Judging. Assuming. Speculation or presumption.
I am totally guilty.
I have judged you, in one way or another; and for that, my friend, I am truly sorry.
After reading this post a while back, I was painfully aware of how I have even subconsciously judged others. I know how awful I feel when I am judged; actually one of the things that irritates me most is when I feel judged by someone. Sometimes it’s easy to brush off and not care– other times it marinades for a while and cuts deep. You see– we may have reasons for why we do what we do or don’t do, or maybe we don’t have reasons at all– but it’s not my place to judge any of that.
Why all the internal reflection you ask?
I remember sitting at a bridal shower a few years back, when Maya was just a twinkle in God’s eye and I was just a newlywed myself. The bride was sharing with us how overwhelming registering for items was; that there was so much to choose from. A friend next to me whispered, “Just wait until you have babies.”
She went on to explain how the choices continue to manifest to the smallest of details. “Will you breast or bottle feed? For how long? Organic cloth diapers or disposable? Homemade baby food or store-bought jars? Vaccinations or no shots? Demand feeding or Parent Directed Feeding? The list goes on and on…”
I will never forget that conversation. Although it was years before I had my little bundle of joy, it stuck with me. What on earth?! Did people actually spend time worrying about all these things?
Turns out, sometimes they do.
And sometimes, they don’t. At all.
Or maybe they’re somewhere in between.
Each decision we make, whether it be a parenting decision or not– these decisions are ours to make. Not anyone else’s. And once a decision has been made, we should feel confident and content with our choice.
In my family, I can be known as an opinionated and strong willed person. I have often voiced my feelings toward something with a certain level of joy or disdain. Motherhood has taught me that those opinions and feelings are just fine– however, I am not to project them on to someone else or make someone feel wrong for doing different.
I know mothers with ten children; some who’s intention is to have only one. I know mothers who breastfeed, bottle feed, or don’t do either exclusively. I respect mothers who won’t touch a disposable diaper, and those who feel similarly about cloth. I understand mothers who choose to vaccinate or not to vaccinate and can appreciate the reasons for both. Organic or not? I know many women who feel extremely convicted about both sides of the equation.
This is not to say that I am still not an opinionated or strong willed person! I have my feelings about many things– especially the things I do concerning my daughter– but I’ve learned that these things are what works best for our family and may or may not be right for someone else.
In other words, where the bible speaks, I’ll go to my grave standing on it. Where it doesn’t, I have no authority to judge.
This goes for much more than motherhood, though. The single gal who is content to be single? Let her be. The 30 year-old guy still living with his parents with no job? You might not know the whole story. The neighborhood kid who you’d swear has ADHD and no one seems to do anything about it? Someone loves that kid and is doing their best. It doesn’t matter if you’re married or single, have 10 kids or one or none at all, have a ‘successful’ job or work as a waitress (shoot– there’s nothing wrong with that believe me!). Stick to your guns, be confident in your decisions, live according to your convictions, but by all means– the bible really doesn’t say anything about vaccines, does it? Or about organic food, right? Or about how you choose to save for retirement or what loan you use to buy that house.
So this Thanksgiving and holiday season, give grace because you’ve been given so much grace first.
Don’t roll your eyes or judge your fellow woman when she shows/tells you about her significant other, engagement ring, cloth diaper service, gourmet homemade or fast food drive-thru dinner, kid’s doctor’s appointment, or her manicure. It might not be how you’d do it, and that’s okay.
Because you, my friend, are a daughter of the KING!
You belong, you are cherished– you truly are a princess. You are wanted and loved. You are being pursued by the ultimate artist of the universe and He looks at you and says “It is GOOD!” You are His beloved. There is none like you, and girl– there is none like Him. He will never let you down, give you up or give up on you. He chose you and He’ll never forget.
Don’t forget who you are.
And don’t forget who she is.
Who we are!
We are all different, yet created in His image; sisters– and better yet, daughters!
Whether you’re an organic foodie or could care less, let’s not judge our sisters. We are family, after all.
Happy Thanksgiving! Cheers to all of us, doing the best with what we have for the people we love. 🙂
I saw the following video on facebook a few days ago, and thought it went perfectly with this post… It’s a quick 3 minutes and I’d encourage you to watch. Don’t forget who we are!!!
This post is an edited version of a post that was first published in February 2013 on my original blog (I say ‘published veeeeeerrrrrrrry lightly as I’m certainly not a professional or anything– I simply clicked ‘publish!’ :)) and it’s as ever true today as it was then. Thanks for reading!