Welcome to Day 15 of 31 Extraordinary Days to Be…  Or…simply: Be…
Together, we will learn to Be… to live fully and beautifully in our “skin”
and in our homes and beyond.  If you missed The Introduction or you’d like
to follow the entire series, you can find each post listed here.

31 Extraordinary Days to Be... AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 

Have you been noticing all the gorgeous pumpkins everywhere you look?

All the colors and shapes.  Truly amazing.

Several days a week I drive by a spot that has tons of pumpkins.  I’ve had my eye on a bright Cinderella-style pumpkin.  You know…the one in the shape of her carriage.  It’s much nicer than the large one I purchased at Aldi for just $2.29.  The other day I noticed it went home with someone. Not me.

You know what?  It’s okay.

That wouldn’t always have been the case.  I’m competitive and a few years back I needed to go to the greenhouse early to get the best selection of flowers for my containers.  Or to the pumpkin farm to…yes…get the best-shaped pumpkins and gourds.  And even then, you might find me looking to see if there was anything better, someplace else.

I wasn’t content.  I was continuously striving.  I got up early.  I stayed up late.  I tried to…do better….be better…. have better.  So much so that I doubt that I really appreciated what I had.  It was more like an achievement.   Hollow at best.

 

#31Days - Day 15 :: Comparison is the thief of joy - Quote ~ FREE Printable :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 

I’m sure you’ve seen this quote on Facebook and around the internet:

Comparison is the thief of JOY.

It’s been attributed to Theodore Roosevelt.  But, I couldn’t find real proof.   Regardless….it’s a true statement.

If we want to be content, we must stop comparing ourselves, our families, our relationships, our homes, our clothes, our pets, our stuff to something else.  I think it’s one of those small things that grows to enormous size without much trouble.

That pumpkin I bought at Aldi….. It’s got a nice shape.  I wanted one I could afford and God took me right to it.  A fresh shipment of them too.  Not leftovers.   They hadn’t been handled and tossed around.   It’s a pumpkin I might have paid as much as $8 for in the past.  I am truly grateful.

The Cinderella pumpkin I drive by…it’s got a nice shape too.  In fact, it is (was) so nicely shaped and colored that I simply admired it for its beauty each time I passed.  I  didn’t need it.  I had one.  I didn’t want it instead of my Aldi pumpkin.  God provided perfectly.  Now if someone gave me that Cinderella pumpkin, I would be thrilled.  But, having it or not having it does not affect my contentment.

Am I like that in every area of my life?  Nope.  But, I’ve made such drastic improvements, even I am amazed.  There really are benefits to going through difficult times.  When God says he works all things for our good (Romans 8:28), he really does.  Our character improves if we allow him to mold us.  A few years ago I had a choice.  A choice to choose to be content.  That was the first big step.  God has given me grace beyond measure for making that “wise choice.”  The second step I took?  Choosing to be grateful.  If there are more steps to take, they remain to be seen.  I’m just grateful I made it to step two.

Here’s today’s tip for being content:

Be grateful.  It works.

Day 15 Challenge: Do you find yourself doing the comparison dance?  Have you found that comparison really is a thief and steals your joy? Are you thankful and grateful for the provisions in your life?  What will you do to resist comparing yourself and your stuff with what you see?

I created a FREE printable of this quote: “Comparison is the thief of Joy” in an 8×10 for you to frame.  You may download it here and print it on your printer or take to your favorite photo or copy center.

Be….grateful!

Diane

 I hope you’ll consider visiting each day during this #31Day series.

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What a wonderful adventure this will be as we journey together to Be…

Comments

  1. Diane, Just this morning in my devotions I read about comparisons, and how unwise they are (2 Corinthians 10:12). I like the saying you share today. It really is true! We are often quite thrilled w/something until we see that someone else has something a little better, newer, bigger. “It’s the nature of the beast.” Not that we are beasts but we are only human, after all. Only acknowledging the Lord’s grace in our lives will we be given the ability to be happy for others who have what seems to be better than what we have.

