Bee Yourself!

Comparison is the root of discontent.

This is one truth I discovered this last decade or so.

We will never fully appreciate what we have if we always compare ourselves to other people.

My solution for this is to stay focused and run my race.

I watched a great example of this during the Olympics. One of the track and field athletes actually lost his heat because instead of looking forward and pressing toward the finish line, he looked to his left and to his right for the other runners. If he had only focused on the goal ahead, he would have qualified for the next race.

This is something my youngest and I are battling at present.

The topic of ACTs and SATs is popular among seniors. However, test taking has never been Lan’s strong point. His acceptance into a graphics arts/animation program will not be due to high test scores.

Still, listening to his friends has made him anxious. Comparing their plans with his own is causing frustration for both of us!

I have repeatedly told him he doesn’t have to pursue his goals the way others pursue theirs. I’m trying to make him understand this lesson, one that I’ve had to “learn” myself a time or two.

 The temptation to compare ourselves with others is always present.  Often in parenting, the opportunities are endless. Yet, this is a dangerous habit because it is so easy to become disenchanted with what you have based on the briefest glimpse into someone else’s life.

When we allow these comparisons to root themselves in us, they often leach away the peace and contentment that God provides.

The infamous “why my child?” easily pops into mind.

God’s answer of “you can handle it” isn’t usually a welcome answer.

We can sometimes allow the progress we make to be diminished by what we perceive around us. However, what we perceive isn’t always true.

I choose to appreciate my here and now, very much aware plenty of people would be more than satisfied with my particular set of “problems.”

I’m trying to teach Lan, by example, to be grateful for gains. Personal “success” is independent of what others think or do!

Lan may not be the most academically strong student; however, he does have an artistic flair all his very own. When we focus on our strengths and not what we think we lack, we can fully fulfill God’s purpose for our lives.

I’ve learned the hard way that what works for someone else isn’t necessarily going to work for me. My “success” in life won’t come following someone else’s blueprint. God gives us what we need to create our own.

I found peace and joy when I nurtured my own talents. I found contentment when I learned to enjoy being me.

I pray Lan learns this lesson far sooner than I ever did.

For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well. Psalm 139:13-14 NKJV

May He grant you according to your heart’s desire,
And fulfill all your purpose. Psalm 20:4 NKJV

By Lilka Finley Raphael

Author, Editor, Gardner, Photographer, Pharmacist


  1. Hi Lilka! Listen, your work with Lan is much appreciated…by him and by the Lord! Teaching by example is a smart way to go about making an impression on young ones; more so than words! Lan will find his way with you and your husband as guides and teachers!

    Enjoy your evening…


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Steve! Another graduating senior this year but a TOTALLY different process. Lan is definitely coming along. I don’t dare complain. At this point I’m kind of waiting to see what God is going to bring out of this. I’m expecting great things! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are a good, Godly woman, Lilka! I love your positive attitude in the midst of all that you have to handle…

        Lord love and bless you and yours!


        Liked by 1 person

  2. Lilka, praise the Lord for the wisdom He has given you. His words to me were not that I could handle it.
    It has always been “you have to, and you can always depend on me.” Recently I heard a minister make a correction on the statement that God never gives us more than we can handle. He stated that God does give us more than we can handle so that we turn to HIm in faith, knowing that He is with us, to give Him the praise when all is said and done. Lifting Jerry’s wheelchair into and out of the trunk of the car for ten years has not gotten any easier, but God’s Word has become stronger in me. “I can do all through Christ who strengthens me” has become more real and powerful than any other time in my life.
    And in these difficulties, people see the power of Christ, not me. Not many have watched, but most will offer to help when they know I need. God is with me when there is not one else. (I could write a book.:)
    You, too are an example to others of His presence, power, and grace. Your children will come through as warriors, soldiers, and victorious for the Father’s kingdom.
    The Lord bless your continued testimony. Fran

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fran,
      You have really blessed me with your words. I come home from a 12 hour shift to find this. God will turn us toward Him one way or another. You are so correct “through Christ who strengthens me.” I have watched other women set an example through their various circumstances who have inspired me and been very clear in their testimonies about strength in the Lord. Thank you for your encouraging words. I can remember a time when I longed for one. Prayers, and many by other people kept me moving along. I’m not wise, just persistent. 😉
      I do pray my kids grow into God’s purpose for them, whatever that may be. Thank you for your words over them.
      If we can encourage just one more person not to give up and hold fast to our Father then our words are never in vain.
      Peace, grace and love to you! Lilka

