If only I can just do this.
Or write this.
Or homeschool like this.
If only my kids would just be involved in this.
Or I cooked like this.
Or my house looked like this.
If only I could have a schedule like this
Or my blog would be like this.
Or my husband like this.
If only I could be like that.
There is no ladder.
There is no ultimate mom.
There is no ultimate wife.
There is no ultimate homeschooler.
There is no ultimate friend.
There is no ultimate housekeeper.
There is no ultimate cook.
There is no ultimate writer.
There is no ladder.
Each of us has our own paths, our own lives, and our own stories. We are each blessed with striving to be the best of us that we can be. While I love all the information that is at our fingertips it is also all too easy to start comparing, to start climbing this invisible ladder of perceived success. The phrase if only can begin to creep into the everyday and with each if only some of our joy in who we are begins to fade.
There is no ladder.
This world loves to define, to rank, to calculate places and spots. Just in the online world we’re bombarded with things like Klout, and Google Page Rank, and Alexa scores and more. But, do they really have any place in defining worth? I’d argue no. I see these ladders placed everywhere — homeschooling, and baking, and parenting and more. And then us mothers worn from trying to climb ladders, comparing to others, thinking if only we could just do this one more thing then I’d be…
I’d be what?
Happy? Content? Prideful? More Godly?
The more I live my life with an earthly if only ladder in front of me the more discontent my heart becomes. I start to compare myself to others and instead of seeing the good I begin to look at my own life and see where I perceive I fail. I’ll start to feed lies to myself about how we’re not homeschooling the right way or not cooking the healthiest food or spending enough family time or my blog isn’t this way or my house not decorated enough or I’m not crafty enough. And all that comparing? Makes me miserable. Makes me miss the joy in others and the gifts that the Lord blessed them with because I’m so focused on myself.
So I’m throwing out the ladder.
I want to live inspired by others.
I want to live encouraged by others.
I want to live grateful for my life.
I want to live thankful.
I want to live getting my worth from the Lord.
So that earthly ladder, that if only ladder, I’m not keeping it. There’s a freedom in letting it go. In reading others words and being excited about who they are and the gifts and blessings the Lord bestowed on them. Letting go of the ladder means seeing your life, your family, your homeschool, your baking, your cleaning, your you no longer through the lens of the world — with an unending ladder of perceived success — but through the lens that you are a gift, a child, uniquely made by the Lord.
And then you, and I, can begin to live content, grateful, and thankful. We can strive to improve — but for the right reasons — and grow and learn and encourage others. Learning and trying new things becomes more about embracing who we are and less about becoming someone we’re not. That’s freedom.
There really is no ladder.
Daughters of the Lord.
very true words!
Such beautiful words and such a great reminder. I love your last part about being excited and happy for others by what they say, instead of comparing. Something I need to remember constantly. Thanks. 🙂
Wonderful thoughts. I know that sometimes it’s hard to be comfortable in our own skin. I have to stop and remind myself of Ps 139:14–I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
Blessings and prayers,
yes and amen! i often have to repeat this Truth to myself. a lot a lot.
Thank you Rachel, for this post. I’ve been living here, in the land of “if only” this past week. Looking at my circumstances, at our lack of finances and wondering, “if only”. I want to learn to be content right where I am.
The Lord is working, even during trying times! Praying!
Romans 5:3-5 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
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This is SO what I needed today! I’m sick of climbing those ladders…I’m with you – I’m throwing out that ladder too and ready to live the life He has blessed ME – and only ME – with. Thank you so much for sharing!
Thank you for this wonderful post! Just finished with a weekend which felt as if nothing was accomplished. After reading this, I realized much was accomplished…laughter, family time, growing in the Lord.
Definitly needed this post to help me see that 🙂
Beautiful post. I do “If only’s” too much. I needed to read this today. Thank you.
i think i could benefit from reading this every single day.