The other day, I heard Amy Grant’s new song, Don’t Try So Hard. It really spoke to me. In fact, her whole album (How Mercy Looks From Here)blessed me. It’s encouraging to hear someone else talk about how God is teaching them what it means to follow Him. I loved the way Amy wrote about trying to please others:
Do you remember how the summers felt when we were kids
Oh we didn’t think much about it,
we just lived
Taking our time,
When did we start,
trying to measure up
And all this time,
love has been trying to tell us
Don’t try so hard
God gives you grace and you can’t earn it
Don’t think that you’re not worth it
I don’t know about you, but I really don’t like to disappoint others. I think most of us are wired that way. I rarely meet a mom who is not an overachiever on some level. We all want to be the best mothers we can be. We want the best for our kids. We want to be the wife our husband dreamed of.
Several weeks ago, I had the privilege of meeting a mother of ten while speaking in the midwest.
She felt like a failure. “Turns out, ” she said, “that the number of kids we have doesn’t equal godliness. Someone told me it did.” We tried so hard to “do it right,” she said.
It wasn’t that she was unhappy that they had ten children, either — it was just that years of trying to meet someone else’s expectation for her family had left her with very little margin in her life.
And, as it turned out, following someone else’s idea for what her family was supposed to look like was exhausting.
I know how that feels.
As a recovering people-pleaser, I could relate to her. We cried a little, standing in that hotel lobby.
We try so hard to “get it right…”
Dress like this. Eat like that. Listen to this. Don’t listen to that. Right way. Wrong way. My way… your way.
It’s hard pleasing people.
Thank God, we don’t have to.
We just need to please the Lord.
In Galatians 1:10, we read, “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
Am I seeking the approval of God or man? It’s a good question, isn’t it?
Matthew 11:29 (NIV)
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Jesus gives us just three imperatives about how to do this thing called life:
- Come to Me. (Pray.)
- Take My yoke. (Carry the yoke God has designed just.for.you.)
- Learn from Me. (Read the Bible, busy mom. God wants to speak to you.)
No need to keep up with the Joneses. No need to meet anyone else’s expectations.
Don’t try so hard.
God gives us grace for each day. We can’t earn it.
There is joy that comes from pleasing our heavenly Father. It brings peace–and freedom. A freedom that comes from knowing that we’ve asked the Lord to direct our path. It makes everyone else’s path pale in comparison!
Spend time in God’s word, busy mom! Seek Him every day.
Then, take His yoke. He wants to carry it with you.
Don’t try so hard.
Lean in. Press on. Live in freedom.
You are loved.