I’m sure you’ve all heard the quote, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” I know I had heard it many times, but it never really resonated with me until recently. It can be so easy to scroll through social media (I’m looking at you, Instagram), and compare your life to other people’s perfect photos and feel discouraged. I know there have been many times where I have thought, “Wow, look at that homeschool room,” or, “If only we had more land like that and a barn,” and, “Gosh, she does it all, and here I am buried in 500 mismatched socks and dirty diapers.” I’m sure you’ve been there a time or two. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in what seems like someone else’s perfect life that you can lose sight of what you have.
Take the homesteading journey for example. Right now, we live on two acres. We don’t have a barn or large fields of flat, lush pasture. We have rocky, clay soil that we are working hard to amend. We have been searching for a bigger place that would suit what we are dreaming of doing, but so far no luck. It can be difficult to have these dreams you want to accomplish right away, yet feel stuck where you are. There have been many moments where I have felt like we will never find the right place or we will never reach what we aspire to achieve.
Recently I had a ‘check myself before I wreck myself’ moment. I was so stuck in dreaming of our future plans and gazing at snapshots of other people’s lives that I had totally lost sight of the life we are cultivating now. I think back to a little over three years ago when we were preparing for our first flock of egg layers to arrive, and I see how far we have come and how hard we have worked in such a short time. We have already accomplished so much, and we have worked tirelessly together toward our goals as a family. And you know those picture-perfect snaps of the lives of those who inspire us? That’s exactly what it is- a nice photo. The people behind these photos are living a life just like us. There may be trouble with their animals, the house is a disaster, and the children are having melt downs-yet none of those photos will make it to your news feed. We have to remember that no one’s life is perfect no matter what you see on social media. Social media can be a gift or curse. You can be encouraged by the community you see or allow it to have a negative impact on you and discourage you. I am making a conscious choice to allow the social media community I am a part of to encourage me to continue working toward my goals and inspiring me to live a better life.
The Bible says in Philippians 4:12, “I know what it is like to be in need, and I know what it is like to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” I am certainly well fed and living in plenty, and I am so grateful for that. It is my goal to practice contentment every day and trust in God’s timing. I am cultivating the life I have dreamed of with my incredible family, so I need nothing more. Plus the joy is in the journey, isn’t it?
What are you dreaming of for your life right now? How do you practice being content where you are? Share below, and don’t forget to subscribe to stay up to date on what we are doing here on the homestead!