Tag Archives: comparison

Pondering

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At it again, guilty as charged! I’ve been doing some pondering lately….I found that something I’ve heard now and again over the years really irritates me. Kind of silly when you hear what it is, but the thought behind it is nerve wracking to me.

At some point in your life, I’m quite sure you’ve stated to someone that you ‘don’t have the time’ to do whatever it is you don’t have time for. Then, nearly as soon as those words have left your mouth, you’re met with the response: “well, we all have the same 24 hours in a day”. THAT’S IT! That’s an irritant to me, especially since it’s often said in a rather boastful and haughty tone, as if you are a lazy bum if you can’t work whatever it is into your schedule, or that you simply don’t care enough to do thus and such.

WHY does this statement make my skin crawl, you ask? More than anything, it’s the spirit behind it. Sure, there are 24 hours in a day; however, all 24 hours aren’t meant to be productive. Out of those 24 hours, 6-8 hours are assigned to sleep. Then there are hours dedicated to a job, chores, school, or what have you. And of course, there is time carved out for eating meals, reading, driving, yard work, etc. Imagine if you will, a pie to represent your 24 hours. Now divide that pie according to your day’s worth of activities and responsibilities. The time that is left is typically minimal. Within that “free time” or whatever you want to call it, is prime time, or time to spend as you deem necessary.

What people who make this statement aren’t considering for their victims is that we are all in different stages of life. Some have young children which take up oodles of their time since the kiddos can’t do much for themselves. Some are caring for elderly parents. Some work full-time jobs, and of those, considerable travel may be involved. Some are single parents who virtually have no down time. While some are empty-nesters allowing for a little more time. Additionally, some have family nearby that share some of the load.

So you see, when you get down to it, we all don’t have the same 24 hours. We do, but we don’t. Blanket statements thrown around such as this one, are just that: blanket statements. Let’s face it, we all have limitations. Some physical, or mental, or emotional. Some are highly motivated Type A personalities that require little sleep or relaxation. Others are more laid-back, perfectionists at times, who have different personalities and energy levels. We can’t compare people as if we’re robots. Not to forget, everyone has a different priority list. My priority for the day very possibly is not your priority, and likewise.

What I’m saying is we need to stop judging each other based upon our own standard of productivity. We need to offer a little more grace and compassion to those we encounter, who are most likely among friends.

Comparison is not a fair measuring tool, and will get us in trouble. Accept where you are productively and don’t project that onto someone else. In doing so, I think we’ll find more harmony in our circle of influence.

Stepping off my soap box now…..time-731110_640.jpg

 

 

Don’t Miss It

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Don’t Miss It

Admittedly, Christmas is my favorite time of the year. I love everything about it: family, love, food, friends, but more than that, I cherish the reason for the season: Jesus’ birth. For if He were not born, there would be no death and resurrection to save us from our sins, offering grace and pardon to live eternally with Him. Our hope is found in the birth of Jesus! We have reason to celebrate and to share the hope we have in Christ.

Somehow, some way, every year without fail it seems that the reason for our celebrating is left in the dust. Our focus turns to stuff and what we can buy to give, or to receive for ourselves. We are scurrying around to every child’s event at school, church, and the like not to mention the office parties and gatherings among friends. We find ourselves stressed out, broke, and even depressed. Then, there’s the sickness that naturally occurs as the weather cools down and germs begin to spread. We find ourselves sleeping less and going til we can’t go anymore.

I find it hard to believe that this is what Christmas was meant to be about. Why is it that we wait until December to show love for our friends and family? Why is it that we feel that gifts given somehow equate to how much we love someone? Why do we continually spend money we don’t have in fear of being perceived a grinch?

As I continue to age, I find myself tremendously scaling back. Cutting back on activities, some of which I’d rather enjoy partaking in; however, I’ve learned my limits. To me, Christmas is time invested with family and friends, quiet moments by the fireplace, sharing yummy simple food, listening to beautiful Christmas carols and hymns, finding peace amidst the chaos, simplified giving, and self-care. As much as I love sending and receiving Christmas cards, I find myself cutting back on the expense of them. We erroneously allow money and the giving of gifts to be the focus of our Christmas when we already have the best gift we could ever receive: Jesus.

When I allow my mind to wander back to Christmases past, what I have fond memories of is time spent with both sets of grandparents and extended family, traditions of baking family favorite treats (even the dreaded fruitcake!), Christmas Eve candlelight services at our church, luminaries throughout our neighborhood, finding and cutting our Christmas tree, homemade hot cocoa, roasting marshmallows and making s’mores, singing favorite Christmas songs, Christmas caroling throughout the neighborhood, unwrapping one gift on Christmas Eve, reading the Christmas story from our family Bible, opening treasured engraved ornaments from family friends, trading Christmas cards from friends and family near and far.

