“For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.” Colossians 1:16
Recently, a local assemblywoman’s “people” contacted me to teach a workshop at her first ever Northern California Women’s Conference. As you can imagine, I was thrilled. How could I say no to that?
For those of you not from California, there’s a distinct difference between the north and south out here. Former California First Lady, Maria Shriver, began the Southern California Women’s conference quite a few years ago with incredible results. She draws such big name talent as Oprah, Suze Ormon, and former first lady Laura Bush. Let’s be honest, though; Maria Shriver could bring Mother Teresa back from the dead to teach a workshop or two at her conference.
It was an honor to be asked to be a part of the first ever Northern California Conference. I went along with the assemblywoman to a radio interview and heard her on TV share that I would be at the conference. While preparing, I made a point to check and see who else would be teaching workshops—big mistake. When I discovered some of the local talent included women who attended every ivy league campus known to man, I was ready to back out. As I read their bios I wanted to throw up. One gal had been appointed by President Clinton to do something important, another was chief of staff to Maria Shriver, and another began a grass roots campaign to fight drugs—creating a national documentary for PBS. Yeah, I was ready to back out.
The morning of the conference I felt sick. My workshop wasn’t about building business models or entrepreneurship; it was about being a mom. I titled it “Burden to Blessing” and felt kind of silly when I compared it to the other New York Times-worthy classes assembled around me.
You know what happened? Many of these “ivy-league” women ended up sitting in my workshop, including Maria Shriver’s chief of staff. I was humbled and a little speechless. What a great reminder that God doesn’t want me to weigh myself against others. There are a few sabotaging factors to take into account when you decide to play the comparison game.
• Focus. Where’s yours? As soon as you put your eyes on a Cornell degree, a flat tummy, or a Coach bag, you’ve taken your focus off of Jesus and put them on the world. Don’t do it.
• Fairytale. Our minds are notorious for making up stories. We create fantasy where reality should be. People are people. Each one of us was created by Him and for Him. No one of us is “better.”
• Fear. It trips us up every time. Remind yourself of who you are in Christ. Faith demolishes fear, remember that.
Each one of us was created with gifts, special talents, and things that make us unique. My gifts just happen to be making a mean enchilada casserole and encouraging women. Friends, stop looking at someone else’s talents and achievements and feeling “less than.” You are the daughter of the one true and living God. Don’t let comparison sabotage His plans for your life. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and if He has asked you to do something, you need to keep your focus on Him and do it.
Joanne Kraft is a recovering too-busy mom of four children and the author of Just Too Busy—Taking Your Family on a Radical Sabbatical. Joanne and her husband, Paul, recently moved their family from California to Tennessee and have happily traded soy milk and arugula for sweet tea and biscuits. Visit her at her website, on Facebook, or on Twitter.
*Photo credit: Image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net