Many of us are familiar with these words from Romans 12:2 (New International Version) "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." 

I usually don't think of myself as a conformist.  And I know the verse above is speaking about resisting the tugs of a godless society.  But lately I've been comparing myself with others--including GOOD people!  CHRISTIAN people!  Admiring the decorations, comparing the creativity and warmth of THEIR family gatherings with our own experience, and NOW realizing I feel guilty because I'm not getting our Christmas decorations down in a timely manner!

I DID trade out red candles for the white....but like other years, I'm not in a hurry to remove the traces of Christmas from our winter.  For instance, I'm keeping the wreath hanging on the door knob up a while longer. It's one of my favorite decorations made by tracing the hand of our youngest daughter when she was in the 3rd grade.  (She will soon be 32!)

And here are a few OTHER things I'm not in a hurry to put away:
magi figures (the magi found the Christ months-maybe years-after His birth
one of my quilted Christmas table runners
the bedspring wreath
and even our tabletop Christmas tree!
As much as I love blogging, I recognize it has produced in me a growing tendency to get my cues from others and from our culture.  I'm fighting it today and will continue to fight it by fixing my attention on God!  Changing from the inside out.  Readily recognizing what he wants from me and quickly responding to it! 

The Message puts Romans 2:1-2 THIS way:
 1-2 So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.  (The Message)


  1. ha ha...I've been putting off getting myself together this morning, waiting for Rebecca's blog post! Talk about getting cues from others! Christmas won't begin to come down over here till this coming weekend...and I will leave some "winter" decorations up until spring. When I finally got to the place in life where I am pretty much content to be myself and not worry about what others are and I'm "not" I've been much more at peace with myself. There are times, though, that I fall back into it...and it is usually when I let myself slip into feeling intimidated when having people over who "have" so much more than we do, and I worry about what they think of us. It's a character defect that needs constant tweeking...Those are the times I try to remind myself how blessed I am in so many ways, and remember how many people struggle with so much less. Know what I mean?

  2. I do understand you Rebecca. Sometimes I feel that although I too love blogging and other online interactions, it really creates a sense of unrest in me because I begin to compare different things about my life to others, which for the most part, I never did before. Of course, the fault for that lies in myself but I just wanted to say how I agree with you!
    Happy new year!

  3. I can relate took me a long time to not compare myself to the other bloggers and learn to accept who I am in Christ and in the blogger world. I still look at and admire and even glean from other bloggers such as you but I do not let it change what I have to offer or what I like to do. To be took me awhile. Just enjoy being are pretty cool :)

  4. If I were you, I'd NEVER put up the bedspring wreath. It's whimiscal and lovely!

  5. I so agree with your thoughts here! I am glad you aren't going to quit blogging and instead are simply aware of the pitfalls of the comparison game the blogs can draw us into. I have to fight that myself. Much better to put our identity in Christ.

  6. Mrs. Mo, Thanks! It was nonconformity that caused us to create it in the first place (though now that I think about it, I probably saw it on someone's blog)!

  7. Cindy, I don't believe it's time for me to quit blogging yet...just to keep an ear and heart open to God's direction re. even the "little" daily choices...

  8. Dee,
    I, too, have gleaned so much from others and am thankful. I am also quite content (usually). Just every so often, I have to ask myself something like "Is something wrong with me that we enjoy many of our Christmas decorations well into the new year?"

  9. Colleen, It's nice to be heard and understood! This is an issue which other can't "solve" for us. We must be guided in our choices by personal attention to God's Word and His gracious Holy Spirit.

  10. Let's just all enjoy blogging as a way
    of sharing our faith, family, struggles,
    and victories. Comparing ourselves to
    others is never healthy no matter where
    or in what capacity. I enjoy your blogs
    so much and you have a lot to contribute.
    As for Christmas decor, I just got all
    of mine up away. It's always a good
    feeling to start the new year with a
    fresh clean house decorated with Spring
    decor, I think. I do put out my Winter
    wreaths though and keep them up until
    late March.

  11. Sandy, SO well said! (Unfortunately, spring doesn't come here for quite awhile yet, so the white lights on the tree and around our porch continue to light some of the long, dark hours we're still experiencing.)

  12. Oh my, Rebecca! You are wonderfully unique and creative--in home, in garden, in writing, in piano playing, in clothing, in reaching out to others. I love how you go full steam ahead. I love your passion and admire very much your self discipline. You are such a good grandma with such natural instincts. You certainly have a most wonderful man that loves you entirely and creates (okay, repurposes) for you upon request. The rest of us that read must keep our comparisons in check and enjoy all that you offer. This blogger has never changed my blog background. I love reading from yours that has a new outfit twice a month. I always think of the garden example. How dull it would be if every flower were the same. The world is so much more interesting because of the variety!

    Regarding Christmas, I leave a skinny corner Christmas tree and a lantern by the fireplace up through January. I have them on timers so they are great nightlights. I miss them when they come down. I will not let my hubby remove our outside wreaths and the sled outside my front door until March. They are just so pretty and cheery. I leave a large red ribbon on my each of my largest plants through January. It is just too hard to go cold turkey. I do feel good when the tree is down. There is a freedom in having it put away. I like having the space again.

    It has been a joy to hear about your life via the blogs. I am glad you are a real person.

  13. Brenda, That's IT! I don't want to go "cold turkey"!

    Re. my blog background changes...once I figured out how to do it and found some good free options, it is easy-cheesy to do it and do it often!

  14. I wanted to raise my hand and say, "me, too" while reading your post. I have worked really hard at accepting I will never be the stylish woman who only thought about shopping, clothes and decorating. But blog life really puts it "in your face." It's easy to become dissatisfied with who I am. I needed to read those verses and am reclaiming who I am in God's eyes--the me that He made.

    My Christmas won't be completely gone unti the end of the week. I wanted to spend my week with RB and Emily without stressing about getting it all down. The kitchen is back to order as of today!

  15. I agree with everything Brenda said! Your blog is always an inspiration, and you and Gary are so creative. God taught me several years ago about not comparing my situation, home, etc to others, but I still need reminders about that sometimes.

  16. I'm sorry that I've missed so many of your posts Rebecca! I guess I sort of took a break from the computer. I love your message of nonconformity. It is something that we should all practice but isn't always easy! Thanks for the inspiration! Love Di ♥

  17. there is a fine line between being inspired or
    convicted by others and by competing or
    comparing oneself with them.

    we just spent a couple of hours talking with
    two of our kids about that last night. it
    starts so young, at baylor for our son, the
    Christian kids have this standard of comparison
    that made my jaw drop. sigh.

    good for you! keep up those decorations as
    long as you want. :)



Writing a Song a Week #3

Writing a Song a Week #3
♪ I wait for the Lord; my soul waits and in his word I hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning ♪ (Psalm 130:5-6)