Comparison Highjacks Contentment

Thank you Sharon Jaynes for today’s message…

We live in a culture of constant comparison. Someone tweets that they just had lunch at a fab restaurant; you had canned tuna and raw carrots. Not even baby carrots but a big ole carrot out of the bag.

Someone posts an Instagram of a gaggle of friends dressed in Lilly Pulitzer pink lunching by the lake, and you’re reading about it dressed in sweats, trudging down the grocery aisle with a snotty-nosed kid pawing at the cereal displays.

You pull up Facebook and read about Barb’s vacation in Paris, and you’re happy for her . . . sorta.

A woman looks at Pinterest boards, and comes away with her greatest fears confirmed: her kids look shabby, her house looks dumpy, and her clothes look frumpy.

Social media accentuates the culture of comparison by sending the false message that your monotonous tedious boring existence is a poor excuse for living compared to others whose lives are awesomely exciting all the time. Secretly you hope your husband never stumbles across Pinterest to realize what a loser of a wife he really has. Mercy!

Social media breeds instant comparison at the click of a button. Comparing who has more “Facebook friends,” “re-tweets,” “followers” and “re-pins” is maddening. The age-old comparisons of appearance, accomplishments, possessions, and position are still around. Technology has simply magnified the access to other people’s lives, even though you’re only seeing what others want you to see.
Then there’s Christmas letters. Photo cards of friends and family with letters detailing every wonderful milestone of the previous year. We read them and think, “My life stinks!” That letter doesn’t tell about Brian getting suspended from school for cussing in the classroom, Megan getting caught lying about studying at a friend’s house, Brie’s on-going battle with depression, Dad’s loss of a major account, or Mom’s twenty-pound weight gain. Just the highlights. Only the good stuff. We read it and say, “good for them.” All the while thinking, “what’s wrong with me?”

Comparison is the devil’s tool that he uses to undermine your confidence and kills contentment like nothing ever will. It magnifies insecurities and fosters a self-absorbed pre-occupation of your inadequacies. As one pastor said, “One of the main reasons we struggle with insecurity is that we’re comparing our behind-the-scenes with everybody else’s highlight reel.”

Comparison sullies the canvas upon which God longs to display His greatest work. Nothing will rob you of your confidence in Christ like comparison. The measuring stick will get you stuck every time.

I love what Jesus said when Peter asked about John’s future. (Yes, he was comparing his future with John’s) “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?” (John 21:22) In other words, “It’s none of your business! Stop comparing!”

Have you ever wondered why Jesus picked such a ragtag bunch of blundering blubbering misfits to be his disciples? Even though they stumbled their way through much of the gospels, once they were filled with the Holy Spirit, this uneducated, unrefined, untrained bunch of unruly fishermen changed the world. A few days after Pentecost, the Jewish Supreme Court questioned Peter and John about their persistence in preaching the gospel and their audacity to heal a beggar lame from birth.

The dynamic duo preached a mini-sermon that struck the religious rulers to the core. But here’s my favorite part of the entire scenario: “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).

The Sanhedrin leaders were mystified at how this bunch of scrappy saw-toothed misfits could wax so eloquently. Then they had an ah-ha moment. They realized the men had been with Jesus. That explained everything.

That’s what I want people to say about me! She’s an unschooled ordinary girl. How does she do what she does? Oh, I get it. She’s been with Jesus! Can you think of any better accolade? I sure can’t.

Let go of the tendency to compare and take hold of your uniquely fashioned, pre-ordained, God-given talents and abilities. You are specifically equipped by God to do everything He has called you to do and to go through. Including being the mom your kids need.

Then when the world questions how you do what you do, they’ll say, “Oh I get it…she’s been with Jesus.”

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

You Are Worth More

Thank you Sharon Jaynes for today’s message…..

As a little girl, I never felt I was worth very much. I always felt that I wasn’t pretty enough, smart enough, or good enough. I sensed my parents tolerated me, but certainly didn’t delight in me. And if your own parents couldn’t love you, then who could?

Then there was the definitive day in the eleventh grade that took my self-worth to an all-time low. I can still remember what I was wearing: lavender bell bottom low rise jeans, a bubble knit short-sleeve top, Dr. Scholl’s wooden sandals, and a blue bandanna tied around my head of long oily hair I hadn’t had time to wash that morning. This was acceptable attire for teens when I was in high school, except for the days when a special awards or recognition assembly was held.

In homeroom that morning, the principal announced over the intercom that an unscheduled assembly would take place at eleven o’clock to recognize students being inducted into the National Honor Society. That’s when I understood why so many of my friends were dressed a notch above the norm. Their parents had received the secretive congratulatory call the night before and made sure their kids had washed their hair and left the frayed jeans in the drawer.

Four hundred teens found seats in the darkened auditorium. The principal made a speech of commendation from the podium and then said, “Will the following students come forward when your name is called to receive a certificate and a candle to be lit by last year’s inductees?”

The principal called each name, and I watched several of my friends walk across the immense stage. Then, to my horror and surprise, my name was called. Why didn’t my parents warn me, I thought. I look horrible—and I did.

