Now, before I continue this post, I would like to give a disclosure:
For those of you reading this, I want you to know I am nowhere near perfect. As much as I would like it, my house is almost never completely clean, my clothes do not match most days, my hair looks like Princess Mia’s before Paulo found her, and my jokes are pretty bad. Along with that, I have feelings, and I am a real person. So as I write this really vulnerable post, please note, I am coming from a raw and vulnerable place and I hope any comments made will be kind.
That being said, this race between neighbors that has been going on probably since the beginning of time is probably one of the largest struggles us housewives go through on a daily basis. From comparing the nice thing in your neighbors home, to the cleanliness of a mother’s child at a playgroup, homemakers go through a ton of stress and comparison on a day to day basis. But how can we be content?
For me, having a child was a right of passage for women. Have a child and ta-da you magically get into the club of new wives and mothers at church who all hang out together. But without a child, you got to sit in a cobweb corner and socialize with yourself apparently. Or so I thought. But even after we lost River, and I realized I could not join “that club” I became obsessed with climbing the social ladder in other ways, hoping to fill that gap that was now there. I begged my husband for a bigger house and dreamed of houses out of our financial reach just so I could host parties, or get together.
I spent so much time being unhappy with my surroundings, I spent absolutely no time at all being thankful for what I had (and thankfully still have). I was so obsessed with things that might make me fit into that group other than a child, that I lost sight of what was even true.
Luckily for me, I have a very gracious and steady husband. Who through it all reminded me of what we did have, and how as much as I wanted those things, I couldn’t have them. And that it was okay.
It really wasn’t until this past month that I finally let go of the idea that I have to fit in, or that I have to have a bigger house or I have to have children. It finally clicked with me that I have plenty. I have a beautiful (and spacious for its size) one room cabin on the side of a mountain in Vermont that is detached from others and has a beautiful view with abundant wildlife. I have three pets whom I just adore. I have a husband who is such a hard worker and is always there to keep me grounded, and I have what I need for this season in my life. And even if the Lord would choose to grant us another child, we would have enough.
So if you’re struggling with contentment and comparison lately, here are a few tips that I have for you.
1 | PRAY WITHOUT CEASING
1 Thessalonians 5:17 reminds us to pray without ceasing. So no matter what is going on in your life, be sure to include God in your everyday talk. Let Him know your heart, and ask for Him to give you contentment and peace in every aspect of your life.
2 | ENTER A SEASON OF THANKSGIVING
Sometimes celebrating Thanksgiving once a year just isn’t enough. If you are having a hard time realizing what you have already, I encourage you to make a list of 5 or 10 things each day that you’re thankful for. Do this for one month, and it will become a habit. Finding things to be thankful for already will help improve your mood and remind you of what you have.
3 | STOP HANGING OUT WITH THE JONES’ FAMILY
If comparing is a huge problem in your life, then learning to live without the Jones’ needs to happen fast. Whether you have to throw out all of the magazines in your home or have a social media hiatus for a while, take a time to unplug from the lives of others around you, and spend more time living on your own.
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. -Philippians 2:3
So, if you’re struggling with contentment and comparison, I encourage you to talk to the Lord and take control of your thoughts.
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. -2 Corinthians 10:5
Bring the Lord glory in your everyday life, and be thankful for what you have at this stage in your life.