Super woman leaps tall mounds of laundry with a single broom. Swoops up a toddler and a 3 month old while letting the dog out, grabbing the mail and carrying in groceries from the care.
Super woman works a full-time job, does the grocery shopping, picks up the dry-cleaning, makes a four-course meal all before her husband comes home from his job and waits for supper to be put on the table.
Super woman volunteers for children’s church, is PTA president, room mother for first and third grade, runs a full-time home business while also making daily visits to check on her elderly parents.
Super woman never gets more than six hours of sleep. Is constantly in need of more. Is always behind on something. Eats more junk food than she does real food. Has no time for exercise or relaxation or play.
Super woman can’t even think about sitting down even for supper, much less to read her Bible, pray or commune with God. She rarely has time to read to her children and sends them to their father to answer spiritual questions.
Super woman questions whether she is doing enough. She wants God to take notice of her efforts. She is looking for validation by doing, doing, doing. She wants to earn His favor and blessings. She wants to earn her rightful place by His side.
And yet, God seems silent.
She can’t understand His silence. Can’t He see all that she’s doing? Can’t He appreciate her efforts. Why won’t He give her some kind of pat on the back. Just a little one will do.
She wants some appreciation, some accolades. If not from God, then from her husband or children. But all she hears is, “Why isn’t my white shirt ironed? I have that major presentation today.”
“Mom, I don’t have any clean socks. It’s cheerleading practice and everyone will notice if I wear dirty socks!”
“Mom, where’s the brownies you were going to make for Cub Scouts. It’s my day to bring them. You said you were going to make them.”
So she tries harder. She does more. She swears she will be the very best wife, mother, employee, volunteer, church member there has ever been on the face of earth. Surely then God will notice.
And yet, God seems silent.
Finally, she’s had enough. “I give up. I just can’t do it any more,” she cries. “I’m only human, God. You made me. You should know that. I can’t do all of this.”
“Hmm, I don’t remember asking you to,” God says softly.
“You don’t want me to give my best?”
“Yes, I so want you to give your best.”
“I’m doing my best.”
“That is the problem.”
“Look God, I don’t have time for riddles. I’m kind of busy here. What do you want from me?”
“What do you want from Me, might be a better question.”
“Sigh. Just tell me what it is you want me to do and I’ll do it.”
“What are you?”
“What do you mean? I’m a wife, mom, daughter, employee, volunteer, church member.”
“What?” she furrows her brows. “I’m a human being.”
“It appears to Me, you are a human doing. You are so busy all the time. You do. You try. You never rest.”
“Isn’t that what you want?”
“I want you to be.”
“Start with being you. Do you know who that is without all the roles and titles?”
“I … I’m not sure.”
“Those who are always doing when I haven’t told them to do anything are trying to earn My attention, My favor.”
“I thought you wanted me to do these things.”
“Did you ever ask Me?”
“I’m sorry, Lord, I was just so … busy.”
“Exactly. I want you to get to know Me. Know My heart. I already see yours.”
“What … what do you see?”
“I see a woman who wants to get to know Me, but is going about it in the wrong way. Your works show Me you are proud of what you have done. Pride is something that I always oppose.”
She hangs her head in shame.
“There is good news, though,” God says. “I give grace and more grace to the humble, those who are connected to Me completely, who understand they are not mini-Mes. They understand their place in relationship to Me. They understand they must listen to Me in all things.”
“I have so much to learn, Lord. Please forgive me.”
“Of course, My child. Forgiveness is my specialty.”
“Tell me what to do and I will do it.”
“Don’t DO anything. Rest. Cease from striving. Play with your children. Love your husband. Stop doing everything. Get your family to help you. Give up all your volunteer work. Take some time to reconnect with yourself, your family and Me. Then, I will show you the next step.”
“I can sit down?”
“That feels so good.”
“You have just taken the first step towards Me. It’s a step of humility. It’s a step of surrender. Glad to have you back.”
“Oh and one more thing,” God says.
“Yes, My Lord.”
“I’ll take the super woman cape. I don’t think you’ll need that any more.”
She takes off the cape and scrunches into a ball, runs out to the trash can and slam dunks it.
“Great one, Mom,” her son calls. “Want to shoot some baskets?”
She looks to the heavens as she hears a hearty, “Yes!”
“Sure Son, I’d love to,” she says grabbing the basketball and doing an easy lay up.
“Hey, you been holding out on me,” he says. “Show me how to do that.”
This time she hears it clearly. It’s a raucous belly laugh resounding through the heavens just as she makes another basket.
“But He gives us more and more grace, power of the Holy Spirit, to meet this evil tendency and all others fully. That is why He says, God sets Himself against the proud and haughty, but gives grace continually to the lowly, those who are humble enough to receive it.” James 4:6 AMP
Teresa Shields Parker is a wife, mother, business owner, life group leader, speaker and author of Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God’s Favor and Sweet Grace Study Guide: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Overcome Sugar Addiction. Get a free chapter of her memoir on her blog at Teresa Shields Parker.com. Connect with her there or on her Facebook page.