A Battle of the Mind: The Motherhood Trap of Comparison

 

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The ideal mom; so many of us mamas strive to be her. You know, the mom who seems to have it all together. Her children are obedient, always clean and well-dressed, and they don’t have meltdowns while out in public. She has time to get up in the morning and take a shower, have a quiet time, and prepare a homemade breakfast for her children before they awake. She’s patient, nurturing, loving — a glistening gem of perfection.

We want to be her, but so often we feel like we fall short. We compare ourselves to her wondering why our motherhood reality is so different. “Why can’t I just be the mom that I want to be?”

The truth is mamas, comparison has an ugly way of polluting our perspective. It has a way of getting us to chase after something that is unrealistic, distracting us away from what really matters. When we start comparing ourselves to what we think is the “perfect mom” we make room for a flood of negative thoughts to fill our minds.

A lot of the battle we face happens in our minds. And guess what? There’s a father of lies who likes to get into our minds and torture us with things that just aren’t true. He knows where we are vulnerable. He knows where we are weak. And he is so sneaky at twisting the truth. It’s a trap mamas, and we need to be aware of it.

It’s likely that we’ve fallen for the motherhood trap of comparison if these type of thoughts rule over our minds:

I’m a bad mom. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m a failure at this motherhood thing. What do I know about being a mom; I only have one child and that mom with four kids is doing a better job than me. My friend’s child consistently sleeps through the night, so why can’t I get mine to do the same? What am I doing wrong? That mom has a grocery cart full of well-behaved children, but my children are squirming out of the cart and pulling things off the shelves. That mom looks well rested and perfectly dressed, and I’m surviving off coffee and struggling to keep my eyes peeled open. Who am I kidding, I’m just not very good at this mommy role.

Sigh.

The enemy wants us to fall victim to comparison so that he can suck the joy out of our motherhood journeys. But God is the Father of Truth and His Voice is much gentler. He tells us something very different.

His Word tells us:

Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. ~Galatians 6:4 (NLT)

Our Heavenly Father doesn’t want us to waste our time comparing ourselves to other moms, especially to the so-called “perfect mom” who doesn’t even exist. He wants us to spend our time focusing on doing the work He has equipped us to do. And He wants us to focus on being the mom who He created us to be, rather than trying to be the mom next to us that wish we were. Our true identity is in Him, not in what the world says about us. If we want to fight off the lies and avoid the trap of comparison, then we need to be clinging to the truth.

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When we believe the truth over the lies the path of motherhood is a much gentler journey. Instead of being hurt with words that tear us down, we can be encouraged with words that build us up:

You are enough. You are a beautiful mom. You’re doing more for your kids than you know. You’re doing Kingdom work. It’s okay when you mess up. You don’t have to be perfect. Things didn’t go so well today, but tomorrow’s a chance to start new. You don’t have to be all primped in perfect clothes at the start of the day because you are lovely just as you are. You are a good mommy, because God lives in you, and He is good.

When we live in the freedom of God’s truth, we can cut ourselves some slack on the challenging days when we feel like we are messing everything up and we are not measuring up to the mommy that we want to be. When we stop comparing and instead start allowing God to help us through the highs and lows of motherhood, then we end up being better mommies to our children.

When we let go of comparison we can also focus more on things like compassion and compliments. We can encourage other moms and cheer them on. We can appreciate the good in other moms because we know how to appreciate the good that God has placed in us as well. Comparison limits us from thriving as moms, so isn’t time to start choosing that which frees us to live as the unique moms that we are?

