When You're Tempted to Compare Your Holidays

This time of year brings to mind fun memories of childhood Christmases. The pattern in our house rarely changed from year to year, and I loved it. I would anticipate every second, from munching on Chex party mix at my dad’s house on Christmas Eve, to playing in the backyard at my aunt and uncle’s on Christmas afternoon.


I always knew what to expect, and I thrived on the predictability of it all.


I don’t know how my parents managed to pull it off, with the challenges divorce can bring. But somehow they did. I felt safe knowing what our holidays had in store.


As a wife, mom, stepmom, and step-Mimi, holidays can be a bit more unexpected now.


For years I longed to create a Christmas season our family could not only count on, but look forward to each year. But outside factors and challenges always seemed to interrupt my best laid plans.


Frustration has a way of knocking at our heart’s door at times like this, when lost expectations cause us to feel like our holiday isn’t good enough. With a simple scroll through social media, I easily become overwhelmed with post after post of recipes, decorations, and family outings that put my spur-of-the-moment schedule to shame.


When we’re tempted to compare our holidays to others, we risk losing the mountain of blessings right where we are. Expectations of what we long for become the enemy of what we already have. But God offers a better way.


Expectations can push contentment into the shadows, but God renews our contentment with the light of each new day. (Tweet this.)


So I’ve learned to be content with my circumstances. Even when they take an abrupt turn, like they have recently. In fact, our current circumstances will have an effect on my ability to plan, go, and do as much as I’d like through this year’s holiday season. But when disappointment tries to creep in, I will remind myself of God’s promise to me. His presence is always here, filling me with joy and peace through the holidays.


My holiday may not be perfect, but it is wonderful because God is in it. (Tweet this.)


You may be thinking, “But my holiday can’t be wonderful. Not this year. Too much has happened.”


I am right there with you. I am, and I understand. May I share something with you? I’ve been inspired by the journey others have taken before me, and what they’ve taught me through God’s Truth.


We can let a diagnosis, grief, or hurt determine a death sentence for the days ahead. Or, we can allow it to draw us into the throne-room of grace, where mercy, hope, and healing reside.



“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!” Deuteronomy 30:19


We have a choice for this holiday, and I choose life. Won’t you join me? Then let’s take all the comparison, expectation, and frustration and cast it away. Let’s live in the moment, right now, where we are.


Let’s have a wonderful, imperfect, unexpected, sometimes painful but always grace-filled, happy holidays.




Blessings,

Kristine


To discover more about letting go of comparison and embracing God’s plan, visit the Over It book page here.









When Comparison Causes Me to Doubt My Worth

I shouldn’t have come, I thought. I scanned the crowded room, searching for a familiar face. I took an awkward side-step out of the way as a group of giggling girlfriends came toward me. A quick glance at the door told me I might be able to exit without anyone noticing. Before making my getaway, the host intercepted and led me to an empty table.

Enthusiasm filled the air, but to me it felt as distant as the ladies laughing and joking with each other. In the midst of all the hugs, selfies, and squeals of new friendships forming, I couldn’t help but feel something missing. Like they all had something I didn’t - companionship, belonging. And with every pang of longing felt, the voice of comparison grew louder and louder. Before I realized it, my compulsion to compare caused me to question my worth.

A woman in Scripture named Leah knew a thing or two about comparison. From the first moment we meet her, we get a glimpse of her countenance through the look in her eyes.

“There was no sparkle in Leah’s eyes, but Rachel had a beautiful figure and a lovely face,” (Genesis 29:17 NLT).

Leah led a sparkle-free life. Her special qualities concealed inside. She was just an ordinary girl who didn’t see anything super special about herself.

From where she stood, her sister Rachel seemed to have it all - beauty, her father’s affection, her husband Jacob’s love. When the two sisters were together, heads always turned toward Rachel. Leah had grown used to that, so it didn’t surprise her when Jacob favored her younger sister. And focusing on Rachel only magnified her emptiness.

When we compare, we turn our focus away from God. We let negative self-talk determine our worth. By seeing all she was missing, Leah allowed comparison to steal her shine. But God saw something more. He saw her as the woman He created - real, wonderful, magnificent.

“How magnificent are Your works, Lord, how profound your thoughts,” (Psalm 92:5 HCSB).

Leah may have gotten caught up in competition with Rachel, but when she turned her eyes toward God, she discovered her true worth. From Leah’s story, we can learn an important truth.

When we look at ourselves and see mediocre, God looks at us and sees magnificent. (Tweet this.)

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Leah’s story brings hope today. It shows us we’re not alone in the battle with comparison. If we will let Him, God will fill the missing pieces in our hearts in the most beautiful ways, just like he did for me that night. God used a new friend at a simple gathering of women to reach out to this lonely girl. Just as I’d resolved to go hide in the bathroom, a brave young lady joined me at the table. We chatted, we connected, and best of all we found comfort in encouraging one another instead of comparing.

Just like Leah, we too can focus our gaze on God and discover our worth in our Heavenly Father. So let’s silence the voice of comparison today and see ourselves as God sees us. We are valuable. We are loved. We are His magnificent creation.

“How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!” (Psalm 139:17 NLT).

 

Blessings,

Kristine

 

TO CELEBRATE THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE OVER IT BOOK, WE ARE GIVING AWAY A FUN BOX FILLED WITH GOODIES TO ONE SPECIAL READER! TO ENTER, LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW. THE WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED NEXT FRIDAY.