“Comparison is the Thief of Joy.” Brilliant words spoken by Theodore Roosevelt. I need to remember it when my mind plays the comparison game on a daily basis.
Unfortunately, I think we all do it to a degree. “Don’t covet your neighbor’s house or wife.” (Well, crisis averted, right?)
But it’s more than just coveting the physical things; it’s coveting the conditions of those things too. We see others lives and just want a taste of what THEY have.
If only MY coach had time for me like hers does. If only OUR team had that kind of fan base/support. If OUR team didn’t have the drama. If MY relationship looked like that. If MY house was designed by Joanna Gaines, THEN, then I’d have it all.
Nope. It’s not true.
Sometimes what we “see” is not the reality.
I did it today. A fellow coach’s wife posted a picture perfect “Kodak Moment.” It was a photo of her sweet toddler cuddling up to her coach on a Saturday morning.
In my mind I imagined “the rest of her story.” The smell of fresh coffee, her beautiful bed-head self, wearing a comfy robe and fuzzy socks. She’d bring in a Pinterest worthy muffin on fine china, and it’d be received with, “Thank you so much mommy, this muffin looks delightful!” They’d sit and analyze film a couple hours before her toddler would run off to play quietly, letting mom and Dad have a beautiful morning together.
Wow, her kid is so well behaved. My kids would never sit with my husband with breakfast analyzing film like THAT.
Back to MY picture of what MY family would look like ... imagine with me:
Coach starts the Hudl download, of course it would crash or restart in the middle of it… he’d get frustrated. Our kids would run out from their rooms, grabbing whatever breakfast they could. They’d simultaneously trip over his computer cord, spill crumbs all over from breakfast, and knock my cold coffee over onto all of my papers. The baby would start crying and yank at my hair. MY photo escalates someway, somehow, into a full-blown, fight-to-the-death Nerf gun battle of battles. Like, save yourselves, it’s messy here.
The wife friend said to me—“GIRL, that was right after I gave him a muffin and just happened to catch him sitting there for two minutes with Dad. He ran off right after I snapped the picture.”
Mind blown. I’m embarrassed and ashamed. It’s nobody else’s fault but my own. Satan had my mind racing. Not just fabricating a perfect family and home for her, but seeing MY treasure of a home and children in a joyless comparison. I had fabricated the entire situation from just one photograph.
Romans 12:6: “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.”
I need that reminder daily, too. Things aren’t always what they seem. And comparison IS the thief of joy.
I’m called to a ministry right where I am. With the family, house, car, team, coaches and season I have.
I need to stop letting Satan steal the JOY I have serving GOD. Stop telling myself—I’m not enough or my house, family, or situation isn’t enough.
Your passion and ministry might be something else—that’s OK! There are lots of ways to support your coach in season. God has given you your own unique gifts, desires, and abilities. Use whatever you DO have, joyfully.
My ministry is taking care of my crazy kids. I also enjoy hosting our team’s coaches after home games for socializing and breaking down film. I’ll tell ya, my hosting doesn’t look anything like Tami Taylor’s (I always adored her). It looks like mine. My house isn’t a beautiful mansion, but it does its job! We might have to throw baby toys into a laundry basket or throw a pack of baby wipes (and other things) to the side when the coaches get to my house.
My ministry is NOT for myself, my kids or the coaches. It’s MY ministry to give HIM all Glory and praise.
I’m happy to welcome people into our imperfect home. And I will remember that we are ALL imperfect people in an imperfect home, in an imperfect world. I can do it all joyfully because I serve a perfect king that looks at ME, and He doesn’t see how much money I have, or the size or condition of my house. He sees my heart.
When my perspective shifts, I’m able to see the grace that abounds. I’m able to see the beautiful mess that is around ME too- through a lens that looks more like His. I’m so grateful for my house, my beautiful children, and all these fleeting moments.
I’ll take the crumbs and the crazy now and remember that they won’t be here forever. God’s lens is so much prettier than the Tami Taylor lens I was wearing before. I love this life, I have so much joy in it… right where I am.