The ugly green eyed monster – and why I’ll never measure up.

Update: Read my sweet husband's response to this post over HERE. I AM SO BLESSED.

Just last week I was thumbing through Facebook and felt a wee bit more than a twinge of the green-eyed-monster of jealousy rising up inside of me.

 

Okay, okay, I wasn't thumbing through Facebook really, but it sounds a little more glamorous than scrolling down Facebook like I do every single day ~ don't ya' think? 

 

I was jealous of another blogger's downright gorgeous home. 

 

It was perfect.

 

Amazingly decorated.

 

Seriously, folks, it could have been in a magazine. 

 

I scrolled on down a little further and saw an acquaintance I hardly know, skinny-as-a-rail and just jaw-droppingly beautiful with her oh-so-cute and just about perfect husband sharing their anniversary.

 

They looked so happy.

 

Obviously they had it all together.

 

And I'm betting she hasn't counted a calorie in her entire. life. 

 

Yup. I hate her.

 

truth. sorry. ahem.

 

Ridiculously, I kept on scrolling.

 

Why look at that. There's another friend sharing their child's most amazing accomplishment.

 

And oodles of other mommas cheering them on, because really, their child is phenomenal. clearly.

 

All while my little family just kind of sits around looking plain and ordinary.

 

Then I bounced off Facebook to really get to work and started looking at a few other blogs. 

 

You know, the ones who are all doing it right.

 

The ones who have perfect web sites, perfect content, perfect pictures  . . . and a jillion comments on every. single. post.

 

they really are oh so put together. I'm so not cut out for this.

 

 

Oh-so-often I feel like I just never measure up.

 

I allow myself to be jealous of another blogger's home.

 

I let myself get jealous of a skinny perfect person that I hardly even know.

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I compare my kids to other people's kids. (For the record, I have some pretty cute kids even if they are just ordinary. Jeesh.) 

 

And when it comes to blogging? Well, it's just a stroke of luck that this little website stays on every daySeriously.

 

So I started really thinking about it. Who really looks like the person I want to be?

 

 

Initially, I thought if I could just be more like her, I would totally be there.

 

But then I realized, while she has a beautiful family, amazing business, and, well, keeping it real here folks, she's skinny, 🙂 she's not all that in to fluffing her home. (Which is totally fine, but I kinda like a fluffed up home.)

 

So I moved on.

 

Then I thought well maybe if I could just be like this. Amazing home, perfectly-yet-kind-of-quirkily decorated, and of course skinny – but, well, I'm betting she doesn't really enjoy clipping coupons. (I could be wrong – that's just a hunch?)

 

Then I thought of another friend who I adore who runs an amazing business, has a beautiful home, and a precious family . . . but struggles some with other issues too.

 

I moved on. This one.  This is it. Perfect home, crazy huge business, gajillion followers on Facebook, Instagram, well, everywhere. Even a perfect husband.

 

and she can cook.

 

But really? As I thought it through, she's not quite my “measure-up-to goal” either.

 

Honestly?

 

I want the body of Barbie (a little less curvy though, please), the business of Martha Stewart, the mommy-amazing-sweetness of June Clever, and a home smack on the cover of Southern Living.

 

Oh, and can I cook like Paula Deen? (right, but with Barbie's figure, got that? hmph.)

 

Ahem.

 

The truth? My twisted standard of measurement is some kind of not-really-perfect-at-all-but-I-think-it-might-be-perfect.

 

And I'm just me.

 

Way down here.

 

I'll never measure up.

 

Years ago, I read an illustration in Max Lucado's book In The Grip of Grace (such a wonderful book, by the way . . .) describing what my heart struggles in a way with each day . . .

 

 

“Suppose God reduced the Bible to one command: “Thou must jump so high in the air that you touch the moon.” No need to love your neighbor or pray or follow Jesus; just touch the moon by virtue of a jump, and you’ll be saved.

We’d never make it. There may be a few who jump three or four feet, even fewer who jump five or six; but compared to the distance we have to go, no one gets very far. Though you may jump six inches higher than I do, it’s scarcely reason to boast.”

 

 

My goal is set too high.

 

The standard I've set for myself is perfection.

 

Only grace can fill in.

 

God's grace is okay with me the way I am.

 

It's okay with a slightly pudgy-hippy girl.

 

It's okay with my Facebook reach.

 

It's okay with my kids.

 

It's okay with the number of people who visit PPP daily.

 

It's okay with the way I handle being a Godly wife to my poor husband.

 

Bless.

 

him. 🙂 

 

His grace is sufficient for me. 

 

Just as I am.

