Not too long ago, I got the opportunity to escape my tall tower and have a girls’ dinner with some new friends. We spent the evening eating and chatting. Throughout the conversation I kept hearing these sweet mommas, apologizing, justifying, and quantifying.
“Sorry I’m late! I had to (fill in the blank).”
“I’ll have to have you over when my place isn’t such a mess.”
“We really love our place, but it is pretty small.”
This wasn’t an isolated incident. It seems like those types of conversations surround me daily. And I stand just as guilty. I might be the most prominent apologizer, justifier, quantifier to ever walk the earth. As I think about this more and more lately, I just feel lead to say . . .
Sweet friend, STOP APOLOGIZING.
Stop saying sorry for the crumbs on the floor.
Stop apologizing for your kids’ tantrums.
Stop waiting for your house to be clean to invite someone over.
Stop quantifying the size of your house or the model of your car.
Stop apologizing when you let tears flow in the midst of your conversation because the burden is just too big.
(Insert your apology here.)
Stop apologizing for WHO YOU ARE.
Don’t think you EVER have to apologize for showing your real, your messy, your life. God created you to be this beautiful, imperfect person and created you to do life with other beautifully imperfect people, too.
Today, I was cleaning out my van and in the midst of the mobile landfill, I found a completely melted granola bar I had to scrape up with an old McDonald’s plastic knife, which was lying next to a ROCK HARD chicken nugget and five pairs of dirty socks. Friends, it is was GROSS.
But you know what? Today, I won’t apologize for the appearance of my van. I have done school pick-up, soccer practice, Awana drop-off, grocery shopping, multiple-days trips, and have been sick in the last five weeks. I won’t apologize because I haven’t done anything wrong in having a messy van. In fact, I have been doing my VERY BEST. And that is good enough. And it is good enough for you, too.
Because I don’t even notice the crumbs on your floor. I see you feeding and loving on your kids day in and day out.
I don’t mind the tantrums. Thank you for being the mom who will sit with your kids in the middle of their emotions and help them sort through it. I’m proud of you for continuing to take them into public and have playdates. They will figure it out. I promise.
I don’t want your house to be clean, I want to come to visit YOU.
The size of your house and the car you drive are not related to the amount of love you share as a family.
Your tears and your burdens don’t scare me. They are welcomed, and I am honored to hug you and just sit with you in your pain.
So, apologize if you hurt someone’s feelings, apologize for breaking a promise, apologize for doing something wrong. But PLEASE stop apologizing for just experiencing life.
Allow yourself the grace you would give your friends and stop expecting yourself to be perfect. I know you are doing your very best. I know how hard you work just to keep your house a baseline dirty. How hard it is to provide for a family.
There is grace upon grace for those who give it.
Originally published on author’s Facebook page