Thursday, June 26, 2014

Beware the Compare

When I woke up this morning I desperately wished that I was a morning person. I longed to be the kind of woman that when my alarm went off, I could hop out of bed, sing my way through a morning shower, and fix lunches for my household with a smile on my face!

Not ten minutes later,  I started envying women whose husband's help them get the kids ready for the day. A second set of hands to deal with a child that hates mornings just like me would be such a blessing!

When I'm at work, I see mamas that drop their children off and they are so put together. Hair and makeup are done. Their outfits aren't wrinkled and covered in the milk from the great sippy cup battle. Talk about feeling envious! I so long to be that kind of woman!

But the truth is, mornings are terrible in my home! I hate waking up, my husband hates waking up, and surprise surprise, my little bit loves to sleep in as well. If I'm not careful though my day can get destroyed from the beginning if I do not start guarding my thoughts and my heart from the moment my alarm goes off.

I don't know if you are like me, but I suffer from a spirit of comparison. Some women compare their objects with other families objects. Wanting their cars, or homes, or their nice furniture. Some women compare relationships. Envying others families, friends, or loved ones. Then on the other hand some women compare non tangible things. How their children behave, their personal image, or the amount of love they see.

We live in a society that is fueled by comparing our lives with others. Just look at facebook. Everyone puts their highlights on facebook, but like me, you start to judge your sad, dark times against someone's highlights. Suddenly your joy is stolen.

One spin on pinterest in the home section, and the home you live in suddenly seems inadequate. Regardless of how much you love your home, it is easy to find something you would rather have!

We are all familiar with the Ten Commandments. Do not covet. I think a modern translation should be, do not compare. If you begin to compare, you start to open your heart to the devil and his whispers that tear you down. Comparing your life to others mine as well be a neon sign flashing that says "I do not treasure what God has given me".

God gave you this life because He trusted you to live it to the fullest. There's a reason you have what you have been given!  I'm a hoarder of money, I'm a better steward of God's money when I do not have a lot of it. I'd love to not worry about money, but God knows what he's doing!

You may have strained relationships and you long for the companionship others have. But maybe God is molding you to be a leader later or honing attributes you need to be a better friend,  sister, or wife.

Just because you do not have everything you want or think you deserve does not mean that God has given you less than your neighbor! So much of our lives are kept private. So when you compare lives with someone else it may not even be accurate!

You may have woken up like me and longed to be something different. But friend, God has created this life just for you! He trusts you to live it to fullest! This life you lead is not right for me or your neighbor. It is specially designed by the Saviour of the Universe for you to love daily to bring glory to His name and to draw closer to Him.

I challenge you to guard your heart. Consciously live the rest of this week to push away comparisons in your head. To tell the devil that it doesn't matter what pinterest tells you a bedroom needs to look like because you have been the best steward possible with the things God has given you. And the next time you think someone has it better than you, say a prayer for them. Chances are they feel lacking too!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

It is Good

If you are pro-life or have ever seen a pro-life poster, a very common phrase seen comes from the Bible. We love to tell people, love your baby, he's been made in the image of God. He is fearfully and wonderfully made. Everything that is being created in you today is a blessing. God loves you enough that He not only trusted you enough to make you a mom, but He has taken time and energy to create your baby in the image of the intimately know and love your child before he was even born!

That is such a heady and strong message. It really portrays what a Christian believes about bringing children into this world!

However, some of us as young women, as teenagers, as young wives, as young mothers, and even some of us as grandmothers have forgotten this. It is so easy to remember that the babies we are bringing into this world are an image of God, but we forget one very important piece of information. WE TOO ARE CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE. Let me say that again, you, my dear friend, are created exactly the way God the Father intended you to be!

I heard a celebrity I love say that she vowed to never say anything bad about her body in front of her daughters, because she did not want them to grow up looking for the faults in their bodies. I think this is a great start, but it needs to be taken one step farther. What can we say we LOVE about our bodies? 

Do you have to stand in front of a mirror and stare for a long time to find something you love? If you are like me, you may not have an answer about something you love about your body. I am working on doing more than tolerating what I look like. I take a lot of pride in my family, in my intellect, and in my relationships. But if you ask about my body and how I look...the first things I come up with are improvements!

Never once in the Bible have I read where God or Christ simply tolerate themselves. I've never read the passage where they are eager to point out the good in others, yet have constant complaints about themselves! God is PROUD of His creation. He said, "It is good!". When was the last time you looked in the mirror and thought, "This is good?". Normally I think, "This will do!". 

I challenge you (and myself) to spent your days praising what God created fearfully and wonderfully. Find your value in Him, not a bathroom scale. Stop staring at the size of your blue jeans, but instead stare at the things He gave you and think, "You were right, God, this is good!".