 

Ladies (sorry gents, I know y'all hopped off eons ago . . . ), you too are good enough. 

 

You are beautiful enough.

 

You are wise enough.

 

You are capable enough.

 

You.

 

Yes,

 

you.

 

You are enough.

 

Don't let your picture of perfection be anything other than the one God created you to be.

 

I promise. I'll stop too.

 

And you're so not the only one who feels this way.

 

But his grace (thankheavens.) covers us today.

 

promise.

 

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But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. my thanks for your willingness to share again…
    I was just at facebook wondering how my 15 year old daughter could get a few more likes on her orthodontist selfie for a contest….because other kids have more family & friends &… really?!
    This mama says she is beautiful- liked or not on facebook! I am grateful. God is good!

    • She is beautiful Susan! Goodness, things like that have so skewed our view of reality – it hurts my heart to think of the things I worry over that are just silly because of social media. She’s so blessed to have a mom just like you!!!

      • I remember your post about facebook & social media & worth! It was another bit of priceless wisdom from God through you. I have shared it with others and will share this one as well! Transparency blesses us as we know we are not alone. Training the next generation & ourselves in proper social media use is new & difficult at times. We are a bit counter-cultural in our rules & usage at home. Can’t ignore it, but not totally embracing it either… balance? Know you are working to do the same with your household. There is nothing ordinary about you or your kids! God made each of you to be very special! Can’t believe the move has been nearly a year now. Where did it go? Thanks again

        • Balance with social media is so stinkin’ hard Susan – but you hit the mark exactly! I don’t know of any way to get away from it, but finding the way to enjoy the good from it (I love connecting with old friends!), without letting our value go is so important. And yes, just can hardly believe it’s been almost exactly a year – so crazy how fast these days are fleeting (so silly that I allow myself to worry over the things that don’t matter when there is so much good to enjoy each day!)

  2. your blog is my favorite. thank you for everything that you post.

    • You’re so welcome Amy – thank you for your kind words!

      • I used to feel that way too until I started doing taxes for people. People that lived the “good life,” people that I was envious of, were living on their last dime. They would lower their withholding and then burst into tears because they owed money to the IRS with no way to pay. They couldn’t borrow from anyone because nobody would borrow them ANY MORE money. Their credit cards were maxed out. The richest people that came in the office lived simply and frugally. I was always astounded by how much money they had. After that learning experience I never feel jealous at what anyone else has because, they don’t really have it and their personal relationships suffer because of that.

  3. tiffany says

    I feel like you more then I should. Thank u posting that. I constantly have to kick myself off facebook because I feel like I am just a 42 yr old single woman with no kids and never been married. I moved back home with my mom for many reasons and feel like I have to make excuses for my choices. I hate especially this time of year everyone going on about their mothers day and graduations of their kids. Proms etc etc. But I then realize that appearances are always different on the outside. I am independent, I pretty, I have enjoyed my life for the most part. I have traveled some. I help others whenever possible and treat everyone with respect. I say please and thank u even if I am telling u off lol. I dont sugarcoat anything and I always look at situations good and bad from every perspective and always will do for someone else before I do for me. So thank u for letting me know there are others out there who are normal lol

    • Thank you so much for sharing Tiffany – goodness you are so not alone! And like you said, there are so many things that only you understand because of your unique perspective – God created you just to be who you are! Blessings to you – I appreciate your encouragement so much 🙂

  4. karen b says

    Oh My this speaks to my heart…………I am a slightly overweight mother of 3 beautiful children…….& a wife to an awesome wonderful husband!!!!!!! I too have struggled w/ why I can’t do this or be like that or etc. the list can go on & on!!!!!!! I have discovered that w/ Gods goodness & grace I am who he wants me to be, where he wants me ,& doing what he wants me to do! I think as a people in general we have all struggled in this area sometimes. Thanks for sharing your heart ♥ 🙂
    I am so thankful I found your blog a couple years ago it has helped me in many areas!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words Karen – that means so much to me, and goodness we do all go through seasons where it’s tougher to remember how blessed we are than others! So glad you found PPP (and appreciate you so much)!

  5. Good stuff, Laurie! Thanks for sharing your heart.

  6. Gals…that is why Facebook is a bunch of nonsense. There is not a darn thing authentic or real about any of it. I told my wife years ago I would appreciate if she abstained from having a Facebook account. She thanks me for it now. Her friends are always shocked we don’t participate. My grandparents taught me a long time ago to value your privacy long before the internet. It’s not easy in this fish bowl the world has become but it can be done. Oh how we love living in the sticks now.

