Comparison

sea glass, ocean, theodore roosevelt, beach,

If you’re anything like me, particularly when you’re in the midst of waiting, the temptation to compare your own journey to that of others is strong. I have been there {and recently}.

I compare myself to other writers, to women with a house full of kids, with that girl that got that one guy {haha}, and so much more. I’m not sure if men have this problem? I know women certainly do.

When I get caught in this trap and let myself marinate and stew in the comparison game, it inevitably ends up with me feeling discouraged and defeated. Am I the only one? Or do you do this, too?

Comparison is the thief of joy.

This quote is such a simple statement – just six words. But packed into these six words is an incredibly important concept. Comparison does steal our joy. Joy is more than just feeling happy. In fact, you can feel joyful and not necessarily be feeling happy and shiny.

A state of happiness or felicity : bliss

A source or cause of delight

The definition of joy includes the two sentences above. But the Oxford dictionary uses another word . . . satisfaction. Comparison steals our satisfaction. Our ability to be content with the gifts we’ve been given and the life we’re living right now, is lost as we continually compare ourselves to others.

The contentment that comes from being satisfied with your life as it is right now, is a gift. It doesn’t mean you stop moving toward that dream. It doesn’t mean you don’t work hard to meet goals. But it does mean that in the day to day, you choose joy while you’re working towards those goals.

As we strive to live out those dreams, let’s agree to find the joy and gifts in each day. Choosing joy, when the thief that is comparison rears its ugly head, is not easy. But it’s the better thing. And it will make our journey to the life we wait for, an awesome ride.

Do you have a favorite quote that helps you refocus and get back on track when you’re struggling? I’d love to hear yours!

The Color Green

trees, woods, jungle, eastern carolina, eastern north carolina
Be praised for all Your tenderness by these works of Your hands
Suns that rise and rains that fall to bless and bring to life Your land
Look down upon this winter wheat and be glad that You have made
Blue for the sky and the color green that fills these fields with praise

– Rich Mullins

I spent much of the day yesterday dilly-dallying and working in my yard {might have also had a mint julep or two}. I loved it. My hands were caked with potting soil, as were my clothes, but it was a great feeling to work all day at making my deck pretty, after nearly a year here.

I’ve spent about ten months in this house. I won’t lie . . . I have hated pretty close to every second of it.

mint julep, cocktail, southern drinks,

The house is too small. The neighbors are way too loud. I can smell the hog farm about half of the week, all day – from the time I get up to the time I go to bed. The lighting is terrible. Terrible. The house is very dark. On and on my complaints have gone.

I started looking at houses online. I was determined to move when my lease was up. The noisy neighbors and their dogs were my last straw. And then . . . something happened. Spring? Wisdom? Discernment? Maybe a combination of all three.

I drive into my driveway every evening after work and there’s this adorable house in front of me – it looks like a cabin in the woods. It makes my heart all girly and squishy. I walk out onto the back deck with my dog and all I can see is . . . green.

woods, trees, eastern carolina, eastern north carolina

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My backyard is beautiful. It’s huge. And it’s green. And it’s beautifully shaded – there’s almost too much shade. Funny things grow back there in all that shade. Just behind my fence is a jungle of even more green with a creek running alongside.

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The jungle behind the house!

Suddenly, within the last 2-3 weeks I’ve come to the realization that I don’t want to move. I love this yard. I love the overwhelming green that reminds me of life, grace, and of dreams coming true. When I was a little girl, I used to look at picture books and dream away about where I wanted to live and what I wanted that magical place {far away from Orange County, California} to look like.

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It looks like here. It looks like this. It looks like what I’m seeing out my office/guest room window as I type this very minute. This house is where I belong for now. My little cabin in the woods is home. And while it is, I’m going to soak up all the green that I can.

Speaking of green. Growing up in Southern California, one doesn’t realize just how much green you’re missing out on. I grew up on a busy, loud street right in the center of Orange County. There was more asphalt and concrete than green.

Trees? We had them. But not like this. I lose count of the number of trees in my yard when I try to count. It’s hard to grasp as a native SoCal’er just what is out there beyond that Shangri-La. I even lived in the desert of California for a couple of years. Green in that town of Joshua Tree is really a special sight to behold when you lay your eyes upon it. My neighbor’s yard had a huge pine tree and I would sit for ages on those desert windy days, just to hear the sound of the wind through the pine, hankering for the East Coast and green.

Green. Deep, rich, life-giving green. It’s the first color we see after a long winter. The first buds of leaves in the spring are almost fluorescent they’re so green. It’s nearly impossible to give up the beauty of spring as it trails into summer. So, no. I don’t want to leave just yet. I dreamed of this place. So here is where I will write. And this is where I will wait.

Office

So here I sit. At my Grandma’s desk, looking out at the green – writing. No, I’m not going anywhere right now. I’ll stay right here with the color green. This is where I will write. And this is where I will wait.