Monday, February 17, 2014

Comparisons and Lacking

The question was small and quiet and wedged into my thoughts during my devotional time. I had been praying about the "blahs" that I just couldn't shake. Was it full fledged depression, or just eating junk, not exercising and then wondering what the heck was wrong? In the midst of my prayer full of questions, I distinctly felt God ask, "Do you care more about what others think, or do you care more about what I think?"

I had struggled lately with Facebook. Oh, the deadly burial ground of comparisons and lacking. Someone posted pictures of a healthier dinner than I had prepared, a fancier Valentine's box (why had the teacher even mentioned Pinterest?!?), a more consistent exercise schedule (they like actually worked out instead of just wearing yoga pants in an attempt to make everyone wonder). I would log off feeling depressed, not good enough, not involved enough as a parent and just downright average.

I felt stalled out, run down and out of imagination. Then I wondered, what should my response be? I decided to deactivate Facebook: I wasn't sure if this was a permanent departure or a temporary one, but something had to give.

The week that followed was one that had enough sunlight and room for contentment to take root and begin to grow. Was it because Facebook was a time waster? Yes, but no more of a timewaster than other random things that I do. (You wouldn't believe the time I waste on doing laundry!) I believe the feelings of joy and contentment that I began to feel again were a direct result of removing myself from comparisons. God isn't comparing my parenting to anyone else's. In fact, He decided quite some time ago which children were to be mine and crafted them with care, knowing exactly who he was entrusting them to, despite a lack of crafting skills or social adeptness. Which begs the question, what if I quit worrying so much about what the general public thinks and worried more about what my Heavenly Father and my family thinks?

Some people are normal, emotionally healthy, able to strike a balance in their lives. I am not one of these people. I over think, over eat, snort when I laugh too hard and just struggle to hang on to the cusp of socially acceptable behavior.

After a week of unplugging, I plugged back in. Was I dying to see what amazing craft I could have made for my child's teacher but failed to do thanks to Sally Ann's Pinterest link? No, not really. But it sure is hard to connect with my kiddos' friends to arrange play dates in the age of cell numbers and texting. Facebook can be a good thing. Sometimes. In small doses.