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Thank you for all the sweet words regarding the giveaway! The winner of the giveaway is Julia! I’ll be sending you an e-mail today so I can get your “birthday gift” in the mail asap! 

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Over the past year I’ve spent time reading the book Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. It’s a short and concise daily devotional that takes just a couple minutes to read each morning, but I’m always surprised at the deep and profound nature of each devotion.

Comparison is the area of my spiritual walk that I struggle most to rid myself of. I’m a work in progress, but when I succeed at comparing my life to the lives of others less, I find I’m a much happier and content person. One of my devotionals this week really stuck with me for a long time. It said:

Come to me when you are weak and weary. Rest snugly in My everlasting arms. I do not despise your weakness, My child. Actually, it draws Me closer to you because weakness stirs up my compassion. My yearning to help. Accept yourself in your weariness, knowing that I understand how difficult your journey has been.

Do not compare yourself with others, who seem to skip along their life-paths with ease. Their journeys have been different from yours, and I have gifted them with abundant energy. I have gifted you with fragility, providing opportunities for your spirit to blossom in My Presence. Accept this gift as a sacred treasure: delicate, yet glowing with brilliant Light. Rather than struggling to disguise or deny your weakness, allow Me to bless you richly through it.

How beautiful is that? To know that God rejoices in our weakness because it draws us closer to him and that he feels each one of our pains and hurts as we go through life? Sometimes I think of God as close and personal, but it’s easy for me to fall into thinking that God is shaking his finger at me when I fall short, ready to pour down wrath when I fail to devote the time and energy I should devote to Him. But that’s not the case at our.

God has a purpose for our life and our journey. If you are the type of person who is skipping through life with relative ease, own and celebrate the gift God has given you. And if you find that the odds are stacked against you in this season of life, rest in our Lord’s arms, knowing that he has a plan for you and has mapped your journey out with purpose and compassion.

Do you struggle to embrace your journey and walk of life sometimes? How do you focus on inner beauty in your daily life?

Madison

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  • Julia

    yay, i’m so excited! this is the first giveaway i’ve ever won so it feels extra special, haha.

    this whole year i have been going through a period of comparison and struggle. i wouldn’t say the odds are stacked against me, but my journey led me to a new city and a new job, and a deepening in my relationship, and sometimes those changes feel really challenging, like i don’t know if i’m where i should be, doing what i should be doing. i don’t feel at ease, though i keep waiting for that feeling, and i often feel like everyone else has their lives all figured out perfectly. i have to remind myself that’s not true. people aren’t perfect and everyone has their own difficulties–that they don’t share on social media!

    focusing on inner strength–i’m doing my best, and i should cut myself some slack–as well as all the good in my life helps. i just try to mentally plant seeds of positivity and confidence in myself! thanks for sharing this devotional :)

  • Melissa

    What a beautiful post as well as a beautiful picture. Thanks for sharing. Isn’t Jesus Calling great! One thing that helps me compare less is to stay off of Facebook. I never feel refreshed or energized from spending time there. Sunshine, blue skies, fresh flowers or even fresh produce all point me back to the beauty of God’s creation. Pausing to give thanks for the little things (ex: the lines, patterns and colors in the cross-section of the red onion I’m chopping) helps me find joy in the day to day instead of getting stuck on the “grass is greener on the other side” type of thoughts.
    Thanks for your reminders today!

    • MadisonMayberry

      Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful comment, Melissa! Jesus Calling has been so great! I love that tip on staying away from Facebook. I don’t use it often, but when I do I don’t ever find it to be very valuable. It only really serves as a highlight reel for everyone, which is not really a realistic picture of life. I’m going to focus on cultivating a thankful spirit today in the little things. :)

  • TheBalancedLife

    Great post :) I love Jesus Calling and can certainly relate to the comparison trap. I think with the online world it’s just so much more tempting to compare because everyone is putting their best foot forward. I wrote a post about it here: http://www.thebalancedlifeonline.com/finding-balance/comparison-is-the-thief-of-joy-thoughts-on-social-media/

    Thanks for sharing Madison!

    • MadisonMayberry

      Thanks for sharing, Robin! It seems to be a never ending battle on the web. I want to share positive and uplifting things on my site, but I want to keep it real, too, so people don’t think I have it all together. :)

  • http://www.whitneybiber.blogspot.com/ whitney

    I love this post and I have a hard time with it, too! comparison really is the thief of joy!

  • http://livefaithfully.blogspot.com/ Urban Wife

    That is a great devotional book! Love this post. I personally try and see the beauty in the small things that may seem insignificant. What is ordinary is what makes my life extraordinary!

    • MadisonMayberry

      It’s SUCH a great book, isn’t it? And I love what you said about finding beauty in the small things. The way the sun shines in the backyard, the way Nutmeg snores when she sleeps, focusing on that really helps to cultivate thankfulness, doesn’t it? Thanks for the reminder, friend!

  • Kristin

    If I could put a “block” on my ability to compare myself to others, I’d be much better off. It’s such a losing game. I read that devotional in 2012. It’s a good one!

    • MadisonMayberry

      You and me both, Kristin! I think we would all be better off if we passed on comparing ourselves to others. And I certainly don’t think that is what God has intended for us.

  • chelsy

    I read Jesus Calling too! Love it. I have been pretty good over the past few years not comparing myself to others…comparison is truly the thief of joy and I feel that if you compare yourself to others it is impossible to move forward with your dreams and aspirations. I try to focus on what I am good at, what makes me the woman I am, I also try to find something about myself that I like each day, whether its my humor or the strength of my arms that I am gaining from practicing Pilates, one thing daily helps me tune into myself as a person and what I can offer the world.

    • MadisonMayberry

      Love that, Chelsy! It’s true that when I focus on what I’m good at and how God has blessed me in a unique way, it’s easier not to compare myself to others. Thanks for the reminder!

  • natalie@thesweetslife

    I have heard so many good things about Jesus Calling. I think I need to get a copy of it! And yes, comparison is something MANY of us struggle with…it’s a daily challenge to squash the little voices that cause us to compare. I love that last paragraph you wrote–thank you for using this platform to spread His message!

    • MadisonMayberry

      Yes! I have loved Jesus Calling. It doesn’t take long to read each morning, but it’s amazing how each morning the daily passage speaks to me. Totally worth the read. :)

  • DessertForTwo

    Oh, my sweet gorgeous friend! I had no idea comparison was your vice. I’m adding you to my prayer list.
    Thanks for being open & honest with us. And most of us, God has been speaking to me through books lately, so I REALLY appreciate the book recommendation!

    • MadisonMayberry

      Thank you so much, friend! We all have our thing, don’t we? I think recognizing it and admitting it makes it easier to move forward and allow God to change my heart. And if you have any book recommendations, send them my way!

  • http://www.realhomeliving.com/ Laura Britton

    Comparison is my nemesis too! It is so easy to let what others have steal your joy… I hate that I do that so much. I have read the Jesus Calling book before and think it is wonderful!

    • MadisonMayberry

      It seems like everyone is reading Jesus Calling! Love it! It’s nice to have a daily reminder to set the day in the right direction. :)

  • Kayleigh

    Thanks for the reminder Madison.