Flashlight Tag and Comparison

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Carrie Vipperman joins us at Hungry For More again today. I love her depth of spirit and perception, especially as she seeks the Lord. Thanks Carrie for reminding us of what is really important.

 

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spotlight

“But, Mo-o-o-m, his headlamp BLI-I-NKS!!”

 

Just like that, all the joy that my little girl had felt from our time playing as a family at the neighborhood park vanished. We were walking home as it was getting dark, so Daddy passed out the headlamps, a super special treat.

 

However, instead of having fun playing flashlight tag, my sweet daughter could only see what she did not have.

 

So, in order to avoid the complete melt down (the kind where your child starts crying and stomping their feet like it’s the only way to get the magic genie to come out and grant her three wishes), we slowed our pace and walked behind Daddy and the other two to have a chat.

 

Whenever these chats come up, I usually—no, always—find myself preaching to the choir. We started talking about how we were missing out on all of the fun we could be having because she could only see what she did not have. Slowly, the complaining stopped, and the joy returned.

 

As soon as she skipped ahead, I just couldn’t help but feel challenged by my own need for improvement in this area.

 

As moms, we often play the comparison game. We look at others—whether they are friends we know personally, blogs we read, or the posts of Facebook friends (like the ones you knew back in the 3rd grade but haven’t talked to since)—and then we feel guilt, jealousy, or maybe we feel like we just aren’t good enough.

 

Unfortunately, I have found myself looking at the supposedly good behavior of other children and then focusing on my children’s struggles. Their flaws. Their fits. Their complete lack of an “inside voice.” The things that drive a momma to desperately need that mom’s night out (not a play date because you just can’t be around your kids anymore). I was having a moment like that recently.

 

Thankfully, (because my sweet Jesus loves me and has a perfect plan for me) I had a mom’s night out already on the books with sweet friends. We were talking and catching up, and one of my friends was telling me how much she loves my son and even went on to list several sweet things she loved about him.

 

That is when it hit me.

 

I had been so focused on all the hard parts that I hadn’t stopped lately to enjoy the good parts of him. I hadn’t relished in his smile and joy that is infectious, or the way that he seems to make friends everywhere he goes.

 

I was looking at other “well behaved” children and their moms and then judging my children and myself as not good enough. I was missing out on all the joy of my children by only looking at the parts I wished were easier or different.

 

Let’s not fall into the trap of comparison and allow our joy to be stolen. If we are not careful, we will spend their whole childhood wishing they could be like someone else and miss out on the joy of who they are. 

 

carandlau

 

Laura Forman (L) and Carrie (R) on a recent road trip to see Mark and I.

 

Check out other posts by Carrie:

Producing Salty Water or Fresh?

 

What Comes Out of You, Comes Out of Them

 

Lean into Your Need

 

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