If there’s one thing I feel I was warned about the most after having my first child, it was the whole idea of comparison. I went into one of my first few doctors appointments with our oldest daughter, and I specifically remember the doctor saying, “she’s doing great and she’s right where she needs to be — just try not to compare.” I’d heard the same thing from several other new mothers at the time as well, discussing baby milestones, things they go and do with their children, things they’re able to buy for their children, how they’re doing in school, extra-curricular activities, sports…etc. the list goes on and on.

Then, I was reading my devotional this week, and the whole idea of comparison came up yet again. Comparison is truly the thief of joy. Nothing good ever comes from it. You’re either comparing yourself to someone who has more or is doing more (or so you think), and it makes you feel like “less” of a person. Or, you’re comparing yourself to someone who has less or appears to be struggling, which can cause us to adopt this heir about ourselves being “better” than they are (whether we like to admit this or not, we all do it… myself included.) Here’s a quote taken directly from the passage I read this week:

Envy always robs us of our gratitude and joy. It always wants more and grieves when others have more than we think we have. When we stop comparing, we’ll start celebrating.

ruth schwenk, trusting god in all the things

The part that really stuck out to me the most was, “grieves when others have more than we think we have.” You see, that’s the problem. It may appear that they have more, — more time to spend with their children, more money to take their children on vacations and to do all the things, a bigger home, more money, better clothes… whatever it may be — but we’re only seeing a small piece of the big picture. Oftentimes, others look at our lives with the same envy, but from a completely different perspective. Maybe others feel the need to overcompensate for other things they feel they are lacking in their lives? We will never truly know, but honestly, it doesn’t matter. And, sadly, I feel like social media amplifies this in the world we live in today. Everyone shares about all the good and none of the bad.

So, here’s a few things I’m trying to do when I feel the thief of comparison swooping in to steal my joy:

  1. When I find I am comparing myself to another family for whatever reason, I immediately stop and look at my own family and write a list of things I thankful for that I have been blessed with.
  2. Unfollowing or removing those from my social media and/or life that cause me to compare more frequently — it goes back to the saying, “If it costs you your peace, then it’s too expensive to keep around.”
Low quality photo. High quality memories from a laid back movie night we had at home on Saturday.

Please know that each week I share my heart and write these blogs, that I am always “preaching to the choir.” These are things I struggle with each day, and I find it very important to remember that making these types of changes requires you to recommit to making them daily, which is really, freaking hard.

Just take heart in knowing, you are never alone, mama. And, if you need a little encouragement this week, you know where to find me 🙂

Verses to Remember This Week…
2 Corinthians 10:12: 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.
1 Timothy 2: Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire.
Hebrews 13: Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.
Genesis 1:27: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

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