Note: no affiliate links appear in this post.
In my weekly newsletter last week, I shared with my readers that I'm currently creating a simple planner for the homeschooling, work-at-home homemaker. (Shameless plug: if you'd like to join my newsletter, just fill out the nifty teal box at the end of this post! I'll send you a complimentary copy of my ebook, "Hope for the Hallway" as a thank-you gift.) While I've seen planners of all sorts - homemaking binders, business planners, and life organizers - I've not come across a single planner that covers home education, business, and homemaking. Since it's something I desperately need, I decided it was worth the effort to create it.
It's been a huge undertaking; honestly, I had no idea when I began putting this planner together that it would require so much effort! But now that it's almost complete, I'm pretty happy with how it's turning out.
Or, rather, I was happy with it.
This morning, after a big push to get the majority of my planner finished, another blogger sent me an email about the new Homeschool Mom Life Planner. It's beautiful. It combines homeschooling with homemaking. It's inexpensive. It's undated, making it reusable for future years. It seemed perfect.
You see, my planner is simple. It mostly consists of tables I created in Google docs. Wanting to save on printing costs, I've kept the colors limited. The decorative designs? They're nearly obsolete, though I did include one pretty floral I got free from Canva. Mine isn't reusable because I've had fill-in-the-date planners before, and they're incredibly time-consuming. When I started comparing my planner to the one in my inbox, mine suddenly seemed inferior and inadequate even though I was happy with it prior to seeing the other one.
To be blunt, I felt a twinge of envy.
Have you ever felt envious of someone else? Someone who seems to have more success than you have, someone who appears prettier than you are, or someone who comes across as having a deeper faith than yours? What do you do when envy strikes?
I'm no expert in getting rid of envy, but this morning I did a couple of things to change my mindset and get rid of my envy.
Ask for forgiveness.
I had to pray and ask the Lord to forgive me for being envious and playing the comparison game. Envy is one of those secret sins that is often easy to ignore. Unless it absolutely takes over your life, it's also easy to pretend that you're immune to it.
I certainly didn't want to admit that I felt a twinge of envy. But unless we're willing to admit to and ask forgiveness for our sin - even the hidden ones - we'll never make headway in overcoming them.
Consider the source of envy.
Envy usually stems from feelings of insecurity and dissatisfaction. I had confidence in my planner until someone else came along with a seemingly-better version. Suddenly, I was dissatisfied with my own efforts even though I had done my best.
Recognizing that dissatisfaction and insecurity fuel envy can help us better guard against them all. We should be finding our satisfaction and security in the Lord alone, not in ourselves or our talents. When we do, it won't matter that someone else can do things better than we can.
Give praise where it's due.
The Homeschool Mom Life Planner really is everything I said it was: pretty, inexpensive, and reusable. Although it really isn't perfect - nothing in life is! - it meets a lot of planning needs. So I don't mind promoting it here on my blog in case it blesses any of my readers! (And no, those aren't affiliate links; I just felt it was worth sharing!) It is lovely, and I'm certain that it's creator Heather worked very, very hard on it. She did a great job, and she deserves praise for her efforts.
Remember that you have your own talents to offer.
There will always be someone else more talented than we are. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't ever try anything because someone somewhere will do it better than we can. In fact, as Money Saving Mom is fond of saying, "There is only one you, and the world needs your voice" - or, in this case, talents.
I purposely designed my planner to use as little ink as possible to save on printing costs. I never intended it to cover every aspect of schooling, business, and domestic responsibilities - I just wanted it to cover the most important things. I created it to be simple. Plus, mine covers homeschooling and business, something I don't think the Homeschool Mom Life Planner does.
The two planners offer different options since no planner will be perfect for every single person. One isn't better than the other. They each were created with different audiences in mind. And I think that pleases the Lord. He loves creativity and diversity!
I didn't wake up this morning planning to write a post on envy, but as I continue to pursue blogging, I'm learning that honesty combined with life events often create the best posts. I'm sure this won't be the last time I'll experience envy, but if I continue to confess it, consider its source, give praise to others, and recognize the unique gifts that God has given me, I'll continue to mature in the way I handle it when it strikes.
Coming soon: I hope to have The Waiting Well Planner available next week! If it sounds like something you'd be interested in, be sure to check back for an update on the proposed launch day. If you need a different planner, Ruth Soukup's Living Well Planner is now available for pre-order, and Beth Anne's Brilliant Business Planner is another great choice. There's no one-size-fits-all planner, but there are so many excellent options that one is sure to be a good fit for you.