It is so easy for me to start comparing myself with other people. Especially when I'm around people that mean something to me. I'm sitting at my in-laws house (not sleeping) in their study. Right behind me are the family photos. I know ours need to be updated, but once my photographer is well that will be taken care of, but I digress. On this wall you will find Stephen's two brothers, their children, his sisters and their families. I certainly don't compare myself to his brothers as that would be silly, but it is his sisters that I compare myself with.
Stephen's sister Elizabeth, Beth, has recently finished her degree. She is now a certified teacher. She did this while working part time at her children's school, busy with the PTA, the kids extra activities, being a preacher's wife and I'm sure keeping a company ready house. Beth is truly an amazing woman, one to admire. The picture of her family is classic and she makes sure they are done every year so their mom has a new picture up.
Beth left Indiana to marry the love of her life, Travis, almost 16 years ago. She left home and hasn't really looked back. Since leaving home she has lived in Oregon and two different places in California. All of this without the comfort and security of family. (Here I complained when I was 6 hours away. I know pathetic.) I could go on and on about why my sister-in-law is admirable, but there is another one that I need to tell you about.
Katy is the youngest and a spitfire. She has determination and the brains to back it up. There is NOTHING that gets in the way of what Katy sees that needs to be done. I have always admired her courage, sense of self-worth, and direction. Katy married the love of her life, Ross, and proceeded to move to Texas. She picked up, left Indiana and hasn't looked back. She loves it down there and doesn't plan on moving back. Katy is an amazing paralegal that is doing wonderful things for her law firm and the area. I'm very proud of all that she has accomplished.
Don't get me wrong, my sisters-in-law come home as often as they can, but they are content where they are. That isn't the issue here. The issue is me. What have I done with my life?
Well I moved out to Pennsylvania and all I could think about was coming back to Indiana. If you ask me I had great excuses, but that is all they are excuses. I have four children, Beth has 3 and Katy has only been married a few years. That is it. I have nothing else to say for or about myself. This is my struggle, my problem, my pain. My sisters-in-law are amazing women who have accomplished amazing things, while I feel like I can't keep my head above water.
Here is the hard answer though. This isn't about them, it is about me. I'm so worried about what am I doing and comparing it to what they are doing that I'm forgetting one very important thing. I AM BEING SELF ABSORBED. As my friend Mindy would say, I need to stop making this about me and make it about God. I need to think about the things He is doing in MY life instead of worrying about meeting up to their lives. I don't know all the struggles they face. I don't know the physical, spiritual, emotional and sometimes even marital problems they face. By comparing myself to them, I'm judging them. I've set MY standard, played God, and judged my sisters in Christ. Forget about being fair to me, I'm not being fair to them. They deserve so much better than that. They deserve all my love and admiration, not judging them by my standard.
I need to worry about living up to God's standards instead of the imaginary ones I set up for myself by comparing myself to other people. This is an OLD habit of mine and it is going to take a lot of work and prayer to work through. I just pray that my comparisons haven't damaged any possible relationship I could have with them.
Now for the May Report Card
1.Eat from my menu daily. I would give myself a C for this one. It would have gone better if I would have planned a menu, or used the one I printed and put on the refrigerator.
2. Keep a company ready house. I can give myself a B for this one. My house hasn't been spotless, but it can be company ready in less than an hour and from where I was before this is a BIG improvement.
3. Finishing reading 2 books. I can give myself an A+ for this one. I read THREE books. One was fluff, one was about home school organization and the other was a book about the Proverbs 31 woman.
4. Read to the kids daily. I can give myself an A for this as well. We even supplemented with books on tape as well.
5. Declutter my bedroom. I can give myself a B for this one. I started it and never finished it. It does look better, but still needs more work.
6. Clean Carpets. I get a big F for this one. Nothing happened, but we did vacuum weekly.
7. Declutter yarn. I get an F for this one. It looks like a war zone where my yarn is. UGH!
8. Blog weekly. I can safely give myself a B+ for this one. I think I missed a week, but I did blog every other week and that is a BIG improvement.
This gives me a B for the month. This is a lot better than I expected. I'll post later this week about my goals for June.