“Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24: 13-35

I was in the grocery store today, and I saw a woman with a baby in a sling and 5 or so kids with a  cart near her. I scanned their ages and realized she must be a homeschooling momma. We struck up a conversation and I mentioned our recent transition from homeschooling to brick and mortar.  She quickly reproofed my decision of sending my kids to Catholic school and I was struck at the severity of her reaction. Choosing to homeschool or not is a personal choice and one that need not be all or nothing. As women, we tend to reproof those who have chosen to educate their children differently than we. And I say this honestly for both homeschool mothers and traditional school mommas out there — judging brings us down. It divides us.

“If you judge others, you have no time to love them.”  -Blessed Mother Teresa

Look around you. Our society has lost the authenticity of true, womanly friendship. There was a time when we lived so closely that we nurse one another’s babies for Heaven’s sake.  And now we sit behind closed doors, closed windows, in the pick-up line at school or at the local co-op, judging others to justify our own lifestyle. Imagine if we looked upon that mom taking a run during the late morning as a woman who was taking care of herself so she could take care of her family instead of thinking, “Well isn’t it great that she has that kind of time!” Or when we see a family out-and-about during school hours, stop and smile instead of thinking “I don’t know how she does it” or “Better you than me.”

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” -Theodore Roosevelt

Our journey in life is our own, given to each of us by our creator to purify us so that we may get to Heaven. Along our journey, I pray we may take the opportunity to look upon each other as Christ looks upon us: with love, mercy, and such patience. Looking for the joy in someone else’s countenance allows us to seek Christ. For I believe where there is joy, He is.

I have so many fond memories of time spent sharing with a new friend, an old friend, or just another mom waiting to pick up her kids an inspirational passage from scripture, family stories, or the latest story from the trenches of my home. We need to be more authentic and vulnerable with one another. Airbrushing our own daily reality will only lead to a Facebook social media version of friendship. It’s like watered-down lemonade — there is no refreshment for the soul there.

When we walk with one another, let us walk as if we are walking with Christ himself. Let our hearts burn with the knowledge that He is truly present because we are living, walking, and breathing in His spirit. Let us be living tabernacles of His grace, mercy, and joy to one another. Christ was real with us. He shared his joys, struggles, and the triumph of His cross with us so authentically. When we remain cognizant of this, we keep ourselves in tune to His will and allow His Spirit to speak through our words and our actions.