Posted: 17 May 2012 09:35 PM PDT

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 “I FINALLY potty trained my eighteen month old, just in time for our family vacation. My home business is doing so well that we decided to take a trip to Hawaii this year…
 ”I’m definitely looking forward to a break, although our little girls are so well trained with their chores that I hardly have to lift a finger with housework any more… 
“Did I tell you my husband planted an organic garden this year?  My kids LOVE vegetables, isn’t that funny? 
“Thankfully they don’t care for sweets, since we never eat them; that would make it so much  harder for me to keep my weight under control…”
Ever been on the listening end of a conversation like this?  Or maybe it was a blog or magazine you read that made you feel like Worst Mom of the Year.
We mamas can be sensitive about our perceived failures.  Somehow, some women just seem like they have it all together.  Maybe they brag about it.  Maybe they don’t. But we still feel small standing in their shadow.
I am certainly guilty at looking at other moms and thinking I just don’t measure up. 
I mean, there do seem to be women out there who have oodles of babies without keeping the baby weight, succeed in a home business, homeschool their children, keep up their manicured lawns and Good Housekeeping Homes, cook organic meals, go on weekend get-aways with their husbands, teach a Sunday School class at church, run marathons, read the Bible through every year, and find time to write a book about it all!
On more than one occasion I have hosted myself a grand old pity party.
Well, SHE can probably afford to HIRE help around the house…
If I didn’t have to ________, then I’d have time to cook meals like that!
She must have compliant children… she has no idea how lucky she is!
If you’re a mama who’s looking in on someone else’s life, and looking down on your own lot…

May I encourage you to turn your focus to the Lord and not on people?

The very ladies whom you admire wake up each day to their own set of challenges, choices, and struggles.  We each live our own imperfect life. We can either embrace and enjoy it with gratitude, or make ourselves miserable through comparison and unthankfulness.
If you’re a mama who feels better when you’re hiding behind the Perfection Facade…

May I encourage you to consider the very real needs of those around you?

Maybe your toddler did potty train at fourteen months, or your five-year old reads exceptionally well, or your husband just got a raise on the job, or home organization comes easily for you.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with enjoying the blessings of God on our lives, or sharing with others our hobbies and personal pursuits.  But when we do these things at the expense of others, or to make ourselves seem admirable, we can be guilty of self-praise.
“Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?”  {Proverbs 20:6}
Solomon warns us in the book of Ecclesiastes that there is
“A time to keep silent, and a time to speak.”
A wise woman will discern when it is time to close her mouth and listen to her friend’s achievements, or burdens, or requests.
As mothers, our lives certainly do not revolve around ourselves, and neither should our conversations.
We must learn to empathize, to truly bear another’s burden, and (by all means!) to stop implying that we’ve got it all together.

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As a pastor’s wife, as a friend, as a blogger, I know I can be guilty of both these weaknesses- comparison and self-praise.
 I do not want to waste the precious time God has given me comparing myself with others, feeling beat down because I am not measuring up to the standard someone else seems to be achieving.
Neither do I want to hold myself up as some sort of standard for others.
“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.”  {Proverbs 25:11}
With our words, we can so easily build up or belittle others.  With just a little forethought, we can choose to share words that will uplift and strengthen our sisters in their roles as wives, daughters, and women of God.
I don’t know about you, but my house doesn’t clean itself, my children need lots of (daily) training, I don’t do well without tons of sleep, and I sometimes tire of budgeting the grocery bill.
Let’s choose to reach beyond the Facade of Perfection and realize that, as daughters of the King, we have nothing to prove, nothing to hide. 
  Growing Home