comparison just likes to steal

Anyone else out there constantly oogling and swooning over some absolutely stunning insta feeds and blogs? Perfect country homes with all the most beautifully designed kitchens, and giant yards that the perfectly photogenic kids frolic around in, and the ever-changing stunning room decor and DIY candles and wreathes and all the things and all the picture-perfect-everythings. Perfectly beautiful faces without any makeup. Stunning postpartum bodies... even after having like 5 kids. The most luscious hair and perfect skin. I want it all.

I've birthed one baby, and I've worked out like, 3 times since. I had to stop breastfeeding after only four months, and now my hair is falling out like never before #postpartumprobs. I live in a one-bedroom fourplex in the middle of the city and we're barely making rent each month #keepinitreallyreal. My husband works so hard, and has been with the same job for four years. He's done so well, gotten significant raises each year, and never complains about his 8-5 schedule away from home, yet we still cannot manage to make ends meet. I always dreamed of being a stay at home mama, but with our current life happenings, it just isn't feasible. So I'm working, and I'll be working a whole lot more as the new year begins. I can't tell you how excited I am for this new career I'm blessed to begin. It isn't just a "job" to pay the bills - it's sort of a dream job, and I'm actually really excited to begin this new chapter. 

But... I'm also not living out my dream of owning (or even renting) a house, and staying home being a perfect little housewife and mother. I find myself envying these perfect Instagram mothers who do get to stay home, homeschool their children and live real life in a beautiful house with all it's charm and fun. 

Here's the problem, I'm not enjoying what I do have now to it's full potential. Comparison steals. It robs me of joy, of patience, of contentment. I'm not where I want to be long-term in my life, but it's actually totally okay. I'm twenty-four, I'm married to the man I've always dreamed of, and mama to the most amazing and beautiful little girl... and I've got a lot of really good things going for me. I'm learning how important it is to be fully okay and content with where I'm at, and with what I've got. My life doesn't look like my Insta-friends', and I'm learning to be totally okay with it. I'm learning, growing, and pursuing my goals and dreams, and trusting that the Lord will direct my steps to help me reach those dreams in the most perfect timing.

I'm learning that even when I don't have all that I want, I tend to hold onto the little that I have really tight, and have a hard time releasing control. I don't like to share. For example: our home, our finances and our goals... if I'm not brave enough to open my hands and let the Lord freely work with what we've got, then He doesn't really have much room to do anything in my life. If I'm closed off from allowing my life to be touched, I won't see any of the good things He would be able to do. When I'm able to open up my arms, give it all to God, and trust that He will do amazing things in His perfect timing, then I'll find contentment in what I have, because i'll be at peace knowing that it's all under control (God's control, not mine).

It's so hard not to compare. SO. HARD. But the truth is, we're all in such different walks of life; we've all been dealt different hands, and we've all gone through things that another hasn't (or that maybe just simply hasn't been shared publicly). Comparison just likes to steal. He's a greedy, needy and insecure little guy, and I'm thinking I'm just done with him. Join me? Let's kick him to the curb, and say "Sayonara little dude! You've been evicted, and you're not welcome back anytime."

My goal for 2017 is to stop comparing. Stop comparing my body, my home, my Instagram feed, my furniture, my job or the way I mother my daughter and future babes. My goal is to be in tune with what God has for me and my family. My goal is to walk confidently with the hand I've been dealt, trusting that whatever comes my way is meant to build me stronger and deeper; that my heart would only grow more compassionate and tender. That I'd have eyes to see past the outside layers, and deep into whatever God sees as valuable and beautiful. I don't want to let comparison rob me anymore. He just likes to steal what's good, and I'm done letting him do so freely. 

Here we are, in our tiny kitchen, embracing where we are, in this season. The sun shining through is a reminder to me that even when what we're dealing with over on the other side of the screen is really hard, God is still here. He's good, and he's never left us. He's so very real, and he's close. Thankful to be a daughter of the King. These everyday battles are rough, but I'm thankful to know we're not alone, and the war has already been won.