There’s More to Life Than Marriage (Today at Relevant)

Today, I’m honored to have another post appearing at Relevant Magazine. If you’re stopping by from there, welcome! I’m glad you’re here. Feel free to take a look at the archives and share some thoughts.

There’s More to Life Than Marriage

This time of year, churches, banquet halls and barns get decked out in tulle and lights. Everyone seems to know someone who’s in a wedding, going to a wedding or having their own wedding.

And quietly, subtly, the chatter begins.

“They’re just so young. I mean, they’ll probably be OK, but it doesn’t seem like a good idea.”

“It’s about time they got married. They’re not getting any younger.”

“So when’s your wedding going to be? Why don’t you have someone in your life yet?”

They’re common thoughts we’ve probably all had or even spoken. Yet between the words, it is easy to weave a gentle judgment; someone has done things differently than we have, and we think to ourselves that our way is slightly better, more correct and, perhaps, more godly.

Keep reading at Relevant.

Til next time…


Facebook Envy

Today, my piece “Facebook Envy” went up over at Relevant Magazine.

If you clicked over from Relevant, first of all, thank you. For reading there, and for stopping by over here.

That being said, I want you to know…I wrote that piece more for myself than anyone else. I cannot tell you how many whiny, ranting, bitter drafts I wrote. Finally, I realized my writing cannot become a rant against other people simply because of my own insecurities. Only then, by writing of my own struggles, did the rest begin to follow.

Those suggestions I offer, particularly the one about finding my worth in God? I’m not there today, I won’t be there tomorrow, and I won’t be there a month from now. I’m not sure we ever completely “get there.”

So here’s to being a work in progress. To writing of messes and insecurity and uncertainty, and how God is in and through it all, even when I fail to see it. I’d love for you to join me.

Here’s a snippet from “Facebook Envy”:

“We’re often warned of Internet pitfalls: pornography, illegal downloading, addiction to video games or social networks, neglect of real-life relationships and more.

Yet there is another insidious Internet predator we don’t often talk about.

As I scroll through my Facebook news feed or Twitter home page, I’m bombarded with pictures, status updates and blog posts from my peers. Many people in their twenties, like me, are still figuring life out. They’re off on adventures, exploring the world and learning new things, figuring out love and friendships and what it looks like to follow God in this stage of their lives. As I browse their posts, I often find myself wishing I could be in their shoes, living their lives. Glamorous lives, it often seems.

In other words, the online realm sets up the danger of comparison.

Road trips. India. Beaches. Paris. Weddings. Mexico. Celebrities. Babies. New York City. Skydiving. Grad school.

My life currently includes none of those things, and it is all too easy for me to wish my circumstances could be otherwise.

In small doses, comparing our lives to others doesn’t seem so bad—it seems only natural to see and analyze what others our age are doing. At times, it may compel us to work harder to achieve what we desire, or provide perspective when we find our circumstances overwhelmingly bleak.”

Read the rest, over at Relevant?

Thanks, friends. =)

Til next time…


p.s. Is Facebook envy something you’ve struggled with? How do you deal with it? I’d love to hear from you–leave a comment here, or at the original post. You can also find me on Twitter.

The Comparison Game

“Life is never as good or as bad as it seems.” -Cameron Strang, founder of RELEVANT Magazine

I like this thought. Even when things are going exceptionally well, when everything is coming up roses and daisies and tulips, and you’re on cloud 9.7…there’s still something, even something tiny, that’s going to be a little off. Not quite as perfect as it could be. Which could be a little depressing–no matter how hard you try, things will never be perfect.

…but on the more uplifting side, even when things are going terribly, terribly wrong, when every piece of life seems to be falling apart, when work is stressful and relationships are broken and painful and you feel like you’re going nowhere…there’s still something, even something as small as finding a really good book or enjoying some nice weather…that goes right.

The problem comes when we play the comparison game. Which I am quite, quite good at. Because even if things are going right, there’s also someone who seems to have more pieces of their life together, or maybe just particular pieces that I am envious of. And if things are rough in my life, there’s seems to be even more people around who seem to have everything together, even though really, they don’t.

“If we only wanted to be happy, it would be easy; but we want to be happier than other people, and that is almost always difficult, since we think them happier than they are.” ~Montesquieu 

Comparison is not the way to a happy, fulfilled life. Instead, I’m learning (and experiencing) that it is a fast track to a not-so-pleasant land of discontentment and frustration.

Because yes, it’s true that I do not have a full-time job. It’s true that I live with my parents. It’s true that I’m single. It’s true that I don’t have very much money to do many of the things I’d like to. And when I compare myself to people around me, be it family, friends, fellow church members, or the other customers at the coffee shop, I will see people with full-time jobs, apartments and houses, fiances and spouses, and money and opportunities that I do not have.

But where’s the point in that? I am being continually reminded that the life I live is mine, and mine only. It is not the life of the people around me. We have different paths, and that is okay. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. If we all did things exactly the same, the world would not be a very interesting place. And if we did a little less comparing, and a little more living, I think we’d all be a bit happier.

Til next time…