Comparing Up or Down

We watched the movie Courageous over the weekend – talk about a good movie. One of the lead characters said (about parenting), “I always thought I was doing good enough because I was doing better than my dad.”

I’ve mulled over that statement and wondered how often I compare how I’m doing something to how someone else is doing it, instead of to the standard God calls me to do it.

Sometimes comparison sneaks up on us. Sometimes we find ourselves comparing our actions and appearances against someone else’s because of something that’s been said or done to us. Like when a good friend says we should do something “like she does” or when one walks through an affair. Sometimes we chose comparison to measure that we are doing something better than ….

Whether we are struggling with comparison because we want to be good enough, or we are using comparison to justify that we are good enough, it’s a deadly trap. It pits us against people. It makes us think we are so much worse than we really are, or so much better than we really are.

I want to weigh my actions and words and appearance against the standard God set for me. All through His Word we can find how to live, how to regard beauty, how to love others. Worldly comparison inhibits our ability to love others and live the way God wants us to.

Unfortunately, we will find that we fall short of God’s standard oftentimes. This is where He can draw us in and show us His grace. This is where He can take our deep brokenness and show us His immeasurable peace and deep comfort. This is where He can mold us and make us who He calls us to be.

Until next time,
blue signature

 

 

A Prayer to Share:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Please help stop the comparisons that run through my mind. Align my thoughts with You, with Your Word. Help me to focus on who You are calling me to be, and what You are calling me to do. Let me leave others to their calling. Comparison is the thief of all joy, and Lord, I want Your joy in my life. Remove this thief, convict me when I start trying to make comparisons, and help me live my life to please You.

In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.

Like a Weight was Lifted

I went to bed last night feeling a little bit unsure. It was harder than I imagined bidding the feed store farewell. I knew it was the right decision but it can be hard to let go of ideas, hopes, and dreams for something – especially something that I envisioned being part of my life for the next 30, 40, 50 years.

Then I slept. Sleep is refreshing. I think it is some important to remember that how we are feeling when we are tired and depleted is not an accurate picture of a situation.

I woke up earlier than usual, refreshed, ready, and making plans for our family, our home, our farm, and our journey forward. I feel the creative brewing and the drive to write once again.

I was measuring my success against someone else’s and in the comparison game, I always come up short. But this morning I see it around me, the success we’ve had, the joy we’ve experienced, all of the growth individually and as a family. I am ready for what’s to come.

The Mister and I are spending our morning deciding what direction to take the farm, what our farm goals are, and then comes business planning for his business. We have our work cut out for us this weekend setting goals and creating a path and plan to achieve those goals.

Have you set goals for this year? I would love to hear what they are!

Until next time,
blue signature

Chasing Ideas

I’m a dreamer, I always have been. I have ideas and I flit after them, and chase them until the spark is gone. I quickly find a new spark, and chase away until the light dims.

This sounds whimsical and fun if I write it in the right light, but truthfully, I leave a lot of things undone.

Some of my most recent ideas:

Shoe Buddies (shoe deodorizers) – I was going to sew 20 of these a day and make a nice trickle income for our family. I was going to get my kids involved in the production, and let them earn some commission for their work. I was going to sell them in person and online and wherever anyone had stinky shoes. Reality: I completed one order and never made another shoe buddy. But I have a shelf full of the stuff to make gobs of them

Selling on Amazon – I started reading about selling on Amazon, flipping clearance items and making a steady income. I bought the labels, the scrapers, the stickers, the bags, the thermal label printer, signed up, paid a month of Amazon’s FBA seller service. Reality: I never even shipped in a single clearance item purchased, and ended up returning all of the things I bought so they weren’t lying around to be wasted.

Digital Design/Marketing Company – I bought a domain, I created a logo, I was going to make logos and help people navigate the world of social media. I was going to help small businesses reach the next level, grow, and gain visibility among their target clientele. Reality: I wrote a couple of cute blogs, dabbled with my social media page, and stopped there. (Digital markets are tough, and time-consuming!)

Photography – I mean, I have the camera, right? I did it before, right? Reality: I didn’t even dust it off.

College – I’ve forever dreamed of going back to school, of furthering my education, of holding a degree. But the truth is, I started raising kids at a young age and I didn’t want to miss the best years of their life because I was so wrapped up in school. I was going to take the leap this year, online classes offer quite a bit of flexibility, but I’ve changed my mind again.

Sometimes all of these sparks that have burned out feel like failures to someone who is dreaming big, waiting for the right idea to turn in to a flame, pushing, chasing, running after sparks that don’t seem to last. Sometimes they don’t last because I don’t put the consistent long-term effort in that would turn them in to something more than just a fleeting idea.

Sometimes these sparks die because the truth is, I’m a wife and a mom, and we have a little farm, and my time is limited. So limited.

Our lives have changed a lot in the last couple of months and as such, it was time for me to go back to work, but being stubborn like I am, I didn’t want the kids to go to daycare. So I took a night job. I told myself all the reasons this would be the best solution for us ever, I told myself how it would be nice to get out of the house every day, without the kids. I told myself the adult interaction, the customer service atmosphere, the paperwork, and trips up stairs and down again would all be fun.

I turned it in to a spark.

And I caught this spark. I landed my night job, I work graveyards. And you know what? The hours of sleep I got at night were precious. This isn’t as easy as I made it in my head. It’s incredibly hard to recover from working all night in time to do much the next day before it’s time for work again.

I’m not giving up this time. I’m not giving up that easy. I need this job, it’s part of my written plan and I’m putting action to it.

Writing down a dream turns it into a goal.

Giving a goal steps turns it into a plan.

Putting action to the plan makes it a reality.

The reality is, we are starting a new endeavor this week that has captured my full attention, and I am beyond excited. The reality is, these long nights will pay off in the long run. The reality is, sometimes we have to do really hard things, really consistently, for a time, to create a better future for ourselves and our families.

What hard thing do you need to do consistently, for a period of time, to help launch you forward in life?

With Love,

blue signature