When the houselights went up, I panned the back of the room where proud parents snapped pictures and pointed out their progeny to others standing on tiptoe to catch a glimpse. My parents were not among them—they never were.

I later discovered that my dad had received the call from the school the night before, but forgot to tell my mom. Even though they both worked across the street from the school, they didn’t come to the ceremony. In my mind, their absence confirmed what I’d suspected for the past 17 years. I’m just not worth the trouble.

I didn’t care about the certificate or the principal’s accolades. What I really wanted was to know I had value to the two people who mattered most.

Perhaps you had painful experiences in your past that left you feeling worthless, but Jesus wants you to know you have great value. He gave His life so that you would!

Jesus said, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?” he asked His disciples. “Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:29-31, emphasis added).

You are worth more than the money in your bank account.

You are worth more than the number of friends you have on Facebook.

You are worth more than the number of followers for your Twitter account.

You are worth more than the number of meetings and appointments on your calendar.

You are worth more than your successes or failures.

You are worth more than your level of education.

You are worth more than the price tags in your closet.

You are worth more than your accomplishments or lack of them.

You are worth more than many sparrows.

It took many years, but finally I took hold of Jesus’s words: You are worth more. That’s what he wants you to know today.

If you believe it, leave a comment and say, “I am worth more.”

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Birthday Reflections

Another milestone….. yes, believe it or not, tomorrow is my 61st birthday!  Do I feel 61? Some days especially when the MS decides to rear its ugly head..

I’m a day early since I don’t blog on Friday’s, I figured today would be a great day for reflection and probably some tears.

I am blessed I get to wake this morning and every morning.  No matter what the day may bring, I know it will be WONDERFUL!  I’m determined to be positive and make the most of it. It may take me two hours to clear the fog and get moving but being grateful for each small step it a gift from God.

Birthdays are milestones in our lives.  As children, they are a day (or sometimes a week or even a month) where the focus is on us.  Filled with presents, parties, family, friends and of course cake and ice cream.  As the years go by, life “happens” and things change.

The past year has been filled with many ups and downs.  Receiving the “official” diagnosis of RRMS (Remitting Relapsing MS) and starting injections three times a week.  Working my Thirty One business full-time while learning the ebbs and flows of not receiving a consistent pay check.  The realization more memories are lost and struggling to find the right words some days.  The toughest part of the last year was the loss of my dad.  Through it all I hold fast to the mantra “every day is a gift from God with a blessing to be found.”

Truth be told for many years “birthdays” were just another day when low self-esteem and lack of confidence and those nasty inner gremlins made me feel like I didn’t deserve a celebration. I’m great at giving but I’m not very good at receiving.  Today, I am looking at them a little differently – have I grown up?  Don’t count on it!  My dad was all about living life to the fullest and his passing is probably one of the reasons why I stopped saying “it is just another day”.   Today is a gift from God  to be able to spend another day with family and friends.  The celebration doesn’t need to be big, it doesn’t need to have lots of presents (maybe just one or two would be nice).

As a child, one of my favorite celebrations was the annual trip to New York City to see the Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey Circus. This annual tradition was a treat from Edythe and Elsie. It included the circus and dinner in NY. I always felt so grown up! Both of them are now our guardians angels in heaven and the circus performed for the last time last year.

I have to admit the tears are starting to flow, tears of joy mixed with some sadness:

  • I grateful for my daughter, Belinda.  She has grown into an AMAZING woman who I am proud to call my friend.  Life was not always easy but she turned adversity into a learning lesson.  God could not have given me a greater gift then to be her mom.  We may have missed out on the ThirtyOne cruise thanks to the hurricane but I loved spending time in NC with you.
  • To my mom….thank you for always being there.  We are not just mother and daughter, but we are friends.  The miles may separate us but I know you are only a phone call away or a short drive to Mays Landing.  You are always one of my biggest cheerleaders.
  • To my dad….who is now watching over me from heaven.  It has been a rough year but through it all, I remember your encouraging words.  You taught me to embrace life, living it to the fullest every day and to chose JOY, even on a bad day so everything will be okay. I miss you daddy!
  • To my Thirty One family.  An amazing group of women who have loved and supported me in my darkest days.  My team is AWESOME and they inspire me daily.  My hostesses and customers are so much more than just “orders”, building friendships with many of them.   They all hold a special place in my heart.  It is with their help and support I am able to work my business full-time.

  • To my DS/Crafter Friends….words can express the gratitude I have for you.  This past year, you have helped in so many ways.  Sharing events, carrying my stuff when I am struggling, cheering me on and checking in on me.  Thank you for your support as I ventured into fulfilling a dream of celebrating, and encouraging other DS business owners through our networking group, Jersey Shore Direct Sellers Network.
  • Lastly, to my hubby (who probably won’t read this)…who is my ROCK!  I know I am not the easiest to live with (imagine that?) but you are always there, standing strong and supporting me.  Your support and encouragement in my Thirty One “business” gives me the confidence to step out of my comfort zone. Thank you for being one of my greatest cheerleaders.  I’m excited to spend my birthday with you this year, thank you for taking the day off.

