comparison: discouraged or inspired?

October 15, 2010

i spent time recently with a dear friend who shared that after hearing from other’s about their homeschooling, or their spiritual walk, she can walk away feeling discouraged and doubting. she feels like she is not doing enough; not teaching the right things in the right way; not sharing her faith well or training her kids well in spiritual matters.

i heard her heart and feel like this area of comparison can rob us of so much joy …

and can’t we all relate?

for example, i know that when i spend time in the home of one who has darling decor, an eye for furniture and design; i can quickly think of how lacking i am in this area, how much “stuff” i “need” and how much design-savvy i wish that i had.

however, i am finding that another outcome often is:  i am INSPIRED! i come home with fresh motivation to clean out, organize, straighten up, beautify. =) in fact, i recently spent time in the home of a super-organized, neat, creative mama … and came home that day and tackled my laundry room! yes!

what if we could be encouraged and spurred on by other’s strengths, instead of so often falling in to discouraging comparison? what if i could hear ideas and progress about another’s mama’s homeschool and use her ideas as a jumping-off place for my own? and when another mama shares her heart about nutritional changes in her family, what if i celebrated and learned, instead of thought of how lacking i am in that area??

discouraging comparison can create distance; leave us alone and doubting, instead of united and uplifted. oh, that we would truly be spurred on by each other, encouraging and uplifting while celebrating the unique gifts and strengths of each other!


2 Responses to “comparison: discouraged or inspired?”

  1. Jessica Krohn Says:

    Yes! What a great thing indeed of we could STOP comparing ourselves and leaving discouaged! I just read this to my husband and I was recalling how I got really caught up in the bad side of this last year, my first year homeschooling.

    But, this year seems to be starting off better. I’m learning to be ENCOURAGED and to glean good ideas that work for my family where appropriate. I think the other thing that is helping me this year is the realization that the families that made me feel so inferior last year have a different look this year. This year I can say I’ve seen enough to know that they aren’t perfect. What a relief that was for me as I was looking on as an outsider feeling like a 2nd rate teacher.

    Just yesterday I was meeting with a dear friend who was sharing concerns for her teenaged son and she shared she was concerned about some specific behavior and was questioning what to do…and she was sharing all the input she was getting from everyone around her and I had to say, “Friend, God has equipped you to successfully guide your son. Pray, of course, but then trust in your Momma instincs. No one knows your son like you do!” And I think we must also trust that we know what our children most need to learn in this season. It may not look like what anyone else is doing.

    Freedom is a wonderful thing, and fellowship is just as good! In our small homeschool group we are slowly growing to know each other more and finding the freedom to be REAL. And we all have our strengths and are learning to lean on each other when we face an area of weakness. We are so much stronger as a team….as a family…of sister believers…of fellow Moms….each that struggle through tough days and rejoice in the good ones.

    Great post dearest Emily! I felt encouraged just reading it!

  2. Life Says:

    OH, I hear you! Hugs, Emily 🙂 My house is a wreck right now, and I have guests in town. I needed this today. Thank you!

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