Father in Heaven, may these words be felt and heard in the manner that You’ve intended. Father let this message be relatable and honest and real. In Jesus name, Amen.
Come on in friends! Have a seat at the table and get comfy. I’d like to have an honest discussion about something I struggle with. I wrestle with “the other woman”. I can’t seem to measure up to her.
She’s kinder then me, she’s more cheerful then me, she’s even better with my kids and husband then I am. I can’t hold a candle to her.
She’s a better friend, sister, mother, daughter, wife… why she’s even a better homemaker and cook then me. How do I compete with that?
Who is this other woman you may ask? Who is it that has out-done me?
It’s the woman who lives in my head.
You may know her too. She’s the “Caroline Ingalls” that we have all longed to be at one point or another. Well I’ve longed to be her for many years. Most of you may remember that I shared my Little House on the Prairie obsession. I still watch it to this day and I’ve been watching since I was about fourteen years old. When I was old enough to be contemplating marriage and children, I fantasized about being Caroline Ingalls.
She always knew the right advice to give her children at every stage of life. She always had a lovely smile for Charles when he returned home at the end of a hard work day. She always had a meal ready and she kept an orderly household. She prayed and read her Bible. She baked, she sewed, she chopped wood for crying out loud!
Now I’m not going to go chop down the nearest Red Wood to try and keep up but Caroline could do it all! She knew when to speak and when not to. She brought a meal to a neighbor in need. Well… you get the idea.
When my husband comes home from a hard day, I’ve played out the Caroline scenario in my mind. He would walk in the door and I would be there to say “welcome home honey.” Dinner would be just about finished and the house would be peaceful. Enter reality stage left… he gets home and it’s the dog who greets him first. I’m behind in dinner prep from spending too much time on the phone trying to answer questions and listen to a friends dilemma or lost track of time checking Emails or any number of things.
he gets a glance and a “hey” for his troubles. The dog gives him a better greeting.
My kids are adults now and Caroline would transition beautifully, guiding them from her endless fountain of wisdom filled upbringing, into her years of stepping back and letting her children learn life as an adult with one hundred percent confidence in how she raised them. My children get repeated instructions on things I’ve already said a million times. My transition looks more like still trying to make them hear my advice and council even when they didn’t ask for it because, ya know… they need it anyway.
I won’t bore you with all the ways I fall short of my Caroline Ingalls image. But her soft spoken, gentle, trusting, wise ways still remain on my perfect woman’s bucket list.
Proverbs 31:10 “An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.” (ESV)
Proverbs 31:28 “Her children rise up and call her blessed, her husband also and he praises her.” (ESV)
That… that is the other woman I desire to be. I desire it with all my heart. I have the right words, actions, facial expressions, clothing, affections… completely played out in my mind, then this unrecognizable woman shows her unwanted self right in the middle of my Little House scene. Oh I just want to call for a “CUUUUTTTT!” and begin again.
Have you ever felt like this?
I have been reminded so much these last few weeks about how our words affect people, especially our own families. We have the ability to lift them up to mountain tops or shove them down into the valley. I want my husband and children to rise up and call me blessed. I want to be that wife who is more precious then jewels. It’s a path God is leading me on and I’m so thankful for this fact… it’s never too late!
We can start right now to strive to be the person God has created us to be and as long as we still draw breath, it’s not too late. Isn’t that glorious news?
Dear readers, God is simply waiting for our “go ahead” to lead us. He’ll never force us but lead us with those gentle hands of a good Father. Place your hand in His and I’ll do the same and let’s begin the walk together.