You are Not My Competition

Ugly-face

It was 5:15, and I was finally making it to the grocery store. I just needed to grab a few things, and since I had no clue what I was going to make for dinner… a frozen pizza was added to my list. There is only one grocery store in our small town, and I anticipated that everyone getting off work would also be grabbing last minute dinner items as well.

Furthermore, I was breaking the code.

Rarely do you see another stay at home momma at the grocery store at 5:15. Do you know why? If you learn anything as a stay at home momma, it is to get grocery shopping done early when the children are at their best.  Should you somehow not make it to the grocery store by late afternoon, you should probably just order take out… because the trip is NOT worth it!

I knew what I was up against.

My prayer on the way in… “Just let this go quickly, Lord. Frozen Pizza. Milk. Bread. Trashbags. Bleach. No fits… no drawing attention to ourselves… just in and out.”

Can you hear Jesus laughing?

Every single person walking in enters in front of everyone checking out. The store is set up for some great entertainment really. On this day, the check-out lines were packed. All eyes were on us as we spilled through the doors – my kids already screaming about who got to sit where in the cart.

Yes. Two very loud toddlers and their momma (decked out with a dysfunctional pony tail and   t-shirt accessorized with crusted blueberry oatmeal) were met by slacks, business skirts and dozens of disapproving eyes.

I smiled a, “Hey, I have kids, and I have survived until 5:15, and my husband is almost home, and I still don’t have dinner started,” smile and continued my mission. “Frozen Pizza. Milk. Bread. Trashbags. Bleach. No fits.”

I should take this time to mention that I am pretty sure there is an understood grocery cart speed limit. This falls under the non-spoken rules of appropriate social behavior. You can wander. You can stroll. You can even walk briskly, but running…. Eh, well, running is pretty much not okay.

On this day, I was running.

So, let’s recap.

I’m a mess. My kids are screaming that they want pop and candy and cupcakes and in between the “no’s!” I am repeating “Frozen Pizza. Milk. Bread. Trashbags. Bleach. Frozen Pizza. Milk. Bread. Trashbags. Bleach.” Old makeup under my eyes, breakfast on my shirt, hungry kids in the grocery store at 5:15 announcing loudly that they “are starving!” …. and I’m running. We are failing miserably on the do not draw attention to ourselves part of my prayer.

I screeched to a stop next to the frozen pizza and did my own Chinese fire drill around the cart grabbing the pizza and throwing it underneath as I ran back towards the handle and took off again…

It was then that I met eyes with her and her disapproving glare. She was one of those women who looked like she had been up since 5 am with her makeup on and her husband’s breakfast made before he even got out of bed.

It could have been the running, or the oatmeal on my shirt, or the fighting screaming toddlers, but no matter what caused her to give me that look – it was on purpose. I knew it, and so did she.

So, I smiled at her, grabbed the final item on my list, and made it to the checkout lines.  I had survived an overall successful shopping trip.

As I drove away, I could not imagine what that woman thought of me. Or how she might have looked at me if my appearance had been different – or my actions had been different-or if my kids had acted differently.

She judged what she saw without seeing… me. And I did the same thing to her. I saw her actions, but I didn’t see the woman behind them. Perhaps she had a hard day, or a hard week or even a hard year. Maybe her story was full of things I will never understand. But the truth is, neither of us wanted to feel as though the other woman didn’t understand her story.

But we do this a lot don’t we.

We hope and pray that others will have grace for us, while quietly categorizing and labeling and making split-second judgments of every other woman we encounter.

The silent smile and size-up.

We don’t even mean to do it… well… maybe that’s not true…. Maybe we have just done it for so long that we don’t even notice we are doing it anymore.

And really… it’s awful.

So here is my promise:

I promise not to form opinions of you with your beautiful make up and your disapproving looks if you could try not to judge me by the 5 minutes that you observed in the store. Deal?

I will not judge you when you when you walk into the restaurant in your pajamas at 5:30 with a baby on your hip without knowing your story.

I promise to understand that when I see you snap at your kids in public there are likely hours of love and gentle parenting that I do not see.

And I will appreciate the grace that you give me when I drop my kids off at school in the jeans that I grabbed from my bedroom floor and the shirt that I had to sniff to see if it was clean.

I will make every effort to see… you. Not a quick tally of everything I can take in about you in just a few seconds…Not my competition… But my comrade in the trenches of life as together we find our way towards grace…

Because you are just like me.

The single woman who does not have children and the veteran momma 5 times over…

The woman who yelled at the waiter or the gal who went out of her way to help the older man at the store…

You who homeschool or public school or private school…

You who breastfeed or bottle feed…

The woman who ran into the convenient store in her pajama pants and the woman who held the door for her in her cardigan and boots…

You who bought your kids the toy they demanded and the woman who took blows from toddler fists as she walked away from the toy aisle with screaming children…

The woman who spends her day filing papers and the woman who spends her day re-filling sippy cups…

You single women praying to meet a godly man and you women who are knee deep in married memories…

You are all just like me – daughter of the Most-High God, beautifully and wonderfully made, created by the King of Kings, loved by the Lord of Lords, precious, powerful, His!

The next time I see you in the store I promise to remember that you are nothing less.

I pray that the Lord would give me a heart to see you – not a sum of the parts of your day… but you… right in the middle of it … and I pray that you all might be able to do the same for me.

with-love-becky

 

 

 

 

If you’ve read Hope Unfolding, this is the story I am talking about on page 141! If you haven’t read it yet, grab a copy and learn more here!

