02 Jan 2012

Be careful which mirrors you choose to believe

Close your eyes.

Close your eyes and let go of what others wrote last year. Let go of the beautiful, sparkly words that weren’t yours and that you wish you could’ve produced.

Close your eyes and let the wishing and itching at what your house isn’t, seep out your pores.

Close your eyes and stop seeing the behavior of your kids reflected through the frustrated eyes of others.

Close your eyes and give up all the would-have, could-have, should-haves.

Just close your eyes and stop looking at the reflection of how you wish your life looked. Through someone else’s mirror.

When the shiny, shimmery image looks so perfect, so flawless, so pretty that you just wish you could step through the surface and live it, be certain instead that it’s a mirage. That from the inside it looks nothing like it appears in the reflection.

Be careful whom or what you use as a mirror.

When we lose ourselves in the reflections of other people’s lives, we lose ourselves.

Close your eyes so you can see yourself as you are and not as you compare to others. Because you have been artfully, carefully, and wonderfully woven together.  You are a unique. Nothing about you is facsimile. So stop looking for the copy.

Your flaws ache, yes. And what you don’t have is sometimes made worse by the perception of what you think she has. But she aches just as you do. I promise. We are all cracked in places though it may be hard to see with the eye.

So close them.

Stop reading what makes you itch with dissatisfaction. Stop watching what makes you wonder if better lives next door. Stop carrying a ruler around.

Sometimes we see much better with eyes closed.

Open your tired hands; let your fingers braille these thoughts into your new year:

God’s blessing makes life rich; nothing we do can improve on God.
Proverbs 10 verse 22: (The Message)

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD.
They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
Jeremiah 29 verse 11: (New International version)

Open your eyes.

This is your true reflection.

Prompted by the inestimably comforting words of Madeline L’Engle. If you haven’t read “A Circle of Quiet,” I assure you, you should.

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Comments

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  1. 1
    Marina d-k says:

    Thank you for this. It rings true in my heart.

  2. 2

    Amen

  3. 3

    love this. what a great way to start off the new year with new thoughts. that’s what i’m aiming for this year. a new way of thinking. a more true way of thinking.
    blessings to you this day!
    steph

  4. 4

    How wonderful! Thank you so much!

  5. 5

    Yes! What a great gift for the first Monday of a new year. The reminder that we are who we are because God made us so. That He knows what He’s doing. And the only mirror through which we should see our reflection is the one He is holding. God bless you on this first Monday of 2012! Smiles -

  6. 6

    So full of truth. This needs to be spoken more frequently….read regularly! Happy New Year!

  7. 7

    I love you, sister…

  8. 8

    Oh, this is so beautiful. So poignant to all of the thoughts and aches that I find in my heart and try to overcome, but seem to keep wrestling their way back. The comparisons are killer and they only seem to hurt and create unreal expectations, that allow life to feel that much harder instead of soaking up the grace that God intends this life to be. Thank you for your constant encouragement. I feel it in your words, that they are speaking to me, even though we have never met.

  9. 9

    Happy New Year to you, and thanks for this post. In the past I’ve wasted plenty of hours wallowing in the comparison trap, only to realize that when I’m worried about my deficiencies I’m not using any of my strengths.

    It’s so freeing to live in a way that you’re comparing yourself to no one, but rather learning to be the best you that God has designed you to be.

  10. 10

    Yes! yes! yes!

  11. 11

    What a beautiful post!

    It is SO easy to sink into a rut of feeling discouraged and disappointed that life doesn’t measure up to what we thought it should be. It is SO much better to, instead, embrace and enjoy life for what it is!

    Thank you!

  12. 12

    I have done this. I do this everyday. I embrace what is and stay content through out the day because of it. Mirrors do not reflect the inner part of you. They only reflect the physical.

    At this moment, I am enjoying this new year fully – the way He intends for me to.

    Thank you so much for sharing.

    M.

  13. 13

    Resounding Amen…Such rich truths found here…

  14. 14

    Thank you. Mostly beating myself up at what I should be…

    Not others… just a better me. More organized, thinner…..

    His grace is enough.

    Much love.

  15. 15

    “your flaws ache” such imagery. and thank you for the reminder of whose i am.

  16. 16

    Exactly. Absolutely. Yes. Thank you!

  17. 17

    So beautiful.

    Happy new year, sweet girl!

  18. 18

    FABULOUS post to start the New Year!!! You are so, so wise!!

  19. 19

    Mmmm. Yes… All yes to this.

  20. 20

    Yes, and Amen!

  21. 21

    LOVE this. So beautiful. So everything I needed to hear. Thank you.

  22. 22

    Yes!!!! Exactly!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Just what I needed!

  23. 23

    I really needed this today. Thank you. xoxo -s

  24. 24
    Ashley Ditto says:

    A wonderful post!!!!

  25. 25

    Can I tattoo this to the inside of my arm so I won’t forget? Thank you for these words that I needed today… and most days.

  26. 26

    so beautiful…..just let Him be the writer of our story…

    I say yes to all of these!

  27. 27

    Beautiful! The perfect words, the much needed reminder, to start off a brand new year. Thanks for this.

  28. 28

    How Lovely, and so true…thank you!

  29. 29

    I needed to read this today. I will probably re-read it several times. And I think I can already see a change I should commit to in the coming year.

    “Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.” 2 Cor. 10:12

    Thank you for ministering to me.

  30. 30

    Thank you so much for this post! Just what I needed to hear.

