Monday, April 21, 2014

In Which I Try to Stop Comparing and Start Embracing the Lives in Front of Me

One of my bad habits is comparing myself to other women. Lately, I have been reading a lot of blogs by women I consider similar to myself, thoughtful literate mothers who are raising their families in the Catholic Church. I learn so much from them about how they manage their time and responsibilities while nurturing their faith.

I gotta say, though, I allow myself to feel "left out," when I consider their large families and the time they spend homeschooling their children and creating home and nurturing friendships with like-minded women living similar lives. My life looks nothing like this. I start to feel inadequate, as if my life is less than theirs. This is, in the end, a kind of idolatry and a disregard for the One who called me by name into being.

My husband and I are raising two teen boys in a town where being Catholic is absolutely in the minority. Our friends - and our children's friends - come from a wide range of families. Our town, and thus, our lives, are home to Orthodox Jews, lesbian families, ardent secularists, and on and on. The people God has put in front of us share little in common, on the surface, with one another or with us.

On my commute to work today (back after a long and lovely spring break) it occurred to me, once again: God puts dozens of people in front of me, day after day, at home and at the high school where I teach.

Each person I encounter is a sign of His grace, his boundless mercy and immeasurable love. The life I lead is not "less than" the women whose blogs I read for inspiration and ideas. And so once again I realize: the life I have been given, the people God puts in my particular path, are mine to cherish.

"You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working, and just so, you learn to love by loving. All those who think to learn in any other way deceive themselves." 
-St. Francis de Sales

1 comment:

  1. Great Blog post! Being around a mix of different types of people can teach us more than being around a lot of people who believe exactly as we do. We are all children of God, even when we don't know it yet.