Why I Choose to Connect with You, and Not Compete

One day in the midst of the craziness of getting my coffee made, I scrolled through Facebook for a mommy break. In the newsfeed, my friend Katie had shared a photo of her pristine, cute, crafty living room that looked like a Pinterest explosion. My eyes were glued to the design in her home and the eye candy on her walls!

She’s so much more gifted than I am. How does she do it? My home isn’t as beautiful as hers. Sadly, I dwelt on these thoughts and they put me in a bad mood. I was holding up the measuring stick to a dear, trusted friend of mine. I was competing and comparing and it had the best of me.

A few months later, I didn’t heat up another coffee cup in the microwave but instead got one at Starbucks with Katie. We talked about our struggles and I shared how I compared myself to her and all her gifts. She revealed how she’d done the same with other mom friends who were always going on outings with their kids.

“I can barely get out of the house each day,” she mentioned. “I feel like I’m not doing enough with my kids.”

I felt similar feelings. We laughed and talked about how you rarely see the whole picture of a friend’s life in your highlight reels. You see the joys and milestones, rarely the fighting with your husband, no make-up, unshaved legs, disaster-of-a-house kind of days, the dark reality of depression, defiant children, a broken marriage, tears on your pillow at night, or the pain of how life can be so stinkin’ hard (literally).

It’s much easier to be preoccupied with another friend’s perfect life, instead of choosing to have a heart full of gratitude for own own.

There is a way to celebrate those gifts and talents we see in our friends: the friend who can creatively homeschool all five of her kids and still remain sane. The friend who lives, eats, and breathes essential oils when you have no idea how to use them. The friend who eats squeaky clean and has chiseled shoulders from Beachboy workouts when you’re eating your kids’ processed mac and cheese. The friend who managed to fit into her pre-pregnancy jeans within two weeks after giving birth.

The friend who can sell Plexus, LuLaRoe, Norwex, and Rodan + Fields like nobody’s business. The friend whose husband can build anything from a scrap of wood. The friend who is traveling the world, while you’re wiping nasty noses and changing dirty diapers. The friend who seems to juggle ten different responsibilities when you can barely muster up one simple task. And more…

Comparisons sneak up in all kinds of ways and they indeed steal joy, but we can choose to be devoted to love and honor one another above ourselves (Romans 12:10). We can choose to praise each other for the gifts God has given us.

It takes time, humility, understanding, love, and patience to connect, instead of compete with one another in our hearts. It requires pulling up a chair at the table and listening. It also means calling competition and comparison what it is: Sin.

Envy, jealousy, and covetousness is not the way God desires for us to live. There is a better way. A more freeing, satisfying, and joyful way. There’s so much gratification, fulfillment, and sweet friendship when we connect with our friends to learn the full story of who they are and their unique challenges, not just making judgments from the mere snapshots on the screen. Because the Lord knows, we’ve all got mountains to climb!

When we reach out, it gives us a better appreciation for one another and helps us see that we’re simply not alone. Most of all, we discover the blessing of a friend knowing who we really are and loving us still– and vice versa– which is perhaps what our hearts have been longing for in the first place.

In my sinful nature, I still struggle at times with competing, but I’m determined to confess it to God, do my best to catch myself when I do, and instead ask a friend out for coffee.

If you’ve read Quiet Time, this story is what I’m referring to on Page 5. If you haven’t read a copy yet, you can do so here.

 

Samantha Krieger is a wife, mother, and writer in rural Colorado. She is the author of the new devotional for moms: Quiet Time: A 30-day Devotional Retreat for Moms in the Trenches.

 

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{Photos} Quiet Time Devotional Book Signing at Inklings & More Bookstore – Holyoke, CO

Last weekend, I had a wonderful time signing my new devotional book at our local bookstore Inklings and More in Holyoke (which is adorable by the way, for you out-of-towners. It even has a coffee shop/bakery attached to it… and a craft store… and an antique store.. and more!).

