Comparison stifles the beauty of our story

Last weekend Dave hung our chandelier from Paris up in our breakfast nook. Seeing it hang there brings me back to our apartment on rue du Rendez-Vous. It hung against a deep turquoise wall and above our lacquered dining table. Out the big balcony windows we could see and hear the busy commèrcante street. We now see palm trees and dog walkers out our Floridian window but there’s still an elegance to the chandelier that I scored as a street find.

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our dining room table in Paris also doubled as a pingpong table

The whole breakfast nook got a makeover. It has been a mishmash of all street find furniture that didn’t really go together, but I upgraded it and bought a table for $25 and a set of chair for $5 at a garage sale. I also bought a new light fixture for $1 but Dave rightly suggested we hang the chandelier we brought from Paris. Some of our watercolors from our travels made it up on the wall, as will our new family photo. The space speaks of our story now. But here’s the thing, I had been comparing my story and space to someone else’s throughout the whole afternoon and it robbed my joy real bad. Have you done that? Where you’re excited about what you’ve got going on and then you see what someone else  has going on and you’re like, “Oh, my thing isn’t as good. I wish I had their thing.” Ahhhh!!! It is such a trap.

 

Here’s the before and after photos from our $32 breakfast nook makeover

 

This is the very reason I am not an Instagrammer (not actively or passively); it looks so rosy and perfect. Well, my table isn’t perfect. It has rings from beverages that sat too long and the cute turquoise bench is all scratched up because we put in the back of the minivan for our family photo shoot that was at 7am across town. But I don’t bark at my kids if they leave marks on it or want to paint while sitting at it. That’s one of the reasons I love buying second hand (or finding things on the street), I spend less time trying to protect it and more time using it. Sorry, this is sounding preachy… it is more of a reminder to myself.

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a special Sunday breakfast with pain au chocolat from Trader Joe’s (they’re delicious!)

God has given each of us our story, our photos to hang on the wall and our decorating preferences. Eclectic boho with lots of stories to tell are what you’ll hear in our home. Some of my friends do Swedish modern really well, others rock midcentury modern and farmhouse. It speaks of the diversity of our souls and I want to learn to appreciate the beauty in each of our stories and spaces and not spend so much time letting comparison steal the beauty of my story.

 

 

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most of our breakfasts look like giant cereal boxes on the table, not delicate bowls with blackberries and pain au chocolat

Can I digress? I LOVE decorating on a dime. My friend confided in me the other day that she looks at her recently hung art and tallies it up in her head, “I only paid $12 for this whole wall of art.” I totally do that, too! My table, chairs and printed family photo cost a grand total of $32.

Ethan Alan table: $25 at a garage sale

2 wooden chairs: $5 at a garage sale

2 metal chairs: Free, street find (I recovered them with green velvet fabric I had from pillows on my couch 12 years ago)

turquoise bench: Free. My friend Linda found it on the curb and I painted it with some leftover paint I had in the garage (I didn’t even sand it or prime it. Just quick slapped some paint on it. It won’t be an heirloom but it’s a great piece for now.)

8×10 photo printed at Walgreens: $2

Grand total: $32

 

I hope as you read this you’re remembering your story and how you express it’s beauty. Where do you need to stop comparing- or better yet, who do you need to stop comparing yourself to? I’m praying God continues to give me the truths and tools to stop myself mid-thought when I go down that nasty path. God delights in me and He delights in you and there’s room for all of us at His table. That’s a cool thought. There’s a Bible study I’ve enjoyed on this very topic called Included with Christ by Heather Hollerman.

Have a great day sitting at your table, with your story and your people. Bonne Dimanche!

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