HopeUnfolding_3d

Comments

  • andrea loafman says:

    You are awesome!!! I love the way you live the Lord, the way you veiw life, the way you write! So encouraging and well said. If we ever move back to Oklahoma, we are so going out for coffee!!!

    • Scissortail SILK says:

      Thanks, Andrea! Maybe the Lord will just send you back this way! I would love to go to coffee! You and your family are beautiful! Thanks for stopping by today and taking the time to comment! WITH LOVE

  • SamieJo Elliott says:

    I love this!!
    I’m lucky I have a hour between work and daycare closing to get any last minute grocery items, I don’t think anyone would ever judge a mother with children with them because if they have had to go to a grocery store with kids they understand!!! Just taking Camryn with me can get pretty crazy so I can only imagine a cart full of kids!

    You looked like you were handling the grocery store like a pro yesterday!

    • Scissortail SILK says:

      Yes! You are lucky! Okay, so I have to be honest… I wasn’t sure if that was you in the grocery store. I didn’t want to be all “HI! We have pictures soon… if I had somehow mistaken faces…” So, I didn’t say hello, because I’m awkward like that. Also, I was in the “let’s get in and out quick” zone. Also, I like “quotation marks” if you hadn’t noticed! Oh… and thank you for your kind words. Pro just means I have learned to ignore/give in to my shrieking children. :)

  • Samir says:

    I thought the same thing when I saw you! I wasn’t sure if it was you – but then again I’m horrible about zoning out when I’m at stores and passing everyone by!

  • One of my very favorite quotes is “be kinder than necessary for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.” All my life, I’ve heard of the “cut-throat” characteristics of men in the work place. Honey, they have nothing on women, do they? We tend to criticize, complain, COMPARE. We should be saying kind words, encouraging and being so thankful that God put us where we are. – For such a time as this. You have a gift of words. So thankful you use your words to be an encouragement!

    • Scissortail SILK says:

      Thank you for stopping by, Brenda! You are so true! Women can be cut-throat and the truth is, no one understands us like we do! We have such opportunity to extend grace, and yet we waste it! Thank you for your kind words. What an encouragement! Hope you drop in again soon!

  • Michell eischen says:

    I left one of my kids in the parking lot…..and yes that was about ten years ago….nothing but sympathy for a momma with her lil ones in the store. Always remember!!!!

  • Nikki says:

    Oh how I love this! Our words have the power to encourage or discourage, and many times so does our non-verbal communication! Society does enough kicking us while we are down. Let’s be lifters of one another. Oh and by the way, the photo of you in the colorful dress with the yellow bauble necklace is absolutely stunning. I say the next time you get “that look” from some other woman, you pull out your phone, show her that picture and be like all, “oh yeah, well look at this. BAM!” Oh wait…grace. Yeah, grace. :)

    • Scissortail SILK says:

      Oh I love this comment, Nikki! “let us be lifters of one another!” Just as we were created to do! The dress was purchased from my favorite site Hazel and Olive. There is a style post on that dress alone… The dress is actually called “Girl on Fire.” Thanks so much for stopping by! Don’t forget to like the facebook link so you can keep updated on all future posts! Thank you even more for taking the time to comment! Don’t be a stranger!

  • Beautiful words. Thank you!

  • Camerann says:

    That was beautiful. I’m crying tears of joy. It’s so hard to go through life wanting not to be judged all the while judging others ourselves. Thank you for this post!

    • Scissortail SILK says:

      You are right, Camerann. It is hard to fight the urge to judge others while hoping for grace for ourselves. Thanks for taking the time to comment. I am so glad it touched you.

  • Kristi S. says:

    Thank you. I needed to hear THIS today. It hugged my heart! :) It took me a bit to read it because I had to stop in the middle because I was crying about how true it was! Thank you for the blessing!

    • Scissortail SILK says:

      I am so blessed that this touched your heart today, Kristi. It is one all women need to hear and remember. We are all beautiful and precious. I hope we can all learn to extend the grace that each of us craves so deeply.

  • Jordan says:

    so true. thank you for the reminder. you are an inspiration.

  • Emily says:

    Jeans off the floor and shirt you sniffed….I did a fist pump when I read that since I had just sniffed my own shirt an hour earlier.

  • Megan Fritz says:

    Absolutely beautifully said. There are times when I look at mom’s at the store and try my hardest to send them a “I completely understand” look! Because we are all human. And we are all doing our very best. This was an excellent perception…Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!

  • Lisa says:

    I ended up here after seeing a share of another one of your posts on Facebook – but I love Love LOVE this post.

    I can totally relate because I just wrote a similar grocery store experience where I definitely felt like I was being judged (http://lylelife.blogspot.com/2014/01/adventures-in-grocery-shopping.html). You were much more eloquent though – and made me realize that I’ve been guilty of judging as well. I liked your line to remind myself that other moms are “not my competition… But my comrade in the trenches…”

    Love IT!

  • Katy says:

    Woah… You are such an incredible writer!!! So happy to have found your blog tonight. Will be getting your email posts in the future. Love the “real” factor.

  • GM says:

    You are awesome, and I’m impressed with your grocery skills. People are inherently judgmental. We just have to decide what we do with those thoughts and decide that we can be better despite the things we think in our heads. Ultimately, I always have to tell myself that although I might think someone doesn’t approve of what I’m doing or is judging me, I have NO idea what they are actually thinking. Assume – make an @#$ out of you and me.

    As someone who’s been on both sides of the grocery cart, I would say that one could go without saying hurtful things about someone who looks like they did their makeup early and fixed breakfast for their husband. We can’t know each other’s battles or lives, and just because we feel wronged by someone doesn’t give us reason to wrong that person back or say nasty things about them veiled in compliments.

