My sweet friend Abbie has a big family just like me and she was telling me not too long ago how she recently had a relative (a mom of one whose home looks like a magazine all.the.time) stop by unexpectly one morning. Abbie had been busy that Monday morning, recovering from a Sunday with a sick child and another child who had been sick in the middle of the night. She'd gotten the dishes put away and picked up toys while the baby slept. She'd done at least 4 loads of laundry and folded and put three of them away. She'd clipped coupons (oh how I love this girl!) and helped her husband via text while he sat in a crazy and boring meeting.
Abbie told me she was pretty pleased with how her house looked, all things considered. It was showing the "lived in" look, but not the "bomb just went off" one. There were a few things here and there that *could* have been put away, but there were people to help and take care of so those things got to wait.
So my friend's relative stopped by and as she came in said something that sounds just like,
"What a mess!"
Abbie told me that if she'd have known her relative was coming, she'd have probably picked up more, just to avoid such a comment. It isn't the first time she's heard something like this from this person.
Even amidst all the amazing things Abbie does and accomplished that morning, she still feels intimidated to have this person stop by, knowing what her house looks like every single day and how she looks down on Abbie's seeming inability to keep up.
I wanted to do two things when I heard Abbie's story: first off, I wanted to reach through the phone and somehow convince Abbie that she is amazing. Well, remind her at least. And second, I had a few choice words come to mind and a good shaking to give to this woman who was so quick to judge and see only what she wanted to see.
And now I wonder how quick I am to judge sometimes or to allow myself to be intimidated by people's comments who have no idea what they're talking about or who say harsh things because they themselves are insecure and they're trying to make themselves feel better. It happens. Call it a "girl thing".
When we're doing the best we can, when we use our energies in the best ways, and when we are following Heavenly Father's direction, we have no need to feel insecure. Even when people aren't kind. Even when people don't understand or give us the benefit of the doubt.
I know this is sometimes easier said than done. But if we're purposeful in our thinking, in our actions and in our reactions, we will be moving in a direction that will cause this to be easier and more natural over time.