I’m no Martha Stewart. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m the antithesis of Martha. I kill things, burn things, and break things.
Don’t believe me? Consider the episode a few weeks ago when Jeff asked me to bake a few cookies for a men’s gathering at church. I pulled out some cookie sheets, closed the lower metal drawer, and experienced a flash of light coupled with a popping sound. I broke the oven. Not kidding.
In addition, I’ve been working fulltime for the last seven years. On too many occasions, I bad talk myself because I can’t be at more field trips or class parties with my oldest daughter or rock my little one before her nap all seven days of the week.
I stumble home and convince myself I need to have a perfect dinner on the table at exactly 6 o’clock each night. Then, I snap at anyone who ventures near the kitchen while I attempt to be my own self-imposed version of Martha.
All of this adds up to guilt and shame. I feel like I am less of a mother and less of a wife because I fall short over and over. Not just that. I feel like a failure.
But is that really the truth?
Because I’m realizing more and more that beautifully decorated walls aren’t the best things I can give my family. I’m also learning it’s okay I’m not a super-chef in the kitchen. I don’t have to make amazing dinners to be loved. And, speaking of love, I love my family.
I love my daughters. We read books to each other and bake (burn?) cookies together sometimes. We have family movie nights, dress up for teatime, and take trips to places like the pumpkin patch on the weekends.
I love my husband. I believe in his calling to attend seminary and in who he is as a pastor. I believe in his gifts. And, along our family’s journey of work plus graduate school, I found some surprising ways to use my own gifts in God’s kingdom.
What this all really adds up to is being okay with who I am. Being okay with my strengths as well as my weaknesses. It also means believing that God sees me as no less than His beloved daughter, no matter what is set out on the table for dinner.
With this in mind, I’ve made a decision. I’m going to stop calling myself things like “bad mother” and “bad wife” when I make a mistake or things go wrong. Truth be told, that’s a lie. I’m going to see myself as God sees me: enough and fully loved. After all, I am Rebecca. Not Martha.