Overcoming The Comparison Trap

In your eyes, she has it all together:

A good marriage.

Well-behaved children.

Small waist.

Impeccable wardrobe. 

Beautiful home. 

You admire her, but secretly there is a tinge of jealousy… you want her life.

But your missing something. You only see a portion of her story, the part she wants you to see, but it’s not just her…you and I do this too.

Overcoming Comparison

Rarely do I share on social media or invite others over on days my house is messy, I look a hot mess, my kids are misbehaving and dinner is a flop.

And these things happen… often.  

Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.- 2 Corinthians 10:12 (ESV)

In this information age, we have more access to people’s lives than ever before.

Social media has its positives, but it also has its downfalls.  We are able to highlight the best parts of our lives.  And that’s kind of deceiving.

Sure we all desire to display our best self.  But we have to remember no one lives a perfect life.  Everyone has a bad day, week or season.

When we glance at someone’s life on social media, we have to be careful to view them with the right heart and motives.

We can overcome the comparison trap by practicing the following:

We must learn contentment.

We can start by being thankful for and doing our best with what we have. Contentment teaches us to stay in your own lane, this prevents envy, bitterness, and greed from rearing its ugly head.

Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,”- Hebrews 13:15 (NASB)

Mind your own business.

When we are busy at work doing what we are supposed to do, it’s difficult to focus on others.  Diligence gives us a sense accomplishment and responsibility that allows us to appreciate what we have.  I believe working hard keeps us busy from coveting others.

and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you, so that you will behave properly toward outsiders and [not be in any need. -1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 (ESV)

But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor.  For each will have to bear his own load. Galatians 6:4-5 (ESV)

On the contrary, when we are slothful…ok, lazy, we have too much time on our hands which tempts us to become concerned about others people’s affairs.

Timothy gives this warning and instruction for young widows in 1 Timothy 5:13-14:

At the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention.  Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach.

When we are purposely diligent we give no room for the enemy to distract or interfere in our lives!

Take a break from social media.   

Taking a hiatus from social media can bring you back to your own reality.  It gives us the opportunity to become present in the lives of family and friends.

I removed the Facebook app from my phone and I found a great desktop app that keeps my Facebook activity under control.  News Feed Eradicator removes your timeline feed and displays helpful quotes instead.  You can click on a friend or group to get their latest status update.

Renew your mind.

Studying and meditating on the Word of God provides us with wisdom and the proper perspective regarding our life and the lives of others.  By focusing on the Lord, we are able to find joy in the life we live.

Peter must have thought, “Who am I compared to Mr. Faithfulness (John)?” But Jesus clarified the issue. John was responsible for John. Peter was responsible for Peter. And each had only one command to heed: “Follow Me.” (John 21:20-22)- Charles R. Swindoll

#Comparison

Let’s not get distracted by someone else’s life.  God made you fearfully and wonderfully with unique gifts and talents.  He loves you and created you with a purpose.

for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

– Phillipians 2:13(ESV)

Let’s find gratitude in our current lives and genuinely celebrate the successes of others.

The Danger Of “What If?”

Have you ever contemplated on the mistakes or regrets you’ve made in life and allowed your thoughts to create alternative scenarios of what if?

What if I wouldn’t have done this?

What if I chose that path instead of this one?

What if I said this instead of that?

And the list goes on and on and on….

What if blog post

Digging Up The Past

Unfortunately, focusing on our past can distract us from living the life we have right now.

As believers, we are not trusting in God’s providence. He knew beforehand and orchestrates our life, even at this very moment.

Oswald Chambers sums it up well:

It is true that we have lost opportunities that will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past rest, but let it rest in the sweet embrace of Christ.

Leave the broken, irreversible past in His hands, and step out into the invincible future with Him.

Live For Today

We have the opportunity to accept our past and move forward in Jesus.

Here are a few things we can do when we start to dwell on our past.

1. 2 Corinthians 10:5-7  tells us to take every thought captive.  When those thoughts resurface have a plan to replace them with good and truthful thinking.

2. Recount your many blessings with a grateful heart.

3. Choose to live confidently in who you are in Christ, today.

 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. -2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV)

How do you deal with your past mistakes and regrets?

For The Mama Who Feels Like There Has To Be More

This is one of my popular posts, it has been reposted on a major website for Moms and shared several times!  This seems to be a topic that has pulled on the heart strings of many Mamas. 

If this is your first time reading this, I hope you are encouraged, today!  If you have read it before, let it be a helpful reminder to motivate you on your mama journey. 

Originally Posted on 11/11/16

I know the feeling.  When you are knee-deep in parenting, and it seems like there is no relief. These moments cause me to question my responsibility as a Mama.

