Comparisons

There is a street that is close to my house that I love to walk my dog on.  I live in a smaller town in Wisconsin and there are so many cute and unique homes on this street.  No cookie-cutter homes, every one of them is unique and adorable in their own way.

As I walk down this street I glance at each homes yard.  Usually, the feelings of envy pop up in my heart as I look at their yards.  I wish my yard could look half as good as theirs.

Let me explain a little bit about myself before I go on.  You see, I have what is known as a… brown thumb… I was not gifted with a green thumb (even though I pretend that I do have one).  When it comes to gardening, planting things, landscaping, and just general yard care… I am not gifted.  I truly wish I was!  Every year I tell myself the same thing: this spring… you will finally earn a green thumb!  You will plant things and they will not die!  And every year the same thing happens… I go to the Fleet Farm close to my house, I buy a bunch of fresh herbs, possibly a vegetable, and some potting soil.  As I walk out with my chest puffed out in confidence that this year I will not let any of these plants die.  I will take care of them, I will remember to water them, and I will finally earn my green thumb!

Unfortunately… things never go as planned.  Sure, I will spend a day planting everything into different pots, I will remember to water them for about two or three weeks, but eventually, I’ll forget to water them for a week or so, I’ll never use the fresh herbs, and then one day I’ll go check on the herbs and they will all be dead.

This year was no different, except that I decided not to buy any sort of vegetable.  But I did buy a bunch of fresh herbs and well… they’re currently all sitting in the patio outside… dead.  My brown thumb strikes once again!

So once again, I find myself staring at my failed attempt to earn my green thumb as I take my dog for a walk on that familiar road.  I am looking at each yard with growing envy.  I just want my yard to look as beautiful.  Granted, they had more landscaping and not herb gardens.  But, if I couldn’t even take care of a simple herb garden… how would I ever be able to take care of any other plants?

As I was walking down this street this past week, feeling defeated once again with my brown thumb, God whispered to my heart again.  He showed me how I was comparing myself to others and letting myself become covetous.

Then, as I looked back more into my life I realized… most of my life has been me comparing myself to others and thinking; if only I could be like them, then I would be happy.  If only my faith was as strong as theirs, if only I was as confident as them, if only I was more outgoing… if only, if only, if only… then I would be fulfilled and content.

The problem is not that I need to become more like the people around me.  The problem is that I am not loving the person God has created me to be.  I’m not accepting who I am and whose I am.

Each one of us is unique, each one of us has our own kind of landscaping.  One is never better than the other because God created each of us with our own stories, our own struggles, and our own gifts.

Once we see that truth, and we no longer compare ourselves to others, we can see the beauty in our own “garden” (so to speak).  I may not have a beautifully landscaped yard like others, and my herb garden has once again died… but inside my home is well decorated and cozy and welcoming.  And isn’t it what’s on the inside that matters anyway? 😉

“I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well.  My frame was not hidden from You, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.”

Psalms 139:14-15

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