Originally published Sunday, 20 January 2013.
I pass moms that look similar to me frequently.
Starbucks coffee. Check.
Two or more car seats. Check.
One of two styles going on: 1. Workout soccer mom. 2. I am trying to accessorize with earrings and matching clothes soccer mom. Check. Check.
Smiling while assisting (dragging) one child and carrying the other one on your hip. Check. (This is only a portion of the time. Often they are running ahead of me in the grassy or carpeted portions of the landscape or sweetly holding hands. Check.)
Watching as the kids run into daddy's arms and welcome him home while finishing up that one last thing.Then welcoming him with a hug and kiss (assuming I am not at the breaking point). Check.
What about all of the unseen moments of a mom? Are the private moments and mutterings identifiable?
Last week while parking at Target I was listening to Moody Bible Radio and heard a preacher say something along the lines of the following:
Women size one another up upon first meeting. They quickly look at one another and determine many things about one another including will she be a threat to my husband? Will she threaten my social standing in a group?
In other words, is this woman superior to me in some way and ultimately is she a threat?
Oh my, that takes soccer mom to a whole new level! The pastor preaching said that he knows this happens because many women have told him.
Can you identify with these statements?
My answer is a resounding YES!
Yikes! That scenario spelled out puts many feelings in perspective. I can attest this happens in my mind instantly without seeking to do so nor being cognizant that it is happening.
This is a result of sin entering a perfectly ordered world. Pride and insecurity at their worst.
When I look at moms that are similar to me on the outside I wonder the likeness of the unseen portions of their days.
Did they have their time in God's word this morning? Do they know Jesus at all? If they do not know Jesus how on earth are they processing all the demands of marriage, family, and perhaps career? What is on their minds, to do lists, bucket lists?
What insecurities tease them? What temptations are they struggling with? Do they know they are beautiful and loved?
I am really not a soccer mom. My kids have not begun organized sports. However, I am a mom and I understand the world and the Bible are two different pulls on our lives. I know that authentic encouraging relationships between women are hard to develop. I am so thankful for women that God is placing in my path that are reaching out to me.
Can I honestly say during certain seasons of ministry, being a pastor's wife has made relationships even harder? Is that ok to confess? I hope so.
Whether we size one another up or not, we need each other. We need community among women that will encourage us on grande vanilla latte matching earring days and on homemade Foldger's in my cup out the door to the gym days. It is how we proceed after the initial seconds of sizing each other up that will determine the flow of our relationships.
We need to be willing to communicate some of the unseen soccer mom at surface level so that in looking at one another we see more than coffee cups. We see souls searching for the same One. We see that we are really not all that different. We see a sister.