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Tiny & Gray Tuesdays

It was during a really tough month last year that I realized that Tuesday seems to be the most troublesome day of the week for me.

For most people, their less-than-favorite day is Monday--and for good reason. The weekend is over and another unpredictable, seemingly horrendous week lies in store. So much excitement, I know. This is why we drink the coffee, right? For others, the day they don't wake up to singing with the blue birds is Thursday. Reason being: the taunting vision of a bright weekend is so close, yet so far away (*sigh).But for me, it's Tuesday. This is when I often find myself struggling in all ways imaginable to power through the tasks at my job. This is also when I am unable to catch my breath amongst the crashing waves that is family drama. And when I catch myself rolling my eyes at conversations with friends and I want so badly to say things I shouldn't because, really, that wouldn't help anyone (but someone's got to do it, right?) Today is Tuesday, and it is no exception. On top of those things I just mentioned, my brain thought it'd be a great idea to look at my current season through a gloomy and foggy lens.Don't ask me why. The lens I'm talking about is comparison. We all compare what's ours with what's not, both intentionally and unintentionally. It's a great feeling. Just recently, I was talking with Jason about the possibility of us traveling in the near future and how fun that would be.

To go beyond California and its' surrounding States. To taste the cuisines of the world, even though I'm really bad at trying new food. For example, every single time I go to Jamba Juice, I tell myself and whoever is with me that I'll get something different. You know what actually happens?Without fail, I get the Orange Dream Machine (it truly is a dream). Always. Today, it felt like everywhere I turned someone was preparing for or was already on vacation. Others were taking part in something else relatively adventurous and spontaneous. Co-workers, relatives, friends, and people on social media (those are the icing on the cake, right?). I have to confess something to you. Above all the vacations out of the country, and road trips to Yosemite, I was more pissed off when I saw someone go to a hole-in-the-wall ice cream parlor in San Diego. Who am I?! I'm not the only one, though. You do it too (maybe not in regards to people eating delicious treats, but still). I hadn't even left for my lunch break yet, and I was about to cry for the third time in one day over something I shouldn't have allowed myself to be bothered by in the first place. Admittedly, we were in a season where I felt like no matter how positive I tried to be, or how encouraging others around me were, I couldn't find a reason to really look up. I get like this sometimes. Bitterness made its' way in and I became extremely angry with those who seemingly had it all.Comparison with bitterness pushed me further down when I was already falling. I got up again, brushed off my knees from the fall, and then some girl named Julie announces that she won a $500 gift card to a shop I happen to adore and Tuesday just won the Oscar for "Best-Worst Day of the Week". Can I go home now? Side note: I've never bought anything from this store so past Kimber needs to chill. Here's one of the hard truths I found today. We have to remind ourselves to not be intimidated by the success of others, but rather allow ourselves to be inspired by them. If you have dreams, chase after them. If you happen to come across someone else doing what you want to do, but are farther along than you are (and seem to have it "easy"), don't take it as an insult, take it as encouragement. Remember that the people you see who are successful have experienced their fare share of blood, sweat and tears to get where they are. They may not even see themselves the way you perceive them to be. We are our own worst critics after all.So next time you see someone who shares similar interests, has a passion for what you love and are chasing their dream fiercely, congratulate them. Thank them. Let them know they inspire you to be better. Seek advice from others, and don't allow your bitter self to strike someone else down with you. Don't hate a fellow friend or a complete stranger because good things are happening in their lives. Be grateful, be motivated and get your booty in gear and fight for your purpose. Moving on (p.s. I love you). I'm currently reading Shauna Niequist's Bittersweet and where I'm at in the book, she portrays comparison and how we intentionally seek out what we want, but others possess:

“When you’re stuck, all you see are the ones that make you feel tiny and gray, like dryer lint”

Ouch and amen. I felt extremely tiny and gray on this very fine Tuesday. Even when our wintery seasons feel like they last forever (whether it be a day, a month, or a year), they don't. Spring will at last arrive. My tiny and gray Tuesday wasn't over yet. For the last several months, Jason and I have been a part of a small group at our church, made up of married/engaged/dating individuals on Tuesday evenings (highly recommend, by the way--marriage and attending small groups). During our time together, we dive into God’s Word and discuss how it may or may not relate to our present lives--hardships and blessings alike. We recently began our study through the book of Esther and I'm learning how incredible it is that each one of us are in the unique place we are in our lives for such a time as this. Tonight is our last Koininea—the last time one of us will host the entire group at their home. We eat dinner and dessert while openly discussing the events of our last week. Sophie and John spoke of their wedding, and Matthew said his cousin was promoted. I tried to figure out what Stephanie’s secret was in making that dreamy pie (seriously: yum).Before leaving the house for small group, it’s hard for me to get in the car and go. I get lazy and comfortable after getting home from work (especially after a long day like today). I feel this way up until Jason and I are there with our church family, living in these moments. And every time, we look at each other and say, “I’m so glad we came”. While I was catching up with my dear friend Linette (a gutsy woman with fierce faith and contagious laughter), the topic of comparison came up. In the middle of our conversation, she stopped for a few seconds before she said, "We don’t know what’s happening on the other side of their camera lens." Dang. Immediately after I heard that, I began to ask myself the following questions: How can I live out my own life with grace when I focus on what other's have and how successful they are? How could I focus so much on the exterior without even caring about the person within the photo? What do I gain by trying to figure out how so-and-so got those rock hard abs while I’m struggling to do ten push-ups? Again, let's not focus so much of our time on what someone chose to post today and turn it into a reason to be pitiful about where we are. Try spending time thinking about what you didn't post to the world and celebrate that today. Comparison and bitterness are instinctive response for us that we struggle to turn away from. We are faced with the challenge of being happy with where we are sometimes when we see how wonderful someone else's life is. It tears us down, and for some reason, we think it'll make us feel better to continue looking with desire in our eyes.We do it naturally, more or less, every day. More so on a really bad Tuesday. When the ugly faces of comparison and bitterness try to knock you down, don't give them the power to steal your joy. Your life is unique in all the beautiful chaos it entails. If you fall, show yourself some grace. Find beauty in the mundane. Cherish the simple, unspeakable moments. Keep them in your pocket for cold seasons ahead. And next time you find yourself comparing your "chapter five" to your neighbors "chapter twenty-six", thank God for your upcoming "chapter six". For today, I'm choosing to believe that this desolate season will end, and that something entirely new and wonderful will follow it.

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