A Standard for Moms Nearly Killled Me, My Family, My Relationships, and My Joy {part 2}

by GfG on August 20, 2014 · 9 comments

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{This is part 2 in a series on how I left legalism and a false standard for moms, described in part 1.  You might want to read it first.}

As Carol Barnier continued speaking at the THSC Conference that year, I was not only stunned, but I felt a glimmer of hope after stepping away, emotionally, from an influential friendship and well admired standard.

She started sharing the beautiful aspects of being created differently.  The lovely and admirable traits of the second kind of moms.

Yes, even messy ones.  Yes, even the cluttered and scatter brained ones.   Yes, even the ones who can’t find the Sharpie she bought yesterday because she isn’t organized enough to put it where it goes when she gets home from Target.

The more she talked, the more my spirit found a landing place.

See, she took a killer shot at the standard.  An important aspect of the standard: godly moms are organized, certainly not messy, and they are in control.

Her entire talk was actually centered around the idea that accepting the way you are designed and working with it, instead of against it, is beautiful.  That moms who are scattered and cluttered and forgetful and unorganized can be just as godly and fabulous and praiseworthy as their peers who are designed just the opposite, not in spite of them being so, but because they are so.

I’m serious when I tell you I wept.

It was right there in that conference chair that I found freedom to step away from the false standard.

By hitting the standard with a serious blow in one area, she start the toppling of the entire standard. It took awhile for me.

I finally saw how destructive the mindset and teaching that we should all be like that standard really was.  It was destroying woman, from the inside out.  Women who have beautiful gifts tucked inside their messes and disorganization.  Women like me.

checklist with words NO

I finally saw that the standard had made issues that were not spiritual ones that showed spiritual maturity.

The hilarious part is that evening at dinner, with a group of about eight of us, we were sharing about how wonderful Ms. Barnier’s talk was and the friend  said, “I don’t like listening to speakers like that because they make it sound like you can’t do it all.”

I could not have found a more clear confirmation of the need to step away from that friendship and the legalism it cultivated.

I nearly laughed.  A clear sign that the LORD has used Ms. Barnier’s words to bring me release because I didn’t have that sinking feeling of, “Right.  I’m supposed to do it all.  And do it well.”

No, I was not the same woman anymore.

Well, I was actually.  It was just that I was finally ready to embrace the Mindy that is…

a natural slob, who is only organized when it comes to school planning, who doesn’t really know how to clean a bathroom well, who certainly doesn’t know how to keep a house spotless, who hates making meatballs from scratch, who forgets who she is calling while the phone is still ringing, whose purse looks like a lost and found,  whose children often leave the house with unbrushed hair and mismatched shoes, who hates sewing….

who also will go to the State Fair on the fly, who will open her home to friends and family for any reason and just about at any time, who will be goofy and silly without prompting, who will let kids be kids in their rooms, who loves being visionary, whose children are loud and speak openly, who will drop everything for a person in need, who sees the people in a home not the decor….

….who knows she has a Sharpie somewhere and will gladly give it to you… as soon as she finds it.

It took awhile to be fully free.  And yes, this event led to my horrid mistreatment by the friend as I left legalism.  It was more than worth it though.

I have had to sort through every belief now and study: is this a Biblical mandate, a Biblical call, a personal conviction, or a preference?  That takes quite awhile.

I walked a dark road for a long time after this summer day and the weight of and the conflict with the standard certainly didn’t help while I struggled with terrible thoughts that fall.

Now, four year later, I find myself in a funny place.

Standard PIN 2

I find myself not fitting fully in any group.  I am a Conservative Christian mom of many who wears skirts or dresses only and also has blue tipped hair.  I’ve been snubbed by the ultra Conservatives for my hair (and some other issues), the typical Conservatives don’t know what to make of me and my skirts (and other issues), and the liberals don’t know what to make of my strong views and just as strong love.

To be in this place isn’t easy for someone who struggles with approval issues, but my faith is strong, my God is big, my Scripture study is solid, and my joy returned.

I’m so grateful God broke through to my heart through a long weekend with the friend and then through Carol Barnier.  The journey continued after that, but she brought encouragement to my soul where I was feeling despair and failure.

In celebration of Ms. Barnier opening the door for freedom for me, come back later this week for a giveaway from her!

Are you trying to keep the standard?   Why? 

If you are one of the women (or men) who has been told to keep the standard I shared in the beginning and you are hurting, please know I’m praying for you.  Consider reading the series by Norm Wakefield, The Curse of the Standard Bearers.  It starts in fhe winter of 2007 and is an eight part series worth reading, though Mr. Wakefield and I don’t see some theological points the same.  He saw this standard and the destruction it was bringing years ago.

If you are one of the women (or men) who is teaching or communicating the standard I shared in the beginning, please know I am praying for you too. Consider reading the series titled The Curse of the Standard Bearers.

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