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Living in America in this day in age is still an age where it’s important to be keeping up (or beating) the Jones’ family when it comes to climbing the social ladder. Whether it’s the size of your car or house, the number of children you have, or the amount of things you have in your craft room; there’s always something that apparently needs to be upgraded in our lives, but the thing is, does it really?
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 those of you who have been readers here a while, you will know that in 2015 I had cancer. But what many of you don’t know is that because of that cancer, in August of 2016, I miscarried my first child, River, which was followed by another miscarriage with my second child Emerson in 2017. After being married for almost two years and having been a nanny for more than ten, the entire world knew that I wanted children. It was no secret that that was my desire, but it was also no secret that time was slipping away.
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 togethers.
I spent so much time being unhappy with my surroundings, I spent absolutely no time at all being thankful for what I had. 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 truth.
It was in running that rat race that I lost everything, and became completely homeless. No longer did the social circles or ladder of success matter. What mattered was that I survived the winter.
It wasn’t until the past year or so that I’ve stopped living in that mindset. Even though I had to stop temporarily for survival mode, it’s something that I definitely struggle with; and while I don’t live there anymore, I definitely visit…a lot.
But when I really think about how blessed I am, and start off my day that way, it will remind me that I am blessed. I have a home that shelters me from the storms and keeps me warm, and I even have beautiful views from my home. I have my two sweet pets (one of the rabbits, Groot, passed in 2017), and if all goes well, I have a son on the way at the end of this adoption. I have everything that I always need, and God has never let me go with less. I may not have everything I want, but that’s okay. That is how our hearts grow spoiled. The Lord knows that’s not what I need.
So if you’re struggling with contentment and comparison lately, like I do, 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.
You don’t even have to do this once a day, take time to notice the little things around you and thank God for things like the birds who sing and the sun who shines and you will find your day becoming happier.
3 | Stop Hanging Out with the Jones’ Family
If comparison 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 time to unplug from the lives of others around you, and spend more time living in your own.
“and every proud thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ.” — 2 Corinthians 10:5 (CSB)
So, if you’re struggling with contentment and comparison, I encourage you to talk to the Lord, and take control of your thoughts.
Bring the Lord glory in your everyday life, and be thankful for what you have in this stage in your life.
Looking for encouragement and accountability from other women just like you? Join our Facebook group The Homemaker’s Corner and find uplifting encouragement.