It was when I was looking at contact paper.
I was trying to decide if the instant gratification of the white marble I held in my hand was worth the $9.99, or if I would prefer the gold marble I had found cheaper online.
The reason I was holding contact paper in my hand, trying to decide between white or gold, is because I do not like the maroon countertop in our bathroom.
And the reason I was thinking about the maroon countertop in our bathroom is because we are hosting a few cookouts with friends and family this weekend.
And after years of living with the maroon bathroom countertop I don’t like, I was now debating which contact paper to make it “look better”.
As I held the roll of contact paper up to my husband to ask his opinion, that’s when it happened.
That’s when a quiet thought slipped in. “The rest of the bathroom will still look dull and cheap.”
The contact paper turned heavy in my hand.
A weight of ugly bathrooms which brought to mind the dead plant on the table on our front deck.
The yard that won’t get mowed because it’s raining.
The grass filled flower beds because I’m not a gardener and the previous home owner planted a thousand things that need maintenance.
Of all the things outside and inside our home I envision updating and replacing, and haven’t yet because time, much like finances, is not an unlimited resource.
In that moment of heavy contact paper, somewhere between plumbing and flooring, my home became “less than“. I put the contact paper back on the shelf. Now I was feeling less than.
On the way home I sat with this quiet thought, slowly dumbing me down, tension building under my skin and tears in my eyes.
Because when the quiet thought of comparison takes root, it’s not long before it begins to compare you to anything and anyone to make you less than.
How quickly comparison throws everything else away.
Throws away the reason we purchased this home. This home which has allowed us to get debt free minus the mortgage. Will allow us to live without the constant strain of chasing dollars, but instead live trying to steward well the dollars entrusted to us.
Throws away the beautiful people we’ve invited to come break bread with us. People we enjoy sharing life with. People who are family, some literally, all spiritually. People we love and care about, who love and care about us. People we want to encourage and be there for, who in turn encourage and are there for us. Some of these people have walked through FIRE with us. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve shared unfiltered hearts and we praise Jesus together. That’s powerful.
Throws away every memory and gift the Lord has given us in this house. This house that the Lord provided. This house where we have grown closer to one another as husband and wife, and closer to Jesus.
It took me about halfway home to find the words to tell my husband my “less than” thoughts. He lovingly helped me see the lie. The comparison. Everything that comparison was trying to throw away.
That’s what has stuck with me more than anything else.
Comparison is a lie that desires to throw it all away.
When I compare my body to another, I throw away the uniqueness of the body God has given me.
When I compare my talents to another, I throw away the purposeful talents God has granted me.
When I compare my family to another, I throw away really seeing my husband and children. Their strengths, their accomplishments, their gifting. I throw away my ability to encourage them because I can’t see them when blinded by comparison.
My home, no matter how big or small, how new or old, how finished or unfinished, is a gifted space.
A gifted space to show love to those here with me. Be it for a day, a season, or years.
It is a gifted space to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
It is a gifted space to meet Jesus.
There may come a day when, following Jesus, I have no place to lay my head.
Until then, I must remember I can choose to give the quiet whisper of comparison my devotion and reap it’s losses, or I can choose to silence it with devotion and thanksgiving to God for what He has provided.
So this evening, I will wipe down and clean with care the maroon colored countertop, letting it shine in all it’s maroon-ness.
I will be thankful for it, and pray all who enter this home will feel welcomed. Will experience joy and peace. Genuine fellowship and friendship that encourages and uplifts them.
I might even remember to get rid of the dead plant out front.
But if not. It’s OK.
Because comparison doesn’t get to have ahold of me anymore.
In Love & Faith,