December 31, 2015 | Faith

Happy New Year!

Do you still have your Christmas cards displayed? I’m that person who wants all Christmas decorations organized, packed up, and put away THE DAY after Christmas. Tree needles need to be vacuumed up and household décor minimized. That said, I must confess that I leave the basket with Christmas cards out a while longer—I love seeing the happy faces of family and friends.

But this year—a year spent working on the Comparison Trap study—these Christmas cards are reminding me of something else. If we were to send the photo that really captures our family, this is what you’d find in your mailbox.

Version 3

(Mamas of toddlers, I’m afraid it does not get any easier to get your kids to be still and smile…)

Of course, this isn’t the photo we used. But it reminds me that behind every styled and smiling photo on the cards we got this year, there were probably a few outtakes like ours. The photos we choose to send each other—or to post on social media—rarely represent our full reality. But that’s so easy to forget!

The sneakiness of the comparison trap convinces us that we’re not measuring up—that our house isn’t quite stylish enough, that our smile isn’t quite straight enough, that our family isn’t quite “picture perfect.”

As we head into 2016, I would love for it to be a year marked by a bunch of us “Choosing Contentment in an Age of Awareness” (as the Comparison Trap subtitle urges us). God didn’t create us to compete with one another—especially not with the glossy versions we see on Christmas cards or Instagram. So enjoy every minute of gazing at those special cards, but remember “There is no win in comparison!”

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Thanks for all the comments on my last post. Our giveaway winner is: Kelly Temple! (Kelly, send your mailing address to comparisontrap@northpoint.org and we’ll send your prize.)

Let’s do it again—comment here, like the Facebook page, or follow the Pinterest board for the chance to win some fun Comparison Trap stuff.

Discussion

Michawne Clark - January 01, 2016 at 08:03 am

Thanks for the reminder! It is way too easy to get caught up in the “perfection” created by social media!

Rainey Perry - January 01, 2016 at 08:31 am

Looking forward to going through the Comparison Trap series with small group ladies this new year! Loved the picture!

liz - January 01, 2016 at 08:33 am

Thank u for the comparison trap

Carole Amos - January 01, 2016 at 09:01 am

Thanks for this great reminder to start off the year!

Carrie Conklin - January 01, 2016 at 09:12 am

Sandra, thank you for the thoughts about the Christmas cards. As a single gal with no kids I find myself slipping into that paradigm more and more. Comparison Trap is definitely going on my must-read list for 2016. Happy New Year to you and your family!

Charlotte Lewis - January 01, 2016 at 09:47 am

Sandra, your devo/DVD combo arrived, and we are really pumped to be using it with our Collegiates small group this year. There are so MANY possible applications that we have brainstormed for FUN! We start the study on our Retreat 1/15/16. Can’t thank you & Andy enough.

BLBC - January 01, 2016 at 10:39 am

I electing to follow “Choosing Contentment in an Age of Awareness” ~~~~ wisdom at its purest. On this first day of 2016 it is more than a comment “speaking to my spirit”.

Cami - January 01, 2016 at 12:52 pm

The older I get, the more I value pictures like these and the authentic. Beautiful words. And yes, my cards are still out! Along with piles of Christmas stuff waiting for a burst of organization.

Cindy Housley - January 01, 2016 at 01:19 pm

Love the outtake! 🙂 Looking forward to starting the Comparison Trap study in our women’s small group soon!

Tiffany R - January 01, 2016 at 01:44 pm

I love this picture! This is a great reminder of how real we need to be with each other. God Bless your family in the New Year!

Lynda Cooksey - January 01, 2016 at 02:29 pm

What an awesome way to look at things! The Comparison Trap was my Christmas gift to myself this year — I can’t wait to get started on it!

Happy New Year to all!

Barri Alexander - January 01, 2016 at 05:49 pm

Lovely family!! Really enjoying Comparison Trap. Thank you.

Kay - January 01, 2016 at 06:51 pm

Love it! Thanks for the reality check!

Barb - January 01, 2016 at 08:56 pm

There is something so refreshing about an authentic family…and the bravery in sharing. Being a card loving, letter writing gal, I couldn’t help but love that you leave out the basket of cards a wee bit longer. I find as I trim the photo cards and put them up on my bulletin board they sure do make it easy to pray for those special friends and family. Happy New Year to you!

Jeannie - January 01, 2016 at 08:58 pm

I am not one who typically thinks I compare myself to others a lot, but just recently I am finding that I really do…it is just so subtle that I miss it at times. I think social media has really brought this to my attention. Thank you for your wise words.

Lizett Oosthuizen - January 02, 2016 at 08:26 am

Blessings to you and your family for 2016. Thank you for this and for comparison trap. It made a great gift for my two daughters (one is my daughter-in-love) and my son got the DVD so they can use it in the small group they’ve been leading. Miss North Point – but watch online and Garry listens to the Podcasts on the way to work. So, thank you. Love you guys!

Tifani Thompson - January 02, 2016 at 08:54 am

Beautiful and fun family picture of you guys!! This whole series is so spiritually pumping-up with wisdom of truth. My journal already has lots of markings and cut-up pages. So fun and wonderful. THANK YOU!! Such an awesome and most special gift for our family and friends too!

Katie - January 02, 2016 at 03:14 pm

I am looking forward to working through the comparison trap study with my small group!! Well done!!

Anita - January 03, 2016 at 11:59 am

Excited to be starting this study with 10 ladies this week!!! And, you have dashed all my hopes for ever having a “normal” Christmas card!! Lol!! ?

Amy - January 04, 2016 at 12:30 pm

I always say that if I get one “perfect” picture, there are 30 crazy ones. We should post more of the real life pictures.

Megan Pacheco - January 06, 2016 at 08:11 pm

Great reminder!

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“For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8).