Posts tagged Relationships
For the Ones Struggling With Comparison
Photo by Love Be Photography

Photo by Love Be Photography

Comparison is a tricky thing, isn’t it?

Gosh, I’ve been there. I tracked the numbers, stacked up the dominoes, drank the Kool-Aid, did the dance. I tidied the corners of my rooms. I tried tidying the corners of my heart. I brought out the yardstick; do I measure up yet? Will I ever?

Let me spoil things for you: the numbers are never enough, the dominoes fall over, the Kool-Aid makes me sick, I break a leg doing the dance. Those corners multiply cobwebs and the yardstick keeps growing taller. I am too much. I am not enough.

She is way more talented than me; she probably never ruins dinner or spills the coffee or burns the toast. He has it all together; he has two kids and runs a successful business and bought a new house. Why can’t I handle my own one life? Why do the dominoes keep falling over?

I don’t take up enough space in this great big, messy world. I am twenty-five and a little too introspective. I feel the weight of a generation who gave up on God, and I can’t seem to do anything about it. The yardstick keeps growing. I keep shrinking.

I hear the tick, tick, tick of an ever-moving clock.

Did you know the clock was a bomb all along?



None of us wanted comparison, of course. We never wanted to carry these things around like plastic bags of groceries. We wanted connection and inspiration and authenticity. But comparison shows up uninvited and takes its seat right next to us. And instead of kicking it out of the house, we settle in and say, “Could you pass the popcorn, dear?”

Tick, tick, tick.

I think I can hear the bombs in the distance. Sounds like they’re getting closer.

The explosion usually happens, of course. We slam the doors, shatter the china, cry the tears. There will always be someone better, prettier, more put-together. We feel defeated and host an exclusive pity-party in our honor. We make a mental burn book about our supposed friends who don’t show up, Regina George style.


There has to be a better way.

Let me tell you, friends: there is a better way.


We can try to keep up with everyone else in the rat race and the striving for more. Or.

We can believe that we are enough, right where we are.

Not because of our accomplishments. Not because of our beauty. Not because of our golden hearts.

These things are all variables, messy and often failing. The grass withers, the flower fades.



But God—this is my favorite phrase in the whole broken world.

We are not enough on our own selfish paths, but God is enough. He has paid the price, shed the tears, dripped the blood. And if we choose to believe this crazy-good Gospel Story—if we confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord, if we believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead—we will be saved from ourselves. Because He is enough.


We are broken. But God is whole.

We are sinners. But God is perfect.

We are constantly changing. But God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

We hear the ticking of a bomb and brace for the explosion. But God is a shelter.

We are headed down a doom-filled path. But God steps in and says, “I’ve got this.”


I guess what I’m trying to say is this: We can compare ourselves constantly, we can try to measure up, we can do the good deeds for affirmations and accolades, but we will continue striving—forever and ever, amen.

And I have said this before, but I will say it again and again and again: Jesus is the only comfort and contentment I find to be unfailing. The more I look to myself or the world for fulfillment, the more I am left grasping at straws. But the more I look to God, the more I realize His faithfulness, His grace, His enough-ness for the both of us. For all of us.

It turns out I was measuring with the wrong yardstick all along. I should’ve been counting His endless mercies. I should’ve been writing down all of the ways He is love. This is a far superior way to spend my days.

And these relationships with other broken humans? They aren’t meant to be stacked up and measured. They were never meant to identify self-worth. But God did intend our relationships to point to the Gospel. In marriage and raising families and reporting to our bosses—we are learning sacrifice. We are learning love. Earthly relationships may be messy, but they can also act as beacons of grace and forgiveness, mercy and obedience.

We have the opportunity to shine our lights to each other and point the way home. Sure, we can lament about how narrow the path is and how easy it is to stumble. But when we see our neighbor wander a little off course, we will lean over and shout, "We are enough-- because He is!"

There is room for grace in our relationships, friends. And God is there, ready to pour out His grace in all of those small-big moments.

We are enough. Because He is. 

What I've Learned from My Family

We were on a porch at the rented condo and the breeze was blowing just right. We were sitting around the small balcony table sipping coffee, watching an island that hadn’t quite woken up yet. My mom got on a tangent about the importance of family, and I was half-listening, watching her passion instead of listening to the words because I already knew its importance.

