I can’t help but laugh at this 1 minute video. The sermon that Pastor Andy Stanley preaches following this introduction video is even more accurate and truth filled — it is entirely too easy to fall into the comparison trap. While walking through the Heart of a Woman study this past semester, the Lord revealed this same sin in my life. The tendency for my flesh to want to compare my looks, my house, my lifestyle, and even my husband is something I have to actively fight against each day.

Just last week I was at the doctor’s office sitting in the waiting room waiting to be called back. I was looking around at all of the other pregnant women and found myself comparing how I looked to how they looked. I actually was going through in my mind comparing my size, my weight gain, my appearance to the other women in the room. A few minutes went by before I was even able to see what I was doing and realize how crazy that was of me. WHAT WAS I DOING? Why does it even matter? Yet, that is just how ugly my flesh is. I vulnerably share that I fall into this comparison trap way too often. I want to be prettier, smarter, more in shape, whatever it may be. But for what reason? I know the truth — that we are all created in God’s image, that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, that we all are and not one of us the same which makes it impossible to compare to begin with.

There are jokes, movies, and television shows about “Keeping up with the Joneses.” Yet, for me personally, I see that there is truth to these jokes even in the American Christian culture.

I find it interesting that Solomon touched on this topic thousands of years ago. Ecclesiastes says:

And I thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive. But better than both is he who has not yet been and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun. Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man’s envy of his neighbor. This also is vanity and a striving after the wind. The fool folds his hands and eats his own flesh. Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind. (Eccl. 4:2-6).

It was true then and it is true today. I love that God’s Word never changes. That He gently reminds us that comparing is striving after the wind. The Lord gently reminded me that the desire to compare myself to other women, other wives, other friends is simply the enemy wanting to distract me from God’s calling on my life. Psalm 57:2 says, “I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills his purpose for me.” When I look to the left and to the right as a metric for my success, I am not looking above and crying out to the Father for direction. Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” How true is that? When I compare myself to others it oftentimes leaves me feeling inadequate, discontent, and unhappy. Yet the Lord calls me to so much more in His perfect plan for me which is different than and unique from God’s plan for anyone else on this earth. How sweet is our God that He cares enough to pave the way for His daughters?

“Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content” (1 Tim. 6:6-8). And may this be my prayer — that I will be content looking to God, the Father, who knows me better than I know myself.

Standing on the Word





Heavenly Father,

You are the Lord and there is no other. There is none besides you. You repeated this to me five times this morning! You are God and therefore your promises can and must be believed. You are sovereign over all. Forgive my doubts and unbelief, Lord! An ESV study note says, “putting God under suspicious scrutiny is a serious offense.” Forgive me, Father, for continually questioning you and rebelling against you by going my own way. Please give me your grace to heed your warning, to not harden my heart, but to humbly listen to your warning and receive it from a good heart of love and care.

I am just a pot, a jar of clay, a broken vessel. You are the Potter. I live among other broken vessels, all of whom you have created for your glory. Forgive me, Father, for telling you, “Your work has no handles” (Isa. 45:9). Forgive me for commanding you (when you are the Master Commander) concerning your children and the work of your hands (Isa. 45:11). Thank you, Lord, for the prophecy of Cyrus which always strengthens my faith. You called him by name before he was even born! There is none besides you. No one else could do this! You are the one true God. You are Lord over all creation and history and the future. You are my only Hope.

Help me trust you and your good will when things seem contrary to your purpose. Help me to trust your character. To rest in your promises. To walk in your truth.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Learning to Live in the Garden of Grace



I wasn’t even sure what I was going to share with you about my journey while reading the book What Is the Gospel? At first I wanted to unload all of these cool pieces that were starting to come together for me. But I was insecure about how to articulate all of this. I was uncomfortable with my level of understanding. I just felt like I wasn’t sure if I would be saying the right things. But I do have something I want to share with you, and hope you can bear with me.

What is the gospel? To me this question is something I thought I knew. But now that I look back on times when I had had conversations with someone about my faith, I am cringing because I am not sure if what I shared was even halfway biblically sound. I honestly have never had the courage to share the gospel that much, but especially when I started to see that what I did know was next to nothing. And I use to avoid using all these amazing tools to equip me so that I could avoid having to share any knowledge and risk be judged based on how little I knew. I was prideful and had a fear wrapped in insecurity asking, “What if what I am saying is wrong?” or, “This person is so smart, I could never speak to them on that level.” These were the exact words I have shared with my husband on the matter many times in the last few years.

When you grow up learning something different and never seeking for yourself, you find that there is so much you never knew. In the introduction of the book What Is the Gospel? we read what some other folks thought about the gospel as well. I was astounded to see such a wide variety of views, and yet I feel like I found parts of what I thought in some of these statements. In some of the statements I didn’t feel like I was reading anything too horrible, and others I knew were not so right. Gilbert went on to say that hopefully by the end we would be able to decide which statements were “better or worse.” For some reason, my mind felt this pressure. Instead of seeking the Lord to secure my focus, I was looking to my flesh to be able to complete this task I had created in order to “know it all.”

In that time I was already putting a challenge on myself. I can best compare this feeling with a competitiveness mixed with prepping for a quiz. I wanted to do the best my flesh could do (even though I wasn’t racing against anyone), and I wanted to be the smartest (even though there was nothing or anyone to compare to). I wanted people to see some kind of growth in me that they hadn’t seen in my life before. It’s like I wanted them to know that I had read this book, studied God’s Word, and now all I needed to do was be able to discern the true gospel from the false.

My mind had wandered off so far! My mind went from book, to self, to how others see me. This was all before I could even make it through the introduction. I was already having seeds of pride and fear settling into my mind. In that moment, just in the introduction, I had to stop and ask the Lord to truly open my mind, eyes, and heart to what it is that He was wanting me to take from this. I asked Him to keep all distractions at bay. Because, I will admit, I had to read a few pages over again. But I needed to understand this biblical foundation so badly. Never had I sat by myself with a book other than the Bible to read about the gospel. I may have thought about cracking open a book like that a time or two, but never really found myself interested in “those kinds of books.” That’s the category I put them under in my mind.

Honestly, this was the very first one! Can I just say, it is so wonderful to feel corrected in my thinking now. I want to do what 1 Peter 3:15 says: “But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” I want to be able to boldly share about the “good news” without fear of man, and all for His glory when He has called me to do so. This is not a race or challenge, it is taking this day by day and truly being genuine in what it is that we are doing here. I don’t want to do this for a show, or for recognition. I just want to be filled with His Word and grace so that I be changed from the inside out.

All for His Glory