    • Ditto!! And I’m also reminded that all things are not as they appear.
      Thanks for those words of wisdom Carolyn. 🙂
      Hope your week’s extraordinary!
      ~Diane

  2. I used to be looking for the new, best too. Not anymore. A lot of lessons have been learned, some of them have been pretty big hardships, but I am happier now, with a lot less than I used to be before. I do say my thank you prayers every morning and every evening. And I have very much to be thankful for, mostly the people in my life.
    And all of our Angels keeping watch over us.
    I really like your blog, lots of good stuff. Thank you for sharing with us.
    Germaine

    • I really appreciate you taking the time to leave your thoughtful comment, Germaine. It is a hard-learned lesson. But, in the end…it’s so worthwhile. I’m reminded of an phrase from a kids’ movie…”A thankful heart is a happy heart.” It’s a good place to be… Yes?
      Wishing you An Extraordinary Day!!
      ~Diane

  3. *laughing* I keep changing my desktop cuz you keep making such cute and pretty things! I’d tell you to quit that, but I wouldn’t mean it. 😉

    We went to the pumpkin farm–and I was so overjoyed at just being able to GET there and get around, I didn’t give a hoot what came home with me. I laughed as I put the gourds and wee pumpkins in the tray last night. The Bug picked out the majority of them and she had no problem seeing the beauty in each one she picked up. And she was right! You can hear lessons from 4 year olds when you just hush and stay open, huh? Oddly enough, I could hear ME in her ramblings as she added gourds and squash to the wagon. “Nana–this one wants to go home with you. He’s small and no one wants him.” Bless her heart. She coulda put a clump of dirt in that wagon and I’da taken that home.
    Me, my, mine, bigger, better and MORE. *sigh* Yep–that’d be a bit of my ego I’ve had to whittle away at. It’s been tempered over and over by lessons in gratitude and celebrating what I have. I’ve gotten fairly good at that. But I do still find myself comparing and whining–ya know….”how come SHE can break a bone and still get to show up for work and I get to sit here and do nothing?! ” (k….nevermind it’s a hairline fracture of the foot, and don’t look at the differences…..go for the whining material!!) LOL I’m such an ungrateful snot sometimes. My comparisons aren’t so much about ‘things’ as they are about character and integrity and the internal stuff I work on day in day out…..and think “where’s MINE?!”. What’s in it for me since I’ve worked sooooooooooo hard.
    *rolling eyes* Yes, yes, I know……I already HAVE ‘mine’. Good grief, that people should actually SEE me as a person of integrity and someone they can come to and trust is a HUGE gift.
    I think I’ll have a party and celebrate that today! 🙂

    • Oh…good…I’m glad you like the printables. Seems I’ve been on a roll… 😉
      And the non “things”…oh my…that’s even bigger for most of us….
      Party!! Absolutely!! That’s truly worthy of a celebration. 😀

  4. What a wonderful post to keep us grounded in contentment and gratitude. As always I’m a big fan of your free printables and will be adding this one to my Diane collection. Thank you my talented bloggy friend for sharing your creativeness and your wise words of God’s goodness. PS – Actually saw this on Polkadots..Link where I just placed a picture of your Fall printable. Have a sweet day.

  5. I consider myself to be generally content and I don’t struggle (that much) with comparisons on stuff but oh, how I struggle during what I deem “Facebook vacation season” when we are not going anywhere which is usually just fine with everyone put poor little ol’ me. The other one place I struggle is with achievements–why could they achieve that but I couldn’t do it? Ugh. It’s that constant need to remind myself to “run my own race.” Loved this post and your printables are beautiful as always!

    • Oh Jean….I soooo know what you’re talking about. I didn’t address this in the post…it would have been a long one…but I think the struggles you describe are common to all of us. Taming that ugly beast is a constant battle. But…getting the stuff beast to lay down helps us towards these.
      [hugs]

  6. Awesome encouraging post – we all need to be reminded of this from time to time. I appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,
    Kathy

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