Our sermon at church on Sunday was about comparison vs contentment at Christmas. Our pastor showed us pictures of elaborately decorated trees as she talked about the feeling of "less than" that can buffet us at this time of year. The pressure to spend, spend, spend, to keep up with the Joneses, to buy more presents for the kids and better decorations & on and on.
Afterward, I told my pastor I enjoyed her sermon, & she gave me a smile. "I thought about putting up a picture of your Christmas tree! But I didn't want you to feel like I was mocking you." I laughed. She is the sweetest person in history, and I assured her I wouldn't have felt like that. But her comment made me think. It touched on a tension I've felt ever since I started blogging.
See, I am the world's worst when it comes to comparing myself with others. I've often struggled with feeling not-quite-good-enough. God has called me to a creative life, and it's been the most character shaping thing I've ever done. I've had to release so much of that fear and comparison, train myself to believe what God says about me rather than what I think, & then do it all over again the next day. And the next.
What we compare ourselves to is so relative, isn't it? For a blogger, there are always people with larger followings and more beautifully styled homes. I feel that pressure to perform & grow, but I also know that if I'm not careful, I'll be part of the problem. Because my worst fear is that YOU would begin to compare yourself to ME. That I - who so often feels not-good-enough - could start making you feel not-good-enough either.
I believe in the calling God has given me, & that there is value in bringing beauty and creativity into the world. I also believe in uplifting women. I never want to make you feel less-than. I want you to feel inspired & encouraged.
I'm not sure how to navigate all that except to say: I'm right there with you in this struggle. Our contentment has to come from the Lord whether we are the one making the pretty pictures or the one consuming them. And that's a daily decision.
Our truest value will always be in this: "The Son of God... loved me and gave himself for me." Gal 2:20