Girls, we have a problem. It happens every single day in doctors’ offices and classrooms, dorm rooms and cubicles. It happens on playgrounds. It happens in bathrooms. It’s a problem.
I sat in a bible study last night and listened as some of the sweetest women I know shared their hearts and feelings. These girls are superstars. They work full time to support their families. They care for their husbands. They travel when they’d rather be home. They stay home with the kids even when that’s not their preference. They are friends when another woman needs a friend. They are wives and moms, sisters and friends. They do more in a day than some people accomplish in a month. They are amazing. Yet I heard one word over and over as I listened to them, and it broke my heart. Every time they said it, it hurt me to see them hurt.
I’m just a mom
I’m just a wife.
I’m just a teacher.
I’m just an accountant.
I’m just in school.
I’ve just been married a few months.
I’ve just got one kid.
There is nothing just about being a mom.
There is nothing just about being a wife or teacher or accountant.
There is nothing just about finishing school or staying in a marriage when it gets hard.
We need to UNjust our vocabulary. We need to make our minds and hearts UNjust.
Girls, I want to let you in on a secret. Are you ready? I’m talking to myself, too. Here it is: we’re on the same team! We all want kids who eat their food and respect adults. We all want someone to love who makes us feel good about ourselves. We all want to contribute something to the world that will last. We want the same things. It may look a little different, but at our core, we are fighting for the same things. But get this way down deep in your heart. Plant it there and let it take root. We are on the same team. We don’t have to fight each other.
So your best friend did a sensory activity with her kids and you don’t know what sensory means. That’s awesome for her kids.
So your coworker has a few more letters at the end of her name. That’s awesome for her email signature.
So your sister is married and you aren’t. That’s awesome. She has struggles you can’t imagine. And you struggle in ways that aren’t a part of her daily life.
We think we are just this or just that because we are constantly comparing ourselves. We don’t stop to give ourselves credit because we’re too busy finding someone who did it first or bigger or brighter. Let me ask you this: if your kid learns to pee in the toilet today are you going to reprimand her because Katie down the street has been potty trained for a month? Heck to the no! You’re going to praise Jesus that you don’t have to Clorox the floor 17 times. Her accomplishment is no less life-changing. Her success has nothing to do with Katie’s. Now maybe you and Katie’s mom can have a 3 minute conversation without worrying about what’s happening in the other room. (maybe)
How ridiculous would it sound to say “It’s just a beautiful day so I’m just going to drive my car that I just have the resources to afford so I can just go to work and just pay for my kids to have just a roof over their heads”? That’s dumb. So here’s what I propose. I double dog pound dare you. Remove the word “just” from your vocabulary and see what happens. Stop when you start to say “Well, I’m just…” Replace it with “I’m a woman.” “I’m a mom.” “I’m a bus driver.” Because those are all pretty great things.
And when you do, send me a note because I want to hear how special you are. I want to hear about how your corner of the world – regardless of how small you think it is – is different because you’re a part of it. You aren’t just here. You’re here! And here is better because of you.
ps – yes, I did double dog pound dare you. so it’s official. you have to do it.
pps – I now know what sensory means but I still won’t be giving Brynna a bucket of rice to play with on the kitchen floor. I can’t. I’m short of breath just thinking about the mess.