  • Erin says:

    I so needed to read this. I had a breakdown not long ago, and I was crying to my husband, telling him I was tired of feeling so judged as a mom. I’m tired of feeling judged because I don’t feed my family all organic food, or because I let them drink things with sugar in it (gasp!!), or feeling like I have turned my kids into science projects because we chose to vaccinate, or because I homeschool, or because I don’t keep my house spotless…and the list goes on. I think we are all just doing what we feel is the right thing for our families, and just because it’s right for another my family doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone’s. And that goes both ways. We’re all part of a great, big family so shouldn’t we do more encouraging and less judging? Thank you for writing this!

  • Rachel Le says:

    What a happy post! I’m so sick of the mommy wars that make us all feel so insecure and judged at every little thing we do. I need to remember to keep my own judgmental eyes in check and try not to let the critical thoughts of others get in my way as I do the best I can. Doing things like shopping with toddlers (any time of day!) is NOT easy… thanks for being real :)

    I just discovered your blog today as a couple friends shared posts- I’m loving it so far!

  • Kendra says:

    This is beautiful!! Thank you! I wrote something similar (although painfully less eloquent) recently and it’s very near and dear to my heart! Mommys and women should be encouraging and loving each other because Lord knows we need the grace! Love your blog :) you have a new follower!

  • Aubrey says:

    Oh how you’ve said here, in such an eloquent way that I couldn’t ever pull off, exactly my heart for women! Women hold such power and I just wish we would all use that power that God has created us with to spur each other on in kindness and love!!

    Excited to have come across your blog tonight and look forward to reading more!

  • Candy Stadler says:

    This made my day!

  • This is such a beautiful post! I’m not a mom yet, but I still feel this way about my off days. It’s so easy for us to judge, but no one is perfect or even close. Thanks for the beautiful encouragement to women. Your blog is lovely!

  • Jenna says:

    I don’t know who you are. But you rock 😉

  • Sarah says:

    I absolutely love your blog. I believe this such a good reminder to women. We do often jump to judging when we should be sticking together and supporting each other. Thank you for writing this reminder so beautifully!

  • Hannah Avery says:

    So wonderfully said, and so very, very, true!

  • Holly says:

    Well said! A friend shared your post on FB and I thought it would be rude of me to not say something.

    That’s what being Jesus to people is. This is a very encouraging (and ‘telling off’ ) post. Very well said.

    Thank you :)
    H

  • Angel Joshua says:

    Oh yea! every time I go to the grocery store I find atleast one person to be in a hurry with kids for sure and now after reading your experience I think i will not forget to say a small prayer to Our Heavenly Father for He can only make life easier to bear.

    I remember when I got married I used to wear ironed clothes of my choice and with my first son I used to grab any washed cloth from the closet before stepping out of the house and now with the second son’s arrival there is time only to wear the same old Jean and the first top I get my hands on which lies on top of the piled up laundry bag…

  • misty says:

    I love how u look at those awkward situations in life. I am a stay at home mom with only 1 2yr old boy & sometimes he can be too much. I could careless how other women view me. Only I know how crazy my day has been or will be. The women that give u the disapproving stare are either single with no kids or have nannies that take care of their children. Any women that sees another crazy hair and stained clothes mom could never give a ugly look at her cause she knows how it can be when ur a stay at home mom. I’m the mom that yells at her son in stores and don’t care who hears me. Atleast my son will not grow up 2 b a spoiled brat with no respect for his elders. If he leanrs anything from me it will be yes ma am, no ma am, yes sir and no sir. That’s more than most moms now a days can say about their kids. I love ur story! U r a beautiful girl dressed up or not from 1 mom 2 another.

  • Tracy says:

    Maybe the lady was looking at you because she was jealous she couldn’t have kids. Who knows what goes through people’s minds? Please don’t let other’s issues get you down. Have you heard of Hearts At Home? It’s what got me through those early years. By the way, at our store, that’s all there is at 5pm: mothers and fathers getting off work, picking up their kids and running in to get milk and bread!

  • Jayne Lauchu says:

    I saw your “You are not my competition” on face book. Don’t usually go on face book, but my daughter in law usually has some wonderful, gorgeous, precious pictures on her site…..and so I browse. Many of the pics are of my grandson and he is so special!

    I am a 68 year old Grandma who raised 5 kids. I understand every word you said and every feeling you experienced. At one time I was on a college campus visiting my step son’s “check in day”. We went to see his room and to just wander the campus. I had the other four kids with me: infant in a stroller, another in elementary school, another in Middle school and another in high school…..and of course the new college student. I got more looks (mostly shock and surprise with mouths agape). I suppose it did look a little “different” to have such a range in ages of 5 children. And I heard, after passing many people on our short little journey on campus, “Oh my GOSH! Did you see that? That woman had all those kids! And the ages of them all?!” Ahh yes. That was my life. I loved each one. A lot of work and need for impeccable time management? yes. But …. that was my life. And I was so glad to have my Heavenly Father a part of it each day because He made it so much more manageable and enjoyable with His presence.

    You are doing a wonderful work with your blog. I salute you, respect you, and love you for what you are doing. We need to encourage and support one another more just as you are doing now.

    Keep up the great work.
    And God Bless,
    Jayne

  • Marie says:

    Beautifully written. Thank you!

  • tina says:

    Amen sister! God bless you!

