I eventually gave up and realized I'm not my mom. I've learned a lot from her but I'm more like Dad. That's not a bad thing, eh, Dad? But once in a while - even today - I wish I were more like my mother.
|Classic 1960s French roll|
Mom dressed up. Always. Her hair was twisted in a French bun, immaculately held in place by a few bobby pins and hairspray. We all wore our "Sunday best" to go to the doctor's or dentist. Mom attired my brothers in little suits for church. She sewed amazing dresses for me, many of which I disliked because the colors and patterns didn't feel good to me. Even then, I knew what I liked, right, Mom?
I'm as happy in jeans and ugly sweatshirts as I am dressed to the nines. (Maybe happier.) I don't care much if my hair is cooperating or not. I cut it myself in the shower, where I can feel the wet shape I'm sculpting. I look in the mirror in the morning and hope for the best thereafter, ignoring the huge mirrors throughout my home and office that reflect light and space.
I've wished I were more like my mother when I've given in to my natural inclination and find myself ignored by customer service: "She's plain." To me, "What do you want?" Yup, it makes a difference to show up fully armed for retail with makeup and decent clothes.
Me? Not so much. I often ask myself, "What would Mom do?" when I feel like rushing into war with a battle cry, as is my inclination. Ok, I admit I'm not always good at asking that ... and find myself and others bloodied around me. Lord have mercy!
How can we benefit from knowing others with admirable traits that we don't have ... without becoming envious or feeling belittled?
- Keep admiring. You become what you behold. (Or you get closer, anyway.)
- Thank God for that person and pray for them. That way you add to their strength rather than comparing yourself unfavorably.
- Learn every lesson you can. Imitate the good in others to grow stronger yourself.
- Believe and rejoice in a God who loves variety. He made me different than Mom "because you have a different job to do," as she's told me more than once.
- Live as yourself. God lavished his loving creativity on us; we have unique abilities, experiences, and momentum to live large and beautifully in our own life and space.
- Look around to see who you can boost, people like you and not like you.
Mom, you're definitely high on my list. Love you! and I still want to be like you, even in my 50s.
*When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord; because of these same detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you. You must be blameless before the Lord your God. Deuteronomy 18:9-13
*Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. Therefore I urge you to imitate me. For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church. 1 Corinthians 4:15-17
*... our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 1 Thessalonians 1:5-7