I have a friend who is very domestically inclined. She makes tasty and healthy meals for her family; she keeps her home in good order; she sews; and she is very good at all these things and enjoys doing them.
She far surpasses me in these areas.
I have another friend who makes marvelous birthday cakes that look like they belong on Pinterest for her children. She is extremely talented in this area. In fact, she sometimes makes cakes for other people for all kinds of special occasions, and her cakes are so fantastic that people pay her.
I can’t do that.
Then there is my friend who has 11 children, all of whom are godly and well-behaved. She’s there for every single one of her children when they need her, whether that means comforting them, supporting them in their activities or providing for their needs in some other way. And she does it all with grace and good humor.
I sometimes have trouble doing the same for my children, even though I have fewer than she does.
All of us have friends who outdo us in some way. Maybe they accomplish more than we do in a certain area; maybe they simply seem to have it all together, whereas we feel like we struggle. Sometimes, we look at our friends (or even strangers), compare ourselves to them and wind up feeling guilty because we don’t measure up.
But God never planned for us to be just like our friends. He made us the way we are because He wants us to be unique. He delights in our uniqueness.
Yes, I need to prepare meals for my family and keep my home in decent order. But I don’t necessarily have to be as good at doing that as the first friend is that I mentioned. Neither do I have to be a seamstress. God did not make me good at sewing or even inclined to learn. That’s OK. My talents lie in other areas.
I don’t have to be a mom just like this friend, or like any of my other friends. And you don’t have to be just like any of yours. If God wanted us to be just like our friends, He could have made us that way. But He didn’t. Instead, He chose to give us different personalities, skills and interests. Why? Because He wanted to.
God doesn’t want or need a bunch of clones. Instead, He rejoices in our differences that reflect His vast creativity.
We were never made to be just like someone else. We were carefully designed by God to be the one-of-a-kind way He wants us to be. Yet too often, we spend our efforts and emotions trying to be just like someone else.
That’s not what God wants. He wants us to be the people He made us to be, not replicas of our mom or best friend or some stranger.
There’s nothing wrong with trying to improve in a certain area. For example, it wouldn’t hurt me at all to work a little harder at keeping my house nice (an area in which I tend to be lazy). But feeling bad about myself because I’m not as good at making cakes as one of my friends, or not as good a seamstress as the first friend I mentioned? Not what God has in mind.
Instead of comparing myself to others, God wants me to be the best me I can be. He doesn’t want me to be another Lori or Rebekah or Marilee. In fact, if I spend all my time trying to be just like them, I’ll be failing to reflect the facets of His creativity that He wanted to display through me.
Precious mom, do you realize that God delights in the particular combination of traits that makes you the person you are? That He wants you to do the same?
Don’t waste time or emotional energy wishing you were just like someone else. Instead, celebrate the person you are, because you are how God made you to be. Show your children what it looks like to accept yourself the way God made you and to be content with that.
That’s how to be a better mom—not by trying to be just like someone else.
Psalm 139:14—I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.