  • Mya says:

    So well said. Thank you for posting. I’m not quite sure how other mothers forget…perhaps a gentle smile or an offer to let them take your kids home will bring them back to reality! :)

  • […] other day I came across this blog and haven’t been able to get it out of my mind since.  Head over to Scissortail Silk and […]

  • Deb says:

    I am so happy to find your website. You are a very talented writer and you are a blessing to me. Thank You!

  • Angela says:

    Hi!

    I’m new here to your blog and have been reading through your posts over the last two days. You’re a great writer and have such a clear perspective, I’m enjoying each post and the lessons you’re sharing along the way.

    This is the post I’ve felt compelled to comment on because I feel you were unjustified in judging a woman in that store for her physical appearance as well… and that woman is YOU! You were getting what your family needed and have every right to go to the store at any time :) Your side by side photos show how you can quite clearly “clean up nicely” although we all know that’s of little importance in the big picture. Go easy on yourself, sometimes the little extra ‘love’ we need for ourselves isn’t 10 minutes for applying makeup, but a few free passes to leave the house without fuss!

    Take care :)
    Angela

  • Rachel says:

    LOVE this, LOVE you for writing it and posting the frazzled along with the beautiful photos! Totally made my heart smile. Thank you. xoxo

  • you soooo understand us moms! I stay at home but am building a small business with a husband allergic to the Lord and not much help at all…I love my girls endlessly but do fall short o details, dinner and yes…i hate that I san at them at times. THANK YOU!

  • Just last night, we were on a date at a nice restaurant and I found myself looking over at a table of girls in their mid-20s with gorgeous faces, perfect make up, beautiful clothes, and dazzling smiles. My husband asked what I was thinking about. I said I was wondering what it would be like to be one of them. First he said he was glad I wasn’t. Then he said it’s stressful – even scary. He reminded me that he’s glad I don’t wear make up – and that he loves me for who I am. This article was an excellent reminder to remember about what’s going on the inside of each of us. Yes we need to stop comparing. Thank you Becky.

  • Amanda says:

    Just beautiful. This really resonates with me lately. I don’t have kids, but I am a small business owner and work from a small office in my home. Some days I am so busy, I honestly don’t have time to take a shower before I run errands or go grocery shopping. I am always so worried other women will judge me because I don’t have kids so….what’s my excuse? no one knows your story except you. And since when does that even matter? The clothes (and breakfast on your shirt and messy hair) don’t make you a good person – your genuine, non-judgemental heart and soul are.

  • Kim says:

    I am “that” woman. The woman in the business suit at the grocery store at 5:15 after work, with the carefully manicured nails and makeup that obviously took some time to apply. I am the woman that stares at the mom with kid(s), despite my best efforts not to stare, I still do. I don’t stare out of annoyance, shock, or for pure entertainment. I stare out of envy and awe. I am that woman who is married, totally happy with her career, and has been struggling to get pregnant for years.

    I like your post, because you promised not to judge her back (despite her “judging” look). We’re all fighting a different battle. And while we are battling ourselves, we often forget that other people aren’t trying to battle us, but are rooting for us to succeed!

    Sincerely, the woman who might seem like she stares out of annoyance, but it’s just envy.

  • Sarah McLain says:

    This is beautiful and inspiring! A seriously great reminder… I love that you made the point not to judge back. Thank you for this!

    ~Sarah @ http://www.shedoesnotfearthewinter.com

  • Kelly Falcone says:

    I love this topic!!I am passionate about trying to get Women to realize the damage we do by not knowing each other’s stories and not showing them how incredibly loved they are by God!We wrote a book about the topic and shared our stories in the book…It’s called Unbroken..Everyone had a story it’s what you don’t know that matters…I pray this book may bless you if you chose to read it..Our prayer is it would be passed to as many Hurting women as possible so they can see Gods healing, affirming love for His children..Keep up the kingdom work!!in the trenches with ya!!

    In His Grip!
    Kelly Falcone

  • I continually have to remind myself that NO ONE is my competition…it’s a lifelong lesson!

    Love,
    Elaine

    Ps…Just found you via your “April Fool’s” blog on FB…you are officially my latest blog crush…keep pumping out amazing content!!!

  • Lady Greenslade says:

    I just discovered your blog today, and I was greatly encouraged as I read- by this post in particular. May the Lord rid my heart of critical thoughts toward others- I love what you said about how we wish others to view us with grace, and yet we size them up without knowing their story. :) Convicting and true. Thank you for the encouragement, and for pointing me toward Christ today!

  • Anj Cambi says:

    Aww! I love this post! Thank you, Becky! I praise God for your life!

  • Kay says:

    This post is absolutely amazing. I want to remember it forever. I just came across your blog today and love it! I love the way you write… entertaining, yet so inspirational. And you keep it real. Love that too. Because I can relate to real!

  • Britany Tompkins says:

    I came across this post today and I absolutely love it! I am a mom of a 5 year old, hyperactive, wild, fun, crazy boy, and I work 40+ hours a week. I live in a very VERY small town in Maine with roughly 1,200 people. Working 8-5, I have had similar reactions before when I am grabbing my son from daycare, and then rushing to the store to be home in time to have supper at a decent time. When I am running and rushing, exhausted from the day, my son is exhausted from daycare and school and whiny, wanting everything on the shelf, I have had similar looks. This post made me realize that I do the same thing on days that aren’t so crazy and I have time to shop peacefully and see other parents out and about.. Put some things in perspective.. Great blog!!!