    Keep it real folks 🙂

  7. Rhonda Nice says

    Thanks for this very encouraging post. It was a blessing to me 🙂

  8. My uncle always says it’s not easy being anybody. Isn’t that so true? Even the people who we think have it all have all kinds of problems. Life is a bitch ha ha…life is about survival. Some of us are better at it than others. It is sad but true. No matter what we all have issues and problems.

    Keep preaching about low debt! Keeping the debt down to zero is the key to freedom. Wanting is just the devil! Growing a successful business is about hard work and being smart. You went to blogging conferences right…follow their advice. Business is business and feelings are feelings. Keep your eye on the prize. You save people money and time. Time is money. That’s why I buy your Amazon deals and clip your coupons. I know Hip2save and southern savers etc. I want you to get the clicks.

    Good luck!

    • I appreciate that so much Jim (so impressed you stuck around with that way to girly post – ha!) 🙂 Handling FB is hard – as a blog there’s just no way to negate the power of FB (I’ve been tempted to worry over it less, but in all honesty the site being able to run just about depends on it – I hate that.) 🙁 I just feel so fortunate to have a place to share, and the fact that anyone reads this stuff is still *way* beyond me!) But, there are days that it’s just hard – VERY competitive, and just tough to hang in there and not become jealous of other’s successes.

      Ultimately I’ve got to trust that there’s a plan for it (even on the days I stress!) I appreciate your support of PPP so much (really, I’d just been thinking last week that I wondered if you were still reading!), and am so glad you still are able to use it. That means a ton to me and I appreciate you so much – blessings!

  9. It’s so funny that you should write this. Just this week I was looking at your blog at the pics of your living area. It is so beautiful. The matching chairs by the fireplace, the beautiful paint job coordinated with everything in the room. Your room was just so lovely and all the other pics you have shared with your home are beautiful, too. I enjoy blogs, and really enjoy yours, but I can’t measure up to any of you. I work full time outside the home and injured my leg at work February 27th. I had corrective surgery two weeks ago today. Needless to say, my home is a danger zone. I’m pretty sure the ASPCA would take my dogs away right now………maybe it’s not that bad. Nonetheless, things aren’t like I would like for the to be. You see yourself as imperfect physically. I would give anything to be your size. You live by a budget and succeed most of the time. My spending habits are pathetic and how I wish I could do better in that category. But I am loved. I am cherished by the One who gave His all for me and I am worthy. In all my perfections I am seen as beautiful by the One who created me. ME! I am beautiful to Him. And that is what matters most.

    • Oh my Denise, you are so worthy!!!! And just divinely made just as you are – I love that you know that already! You know, what I think I’m coming to terms with is that none of us (no matter how we look), ever feel like we’re really enough.

      Years ago I worked in youth ministry and there was this astonishingly beautiful girl in my group – she truly had no idea how beautiful she was and it hurt my heart. The truth is, no matter how much our life looks like it’s together, or how perfect we seem to be, we can only find true fulfillment from the One who created us – and I love that you’ve found that. You have a gift that I admire so much, and I appreciate you sharing your wisdom so much – He is more than sufficient to cover us (thank goodness!)

  10. Stephanie says

    Thank you! This is so true, I have to remind my self that just because it is on Facebook; does not mean it’s 100% true. It could be a moment that things went the way they wanted it to. I have a great husband who works so that I can stay home without two kids. I am grateful for my house. Yes, I have a friend who has an awesome new house..yes I liked her house and felt bad that I compared what I have to hers but looking back I know her life is not a bed of roses. I will keep my house and the craziness that is my life. It’s just hard to remember sometimes that my path is not some one else’s. God is good all the time. I just have to be still and listen.

  11. Thank you for sharing! Spoke straight to my heart!
    p.s. This is my FAVORITE blog! You’re awesome! Don’t forget it! 😉

  12. Cool Laurie! You know how much I support you. This is the only damn blog I post on anywhere. Sometimes I post on your site and I am like what the hell am I doing ha ha. I have been drawn to your honesty and your passion. I have never had a job working for anyone but myself my whole life so take it for whatever it’s worth. I obviously have strong opinions. Don’t worry about your competition and I know this is an easy forum to express yourself. I just worry about you. I don’t need to know everything and neither does everyone else. Sometimes venting makes us feel better. This social media stuff is insane. I shut down my former business because I hated having a high profile. Be careful of what you wish for…I love my new business of collecting rent and taking care of a hand full of tenants to the best of my ability. It is a quiet business where I don’t need social media just Craigslist. My little man (four years old) is finally potty trained thank God :). I am finally over the stigma of being a male staying at home. I am loving it now. I am managing the building of my new house and God forbid anyone saw me out there with my little man. They would freak out him being on a job site but damn I joke with all my guys where is he better off with me on a job site or day care. Life is so darn short. Pre k screw it…he’s hanging out with me next year :). I am one lucky dad. The last thing any of us need is sitting in our rocking chairs someday regretting we didn’t spend enough time with our kids. My house I am building is a foreclosed lot. It isn’t a home. It is a business deal so the mudroom is a bench with slots for shoes. That’s all we need. It also is a smaller house than than my last one by design because I am a penny pincher ha ha. I want lower utility bills and lower taxes. Penny pinching is a life style and so is being smart.