    ~Stacy

  31. 31

    You always have such wonderful right on time posts!! I’ve really been struggling with that for the past few days. We had our family Christmas yesterday….there were things I didn’t get accomplished before all the family came, cookies that weren’t baked, the house wasn’t as clean as “the beautiful happy Christmas house” that I wanted. It was really dissappointing to me, as I am CERTAIN that everyone whom I admire has a beautifully decorated home with everything done on time and all they have to do is sit back and enjoy the company without a care!! It’s a really hard thing to do, learning not to compare and to realize that we are all unique with different talents. I personally have to stop being so hard on myself and being happy with what I do accomplish instead of comparing to something more that someone else has accomplished….it is a learning process for sure, and something I will have to work on this next year!! :) Sending hugs your way!!

    Carol

    • 32
      thegypsymama says:

      Oh Carol – your house would have been in great company with mine :) There’s never an all clean state of perfection, is there? But my husband always points out he doesn’t want to live in a museum and kids bring life to a room and cookie crumbs, cluttered corners, and plastic soldiers every where just testify to a home. You and me both, sister. You and me both.

      • 33

        Oh Lisa Jo there sure isn’t!! I really had to grin when I read what you had written about the crumbs and the plastic soldiers, just this morning as I was walking through trying to gather up laundry etc I spied a tiny plastic soldier standing guard in the dark corner of the hallway, standing there almost where nobody would see it. It made me smile because I know that my favorite little man who played with it was happy that day. (he is 5) :) I’ve had several of my family call today and tell me what a wonderful time they had and how they always enjoy our holiday family times. They have no idea the craziness that went through my head, or the tears that threatened to flow about how my house was not perfect nor fit for company to come over, and truly they could have cared less, they were coming to see us and spend time enjoying family not to see how many cookies I baked or how elegant the whole house looked. It didn’t help later on yesterday evening when I read a blog about someone whos home was being featured in a magazine and I felt just so awful. I was holding that imaginary “ruler” and I felt like I could never compare. I always put up two trees at Christmas, this year one whole tree never even got decorated. It just sat in the dining room….being green LOL. It’s as you say, these “non perfect” things do testify to a home ; where love and chaos and crayons under the couch and candy hidden on top of the fridge abide. :) My family knows they are loved and that’s all that really matters when all is said and done. Yes Lisa Jo, you and me both sister :)

  32. 34

    Such wisdom Lisa-Jo. I find it is a lesson that I must learn many times over. What is it about looking at others and other things?
    Thank you for this gentle, beautiful reminder.

  33. 35

    I KNOW I was meant to read this today, how I needed it. Thanks so much!

    Angela

  34. 36

    I have read this post several different times today. It has ministered to my heart in a way that I didn’t even know I needed. I feel free now to take my first steps into the new year with hands that are open and willing…that pesky ruler just gets in the way, after all.

    Thank you for allowing your hands to type this beautiful post!
    ~Anna K.

  35. 37

    Each one of us is unique, so why would we want to be like someone else? A copy is just that, I’d rather be an original – just me!
    Wonderful post Gypsy Mama – and so true, thanks for the reminder.

  36. 38

    Thank you for these beautiful words. It made me sigh inside and just feel good about who I am. An amazing way to start the new year.

  37. 39

    Yes it is oh so hard to continually feel “second rate” as a blogger. I continually read posts on sites with a readership I wish I had. I pine for a life that isn’t meant to be mine yet. It is so hard to not “go there”. But it is crucial for the seed of dissatisfaction will not only be planted but will grow and produce fruit. Fruit that will take me away from the life God has given me. Thank you for this. It was so needed.

  38. 40

    Amen, your words are so beautiful. I agree, I am looking to have a better, banner year by focusing on God and his plan for me. I have decided not settling for the blah life anymore, just living life without thought. I havent wanted any one else life but I do want to live the best for me. All things are possible through Christ Jesus. Thank you for this post.

  39. 41

    What a beautiful gift Lisa-Jo. You hit so many wistful thoughts right on the head and gently dismissed them. They needed to go. Thank you for all the ways you bless!!

  40. 42

    Great reminder, beautifully written. We are very quick to forget that nothing and no one is perfect in a fallen world. Praise God for His indescribable grace in Christ!

  41. 43

    Wow. A big thank you from the queen of low self esteem!

  42. 44
    Janaki Nagaraj says:

    A very beautiful post.

  43. 45

    lovely photos!

    hard to keep reading with my eyes closed — haha!

    i think i know what you’re getting at with this. people shouldn’t compare themselves to their delusions of others to come up with an estimation of themselves.

    however, i believe there is real value in using others as ‘mirrors’ when done properly: http://www.dangerouslinda.com/?p=103

  44. 46

    Thank you for this and well said!

  45. 47

    You have no idea how much I needed these words. Thank you.

  46. 48

    That is THE perfect sentiment for what I’m feeling today!

  47. 49

    Oh, Lisa-Jo, how I need this! I am constantly looking at the reflection. Always thinking something MUST be wrong. But the only thing that is wrong is that my mind’s not set on truth.

    Thank you!!
    Brenda

  48. 50

    What a true post, Lisa Jo. The frightening thing about mirrors is that they so often transform us. I fall into the looking glass. I loose Christ’s patience, forbearance, gentle spirit, quiet heart. I become unsatisfied, “stressed out”, greedy, unhappy and unpleasant to be around.

    I’m right where God wants me. Not in the mirror, but here…hidden in Christ

    “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. ” Col 3:2-3.

    Thanks for that reminder, Lisa Jo. Great timing!

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