Comparing mine to hers.  Dang, I struggle with comparison.  It drives me to distraction.  I don't want to look at her  <house, car, kids, ministry, job, husband> and compare my own, but I do.  This is where I feel so much like Paul when he wrote Romans 7:15  (NLT)

I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.

I don't like to compare, but I still do it.   I don't want to be jealous of others, but I still catch myself in the pit of jealousy.

I decided to just take a HARD look at what I'm envying.   It was a good thing for me.

I am envious of:  all these young things in ministry.   They juggle ministry, toddlers and amazing speaking and writing schedules Oh, how I wish I had started my speaking and writing ministry years ago.

The realization:  I could NOT juggle parenting, travel, speaking and writing.  I would've  over committed, then  neglected my kids. Felt bad,  neglected my sweet man, neglected the ministry and above ALL neglected my time with the Lord.    I was NOT equipped to handle  ministry & parenting.  Just being a parent of two girls was tough enough, I could barely handle the homework, ‘Mom I need to go' travels,  and feedings (goodness, those little people want to eat 3 times a day and sometimes more!).  But I did  make time for  Bible study after Bible study.  I fell head over heels in love with God's Word.   I began chasing after Jesus with a passion — I wanted to know Him more and know more of Him.  I didn't have a ministry, but God was grooming me for the day  I would.

I am envious of:  other people's books & ideas: Like the one about overcoming weight issues… oh WAIT (pun intended) that would mean people would watch my weight ALOT.  I cannot take that pressure.  The Lord knows me and my weight insecurities!

I want to be funnier: like a well known Christian comedian who makes me howl with laughter over her words and her songs.  Not being able to sing may be a BIG stumbling block here.

I wish I'd written about radical faith or crazy love  or being whole: I want to be taken seriously  and yes, I know this is the direct OPPOSITE of the previous statement on being funnier.  Apparently I want WHATEVER I do NOT have! Goodness, what a mess.

Realization

I am just who God created me to be.  I'm a bit quirky, sometimes funny,  always serious about God's Word and his grace,  and a WHOLE mess of relational.

I'm not equipped to be anyone but me and no one is equipped to be me.   The road I've walked (and am still walking) has prepared me to be just the person God is calling me to be.  God is using my experiences(good and the not so good)  to mold me into who I am and who I will be.  My life has not prepared me to be anyone but me.

I don't know why the Lord decided now is the time for me to speak & write about relationships & friendships — goodness knows I've messed up plenty.  I'm just trusting that He is Lord and I'm not — and I'm going to TRY and stop comparing myself to everyone else.  I'll let you know how it goes.