Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Measuring Up Game

I read an article this morning, and I wanted to share it.  It discusses something that I have recently been thinking about and thought it a great piece to begin this blog.  Please follow the link below and read it:


I get so tired of this "measuring up" game! I constantly find myself doing this.  Usually it has to do with seeing other women--tall, skinny, beautiful, energetic--and comparing myself to them.  We have begun to exercise 3-4 times a week at the YMCA, and I have done a pretty good job not comparing myself to the other more in shape women, but there is a woman that I see regularly and she has one of the flattest tummies I have seen!!  She of course is also tan and has beautiful hair.  I think to myself, gee I wish I could have a tummy like that, and I start to feel bad about myself, knowing my tummy will never look like that, and I will never have a tan like she does!  So then I start to find fault in her to make myself look better in my mind.  First of all--this isn't a fault, but works as a good excuse for me--I am almost 100% sure that she has not had any babies, if she had--her stomach could never look like it does!  Second of all her teeth are crooked!!  Ok, I admit it, this is not how I should be responding to those around me.  I should not be finding faults in them to make myself look better.

Lately my struggle has been more with comparing myself to others in what they are doing.  Like as a mother, wife, friend, or even in my walk with the Lord.  The beginning of the article that I posted has the author at a home of another and she is just disgusted with the way this other woman can put the house together for her children...I feel this way so much when I hear of mothers making their own baby food, picking all their own fruits and veggies, spending the day doing crafts with their children, or constantly taking them to the library or to other fun places.  I think to myself "I am a horrible mother, I hardly ever take my kids to the library, I certainly don't go picking my own fruits and veggies, I don't do crafts with them....what do I do with them?"  Then I begin to go over the things that I do with my children and this week I have felt that I am selfish with my time and choose to do with my children the things only I want to do. 

So, here is what I did; I made a list of the things I like to do with my children and then I made a list of the things that my children like to do with me.  Now when it is time for us to do something together we can choose from the things that we really enjoy doing, and I am not spending our time trying with all my might to do, do, do.  I have realized that each of us does not have to parent like those around us.  We do have responsibilities as parents to look out for their needs and safety of our children, but we don't have to be running ourselves ragged trying to parent like the neighbor does, or our best friend, or even our husband.  My husband could be the one who does the more entertaining things with the kids, while I do the care taking or visa versa...God has given us different gifts and abilities, some of us are great at crafting and thinking of things like that to do with our kids, some of us really enjoy reading to our kids, some of us love to play games with them, some of us love to be outdoors with them....whatever it is that we do with our children as long as we are meeting their "real" needs of showing them God, giving them love, supporting them, providing them with safety and so on--it doesn't matter how what we do compares to those around us.

Our culture is so stuck on being approved by those around us...I don't want to get stuck in that rut...I find myself there so often, with so many different things.  I really want to begin to take my focus off of those around me and put my focus on God.  Twice in the last month I have heard a comment from an adult to a child about "what will others think?" Once was to a 3 year old who was being a bit silly and not listening to the adult and the adult said, "Now stop, your friends are all looking at you and thinking you are silly." This adult was planting the early seeds of worrying about what others are thinking.  The second  time was when a child was wearing a funny outfit, I believe it was jammies and he was going to go out in public and this adult said to him "You don't want to wear your jammies out, people will think your funny" - or something to that affect.  The older of the two children that was going out was worried about people looking at them too, he said "those people are all laughing about you."  The kids and people around us pick up on what we do around others and how we act, I certainly do not want to teach my kids to be so absorbed in how others view me that they can't think and act for themselves.  I am choosing to fight this battle and to begin to focus on what God thinks about me and not what others are thinking, and to choose to show this to my children.

I want to be able to stop comparing myself to the world, I am not of the world as it says in

John 15:19

If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.

Romans 12:2

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

1 John 2:16

For everything in the worldthe cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world.

Those of us who choose to follow the Lord our God, the maker of heaven, the maker of earth, the one who formed the first man out of dust and the first woman out of that man....are not of this world, therefore; we can not compare ourselves to the world and those in the world.  We can not conform ourselves to this wordly pattern of worrying about what others are thinking, we need to let God transform us and renew us in Him.  The sinfulness, lusting and boasting of what a person does comes from the world--so again we should not be comparing ourselves to what others are doing.  Are you doing what God wants you to be doing?  This is what we should be thinking and comparing ourselves to.  Not are you doing what God wants someone else to be doing...Not are you doing the things your friends, neighbors are doing, but are you DOING WHAT GOD...WHAT GOD...wants you to be doing?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Challenge

I issued a challenge in my last blog.  Someone did take me up on that challenge.  I am posting today to add to the challenge and to update on my progress and to find out if anyone else has given it a shot!

I did about 50% on the last challenge. I am going to strive to do better this time! The last challenge consisted of daily readings and 2 meditations. I also suggested working on memorizing some scripture.  I did about 1/2 of my daily readings, didn't work on much memorizing, but did finish the meditations. 

If anyone worked on this things, please post and let me know what you learned and what you are working on memorizing.

For the next 2 weeks

This week:
Daily reading: Acts 23 & 24
Memorize: I am still working on Romans 6:1-10
Meditate: Romans 7

Next week:
Daily reading Acts 25 & 26
Memorize: Romans 6:1-12
Meditate: Psalms 25

I hope that you will give this a try and let your mind open up to what God wants to show you! I am looking forward to working on it and really putting effort into connecting with God and seeking His will for my life.