two and you'll see a way I fall short! We must remember how it might be easy to present one image online, whatever it is, and have the living reality be quite different.)
Comparing myself with others can even make me wonder why God chose me, why He would bother to redeem such a woman who doesn't make her home the really humming haven that some women manage to keep, who has more frailties than you can shake a stick at...I shake my head in wonder. And I realize that we all have our strengths and weaknesses. On a happy morning, I can read them and rejoice in the strengths of these women; this morning, though, I see those strengths and contrast them with what I am. I think my feelings of inadequacy are all the more accentuated this morning, because in three friendships yesterday I was brought to doubt my own methods...though I realize it's not about me, but various unrelated circumstances caused me to wonder how well I'm doing at being a friend to others, or even (and I rarely do this) how they perceive me and whether choices I've made measure up to their standards. Whether I'm the friend I should be might be one worth examining, but I realize the choices I have made are not between me and them but between me and God. Still, I cringe a little...
I get up from the computer to get a cup of coffee (from my messy kitchen) and look out the window. I get a lump in my throat, because looking out the back, I see dew on the grass, a clear blue sky edged in pink, and a mist that makes the park behind us just beautiful. God did that. Only God could have done it. If I open the sliding glass door, I can also hear all the various sweet calls of the birds that I heard when I was waking up this morning. Only God could provide that as well. I think He showed all of it off to me to encourage me, to show me that He loves me even when my house is a mess. He's showing off the beauty of His creation, and here's something that encourages me: I know that if I walk through that same park, there are messes in every blackberry bush and, it would appear, some disorder even in His very orderly and beautiful creation--His creation is perfect, if a little messy in appearance. The overall view is stunning, and I am thankful that He showed it to me.
Maybe it sounds a bit trivial, but it was enough for me. He loves me. I don't know why, but He does.