one more thought...or two...

So, since that post a couple back I have had some lingering thoughts. Most of them sparked by something an Etsy friend said that has really struck me. Sara said something to the effect of how comparison is the enemy of contentment and gratitude. Ever since I read those words I can't help to think about that statement and how true it really is...it also made it very clear to me just how much I compare myself to others...and it never leaves me feeling good. Just this statement alone has changed the direction of my path...since reading her thoughts I have managed to catch myself mid-comparison and change my thought pattern...change from looking outward to looking inward. I get a better feeling when I compare myself to me...as in how far I have come in life from so many years ago than if I compare myself to someone who isn't on the same path as me. We all have different destinations (ultimately the same destination...Heaven...but on Earth different) so why should our path look the same?

Another thought. I have been wondering about the things that make motherhood so tough. For me a huge part of it is that it challenges my faith more than anything in my life. In no other area do I feel like the Enemy is waiting to see me fail as much. I feel like he is breathing down my back just waiting...because I know there are times when I am begging God to help me...get this baby to sleep or keep him asleep...or to help my toddler do this or that...or to heal my child, etc and He does none of it. And the Enemy is waiting to see how I respond...waiting to see how mad I get at God. And the truth is, I do get mad. Ugh. I do. But the moment I realize that this is what the Enemy is watching and waiting for...I change my tune...and concentrate more on the sweet moments in a day of chaos. Like my baby boy who is just learning to smile...or my toddler who will randomly hug me...or my husband who likes to bring me home new Starbucks mugs. :)

So last night, after an emotionally draining day of non-napping boys and huge hospital bills arriving in my mailbox...it was suddenly 8pm and all the boys were sleeping. I had alone and I had quiet. I finally pulled a daily devotional out that I had recently been given. I was dying for a morsel from God...even a crumb. Here is what he gave me:

Sing a new song (or tune!) to the LORD because he has done miraculous things. His right hand and his holy arm have gained victory for him. Psalm 98:1

I feel like He and I are gaining victory in these two areas. And that was just the crumb I needed to continue my search for a new song...new attitude...new outlook. I am thankful for my fresh start today...and tomorrow...and the next day.

Sorry for such a rambling post...I don't know if any of that makes sense to anyone but me...but I had to get it out so I could stop thinking about it during the wee hours of the morning when I should be getting back to sleep. :)

xoxo
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18 comments:

number17cherrytreelane said...

What a beautiful post.
Comparison truly is the thief of joy.

The Krull Family said...

Beautifully written, thanks for the encouragement!

Meg said...

I think this is a wonderful post. I don't think its rambling at all...it speaks many beautiful truths. We are all on our own life path..our own journey..comparing and thinking that we should be like someone else...its a disaster and it can destroy fellowship and relationships with others..We have all done it...its hard not too. But you are right the only person that we should strive to be like is Christ...

We don't have to parent or be like other mothers we just have to be the kind of mother God wants us to be.. for the children that he gave us...He knew that we were the "perfect" mother for each of our children...And all my kids are different so I must be pretty dynamic...Ha!

Now with that being said...There are mornings when I think about what lies ahead of me, and I don't even want to get out of bed...I get tired of always have to cook a meal, deal with the crying, the poop..yes I said it...we have a lot of it in this house...at least one of them is using the potty now! And sometimes I want to cry what about me..I need a shower, I would like to brush my hair..no my teeth! Yes that is important! Then I realized that if I stop take a breath and pray Jesus is able to refresh me.. Things may not work out like I want them to, but He is able to get me throught that second, that minute, that hour that day...and I too realize He is all I need!

Have a blessed day!

carlylz said...

thank you so much for sharing this!! it is how i feel some days! 2 kids (2 1/2 and 6 months), a husband, a full time job, and the home...is a lot to handle sometimes! but the one that we need to please is GOD. we are only human, sooner or later the laundry will get done and the dishwasher will be unloaded, but to spend time with HIM to gather ourselves, is what we need to remember.

thanks again!

Blissful Babe said...

It makes perfect sense.

Thank you for posting these last two posts. I think it really does a lot for mothers like me, who also feel the same way, to realize that no, we are not alone. We are not the only ones that feel overwhelmed by our child/ren.

Thank you for reminding me that I need to stop, take a moment and breathe, and grab a morsel or crumb for God. :)

Trish said...

this is a wonderful post. made me think! also another tid bit... I was at a ladies retreat last fall and the speaker had talked about that we are always saying, "the devil is working" (which is true) but maybe we should look at it as "the Lord is working" and He is doing amazing things! it's where are focus is at! it sounds like you are changing your path... now i need to start focusing on the right thing! it is hard sometimes... now i'm rambling :) have a great day!

Pamela said...

