Thursday, November 17, 2011

Comparison steals our joy

Yesterday I came to an astounding realization. A realization I posted on Facebook:

there comes a time in your life, sometimes all at once, where you realize if you spend your time being envious of the stages other families are at, you completely skip the precious stage you're currently living (enduring?). Vowing from this moment to live in our stage...and embrace the beautiful chaos it evokes.

Um, yes. A wise friend there shared this quote with me:

Comparison is the thief of joy.

Ummmm, yes. Isn't that so true??? Think about all the times when you thought "life is good" and then 2 minutes later you hear about something someone else has and you're wishing you had it, too. You've completely lost the "life is good" idea and gone straight for, "I want more out of this life. Other people have MORE, I want it, too."

I am CLASSIC for doing this. It's something I spend a great amount of time in prayer about. I think it's a tool the devil uses to pull us away from all the beautiful things God has given us and our thankfulness about those things...and to pull us toward negativity, bitterness and resentment. Who wants to live like that? Who would sign up for that? None of us, and yet we gravitate toward it daily, sometimes even minute-ly (I made it up, go with it).

So yesterday I made the decision to stop doing that. And yes, it's a process. And no, it won't happen overnight. And yes, I will have to make the decision time and time again. But I can do this. It's about my attitude. It's about being able to say, "I can't get to the gym more than once a week because my kids are little." and not seething inside because others can go whenever they want. There is absolutely no need to be pissy about silly stuff like that. I am thankful for my kids who need me, even though they NEEEEEEEEED me with more urgency than I can tolerate some days. I am blessed to be able to be home with them and snuggle them when they're sick (which they have been this week).

Really, it boils down to realizing that you can embrace the stage your family is in without giving up any joy. In fact, I think embracing that leads to greater joy indeed! I've always said it's when we compare ourselves to others we don't allow ourselves to feel deep emotions (so and so has it worse than me, I'll shut up); and when we compare ourselves to others we don't allow God to bless our socks off in the moment.

So today I've been watching for little moments and enjoying them. I hauled in a lighted snowman that's taller than the twins (doesn't take much) and plugged it in near the kitchen. Macey, the twin who always covers her eyes (LOL) when something might scare her (like any sort of animated toy at Walmart) hid in the laundry room but Maddy was right there to see. And within a few minutes, my girls had pure JOY over this little fellow! They were chatting it up with him, "Hi no-man!!" and I felt honored to be a part of it. I was glad that I was nowhere else and I wanted to be no one else other than the mommy of these 2 beauties. Not gonna give up any more of these moments.