Pinterest and facebook didn’t exist in my treasured memories. We baked and created in the kitchen only to be compared to the recipe that had been passed down through the family. Selfies and instant posting of pictures on social media didn’t exist; we were busy living in the moment, savoring time with those we loved, enjoying being out of school and traveling to Grandma’s. Cellphones and texting weren’t a thing yet making our family time more special and less distracted. We were excited to see what gifts were under the tree and enjoyed hearing the back story of how and why each gift was chosen and purchased. Amazon didn’t exist making it exciting to actually go to the mall and wonder who you might run into while you were shopping.

It was a joyous and simple time. Even with all of today’s technology intended to make life easier and less complicated, yet distracting us like never before, we can find simplicity. We can savor the moments, find joy in simple handmade gifts and cards, and most importantly, focus our minds and thoughts on Jesus. Being present in the moment and enjoying life’s simple pleasures. Love isn’t about money spent on gifts; rather the heart that gives out of love.

Consider these thoughts as you and your family count down the days before Christmas. Don’t allow yourself to be caught up in the commercialism of the season or the comparison trap of gift giving to keep up with the Joneses; for there isn’t any love there. Demonstrate Christ’s love in a simple smile, handshake, hug, handwritten note, or even an anonymous gift given to someone in need. For here is where the joy and love of the season is found.

Wishing you and those you love a very Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

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Let It Go!

Comparison. What is it and Why do we do this? Why do we hurt ourselves and others?

“To Compare” means: to say that (something) is similar to something else/to look at (two or more things) closely in order to see what is similar or different about them or in order to decide which one is better/to be as good or as bad as something else : to be on the same level or in the same category as something else

That’s how Webster defines it. Let’s see what Scripture has to say about it:

“Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.” (Gal. 5:25-26, The Message)
“Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.” (Gal. 6:4-5, The Message)
I really love what the first of the Scripture readings says, “each of us is an original“. So true and yet, we as women are the worst about getting into a ‘hen party’, as I call it, and pick each other apart. We judge one another through our comparisons. In essence, we’re really saying, if she looks like me, talks like me and has same basic interests as me then she’s in! She’s one of the cool kids. This is not what God would have us to do.
“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” (Romans 12:3, NIV)
Additionally, we like to compare ourselves to others and their achievements or status in life. This is not a physical comparison, rather we judge ourselves according to what our friends have and how we measure up. For instance, she lives in that neighborhood so they must be financially set. Or, they drive a _____ car…what’s wrong with me? I work at the same company they do and I can’t afford to drive a _____. Or, wow! I saw on ______ (social media site) that so & so is on this amazing vacation to _____, why can’t we be there? Or, her husband packs her lunch every day and gives her diamonds every month “just because”. Why isn’t my husband more loving?
As the second scripture denotes, “each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.” Comparison only sets us up for disappointment and disillusionment with our own lives. It gets us nowhere fast. We must remember the adage “the grass is always greener” isn’t true, rather deceptive thinking. Realize that Christ is our only source to measure ourselves by.
“Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.” (Romans 12:16)
God has us on a path specific to us. There is a reason why we’re where we are for this time and season in our lives. We may never, this side of heaven, comprehend why we’re walking the path we’re on. A life truly surrendered to Christ shouldn’t be concerned with the why? of it all. Each of us has a story and a testimony to share. We shouldn’t allow the evil one to usurp what the Lord is doing in our lives. After all, why would you want any of it to go to waste?
Comparison=Sin. Think of that famous Disney movie and “let it go!”

Let It Go!

Busyness

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Busyness. No typo here. Not to be confused with “business”. The root here is “busy”. Is it possible to be too busy? I know I don’t want to be lazy or slothful. So, how do you know if you are too busy? I thought it best to go straight to the origin of meaning: the dictionary. Let’s see what it has to say:

actively doing something; full of activity or work; full of people or things; engaged in action (occupied)

Am I the only one who struggles with this? I think not! Why is it that we feel somehow we are a good Mom, wife, you fill in the _______ if we are constantly busy? As I’ve journaled previously, I’m the Queen of signing up for something; typically some good thing (in my eyes anyway) only to realize sometime soon after that I’ve over-committed myself. Again.

As I’ve matured over the years, I’ve come to realize that my ‘measuring stick’ for “too much” may vary greatly from your measuring stick. There are many women who run circles around me doing and accomplishing all kinds of things. Many are good, even great things. Does this make them better than me? Does this mean I’m a giant sloth?

I came to the conclusion that rather than trying to figure out what is the right amount of busy for me, or to compare myself to another, I need to go straight to the One who created me. God knows. He knows all about my personality, my temperament and what I can and cannot handle. His plan for my life and how I can best be utilized in this particular season may be different from what I think, good as my intentions may be. Perhaps He has someone else in mind for a place of service that I signed myself up for, keeping another from it.

I must realize that before I busy up my schedule, my primary ministry is my relationship with Him, then my husband, then my child. Why not consult with Him first regarding what He would have me do, saving me undo anxiety, frustration and busyness that He never intended for my life. After all, He created me and He knows best!

Now, stop comparing yourself to others and keep your eyes fixed on The Only Measuring Stick, Jesus Christ.

 

What really matters…

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