As we pour into the lives of our children desiring to give them the best we have to offer,  God is always there to whisper to us gentle reminders that we are good enough because HE says so.

~~~

Dear Lord, Help us to stop comparing and help us to start focusing more on Your Truth. Help us to cling to our true identity as Your Beloved Daughters who are well equipped to be good moms to our children. Help us to be gracious to ourselves as You are gracious with us. Help us to lean into You when we feel like we are messing everything up, and protect our minds from the lies that try to steal our joy. Open up our eyes to see the good in other moms so that we can cheer them on with encouragement and with Your Truth. In Your Mighty Name we pray, Amen

_____

hannah

 

 

 

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(C) 2014 Pocketful of Motherhood, All rights reserved.

Life Verses for Moms

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The Bible is full of insight and encouragement for moms, and below is a list of a few of the Bible verses that help me through this journey called motherhood. I am trying to be more intentional about memorizing scripture, because it is a powerful weapon to fight off lies that sometimes pop-up in my head during the day. You know—the ones like: “You’re a failure, You’re worthless, You’re a terrible mom, This challenge is never going to end…”

I am learning that when God’s truth is deeply embedded in my heart and mind, those lies have no room to come in—and if they do, the truth always crushes them. God’s word is full of truth and it is meant to be nourishing to our souls. It’s to our benefit to read it, dwell on it and soak it up.

So…

Write these verses on a sticky note, post them on the fridge, print them off and hang them on the wall. Use them in whatever way you find useful, but I just hope that they help you!

Working for The Lord

♥”Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” (Colossians 3:23)

♥”So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)

♥”Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:5)

♥”God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” (Hebrews 6:10)

About Children

♥”Start children off on the way they should go,and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)

♥”Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him.” (Psalm 127:3)

♥”See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 18:10)

♥”I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” (1 Samuel 1:27-28)

When feeling weary

♥“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

♥”Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)

♥”LORD, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress.” (Isaiah 33:2)

♥ “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)

♥”He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” (Isaiah 40:29)

When feeling discouraged

♥”Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:16)

♥”When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” (Psalm 56:3)

♥”The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him.” (Lamentations 3:25)

 ♥”For I know the plans I have for you,”declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

♥”Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

♥”Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6)

And one of my favorites…

♥”A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies…She is clothed with strength and dignity;she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom,and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her…Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”  (Proverbs 31:10-30)

Hi There! Did you like this? I would love for you to join me over at my new blog, Woven Beautiful – a place of nourishment for your beautiful soul filled with encouragement, devotions, crafts, healthy recipes, free printables, and more. I would love for you to stop by and connect with me there! www.wovenbeautiful.com

hannah

 

 

 

*translation used for all verses is the NIV

(C) 2103 Pocketful of Motherhood

The Truth About The Grace-Giver

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The other evening I was out for a run, listening to music and admiring the beautiful sky that looked just like a magnificent painting. Then the song Amazing Grace came on.

This song always reminds me of my wedding day. While it is not a traditional song to use for a first-dance, that is exactly what my Husband and I chose to do at our wedding reception. Grace is the very thing that brought us together so we couldn’t think of more appropriate song.

Grace has been a meaningful word in my life for many years. It seems to be the theme of the story God is writing for my life. Perhaps there is a reason why my name means “Grace.”

Well, back to my run…I was enjoying my time away outside and taking in the lyrics of the song. I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed with gratitude for the mighty hand of God in my life. There are so many things that I have in my life today that just don’t make sense…things I shouldn’t have, but I do because of God’s Grace.

Some might say that I shouldn’t be where I am today because some of my past childhood experiences.

Some might say that two broken souls {meaning my Husband and I} couldn’t possibly experience joy in marriage.

Some did say that the reality of children was a slim possibility for my Husband and I.

Sound a little discouraging?

It is, and there is a father of lies who wants to do just that—discourage us. He comes to steal, destroy, deceive and manipulate. Remember the serpent’s conversation with Eve in the Garden of Eden? He sugar-coats the lies so that we will believe them and his main motive is to harm us. While there was a time in my life when I bought into the lies, I eventually chose to listen to someone different.

Someone who transformed the ashes from my childhood, into beauty.

Someone who brought two broken lives together, and created a sacred marriage.

Someone who made what seemed like the impossible, possible when a little life was created—A living and breathing precious little boy today.

My accomplishments, my successes, my marriage to an amazing man, my miracle son—these are the reflections of Grace in my life. They are a gift given to me by the Grace-Giver: God.

The truth about Him…

He is full of unending compassion. His tender mercies are new everyday. He is for us, not against us. He is strong, yet gentle. He is the source of all wisdom. He is the one true King. He is our Redeemer and Friend. He is our Protector and Defender. He is faithful to every promise. He is above all things, before all things, and He moves in mighty ways. His unfailing Love for you and I is so great that He allowed His one and only Son to die on a Cross for the sins of this world. He offers us what we don’t deserve—Amazing Grace.

The enemy wants to distract us away from this Truth, but he only has as much power as we give him. Truth is, he is weak. The enemy wants to harm us, God wants to bring good to our lives. The enemy intends to destroy us, God desires to rebuild our lives. The enemy comes to steal, God powerfully reclaims the victory. The enemy tries to keep us in bondage, God wants to set us free. The enemy brings death, God offers eternal life which is His gift of Grace to us.

“You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” ~2 Timothy 2:1

The truth about the Grace-Giver is that His love for us never fails and He desires good for our lives. Believe me, there was a time when I wrestled to believe that God wanted good things for me. Eventually, the truth became clear as day to me and God trampled on the enemy’s lies. He can do infinitely more in our lives than we may ever dream possible. He is the source of hope and the reason for every good thing in my life.

~~~

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, 
And grace my fears relieved. 
How precious did that grace appear 
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares 
I have already come; 
‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far 
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me 
His word my hope secures; 
He will my shield and portion be, 
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, 
and mortal life shall cease, 
I shall possess within the veil, 
A life of joy and peace.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years 
Bright shining as the sun, 
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise 
Than when we’ve first begun.

-Lyrics by John Newton, 1725-1807

~~~

hannah

(C) 2013 Pocketful of Motherhood