    Much love from the South!

    • Thanks Jim – as it’s getting warmer way up North isn’t looking so bad (just beautiful here right now, and at least it’s not quite as hot as down South!) 🙂

  13. Thank you for this. I *always* measure myself up to other people. I am always looking for where the grass is always greener. I have tried to stop it all, all the madness. I always strive to be perfect in things that pertain to me. My job, decision to go back to school, taking care of my kids, etc. Yet, I still feel like I fall short. But, in the end, I am God’s creation, and I am perfect to him. My entire life, my entire being is his creation. No one person will ever be like another. And what seems perfect on the surface, may not be at all. We don’t know their story, we don’t know what they’ve endured. All we must do, is try to live our life the way God would want us to. He will lead and guide us.

    • I think we all do that Jenn, and you are so right that God creates each of us individually with completely different gifts. Thank you so much for sharing and the reminder to let God do guide us!

  14. Reminded myself of this post today when I was starting to feel a teeny bit (maybe more?) jealous of the gorgeous updates friends have done on their homes and the exciting vacations they are planning for the summer. I truly have so much to be thankful for that my awesome hubby works hard so I can stay home with our kids and we have a comfortable enough lifestyle. I took some of your previous advice and gave my house a good straightening this morning and did some minor fluffing up and felt much better about our space. So darn hard to keep the perspective sometimes!

    • Oh Jaime – you are so not alone! I actually was thinking of some of my previous advice too 🙂 about 8 minutes ago and decided to turn off Facebook (watching other post stuff does nothing to make me happy – enjoying my own life does!)

      Great job fluffing your home and straightening things up – such a good reminder that I needed to hear too (thank you!) 🙂

  15. Hahaha! I had to laugh at this because I am so guilty of the same thing. Just this morning, we had a visiting pastor. He made a point about social media to us all, and it was just hysterical. He said, what if we did facebook in real life, he talked about pretending to walk up to a stranger, telling them everything that we did, showed them pictures of what we ate and about our plans for tomorrow night, got into arguments over dumb topics and yelled at strangers passing by and handed them pictures of our kids and cat videos. People would think you were mad. He ended the “joke” by saying he now had three followers, 2 policemen and a psychiatrist. But we do “facebook” and think this mad behavior is totally normal- it isn’t, it’s a great big sham. Go out and really live your life, every moment is precious, documented or not 🙂

  16. Christeen says

    It’s had not to do sometimes but someone once siad
    Stop comparing your life to someone else’s highlight reel.
    I remind myself of that every time I feel the green eyed monster approaching!

  17. I think I’m you! Or you’re me! I spent so much of my life comparing it to others – prettier, thinner, happier, better groomed, tanned, cultured – and making all kids of wonderful assumptions about their amazingly fabulous lives based on a single snap shot in time posted on Facebook. Modern technology sure is amazing but it’s also makes it easy to feed your insecurities, never feel like you are good enough. I came across a quote a few years ago that I try to remember every day
    ‘Compete with others and you get bitter, compete with yourself and you get better’
    I don’t know who to credit it to I’m afraid, but It inspired me to be the best version of myself every day, to live the moments and not post them. Who knows what happened before or after a picture was taken and posted. What pain is hiding behind the perfect smile. No one has it all, but I guess we’d like people to think that we do, it’s easy to pretend for that split second, but it doesn’t last. I guarantee that even though the insecurities might be different, they are still there!

  18. Laurie once again a home run. I love your posts from the heart. You make us feel like we are not alone. We miss your family C was just saying she wished R was still here. Thank you for being a REAL blessing to others

    • Hi Liz – we miss seeing you all so much! And goodness, you know none of us is alone when it comes to struggling with inadequacies. Tell Clara Reagan sends hugs her way!