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lilka, this has been a lesson God has been teaching me—both for myself and for my boys. One of our guys is a quirky fellow. Sometimes I groan at the choices he makes. Sometimes that groan is because I want him to fit in with his classmates. Truth is, he’ll probably never quite fit in. And this is okay. I need to stop comparing him to those around him. I need to stop comparing the choices we make for our boys with how other parents choose for their kids. God has given each set of parents (single parent) what they need to raise the kids He gives them. There’s no reason to compare, because, as you said, “My “success” in life won’t come following someone else’s blueprint. God gives us what we need to create our own.”

    God has blueprints for our lives that are completely unique.

    You’ve given me good food for thought today. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have learned my efforts or prompts to make youngest “fit in” only made him miserable especially if there no real consequences to his odd behavior. This lesson took time to learn. Kids these days are accustomed to “quirky” kids and often it is a bigger issue for us than the kids. In my case, Lan’s classmates have learned what autism is and include him regardless of his quirks. It didn’t matter to his friends only to me. Kids mature in their own time. Never stop praying and I promise you will one day be surprised by your child’s progress. God’s timing, not ours.
      Trust God and relax a little. I found Lan made great strides when I stopped stressing so much trying to fix every little thing. What we can’t do God will do!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I constantly remind my grandchildren, “Be yourself.. Everyone else is taken”. The 15 year olds get it.. not yet for the 10 year old (special needs child). But I do pray within time he does understand, and while I’m at it, I ALWAYS thank God for MY troubles.
    Blessings Lilka.. Nice to “see” you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love “everyone else is taken!”

      I’m glad the 15 year old gets it because that can be a difficult time especially these days. He is way ahead of many “adults.” My youngest is slowly coming around and realizing he isn’t “missing” anything by forging his own path. As always, it is great to “see” you as well.
      My new job has really eaten into my writing but hopefully I will find more time on the WP soon. 🙂 B Blessed!


  5. This is such a tough one to learn, especially since society compares. Advertisers use comparisons to sell their products. It’s everywhere. I also remember watching that runner lose, and remember a lesson my older brother, a runner, taught me when I was little: Never look back; it uses precious time. When I was chased by a moose I heeded the advice. Those who watched said, “If you’d looked back, it would have nailed you.” It’s a comfort to know that God sees us as individuals and has plans for us using our strengths and offering opportunities to learn and overcome our weaknesses.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Judy, you summed it up perfectly. Looking back does use precious time. I can’t even imagine being chased by a moose!
      We often try to rid ourselves of the very things that make us unique in our attempts to “fit in” but we were really born to be ourselves. The very things we dislike about ourselves may actually hold blessings in disguise. Thanks for stopping by today and B Blessed! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this post!! Here’s one of my favorite thoughts: “My success in life won’t come following someone else’s blueprint. God gives us what we need to create our own.”
    And I agree…that more “people would be satisfied with my particular problems.”
    Great blog. Maybe you should print this and hand it to the teachers in your son’s school so they can pass on this wisdom. 🙂
    Isn’t it great to enjoy being ourselves….and boasting how the Lord has created each individual to be themselves!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Karen, Thanks for taking time to stop and comment. Glad you liked the post. Indeed, all of us need to remember that we were not created to be carbon copies of each other. When we appreciate the differences that God has made among us, I think we can live less stressed and simply enjoy being the people He created us to be. 🙂 B Blessed and have a wonderful day!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lilka, I agree and your term carbon copiies made me smile. I actually remember using those back in the day when I typed. Although we still use this term do you think our kids even know–visually–what that looks like. HA I’ll have to ask my grown kids. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. LOL!!!. I used the term xerox at work recently and all the twenty somethings stood there staring at me! So I’m pretty sure my kids are clueless about carbon copies and couldn’t recognize one if there lives depended on it. 😊


  7. Thank you for such a timely post! I was just reading in Ephesians this morning about living our lives worthy of the calling we have received and using our gifts to encourage and mature the Bride. Praying your son will go deep and ask God how he can use his gift of art to encourage the Body of Christ!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Terese, thanks so much for stopping by and taking time to comment. Your prayers are very much appreciated. I’m glad the post was “timely” for you and I would love nothing more than to see my child use his gifts to glorify God. B Blessed and enjoy your day!

      Liked by 1 person

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