  • […] little while ago I read this post from the lovely woman over at Scissortail Silk, about we aren’t each other’s […]

  • you seem to have a HUGE following. so many people resonate with what you have to say. you have clearly made this a ministry. I am like, so confused, why you don’t have advertisers on your blog. you could be making a lot of money while sharing the gifts god gave you (that are clearly worthy of compensation).

    just my thoughts :)

  • Tammy Love says:

    you are so very beautiful.. your writings sing your loveliness.. it shines from every corner crumb mess in sheer perfection.. i love it all..

  • Jessica says:

    Wow. I’m so glad I found your blog. Love this post. It really makes me think… Great post!

  • Hope Perry says:

    I love your writings! So encouraging. Hugs from a fellow sister just living life. :)

  • Rachel says:

    Beautiful words! May we ALL strive to see each other as Jesus sees us. :)

  • Sarah Harris says:

    Thank you for this! It is like you took my words and wrote them down for me. I feel this way every day and I do judge women who look like they actually got to shower that day, sometimes. I try not to but my goodness, I love this. Just, thank you!

  • Gail Conner says:

    Wow! This is so dead-on-the-money that it makes me cringe. I have been all those women: the made-up, nicely dressed career woman looking down my nose at the disheveled mom with small children. Why didn’t she make them behave? Why wasn’t she more put-together? After all, she just sat at home all day, right? How hard could it be? Well, when God rocked my world and gave me a baby at age 37, I regretted every judgement I’d ever passed on women. I went to the drugstore with my sick & screaming child without my brushing my teeth. Spit up on the black shirt? Just get the big clumps off & I’m good. Now that my “baby” is almost twenty-one and 1200 miles away at school, I’d give anything to go back there. And when I see those moms out, I want to wrap my arms around them and say, “Hold onto this. It won’t last forever, and you’ll miss it when it’s gone.” Girls, we are all beautiful and treasured by God, so let’s show each other a little grace and love, just as He does.

  • Annabelle says:

    I am so incredibly encouraged by your blog! So many of your thoughts are my thoughts. So many of your struggles are my struggles. We women are pretty fickle and judgemental sometimes, aren’t we? I struggle with this as well, yet expect others to be graceful with me. I am married without children and sometimes struggle wondering how I am going to do everything we I can barely keep up with myself and my husband. You have helped me to realize that God’s grace is sufficient, and stretchy….it will stretch to cover me when the children do come. Thank you so much for your tender heart towards the Lord and allowing him to lead you so you can lead other women. Thank you for being you! God bless

  • Jodi Yakel says:

    Thank you for this post. I have almost deleted my facebook account so many times because of so many “parenting” blogs stating that I have broken my children because the hotdog I fed them that day would kill brain cells, or the fact that I snapped at them would ruin their self esteem for a lifetime. I love that you are honest. So many times we put on a show to make people think our lives are nothing short of perfection when really we are all stressed inside, worried that if someone knew how stressed out and unorganized we really are we wouldn’t live up to the standard that we hold each other up to. Women are emotional creatures, we need to support each other, no matter our situations. Thank you for your honesty. I have just started reading your blog but have enjoyed it.

  • Sarah Godwin says:

    Amen! This is a beautiful and gentle reminder of my terrible habit of sizing people up while hoping for grace from them toward me. God, give me a heart of compassion for all these women made in Your image.

  • Esther Petersen says:

    We women are our own worst enemies. The “mommy wars” are just a tool of the devil used to make us dissatisfied with ourselves and everything around us. We have ALL been there, and if we are honest, we have been on BOTH sides of it. Choose to stop. Choose to walk away from it. Choose to seek your approval from God alone.

  • Diane says:

    She wouldn’t be judged like that in my neighborhood, after 5pm is the busiest time to go to the store around here! Kids and all! People in Az wait to shop in the evening, It’s too hot to go earlier, unless you go super early in the morning. She would just be applauded for not leaving her kids in the car.

  • J3ayers says:

    Thank you so much. So beautifully put. If we women could realize satan is the true enemy, not flesh and blood. Women…we have so much purpose and so much to give.
    Love this. Thank you for pulling me in. Gods presence is throughout your words.

  • I LOVE this post!!! What an important message for all of us to hear! Very well said! God is using you to impact this world in greater ways than you know. God Bless!

  • Sarah Wilson says:

    Amen to this. This is really good stuff. Mothers are sadly far too hard on one another. If only we could practise a culture of exhaustive grace toward one another.

  • Sheri says:

    Today i was scrolling through facebook and happen to come across your blog
    The one about before you were mommy
    Loved it !
    Thank you for your wonderful views and being able to write so we the readers can see a new perspective
    My kids are older now but i have been at the other end of the look as well running into the store with my pjs on.. lol flannel bottoms hair a mess and a t-shirt lol
    Ty for your blog … I appreciate it and will hopefully never give someone the dreaded LOOK

  • Amy says:

    I have sat here drawing encouragement from your posts for over an hour now! Your writing is beautiful and sounds as if it is coming from my own heart! Thank you so much for saying out loud what so many of us are screaming inside.

  • Ryan Cecil says:

    I just ran across your blog by accident and now I can’t stop reading your posts. This is a beautiful article and I will make sure I’m aware of things like this from now on. I try not to judge and I do see plenty of moms out with a handful of kids and I always give them a smile. It’s hard work being a mom. I only have one right now and she’s 14 months old and yes, I always take her to the store in the morning when she’s in her best mood. Things get a little tricky after 3. Thank you for this well written article! I look forward to following your blog.

  • Janine says:

    Thank you. Seriously just thank you .

  • LeAnn says:

    A friend shared this link on her facebook and it showed up on mine today and as I was scrolling through, I just happened to click on it-and I’m so glad I did. I’m not a parent at all, and I don’t have the same struggles you have, but I have found myself in similar situations. I needed this today and your words really struck me hard. Thank you.

