Confession: When I was a working mom, I completely judged the stay-at-home moms who posted about looking forward to Friday. I was like, “Your job is at home. Your whole life is a weekend. MUST BE NICE.” Oh, man. Please forgive me, other mom. I was young and ignorant. I knew not what I was saying. We’re all rock stars, guys.
The idea of Friday is like a big deep breath that says, “I made it.” Something in our culture has trained us – whether we work on the weekends, or work out of the home – no matter what our life looks like, the weekend is supposed to feel exciting and free.
So you can imagine my confusion when I began to have consistent breakdowns on Fridays. The word breakdown is not an exaggeration. For weeks, maybe months in a row. It began to happen so often that I was able to track it – and it was always Fridays. So I began to dread them. Because, let’s be honest. I do live my life at home, and so my job doesn’t change hardly at all over the weekend. The little children that I love and care for are mine twenty-four hours a day.
I found that on Friday, I was tired of holding it together. For them, for me. I pushed through the week, managed the schedule, and here I was at the end of it; heading into a weekend of rushing, feeling like I really got nothing done. And my tank was on empty.
There were two things I needed to acknowledge when it came to Friday:
- Sometimes it’s just hard. The week is long. My life is busy. Sometimes it’s hard to do your best; to take care of yourself and take care of everyone else.
- I had placed unreachable expectations on myself. I have never had someone tell me that I needed to look nice, have a spotless house, and have perfect kids. I had created for myself an expectation that no one else had put on me. Nobody asked me to have it all together. But somehow, I was drowning in my own disappointments.
I was relying on myself; my effort, to get me through the week, and it just wasn’t enough. Everyone saw what I was putting together on the outside, but on the inside, I felt like I was being dragged by my responsibilities and my failed expectations.
I don’t care if you’re not a stay at home mom. I don’t know you, but I know that you’re a person. And people have emotions, and secret thoughts, and wild expectations that are never spoken out loud. We are constantly failing ourselves because we’re holding up a yardstick next to the highlight reel of other people’s lives.
If today, your Friday feels like weariness, you need to acknowledge something to yourself. Your week has been hard. You are busy. You have people pulling you, and you love and you care and you want to be and do it all. You feel guilty for even calling it a “hard week” – because you for sure know someone who’s week was so much harder than yours. None of that matters. Your life is your life, and you have to live it. God sees your hardship, and He cares.
If your Friday feels like defeat, ask yourself who’s expectations you are trying to live up to. Is it your boss? Your spouse? Your best friend’s Instagram account? If you were to dig deeper, I’d be willing to guess that you’ve envisioned your God with a clipboard; tracking your moves, measuring your successes, tallying your failures. But at the end of your week, God has no measuring stick. He is simply waiting to be your safe place to land.
If we all looked at ourselves hard in the mirror at the end of the week, we’d find that most likely, we were the one holding the measuring stick. God isn’t replaying and counting our worst moments – we are.
“But He gives us more grace.” [James 4:6]
So ask Him for grace, but don’t stop there. Accept it. The kind of grace that can only come from the One who created it to begin with. The grace that is undeserved, unconditional, and completely unconventional. The grace that meets you in the ugliest moments. The ones in your car that no one else knows about. The times where you’ve just reached the end and you’ve had no other choice but to pour out yourself to God and let Him meet you there.
He is enough for your every need, even the ones you can’t name.
Let Him be enough.
Let go of the measuring stick you’ve kept track of all week, and trade it in for grace.
“I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” [Isaiah 46:4]