Tenth Avenue North

Comparison 2.0: To Moms, Young People & 2016 Graduates

The One Key to Overcoming Comparison

It doesn’t matter what stage of life you are in friends - college student, 20 something, 30 something, working mom, stay at home mom, single mom, grandmother - it doesn’t matter. We are all confronted with this comparison thing. The difference is in what we do with it. Are you going to sit in it and have a pity party? Or are you going to recognize it's the enemy playing a trick on you, trying to divert you from your focus?

Will you choose to focus on God's plan for someone else that has nothing to do with His plan for you? Or will you focus on Him and let Him show you His beautiful plan for your life...that one that's already unfolding?

Here's the deeper part from the message I heard at church on Sunday: The roots of comparison we have go back to when we were kids. Whatever we thought was our disadvantage, is the barometer we used to compare our walk to someone else's. I know I had two, and every time I get insecure today somehow it relates back to how I felt with these two - struggle with weight and being a child of divorce. I am NO longer a victim of either of those, no matter what the circumstance. But let me tell you, my insecurity about them kept me lost and addicted for a long time. As Pastor Bob said, he kept that comparison and resentment in his heart for over 20 years. I get that. I was brought not only back to childhood but back to my first day at Notre Dame when the only thing that repeated in my head was "I'm the only one overweight." "I'm the only one with divorced parents." Wrong. It's no wonder I dove into the drink believing that.

Believe who GOD says you are. This is especially for you graduates. There will be many opportunities to compare yourself to others in many areas I won't even get into. If it shakes you, don't let it break you. Get away and figure out who God says you are by getting in the Word or downloading the Bible App. He will show you who you are to Him. You will get all the advice in the world to follow your dreams and create a perfect life. It is good to have dreams. But it is better to have something to fall back on when they don't work out. Oh and it's not a bad thing if they don't because failures are what make you a success. Failures, contrary to popular belief, are the greatest lessons. You know the road will get tough so just remember when you are comparing. Wait a minute and remember this: I can seek the only one who truly knows me. The sooner you get that the world will always give you reasons to compare and tell you that you aren't enough - the sooner you can find the one who will always tell you the opposite. Just know that NO one has it all figured out. No one is beating you in the race of life. God's got you EXACTLY where you are supposed to be and he is walking with you if you let yourself notice Him. So as soon as you say, "Well I don't have that," think of all the things you DO have. Think of the fact that God designed you JUST as you are for a specific purpose and no one can take that away from you. 

This image is courtesy of Elephant Adventure and my friend Margaret Sheyka Stough who posted it on my page.

This image is courtesy of Elephant Adventure and my friend Margaret Sheyka Stough who posted it on my page.

Here are the resources I mentioned below that can help you work through this a little bit more.....

2) A great article called "Find Contentment by Killing Comparisons", by Anne Peterson from Christianity Today speaks to that comparison game we play on Facebook.

3) Another great article called, "The Life and Death of the Proverbs 31 Woman" by John Greco from In Touch Ministries.

4) Verses

Romans 12:2 says it best. I like the NLT,

"Don't copy the behavior and customs of the world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect."

John 16:33 NIV

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

Hebrews 12:2 NIV

"fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

And a song that may not help you now but maybe one day. Heard it last week and it was just perfect.

 Bonus song:







From Entrepreneurial Failure to Victory in Surrender: HV for Real Post #3

Being an entrepreneur is often something that sounds glamorous especially when you've been inspired by successful ones in your life. I certainly have! Sometimes I find myself putting them  on a pedestal. You know that old comparing my insides to their outsides game?  Yeah, you know the one. Even though our gifts, talents, resources and experiences are completely different - somehow we can compare our own work as an entrepreneur to the success of another who looks like they've got it together. We literally take each step of our work, even though it may not seem majorly profitable like the outside world like to see it, and make it into a pea. Somehow I don't think God loves it when we do that, cause he loves us.

Let me tell you a little more. The first year after my Dad passed, I wrote a book.

The year before my Dad died I developed a program where I got to use my faith to lead an international franchise in health and fitness to their Healthy Voice (cool stuff - not perfect though.)

The year after he died, I wrote a book for that audience and others who wanted to hear my testimony.

The second year after he died, I spent my time (in real life) planning a wedding, and (in my work life) planning where this business is going to go.