  • Brittany S says:

    I just stumbled upon your blog tonight and I think I might love you. Lol

    Everything you write about is so incredibly true to my life and the struggles that every mom goes through. Bravo, really. And you’re an amazing writer.

  • Yes, yes, YES! Thank you!! I felt like an absolute loser rolling into the first day of soccer camp today with no makeup, crazy hair because my flat iron broke, wearing glasses because I have pinkeye, and yoga pants and a tank top because that was all that I could find that was clean. I feel a little less crappy now. :)

  • Kayleen Grider says:

    So wonderful. This is so true and I want to be this woman too! :)

  • Brenda says:

    Very well said. I live in such a place. I had an experience a few years ago. I had spent all day deep cleaning my house and realized at the last minute that I had forgotten about dinner. I had on old sweats and a t shirt. I gathered up my child for a quick trip to the local superstore. When I went to the deli and inquired about a hot roasted chicken, I was informed by a store associate that food stamps will not pay for a hot chicken, only a cold chicken. I wanted to say to this person, ” I’m sorry. I left my designer house cleaning clothes at the dry cleaners, you quick to judge, don’t have all the facts, I’ve been juggling a toddler and household chores all day, did your mamma raise you to judge people this way?” But, all I said was,
    ” Thank you, but I would prefer a hot roasted chicken.” I will never forget that experience. It has made me a little self conscious about what I wear out, but, not enough to take an hour to get ready for a 20 min trip to the store. I am proud to be a child of God, mother, wife to a hard working man, and a working mom. What others think should not matter so much to us. Our lives are ours and should not fall under the scrutiny of others. In a perfect world…

  • Ali says:

    Loved the article and shared it to Facebook so my friends could enjoy also. THANK YOU!

  • Wow, I just met your blog through facebook and I LOVE it. I started a blog three days ago and would hope that over time my writing could have the same impact. I have been a mentor to the MOPS group at The Heights Baptist Church, in Colonial Heights, VA. so what you write speaks to my heart. One of the moms posted a piece on her FB page and that is how I found you! They so need to hear your words of encouragement. Can’t wait to read more, Linda Dunlap Hulen

  • I found your blog through a facebook post and I love what you write. I am a mentor to the MOPS group at The Heights Baptist Church and hear about their struggles as Moms of Preschoolers. Great words of encouragement! I started a blog a few days ago, A Book Unwritten, and hopefully over time I will have the ability to touch hearts with my words too.

  • Bethany M. says:

    I love this! And it is so true. I am not a Mom, but I have had those disapproving looks aimed in my direction in other areas, and I have given them as well. We should band together as women instead of against each other. Great post!

  • […] words and a positive reminder that we are each fighting our own […]

  • meme says:

    Thank you. This was truly a wonderful article. May we ALL

  • meme says:

    Thank you! This was truly a wonderful – and eye-opening for me – article. May we ALL learn to extend grace to one another.

  • Carrie says:

    This was totally ME (and my three crazy kids) in Target yesterday, I feel your pain completely! This article was such an encouragement to me!! :)

  • Amanda says:

    You are absolutely beautiful. As I’ve read a couple of your blogs I can’t help but relate to you and I love how eloquently you put everyday life lessons that we as mother’s experience. I am new to this whole stay at home mom thing. I have a 5 year old son that I raised on my own until I met my husband when he was 3. I worked countless dead end jobs, went to school and tried to take care of him the best I knew and never had an opportunity to stay home until I met my god-sent husband. Literally the answer to every prayer I’ve ever prayed was found in my husband. Well we got married last year and two months later we found out I was pregnant with twins and due to a lot of complications and high risk pregnancy I had to quit working. So needless to say I have been home with my 3 children, my twins who are now 12 weeks old and my 5 year old. My husband is in the military and has been gone on deployment since the day after we found outwe were having twins and is returning soon to finally meet his daughters for the first time. So this whole stay at home mom thing is not what I expected and not meaning that in a negative way but I honestly never even thought how hard this could be. So your blog has given me so much peace and inspiration knowing that I’m not alone. Thank you so much for sharing your heart and I pray god continues to bless you and your family tremendously.

  • Holly says:

    I love this. As a single Christian woman, I hear a lot about marriage and family, and honestly, sometimes it’s hard for me to take. There are some days that the last thing I want is to be reminded of these things. Not because I’m anti-marriage or anti-family, but simply because sometimes it’s too painful at the moment to think about. I’ve often heard people who try to push the idea of young marriage to the point that it feels like not only are we alone, but we’re also judged for being alone. Sometimes God has a higher purpose in not giving us a family right now, and the closer I get to 30, the harder it is to wait. But its good to remember that I don’t have to compare myself to anyone else, or feel like I’m missing out because I’m one of the few people in my church family that isn’t married with kids yet. I can just rest in knowing that I’m being obedient to Christ and He will provide for all of my needs, and will always place children in my life to love.

  • Jessica says:

    Thank you for writing this!! Even though this post is older, its so timely that I would come across it now. Basically sums up last Sunday’s sermon at my church on biblical womanhood and the ways that women are so prone to comparing themeselves with others constantly (without even realizing it!). At the end of the day none of the superficial exterior things matter- it’s where your heart is before the Lord. So true.

  • Jessica says:

    This post was so timely for me to come across now! Just listened to a sermon Sunday on Biblical womanhood that really corresponded with this post. Its crazy how much we can compare ourselves with others without even realizing it! We have to stop the madness. All that matters really is our heart before the Lord and His grace to us- not the superficial external things. So true.

