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

About Lilka Raphael

Author, Pharmacist, Autism Advocate, Gardener, Amateur Photographer

30 Responses

  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…

    Steve

    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

  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

  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

  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

  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. 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

  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

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