  19. Thank you so much for this post! I really needed it today! I struggle with the exact same thoughts and discouragement although from a much different angle as I don’t have kids yet or a house, but I still compare my body to my friends, my lack of kids to my friends and families children, my very basically decorated apartment to beautiful creative homes, and my failure in so many areas to others extreme success. And yes Facebook does add so much to this! Thank you for the reminder that God loves us the way He made us and living for Him and loving others counts as success to Him 🙂

    • You’re so not alone Jessica – thank you so much for sharing (goodness, I love social media but it sure does make it so hard some days!)

  20. Well, just so you know, I’ve felt envious of YOU several times now while reading your blog. 🙂

    • Goodness, surely this cleared that right up for you Jennifer! 🙂 It’s so easy to only see what’s here on the surface of a website and not see the mess behind it. I’m definitely the mess behind it!

  21. I read everyday for this. Exactly this. PPP has helped me in a million ways and for that I am grateful.

  22. Nice sentiment and I am happy you ahve come to that realization. But truthfully for some of us we are not enough. We try the blogging (www.inspireddomestic.com) and we have the same family and friends for months. So that you have so many readers myself includes,works for you, but not me. And I wish being pudgy was my biggest problem, and you habe a family who adores you and so sometimes we tell people that They are their own bigfest critic but sometimes that’s not true. Often we are extremely hard on ourselves but others in our lives ar just as hard and maybe there is a reason for that, maybe we aren’t enough. And though God’s grace is sufficient, it would nice to be appreciated here on earth.

  23. This is so good! If we are honest, every one of us have felt the same way while scrolling social media. Being in my 50’s, it’s the pics of fabulous vacations, darling grandkids (I don’t have any yet), outings with BFF’s and beautiful homes that cause me to feel like my life is boring by comparison. But truth is, I am blessed beyond measure with a husband who works so hard and loves me dearly, three grown sons who love their momma and the Lord (yes we had some rough times, but God got us through), and a dear daughter-in-law who loves my son so well. Don’t even get me started on precious friendships that have stood the test of time and distance! I wouldn’t trade any bit of that for anything I see online. My real life is different then many of the posts I see, but no less blessed!

  24. Laurie, You are so amazing. Watching your posts and videos always brightens up my day. I feel like I can do anything because of your encouragment. Thank you for being you because you inspire me to be me. Keep up the good work!

  25. Our minister touched on this very topic a few weeks ago. And he said something that really stuck with me (I’m paraphrasing) ….God didn’t equip me for her life…her blessings, her accomplishments, her talents, nor did He equip me for her failures, her trials, or her heartache. I try to remember that when I compare myself to someone…..I have no idea what’s going on behind the façade I admire, but I can guarantee, I wouldn’t be equipped to handle it.

  26. Wendy Briscoe says

    Laurie, I had two experiences that kind of go with your post. Feeling like your not good enough. I am a 44 year old mother of 1 son who is 8 years old. I have Cerebral Palsy and Scoliosis. I have recently started to fall in my home. No big deal there, I just figure out a way to get up, and go about my day. Recently we were doing some errends around town, and my son and I were walking in a parking lot. My foot hit an uneven spot int he pavement, and I twisted my ankle, and fell. I was mortified. Not because of my fall, but I was wondering what my 8 year old son was thinking when his Momma fell to the ground. DO YOU KNOW WHAT? He stayed right by my side and offered to help me up. Mind you, there is no way on God’s green eatrth he could have assisted me because he’s a little guy, but he offered, and that was huge for me. He stayed with me until we got to the car and kept asking if I was OK. Talk about God’s grace. There was no embarrassment, or anger from him, he just wanted to make sure Momma was OK.

    We are a one income family, and live in a 30 year old home, and I often feel like everyone has a nicer house, car, etc more than me. Then, I remind myself. What really matters? We have a roof over our head, and we have air in the summer, and heat in the winter, and we are safe in a home we can afford! It IS hard not to compare our lives to someone else’s. But, then again we may not have the huge mortgage or bills that they do! I’m ok with my little “nest” that God has blessed us with. The smaller the house, the less things there are to clean!!! 🙂 HA! HA!

    • Thank you so much for sharing Wendy – what a precious story of your sweet son! It’s funny – just yesterday a friend of mine reminded me about how God covers our weaknesses and even USES our weakness with His strength ~ a much needed reminder for me!

      You are so right – we have exactly what we need and God knows so much better than we do how to manage things. Thank you for taking the time to comment and for your sweet reminders ~ praying a beautiful day for you today!

  27. Funny, this post was in May and I am just now reading it and it spoke to me in a way you will of course never know, but it hit home and I thank you so very much for sharing. It has truly touched my heart.

  28. Thank you so much for this truth! I think you are amazing! I needed to hear THIS message today!

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