  • Merilee Speigner says:

    Very cute! Love the way you contrasted each set of photos with a cute picture of you v. a professional model shot of you! :)

  • Jessa says:

    Ok, I know I am coming across this post LATE, but oh is it amazing to hear the exact words I’ve been thinking coming off the pages of your blog!

    Us mommas need to stick together. We need to remember that we are valuable and beautiful, even when we don’t have time to shave our legs or brush our hair. We have been put in such an important position, as mothers to our children, that should these little things matter? Why do we allow ourselves to be so misled by picture-perfect Facebook profiles and smiling instagram photos? Behind every dolled up mama face is a woman who is struggling to balance all of the same things we all struggle with!

  • Shelly says:

    This post really touched me. It was exactly what I need to hear (read) right now. I’m so glad I discovered your blog. :)

  • Lydia Johnston-Bell says:

    Thank you. You’re now my eBFF.

  • Melanie says:

    This is beautiful. And yes, NEVER be at the grocery store with kids at 5:15. I had a working professional woman just last week speak to me with some disdain and it was disheartening. I needed my husband to remind me that I am beautiful, ad kind, and a wonderful mother, and there is no need to compete with other moms. Thank you for your thoughtful story

  • Kathy Ivie says:

    I so love your writing. I am not a young mother anymore, but a grandma….but I can still see myself in your writing and my daughter now who is a mother to 3. Thanks for your inspiring words.

  • Brandi Hoff says:

    I love your blogs! They put a smile on my face when I’m having “one of those days!” Thank you for being YOU!

  • Angela Fuller says:

    I think you made a great deal. The world is full of people who pass judgment before knowing anything, and I can tell you clothes, and makeup help, but they aren’t the person. What lies beneath is who you are. Stop and think before speaking or judging anyone, because the journey they are on may be one you couldn’t survive.

  • Lisa says:

    LOVE THIS!

  • This is the first time I’ve seen your website. I’ve forwarded two of your posts, including this one, via FaceBook to my daughter (aka, loving and long-suffering mother of five). I will now forward this link so she can subscribe. Please don’t stop doing what you’re doing. Your service is unimaginable.

    God bless you.

    Cheers! Bruce Judisch

  • Rocio says:

    So I’m not the only one. Here I am sitting in a messy apartment because I wasn’t able to clean it all week so I can homeschool, take daughters for walks, and not have to hear the baby scream while I try to clean. It is just a bad week hopefully next week will be better. Now my husband is calling to see when I’m joining a party gor our niece and nephew. But what want is to stay home and clean while he watches the baby. Still I am thankful to the Lord for my husband and my two beautiful daughters. It tough but I Love being a stay @ home mom.

  • Trinity Cox says:

    This is the most amazing thing I have seen in a long time. It’s awesome to hear your not the only one sniffing clothes and running through the store lol. Also so raw honest and beautiful with your promise. If we could all think this way and not judge the work would be a more beautiful place. Also it made me realize at times I make split decisions and I shouldn’t. Thank you for your wonderful story! Great read!!

  • Mindy says:

    I can’t imagine anyone having the nerve to give someone else – in a supermarket! – the eye! And I hate when people check out my shopping cart. Before our baby was born, if I saw a frazzled mother with a wild child, I would say “you will get through this. And who knows, in a few years, you may laugh about this too!”

  • Amanda Huddleston says:

    Your post is sweet but I really don’t think people notice these things like you think or even care enough to judge. That look on their face may be for many other reasons. Try not to take things personally. I heard this saying once, “you wouldn’t worry so much about what people say about you if you realized how little they do”.

  • Amanda Huddleston says:

    Oops the saying is, “You wouldn’t worry so much about what people think of you if you realized how little they do” anyway not all women are out there judging each other in a negative way. Yes some are obvious but I catch myself giving a weird look when I’m thinking about things in my own life then I come back to reality and notice someone in my path of sight and think to myself oh I hope he/she doesn’t think that look was for him/her then I move on.

  • Emily says:

    Thank you! This is something I think we all do at some point and all need to work on remembering- we need to look at people through the eyes of Christ!

  • Dawn says:

    You never know – that disapproving woman who looked 100% put-together might be fighting a battle with infertility. That might not have been disapproval – it might have been jealousy.

    You just never know.

  • Debbie says:

    Maybe she was thinking – Gosh, I was I were she……I miss being with my kids…..”

  • Shannon says:

    Oh my how I love this.

  • Beth says:

    Thank you for being you and sharing yourself with us.

  • Jeff says:

    Yes! Thank you for capturing exactly what it’s like taking kids to the store. I was eating lunch with a buddy at an In and Out burger joint when this Mom walked in with 3 kids. Long story short, one kid had a melt down while the baby was crying. She handled it well. On our way out, the both of us stopped by her table and told her how well she handled that situation. I think she thought we were nuts and was initially nervous at us because we are both big dudes, but replied back with a great comment – “this time it worked out, but can’t say that happens all the time.” I replied with, that’s why God made kids resilient so that we as parents have plenty of chances to start getting it right. Thank you again for a great write up.

  • Sally says:

    Just very lovely, and just very needed today.

    Amen.

