Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Comparison Game

It is the Christmas season...and it's only a week away! Wow! One of the more "popular" blogs out there does a wonderful Christmas Tour of Homes. How you play, is that you take pictures of all of your Christmas decorations in your home, post them on your blog, then link to her blog. I stumbled upon it yesterday and there were over 700+ links to other blogs, all of these women showing their homes and decorations. I thought, what fun!!! I LOVE to get new ideas and of course, to peek into other people's homes. Well, I got a lot more then I was bargaining for.

After the first few blogs that I visited, I started feeling sad/bad about my own circumstances. The pictures on these blogs were amazing! The decorations were incredible and gorgeous, and the homes were absolutely beautiful. I started looking around my humble little rental home. Most of my furniture hand-me-downs, hardly anything on the walls to decorate. For Christmas, I only had up our very tiny and very sad looking tree (that we had bought a few days before). I had started the comparison game in my head. I don't know if you ever do this, but I start comparing what I have to other's and then a feeling of "not measuring up" comes in. I was thinking....there is no way on God's green earth, that I would ever post any pictures of my very sad x-mas tree...and it being our only x-mas decoration at the time, next to these beautiful homes and gorgeous decorations.

I finally just stopped looking at the blogs and shut my computer. That's when God started speaking. He reminded me very quickly that last year, I didn't even have a home. (We were in our nomadic period of staying with friends/family before we moved to Brazil.) He also reminded me that Christmas isn't about decorations or how "pretty" your house looks. It's about Jesus, and the condition of our own hearts. When I looked into my heart, it wasn't very "pretty". I had a lot of lies and ugly things to get rid of before my heart would be truly ready and "beautiful" for the spirit of Christmas.

Since then, I've been looking around my house and appreciating everything I do have. (Even my sad and tiny x-mas tree!) Now I am so thankful that I have it! I have a home, my wonderful husband, my spunky son, baby Dawson on the way, and a very blessed life. I'm doing the most to make my home filled up with as much "Christmas Spirit" as possible. And that doesn't mean any fancy decorations, but the condition of our hearts.

Renato and I have talked about some family traditions we can start now with Camden and carry with us wherever we are in the years to come. Some traditions that aren't about what we buy or put up around the house, but what we fill ourselves with. We want to fill up with joy, peace, and love, then spread that to those around us. We've talked about what we want to do together Christmas morning as a family, and start some fun traditions like a special breakfast, and other fun activities.

With my heart changed, my home and all of my very minimal decorations are so beautiful to me. I can't wait for Christmas morning to share with Renato and Camden the joy, wonder, and blessing of our Savior's birth. AND, now that I have my heart cleaned out and "beautiful" once again, this evening I'm sitting with my husband on the couch, in the light of our little tree, listening to beautiful Christmas music, drinking some hot tea, and thoroughly enjoying that tour of homes on the blogs once again. I'm loving looking at all the beautiful homes and gorgeous decorations...without even a hint of the comparison game sneaking in!

Thank you Lord for changing my heart and opening my eyes to You and all You've blessed me with.


mashworth1 said...

Wow! It's amazing how God speaks to us when we least expect it...
It's so easy to forget how blessed we really are. We begin to wish we had what other people have, but in reality, God has given us just what He knew we needed...plus more!
Thanks for sharing...

Camden is getting so big, I can't believe it. Last time I saw him was last December in North Dakota. Hes so cute!

Many Blessings,

Michele said...

Thanks for commenting Mikaela! I'd love to get your email address, so I can also send you our updates. If you could, please email me with your email address, plus your grandma's too...I've never gotten it. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

Susan said...

Hello! Christmas here is much more humble than in the US. We are also trying out what new traditions to incorporate with Josh. We have cut out the gift giving. Only little gifts and mostly for Josh. I cannot tell you how much stress that cut out of our family unit here! Decorating is simple but less is more for us. Like you, we don't live in a house.

You should see my Charlie Brown Christmas tree! It is so sad, but Josh likes it.

Carrie at dumptrucksandteacups said...

I know what you are saying... but good job on stopping and guarding your mind and emotions!

Stacey said...

Thank you for the reminder of not comparing what we don't have with others. I seem to have a really easy time not doing that when it comes to material things, but God has to often remind me not to do it when it comes to having a family. I know that God has a plan and a purpose, but I just need to remember that during those times of feeling like I am lacking children.