Here's the shocker - it didn't all go into a pretty little blue box and get DONE so the rest of the world could see how perfect and pretty my business is.

In fact, ask me straight up and I'll tell you straight up - it has BEEN a journey. It's been a journey of discovering where this will go and ultimately, step by step, day by day where GOD wants it to go - not ME. That discovery journey has had a loud, "I'm not doing enough. Healthy Voice should be further," voice. I know you get it. It doesn't matter what you are dealing with. It's not a nice voice, because it wants to take your feeling of "not good enough" and beat you over the head with it. I've had to harness that voice of God that says this:


That sure shuts that other voice up, doesn't it?___

See, although Healthy Voice may seem like some business that's got it all together, that's NOT what's going on behind the scenes. Are there a ton of messages to share? Yes, and as you can see, I'm sharing them. But I'm one person with a pretty full life. I take it a day at a time.

Now I'm realizing how simple it is - just sharing the REAL message of the Healthy Voice, not how I want it to look.  In the process,  I'm doing everything I can to focus on God and shut out that voice that says, "Not Good enough,"

I'm believing in the one that says, "You got this. I got this. Just keep going. Love, God."

Think about it with your weight. Does it feel better to try and lose every pound you can before you really live? Or does it feel better just to live now and get healthy as you walk? 


Here's the bottom line.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and that is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.
— Ephesians 2:8 NIV
And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.
— Romans 11:6, NIV

How are these passages relevant to failed entrepreneurship?

Because for a long time, my religious upbringing made me believe I had to WORK for it. I had to EARN my way into heaven, or to be loved by God. I thought along the lines of, "If I just got something right by my own works, or willpower or whatever - then I could get it right."

But these two passages have been life changers for me, because they remind me that I didn't get saved by works. I didn't earn my ticket to a relationship with Christ. He died on a cross so that I could be saved by HIS grace. He gave me my sins and struggles so that I could give them to HIM. Yes, that means if I fail at something on my OWN doing? God can take my fails and make them epic victories. How cool is that? 

But that passage also means he doesn't want me to sit around and do nothing. He wants me to take his message through my work and share it with the world. That means there is a balance between faith and works. But now I know that works doesn't GET me "better" faith. By faith, I'm given the spiritual power and strength to do his WORKS in the world. Again, that doesn't mean, "Oh okay God, then I'll just wait till you tell me what to do (and do whatever I want while I do it."

No that means LISTEN for his direction. Pray for his will and guidance in your life. Then he will show you his most pleasing and perfect will. Grace may not make sense if you haven't surrendered. But let me tell you, when you do, you realize how much of a gift grace really is, I mean, can't even put it into words. But you've got to GIVE it to him first, then seek his guidance in taking care of the rest . But a little tidbit? It's not gonna come in some big master plan of, "Hey, here's how I want you to live your life. I got it written out in a blueprint." NO!

In the book of James, it talks about how faith without works is dead. I used to think that validated that the truth that it's all about works. But now I know that I can't rest on my faith, I've got to ACT on it and God will show up as I continue to do that.

Read the passage:

Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?

I can already hear one of you agreeing by saying, “Sounds good. You take care of the faith department, I’ll handle the works department.”

Not so fast. You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove.
— James 2: 14-18, The Message


I don't know how this blog spoke to you, but I do know that if you receive God's grace you CAN find peace through every storm of life, even the ones the world might think are "supposed to" be glamorous.


This entire post, I've thought of the song, "Healing Begins" by Tenth Avenue North. I'm going to share with you three video versions of the song. One is the original with the band, another is an unofficial one that I wanted to post because I think it is a powerful demonstration of personal struggle, and the last one is one of victory.

It's got nothing to do really with Entrepreneurship, but it's a moment that I surrendered and made my faith public.  This video shows me that it's ALWAYS him and that it IS by grace I have been saved so no matter what goes on in my REAL life, HE'S in charge because I gave him my life.

For those who might not understand it because you were baptized as a kid and wonder why you would do it again - I can tell you THIS is where I made it my choice to put my life in his hands. This is a literal example of putting my faith into action and I cherish the moment.  If you want to see the exact moment, go to the 1:00 mark. But the whole video is a grand testimony of God's love.