The act of pouring out and serving constantly can be tiresome and frustrating at times. In other words, if we’re not careful, it can cause a major burnout.

One of the biggest pitfalls is relying on our feelings.  When we allow our emotions to lead us during the meltdowns, corrections, and constant serving; we set ourselves up for an explosion waiting to happen.

Our feelings create the illusion of self-entitlement.

Mamas and More

I have found myself succumbing to feelings of giving up and entertaining thoughts like… I should be doing something more significant.  Is there something out there better for me? Did I miss out on life?

This is my desperate plea for unbalanced attention, appreciation, and approval.

During these times we cannot depend on our hearts.

The heart is deceitful above all things,
    and desperately sick;
    who can understand it? -Jeremiah 17:9

How can we overcome these feelings of doubt?

Obedience is required.  God’s grace is sufficient in our weaknesses, and I am grateful for this.  However, sometimes, I think we will ride grace as if it were a free pass.  In addition to God’s grace, we have the responsibility to obey Him.  If we have a heart problem, how can we deal with it, in a way that is pleasing to God?

First, we must repent. Change begins with humility, admitting our sin and asking God for His help.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 (NASB)

Discipline helps to eliminate unnecessary frustration.

Oh boy, this is an ongoing lesson for me.  In our obedience to God, we should also desire to live a disciplined life. Discipline (and diligence) are mentioned several times in the Bible.  When we live diligently we create a successful environment versus one that will promote failure for ourselves and our children.

She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31:27

What areas can you develop a more disciplined life?  Do you need to create a morning and bedtime routine,  for you and your children? Begin the morning earlier than your family?  Create a cleaning schedule to manage your home? Exercise and/or healthier food choices to obtain more energy and a better mood?  A Bible study and prayer routine?

Rely on the Word of God.

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. -Hebrews 4:12 (NASB)

Choose 1-2 scriptures to write down and memorize to defeat thoughts of giving up and to strengthen you during difficult moments.

Cry out to God in prayer.

If you are in the middle of an intense moment with your children and can feel the frustration coming on; stop what you are doing and say a prayer.  Even, if its just Jesus, help!  I do this often!  

In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears. -Psalm 18:6 (ESV)

Isn’t comforting to know that God hears our cries?!  

Choose to be responsible for your own actions.

This is something I teach my children constantly.  I am in need of this reminder as well!  Okay here comes the tough-love. The issue is not your children, it’s you.  Stop blaming them and realize you need a heart change.   Ask God to give you the wisdom and humility to make the needed changes. Then we can use proper judgment in training children.  Whew, I know…this is for me too!

Motherhood is a beautiful experience and privilege. Oftentimes, we have to take our eyes off of our circumstances and recognize our blessings, even in the tough moments.

Behold, children are a [c]gift of the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.  Psalm 127:3

Let’s use the above tools to conquer our negative thoughts and feelings, and practice gratitude for the life we have.

How are you appreciating this season of motherhood?

10 Simple Easter Activities For Young Homeschoolers 

Easter is right around the corner.  I am sure you’ve noticed the bunnies, candy, and baskets that are vying for our attention during this time of the year.  These items are fun and yummy, but I have purposed to look beyond the bunny and teach my children the real reason for this season.

As a Christian and Mom, it’s my responsibility to teach my children about Jesus and the purpose of Easter.

And why not have fun doing it?

Homeschool is a great opportunity to incorporate lessons about Resurrection Sunday.

Here are 10 simple Easter activities for young homeschoolers:

  1. Coloring pages are a great art activity for young learners, these pages can provide a visual as they a learning about Jesus.
  2. The Jelly Bean Prayer is a yummy idea to help children learn a beautiful prayer that shares the story of Easter.
  3. The Stained Glass Easter Cross is an artful way to display the Cross in your window during Easter, or all year long.
  4. The Easter Story Wreath is a wonderful way to teach older children about the events that lead up to Resurrection Sunday.
  5. Resurrection Eggs takes the fun and tradition of an Easter egg hunt while adding a more meaningful approach to the activity.
  6. The Cross Fingerpaint Craft is a fun, colorful art project and Bible lesson for children young and old.
  7. The Easter Story Game is an innovative way to tell the story of Jesus.
  8. Story Books are a great way to teach the true meaning of Easter.
  9. Easter Bingo is a clever way to use a classic game to tell the story of Easter.  The website suggests using jelly beans as makers.
  10. Videos that are based on the story of Jesus are another way to illustrate and teach our children.

These ideas would also be great for your family or a Sunday school class activity.

Have a wonderful Easter!