Sunday, February 24, 2013

Watch out for the potholes!







I fondly recall that as a young girl I would sometimes walk along barefoot through my back yard...

I would squish my little wee toes in the soft muddy earth...and oh, how fresh it felt!

Another interesting hobby I had as a child began with a fascination with earthworms. Oh boy!!

One day I remember vividly: I began to dig up little holes all over our property searching for my 'friends', and then I promptly placed them inside my plastic container filled up with dirt. A little hotel for them.

Subsequently, our yard ended up covered with potholes. Well, if you went walking around without paying any mind, there was a huge risk that you might trip over one of them unexpectedly!

It was a risk my parents were not willing to allow...so I spent the rest of the afternoon filling them all back up :)

As a newbie homeschooler, and seasoned mom to four, I have found that I can sometimes dig a few of my own potholes that pose similar risks... Let's see if any of these thoughts resonate you:

"Wow, she is such a patient mom with her kids. I wish I could talk that sweet with my little ones."

"Hmmm...look over at so & so's marriage. They always look happy together. I sure do wish my hubby would look at me that attentively."

"Look at that family. They sure do get along well together. I bet their kids never fight. I only wish mine would act that way...especially in public."

"How does she do it? Homeschool all those children and keep a clean home! I can barely just keep up with what I have, and still I feel like I'm drowning..."

"My meals aren't as tasty..."

"Sure wish I could look as slim as she does...I'm still wearing some of my pregnancy clothes."

You get the drift.

Now what I'm NOT saying is that by observing the people in our lives that we cannot be: inspired, encouraged, educated and pushed to move forward in our own journeys. 
That is not what I am saying at all.

My emphasis is entirely on the discontent that can brood in us: as women, as wives, as parents, as friends, when we allow the comparison trap to have rule in our minds. I am guilty of this on many occasions...

However, I am learning to give this old habit up. I cannot compare myself to another because:

a) I don't know the FULL story of that person's life (strengths, weaknesses and all)

b) I am not called to be discontent

c) It is a serious waste of time, as you and I will NEVER be that 'other person' that we are so desperately feeling inadequate next to

Instead I can choose to fill the 'potholes' I have dug up, with any unwise comparisons I've made.

Instead I can choose to grow in contentment, accepting who God has uniquely formed me to be.


~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)






***Interesting footnote on this verse-->

"Because the requirements of God, and the character of the Redeemer, were the proper standard of conduct. Nothing is a more certain indication of folly than for a man to make himself the standard of excellence. Such an individual must be blind to his own real character; and the only thing certain about his attainments is, that he is inflated with pride. And yet how common!"
(source: http://bible.cc/2_corinthians/10-12.htm) 

36 comments:

  1. I love this post and the analogy, thank you so much for linking it to my blog. Many a pothole I have dug and then tripped over he he he, I am inspired by this post. Have a blessed day. Tara.

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    1. Thanks so much for hosting the Proverbs 31 link up! It has been a real treat to be able to easily find similar blogs through your blog :)
      So glad you stopped by!

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  2. WEll Tied together Rachael! Very Encouraged by this post. Nicole M

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    1. Glad to hear that! Something I feel all of us woman can struggle with.
      Thanks for stopping by :)

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  3. Thanks for stopping by. Great analogy in this post. I am afraid i am guilty of comparing myself to others and always coming up short so this resonated with me greatly. Welcome to the NOBH

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    1. Thank you so much for the welcome! Really enjoying the NOBH; visited again and again looking for other similar blogs.

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  4. Yes, comparison is a killer to contentment. Great encouragement. Thanks.

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    1. Glad it spoke to you and that you were able to stop by!

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  5. This reminds me of that saying I hear every now and then - We shouldn't compare someone's "clean outside" to the "messy inside" we can see in ourselves. It will never stack up and will always pull us down. Thanks for this encouraging post, Rach!

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    1. You're welcome Beth!
      I think it's even easier nowadays to compare ourselves when we are only seeing the highlight reel via our computer/facebook/twitter etc. We have to guard against that!
      Thanks for stopping by :)

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  6. What a wonderful analogy. Thank you for sharing. :)

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    1. Glad you liked it & thanks for visiting :)

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  7. Love the analogy you used. And yes...we never see the whole picture so it is best not to compare or envy others. Truly...do we really know if we want their lives? Thank you for sharing at WJIM.

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  8. This is so true! It is so dangerous to compare ourselves to others... It only leads to one of two places.... discontentment when we don't measure up, or pride when we feel like we are doing better than. Both are so destructive! Great reminder for me today. Thank you. I'm Stacey from abidingwoman.com Thanks for linking up with us on Tending the Home Tuesday!

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  9. This really struck a chord with me! I'm terrible for comparison, and you're so right - we only end up with dirt. Visiting from Wisdom Wednesday

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    1. Glad it spoke to you & thanks for visiting!

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  10. Hi Rach, such truth here. We do way too much comparing of ourselves with others etc. But I love how you say "I am not called to be discontent" Excellent. Thanks for linking up
    God bless
    Tracy

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    1. Thanks! I guess when you so much personal experience in one area (aka the comparison game!) then you begin to see how much of a time waster it actually is.
      Thanks for visiting :)

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  11. Comparison is a terrible trap to fall into, isn't it? You give very good, sound advice here. I especially love this: I was not made for discontent. Amen! Good thoughts, Rachel.

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  12. Thank you for entering this post into Tending the Home Tuesdays at Road to 31! This is a wonderful message, that all women need to read. I find myself comparing my life to others and you are right it never does us any good. Working on living like Christ would be a much more productive use of my time! Thank you for sharing. I am a new follower :)

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    1. Thanks Lindsey so much for stopping by! I am glad this article spoke to you. I do agree, almost all women struggle with this.
      Thanks for following :)

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  13. It can be so easy to get caught in the comparison trap! Thanks for sharing this with the Thrive @ Home link-up!

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  14. I sure have been dealing with this today! I love the idea of filling up the potholes. I will really try to remember that. Thanks for linking this post up at From House to Home!
    --Gena at ichoosejoy.org

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    1. You're welcome! Enjoying your blog as well :)

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  15. Fantastic post! So wise and true...just gained a new follower via the Mommy mixer :)
    Blessings,
    Jacy
    artbyjacy.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Jacy! On to check out your blog as well :)

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  16. Thanks for the healthy reminder that we are called to be ourselves, not to compare our lives with others. You're right, I think that as women we do all fall into this trap from time to time and it's important to remember how to get out of it.

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    1. Yes! We all tend to do it though, eh?
      Thanks so much for stopping by :)

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  17. This is a very thought provoking and true post. There's no point comparing and being unhappy is there.

    I used to walk around with no shoes on all the time outside when I was younger. Love the photos.

    Thank you for linking up to Thirsty for Comments.

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    1. I really like the Thirsty for Comments Link-up! A neat idea..and it makes blogging a bit more meaningful.
      Thanks for stopping by & sharing your thoughts :)

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  18. Well written and thought out post. And so very true!! When all people start accepting themselves for who they are won't this world be a happier place!

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    1. Yes, absolutely!
      Thanks for stopping by :)

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