Good post Crystal. I'm glad you are learning to love who you are and allowing the Lord to show you himself through it. That's a great place to be! Have a great day!

Miss G said...

Crystal, this is a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing it. We women seem to be SO particularly prone to comparison but your friend is right. One way to put it that I read or heard somewhere along the way (maybe in the book Every Woman's Battle - great book!) is that comparing keeps us from praising God for what He has done and is doing. A verse that has been very meaningful to me lately as I struggle with comparing to others or even to my own ideals and that leading to doubts and worries is: Philippians 4:8 (New International Version)

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."

I redirect my thinking to what is true - true by God's standards, not what I think of myself in moments of self-doubt, what is noble - God's ways and will, etc.

It has turned me around more than once.

Also, a precious, wise woman at my church said, "All parents are amateurs." It's true. ALL parents.

Thank you so much for sharing these important thoughts. Kelly

SarahRachel said...

comparison is the enemy of contentment and gratitude- LOVE THIS!
I love this post and the truths you shared. I see much of what you are saying reflected in my life and the struggles I experience with my faith and daily life.

Margaret said...

That is all so true. We all struggle with these things as parents. We all see other moms, and what thier kids are doing. Then we think maybe we are doing something wrong. You are right though, they can't all be the same, because God's will for them is not all the same.

By the way where did you get that counter that you had on your sidebar while you were pregnant?

meg duerksen said...

i rarely watch oprah but i did yesterday. it was on Motherhood. many mom saying everything you were. and everything i have said in the past too. i thought about you. it didn't really have much help for moms but basically was saying "we all feel this" and "let's start being honest with each other" and "you can't do it all"
one woman said "it's like this secret society that no one talks about until you enter...and then they don't tell you how to handle things because no one told them how to do it." but i think we as moms don't tell everything we go through to new moms or expectant moms because they won't believe us. they still have those unreal expectations...everything will be great for me.
ok..i am rambling now.
just wanted you to know that i thought of you and your christian wisdom during oprah.

MAXimum MESS said...

What a great post and a sweet picture!

Amber said...

It all makes perfect sense. Thanks for sharing your thoughts of encouragement. It's one of the reasons I enjoy visiting your blog each day:) Comparison is definitely the enemy...how many of us have found ourselves comparing ourselves to another mom/wife/friend? I know I'm guilty. And it gets me nowhere. (If we were all the same what a boring world this would be.) I think we can learn a lot from one another but in the end we do what is best for us and our family. Thanks for the reminder to be grateful for the blessings in my own life. Hope your boys are back on their napping schedule...us moms need that nap time:)

MonkeySeeMonkeyDo said...

I just cried a little reading this. I'm not entirely sure why. Maybe because I completely understand were you are coming from. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing.

Heidi Ann said...

Hi Crystal, I completely agree with that quote!!!....No need to compare yourself to others, but somehow we all do at one time or another!....Trust in your own judgement, God is guiding you, whether you feel it or not. From where I stand you certainly seen like a winderful mother, a great wife & a lovely person!....And by the way, I had a group of friends over yesterday for breakfast. My daughter, Holly (mommyholly)told me about your cream cheese coffeecake. I made it & it was fabulous!!!! Everyone loved it!! Thank you for posting it!!! Enjoy your evening!....Your friend, Heidi XO

Kristi said...

In my thirties I was given a wonderful gift. I stopped worrying about what others thought of me and I also learned to love myself and realize that in God's eyes and through his hands I was made perfectly. How awesome is that?! It is just up to me to work on the important parts of myself, the inside, to strive for sanctification. I stumble and fall everyday. And God forgives me because I ask Him too and he is so merciful. And each new day he gives me another chance. He holds my hand when I let him and he's rooting for me all the time.

Hope that helps you too.

Holly said...

Thank you! xoxoxoxo

CraftyMommy said...

i Just had to comment on the quote "comparison is the enemy of contentment and gratitude". It is true in the sense o girls and women comparing themselves to airbrushed models in magazines and such comparisons as that. but i have aslways compared myself to others in the sense that i am lucky to be where i am. when i was 18 my dad and i always used to argue about.well, me. he always complained about something, and i would always compare me to others my age" atleast i finished High school and got a diploma ( he dropped out freshmen year), atleast im not doing drugs, or pregnant!!". Now that i am older and have a family of my own i still tend to compare myself to other people i know of my age. we currently have two beautiful children and our own place. im a stay at home mom and were living off my husbands wages but were doing so well compared to one couple i have in mind. they do not take care of themselves and their family as well as they should. it makes me feel bad sometimes but when i start a pitty part, or feeling like a bad mom i remind myself of them and others i know. i do feel bad for the others who are worse off but it makes me more grateful for what i have....(sorry to ramble) BTW- I love ur Blog!! great crafts and recepies!

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