There are many more people I could (and probably should) thank or talk about from this year.  It has been an AMAZING journey for me and I am looking forward to the blessings God has for me in this new year.  I can’t believe I am actually 61 years old – okay, so it is only a number, right?

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Stop by my VIP group on Facebook, Hope’s Purse Closet, for a birthday present from ME to YOU!

Hope you have ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Low Carb KEY LIME CHEESECAKE

Today’s recipe is courtesy of Kacie Orlando from Younique.  Kacie has been a customer of mine for some time.  I was thrilled when you shared this recipe with me which combines TWO of my favorite things: cheesecake and key line.  
Prep time:   Cook time:  10 mins     Total time:  30 mins
Serves: 8

INGREDIENTS

Crust

  • 1¼ cup almond flour/meal
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1½ teaspoons Splenda or preferred sugar substitute

Filling

  • 8 ounce cream cheese, softened
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1½ cups heavy whipping cream
  • .3 ounce packet sugar-free lime jello
  • 1 teaspoon key lime or lime zest

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously spray an 8-inch springform pan with cooking spray.
  2. Mix almond flour, butter and sugar until mixture is crumbly.
  3. Press into the bottom of pan and bake for about 8-10 minutes until golden brown.
  4. Cool completely.
  5. Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment mix cream cheese until smooth and creamy.
  6. Stir in vanilla extract.
  7. Add heavy cream and whisk on high until mixture thickens and soft peaks forms.
  8. Reduce speed to low and mix in jello packet and zest and mix until blended.
  9. Spread mixture evenly with a spatula over cooled crust.
  10. Cover and chill in refrigerator until set, about 2-3 hours or overnight.

Thank you Kacie for sharing this YUMMY recipe with us.  Be sure to check out Kacie’s Facebook Page. Younique’s mission is to uplift, empower, validate, and ultimately build self-esteem in women around the world through high-quality products that encourage both inner and outer beauty and spiritual enlightenment while also providing opportunities for personal growth and financial reward.

Kacie says this about “why” she became a part of Younique: I love makeup that makes me feel confident and doesn’t irritate my skin. That’s why I’m proud to be an independent presenter with Younique! Whether you’re a makeup beginner or pro, I invite you to come get dolled up along side me!

I am not a HUGE makeup person but I will tell you I LOVE the Beachfront Bronzer. 

So whether you are looking for some awesome cosmetics or skin care, be sure to check out her website.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Organizing with Thirty One

The new year is here and Thirty One has everything you will need to help you get organized this year.  I will be getting a sneak peak of the NEW Spring catalog on Saturday at Product Premiere.  It is always an exciting and fun time, connecting with my Thirty One sisters.  Yes, I squirreled…

Thirty One has been showing their appreciation for you, our customers since mid-December with Weekly Deals.  This is a NEW version of our annual Outlet Sale, the best part is NEW products are added every week.  Some are retired prints and products while others are currently prints and products which may (or may not) be available in the NEW Spring catalog.  Be sure to check them out.  The sale only lasts until January 14th.

I know, what does all of this have to do with organizing, right?  Well, this month we are introducing a NEW product from the Spring line-up: the Your Way Display Bin.  This bin lets you organize the rooms in your house or your closets, pantry or office space. The open design is short in the front and tall in the back for easy access and display. The side handles make carrying the bin and contents a breeze. It is  5″H (front)/7.5″H (back) x 15″W x 12.75″D, the best part is it can be personalized!   Check out the many uses…

Would you like help getting organized while earning FREE and discounted products?  Send me a snapshot (if you aren’t local) of the area you want to get organized, I will make some suggestions – options with and without Thirty One products.  We will schedule a 31-minute Facebook party to show you, your friends and your family how to get organized.  I will share solution sets and tips.  As friends and family place orders, you will be able to get organized with FREE and discounted products?  Easy, right?  I do all of the work and YOU reap the benefits!

As a hostess, you will also have the opportunity to purchase a Stand Tall Bundle which includes another NEW Spring product – the Medium Stand Tall Bin.

If you don’t like FREE stuff, then you can just shop.  Did you know it only takes 6 orders of at least $35 to get some FREE products?  No pressure!  You can shop the Weekly Deals and claim this month’s Customer Special with a $35 purchase…

Next week the Retirement List will be out as well as some sneak peaks of the NEW Spring catalog.  Don’t want to host your own party, join the fun as we “Get Organized” in my Facebook event.

Maybe you are stressing over the upcoming holiday bills or thought about getting a part-time job.  Why not try this “purse gig”?  Whether you are looking for some friendships/sisterhood, some me time or some extra money, Thirty One could be just what you are looking for.  This is a great time to join (believe it or not) as we ramp up for our 15th Anniversary Celebration.  You can earn money during the Weekly Deals, host online parties during the crazy cold weather and make your own hours.  There are currently TWO enrollment kits to pick from and a NEW one coming in the next week or so. Have questions?  ASK!  I’m happy to help you…

So, who is ready to get organized?  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!