Several months ago, they not only asked to carry my book but offered to let me have a book signing. I jumped at the opportunity! Upon arriving, sneaky and thoughtful Bev from our church surprised me with teal carnations, a cute coffee mug, and lollipops to decorate the table.

Joylyn at the bookstore was a huge help in making sure the table was set up and there wasn’t too much sun coming in the window. She took care of a lot of the details. My friend Leslie snapped these photos and I’m so thankful she did because I probably would have forgotten. My friend Jean helped me manage the table and provided the humor (as always).

My moms Bible study surprised me at the very beginning and it was so much fun seeing them. I really enjoyed interacting with visitors and friends. Many who came by bought multiple copies for their friends and family. My husband is not in these photos as he was taking care of our kids, but he was a huge part of this project from start to finish, and continues to be. He snapped a photo and put it on social media and it was fun to see friends and family from a distance getting excited about the book and sharing it from Amazon.com.

Many thanks to owners Lucas and Jennifer Hayes, and Susan Hinck for allowing me to be here and share about Quiet Time! You do such a great job with Inklings and More. Our community is thankful for you. Thank you to my readers, friends, and family for your continued support in launching Quiet Time!

 

Samantha Krieger is a wife, mother, and writer in rural Colorado. She is the author of the new devotional for moms: Quiet Time: A 30-day Devotional Retreat for Moms in the Trenches.

BABY BODY {an excerpt from the Quiet Time Devotional Book for Moms}

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“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God,

to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God,

which is your spiritual worship.”

Romans 12:1

“Sometimes when I look in the mirror or see photos of my post-baby body times four, I cringe a little. I knew my body had changed dramatically through each unique pregnancy, but the full impact hits me when I see the proof. A squishy belly that my kids love to blow their sticky lips on, a larger pant size, purplish-blue varicose veins, stretch marks, and other unpleasant sights have surfaced that didn’t exist before. I’m often amazed that my husband still finds me attractive after all my body has gone through.

I’ve often thought about what God would want us to know about our bodies. After all, he knows we’ve birthed a live human being into this world—many of us multiple human beings. We’ve fed our babies, clothed them, and watched over their very livelihood. We’ve sacrificed nearly 24 hours a day for them. Is the physical sacrifice we have made and are making worth it?

The new marks we wear are battle wounds that signify something so much greater than the eye can see. Of course there’s nothing wrong with watching carefully what we eat, exercising, and eventually burning off the weight, but honoring God in that process is most important. We could be consumed with our health where it’s an idol, or we might not be concerned at all, which isn’t good either.

The truth is that our baby bodies, no matter what shape and size, are pleasing to the Lord. They reveal the physical, emotional, and spiritual sacrifices we make for our children every day. They signify the new life we’ve prepared for, prayed over, and laboriously delivered into this world. They remind us of the reward we have in raising our children and offering them to the Lord each day.

We’re called to offer our bodies as living sacrifices unto the Lord, holy and acceptable. This is our act of worship to him. Worship to him isn’t reserved just for Sunday mornings but is a lifestyle throughout the week. The physical sacrifices of putting our children’s needs before our own, nursing our baby around the clock, easing the pain of a sick one, changing multiple diapers, losing sleep, cleaning up messes, managing meltdowns, watching over their safety, and more are all sweet sacrifices God sees and delights in.

Giving up the right to yourself in order to invest selflessly into the life of your precious child is a beautiful thing. Giving your body wholly to God and honoring him as you raise your children is an act of love and service to him that should never be devalued and diminished. God sees your effort and delights in it.”

PRAYER: God, my body is yours to do with as you please. Help me to honor you today and remember the great sacrifice I’m making as I invest in the lives of my children. I give myself wholly to you to do as you will in my life. In Jesus’ name, amen. 

quiet-times-large-title-front-cover-kindle** This excerpt is from my new devotional book Quiet Time. 

** The QUIET TIME  E-BOOK is now available for pre-order in the Kindle store on Amazon.     <—- click here to download

** The paperback version will release at the end of the month!

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