  • Sherri says:

    This post touched my heart today, as I’ve experienced just this week what felt like an attack by another woman. This woman is not someone I know well, but only see in passing, as we come to pick up our children around the same time each day from the daycare service. She appears professional, like me, in her attire. She appears to work in a business field full-time…like me. Yet earlier this week, without warning or provocation, she unleashed an unexpected aggressive verbal attack towards me. I was stunned; taken aback and without words as I could not at that time (and now, days later still cannot) determine where this attack came from, or even why. I felt judged, disrespected, and talked down to by a person whom I felt only minor solidarity with, simply because it appeared our circumstances are the same. Even being so, clearly, her ability to handle her circumstances must be quite different.

    Thanks for your forthright honesty and sharing of your life. This story in particular helps me to take a perspective here that I’ve been trying to find all week long.

  • Mommyof4 [Crisi] says:

    This brought tears to my eyes while reading it. Boy do I know that look!! I am 24 yo and have 4 little girls. Ages 5 3 2 and 6 months. So every time we step out into the world its the constant chatter the little whispers that hurt the most. My personal favorite “you look like you have your hands full” or “don’t you know what causes that?”. Reading this has made me feel better, because your words are so powerful and true, I know I can handle anything! I am so very proud of my beautiful little blessings. <3

  • Sara says:

    I am crying, but tears of joy in knowledge I am not alone!!!

  • Mandy Smith says:

    This is amazing! Love your blog!

  • Rodney says:

    Never assume that someone who looks at you strangely is being critical. It’s not healthy. Wait for them to remove the doubt by actually saying something. Let’s assume she was actually jealous of you because you have kids, because you have a husband. Maybe she saw you and was distracted by a memory. It may have been a good or bad memory, but it stunned her into a look that wasn’t directed at you. I can’t tell you the number of times that I have been misunderstood because I looked at someone, and they assumed I was doing it to be critical. I can’t help it, my job for many years was to be critical, and the look I had to give for it stuck as my natural look. But I try never to be critical with anyone now, all it does is make ME unhappy. Because I don’t want anyone else to be unhappy due to a silent message I didn’t intend to send them.

  • Amy says:

    Excellent article! Thanks for sharing your uplifting thoughts! Thanks for being a great example to all who read this blog! I am sure it is not easy to stand strong in the midst of a world who is growing less tolerant of moms, homes and families. Good job and keep it up!

  • Marissa says:

    I am in love with this article and your whole site!
    Just happened upon it on Facebook, and believe me I will be back!

  • Christine Heiser says:

    Thank you for your words to live by, those that make me so thankful for the little things, even the bad moments, that shout that I am alive and I am blessed to be able to experience life as God see’s fit for me. Knowing that he is the only one that is able to judge, but unfortunately we size up each other without knowing each others story, we make judgements on appearance and actions without asking or knowing your life’s trials and tribulations. Thank you!!! Have a blessed day, in every way. =)

  • Kara McGhee says:

    I feel like I just read a scene from my own life. Hair in a bun that hasn’t been washed yet, yoga pants, and the shirt I wore to bed, chasing my kids through the isles of our small town grocery store. I’m sure they all think I don’t discipline my littles because they always choose to be absolutely crazy at the worst times.
    I used to be quick to judge other parents when their children were throwing fits in the restaurant, grocery store, etc…but now that I’ve experienced it time and time again, I look at them and say, “I hope you’re day gets better” or “we all have bad days.” This was such a good reminder that we are not the one to judge as that’s Gods place. I too don’t want to be the one to judge other mommies as we have no clue what their facing.
    May God bless you and your beautiful family.

  • Cheryl Linton says:

    We all have our crosses to bear, whether it is a house full of screaming, arguing children or a boardroom full of yelling, arguing co-workers. Each of us have those who are looking to us for ALL the answers (that we often do not have) and each of us need to be able to look to each other for the affirmation that we are Sisters in the Family of the Most High God! Too sad that we often forget this fact in our times of checking out the competition. Pray that each of us will look to the other as a sister plodding through life as best we can, and that we will recognize in each other the trials that life offers and the victories God gives us!

  • Betsy says:

    Hi, I just subscribed to your blog! I especially appreciate this post because I think about this a lot. We are so quick to judge and look down on others without giving a second thought to the things they might be going to through. I also love your writing style! None of your posts are sugar coated- I really appreciate the realness of it all!

  • Heather says:

    Good call! Love your writing. That business woman could have been thinking. I wish that were my life I wish I had kids. :). Never do know.

  • Julie says:

    Very beautifully said. We are all so quick to judge even unintentionally. may we all have kinder, more forgiving and Godly hearts

  • Aileen says:

    As I was reading this I was thinking my dear friend where are you? Lol in a good way because this is me more often than not messy pony what ever clothes I can find just happy to have survived another day as a stay home mommy. I love reading what you write. Thank you for reminding me that it’s okay to not look perfect

  • Vicki says:

    I’m a working mom almost mimi in July! I ran across you and the new book you wrote. I was so curious. I bought one for my daughter. She is 7 months pregnant. I just know she will love it. I’m going to read it after her♡ I don’t think the “looks” ever quit. With age I don’t worry about it anymore. I just try to be the best me I can be. I enjoyed your story. Where are you in Oklahoma? I’m in Bixby by Tulsa.

  • Shannon says:

    I read this after putting groceries in the car. I worked all day and took the kids home to my husband so I can go do some shopping. I have an 10 year old son and an 8 month old daughter. I am reading your book that my precious friend gave me and I feel like you wrote it just for me!! Thank you so much for your words of encouragement and honesty!! I pray that God continues to bless you and your family!!

  • Aleesha says:

    I just love you, I don’t know you but I LOVE everything your write. I don’t have toddlers anymore and I’m so past caring what others think of me that I don’t even notice the stares…but I’ve been where you are, and I love your optimism and great attitude!

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