For When You Feel Like You’re Doing It Wrong

My husband has an uncanny ability to memorize movie quotes. As in, he can see a movie once and memorize the script within two hours.

I hear movie quotes at least once a day.

For example, just last night, I told him I was incredibly exhausted. A few seconds later, he yawned.

“Are you tired, too?” I asked, innocently enough.

He then went into a two minute snippet from the movie Tombstone that involved the line “Are you retired, too?” He even looked it up on You Tube so I could see the clip he was talking about. This is my life, people.

One of my favorite quotes is from the movie, Mr. Mom. It’s an oldie but still very much a goodie.

Michael Keaton plays Jack Butler, a father who loses his job. His wife must support the family and has to go on a business trip so Jack’s in charge of caring for the children full-time. This includes taking them to school in the morning.

As soon as he starts pulling into his children’s school, they inform him he’s “doing it wrong.” Multiple times.

He insists it doesn’t matter and they are going to do drop-off by following the “Jack Bulter Method.”

And then Annette, someone who works at the school, informs him he’s doing it wrong.

I’ve included the clip below because really . . . You just need to watch it.

But the thing is . . . sometimes I hear Annette’s voice telling me I’m doing it wrong.

“Hi, Natalie. I’m Annette. You’re doing it wrong.”

Because here’s the other thing: sometimes I am doing it wrong – but not in the way that really matters.

Some days, I hear Annette’s voice because I get so hung-up on being the mom I was supposed to be. Or the mom I think I should be. Or the mom I think everyone wants me to be.

Yet that’s not the stuff that determines my success.

On those days when I feel like Jack Butler in the carpool drop-off line, I can start going down a dangerous road.

A road that leads to self-doubt. Fear. Insecurity. Comparison. All kinds of yuck.

But then I go to the truth, to what God says is real and not what the world says is real.

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. – Galatians 1:10

Some days, Annette is correct. I am doing it wrong because I’m allowing others to determine my success.

We cannot serve two masters so we must decide if we’re going to allow human beings to rule over us or God.

And while sometimes I forget who I’m following and have to check myself before I wreck myself, I still know that His thoughts are not our thoughts and his ways are not our ways. His ways and thoughts are much, much higher.

So while I’m not a betting woman, I’m going with the one whose ways are the highest. The one with the better track-record.

I’m going to listen to what He says is true of me and not what others, including myself, say is true of me.

Because when we’re rooted in truth and understand who we are in His eyes, it doesn’t matter what the others say about us.

This, my friends, is doing it right.

What about you? Do you ever feel like you’re doing it all wrong?


  1. I needed this today! I quit my job about 8 mnths ago to better serve my family. But then I picked up some "part-time work from home." Well, this morning my 4-year-old didn't feel good and wanted to stay home from school to cuddle. I need to work today. So I cried and cried about how this is the exact situation I wanted to avoid and is why I quit working to begin with. In the end, he is at home and I'm working on the computer next to him while he watches some cartoons. Not ideal, but the best I can do this morning.

  2. Just what I needed to hear this morning. I asked God to speak to me…and there is Jack Butler with his paneled station wagon, kids not in their seat belts, doing it wrong. I’m muddling, doing all sorts of things wrong…But God is still reminding me that he’s got this.

    • Yep. Jack Butler to the rescue! He didn’t MEAN to do it wrong, you know? His heart was in the right place.

      And yes, sweet friend…He’s got this. Oh, yes. He does.

      Love you, dear soul!!!

  3. And that's OK, Kelly. I am there as well. I stay home but I don't always stay home because the nature of my job requires me to work now and then. :) I don't think this is a bad thing because our children see that the world isn't all about them and life happens. You're doing a good job, mama. Oftentimes, they just want you to sit next to them and you're doing that. I'm guessing you couldn't have even done that when you were working so see . . . there IS progress!!!

  4. I loved this post, Natalie, because I always tend to have a running evaluation of myself going through my head. I need to lighten up! And on the days when I AM doing something wrong, there’s always repentance and God’s acceptance.

  5. Whew – I wrote an entire post about how Facebook gives me "bad mommy syndrome" because I start looking at how THEY are doing things. So you are DEFINITELY NOT alone in this.

    And I also want you to know you are not alone with the movie quotes – only I have a husband, two teenagers and an eight year old that do it – AND also song quotes.

    Sigh. I would like to tell you that it gets better . . . but I think it is more that you get numb. :)

    In all – the quotes and the measuring – we have to do exactly like your recommending (and I needed reminding) – turn to God.

  6. So needed to hear this today!

  7. HA! Thanks, Kathryn! It's always good to know I'm not alone in this crazy movie quote world. Really, it's usually pretty fun so I won't complain about it too much. And yes, we won't ever get it 100% right – thankful we have a God of compassion and mercy!

  8. Thank you for posting this. Seems so familiar, at least lately. We need to realize that we are doing what is right and best for our situation. No two situations are the same. Unfortunate that everyone does not see it the same way, like “Annette”! Still love Mr. Mom!


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