My family is a misfit band of rebels and righteous, of country and city, of tattoos and rednecks, poets and prophets, teachers and leaders and preachers. We are a mix of sweet and sassy and Spirit-filled and radicals bathed in redemption. We get together on holidays and summer vacations and loudly discuss politics and jobs and Jesus. Sometimes we agree and sometimes we don’t. Sometimes there is so much laughter that my face hurts from smiling too long; we look around the room and wipe our watery eyes and try to stop the waves of laughter for the sake of our aching bellies filled with too much food.

I am fortunate enough to still have all of my grandparents, and to know and love each of them uniquely. I got my blue eyes and love of learning and literature from them. They are some of the most encouraging, thoughtful, and strongest people I know. They are stubborn and sincere, teaching mercy and grace with each step. Above all, they are the hands and feet of Jesus, loving and serving and proclaiming the gospel with their lives.

My mom is this crazy, kickboxing, smart-mouthing, small-stature of a woman who knows what she wants and goes and does it. She gave me her freckles, her style, and her sweet tooth. She instilled in me a passion for creating, for loving without borders or agendas, for authenticity in a world of plastic. She taught me that if you play it right, your husband can do all the cooking and that things get better with age.

My dad is usually talking, making jokes full of wit and sarcasm and cleverness. He gave me his big, dark eyebrows and his confident sense of right and wrong. He serves well and works hard and plays racquetball every day. He taught me the importance of putting others before yourself, to never make excuses, and how to shoot a gun.

For seven years I was an only child and then I became a big sister. Isabelle was the baby on both sides and everyone’s favorite, but I didn’t mind so much because she was my favorite too. I thought she was cute and cuddly and mischievous and I didn’t know I could love a little babbling person so much. She would twist her tiny finger around her dark strands of hair until her head was full of knots, hair wild and untamed just like her spirit. Now she is this beautiful, confident girl, with my dad’s sense of humor and stubbornness and my mom’s determination, about to graduate high school and make big, life-changing decisions. Even though in my mind she’s still that little girl with the wild, knotty hair.  

My husband is this loud, loving, kind-hearted person who loves Jesus and me and football, most likely in that order. He wears his emotions on his sleeve and can put me in a better mood just by walking into a room. He sends me photos of adorable puppies on a regular basis and is generally more thoughtful than I will ever be; he challenges me and takes care of me. Plus he’s totally cute. Living life with him is more fun.

When I got married, I gained this whole other family. They are much different than my own, but just as loving. They are kind and sacrificial and they treated me as one of their own from the very start. Now I have all of these families and I complain about splitting time on holidays and vacations and jumping from one Thanksgiving meal to the next, but to be honest I am just blessed with all of these people God has placed in my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

These are my people. These crazy people are my home.

When things start to get serious, I imagine us as our own little war tribe painting our faces for battle. And I know that throughout the states we are breaths of prayer rising up, each going to the throne for mercy, for healing, for His glory to be made known through the trials. Across state lines and across streets, we are inextricably linked, forever banding together in our own peculiar ways. And isn’t that all we ever need to ask from our tribe?

I know that I am one of the lucky ones here, that not everyone has a loving, caring family surrounding them, and my heart breaks at the thought. Lord knows that my family isn’t perfect, that we have infinite issues and problems. But I hate that disagreements and mistakes and sin start to chip away at that rock that is family. I hate that the divorce rate goes up every day and families are being torn apart and tossed aside like an old pair of boots you had in the closet but never wore.

In an ever-changing, fast-paced, disposable world, I think there’s something to say about those that stick together. I think there’s something to say about the cultivation and protection of marriage, about forgiveness and the leaving behind of bitterness, about the kindling of relationships amidst the growing and transforming year after year.  

I think we should notice the way our family members love one another or hurt one another or how they just keep showing up despite busy schedules and fighting traffic and fitful toddlers.  I think we should notice the efforts made and efforts ignored, so that we can follow suit or set a precedent for change.

And this is not a call of guilt but of action, not to dwell on the past but to look to the future. May we find restoration, may we find a place of protecting and defending our families, for all of the ones now and all of the generations to come. May we fight for our tribes full of heart, with grit and determination and love.  

I know I could do better, fight harder, love deeper.