Last week we visited my family. Having not seen them much since the start of the pandemic, this was wonderful and we had some lovely times with them. But something took me completely by surprise, I found myself comparing myself with each of them.

As a single parent on a low income, I am the ‘poor relation’ of the family. My house is smallest, my car isn’t as new or as nice looking, I can’t afford a holiday unlike my brother and his partner who go abroad several times a year, I don’t have a partner to go places with and so on. It doesn’t usually bother me, but this time it did. I lost sight of my gratitude and being happy with what we have. I focused on what we don’t have instead. For a few days, I turned into a magpie, looking at other people’s shiny things.

The problem with being a magpie is that it doesn’t bring contentment or happiness. It made me really unhappy and I lost sight of the blessings that we DO have.

It took coming home to our house and pets to set myself right again. Thankfully, the Lord showed me just how many blessings we have and set me back on the right path. My house might be not big but it is set up for my active children to be able to play without breaking things (unlike any of my family’s homes). We can walk into the countryside within a couple of minutes and hear skylarks from our garden on a quiet sunny morning. We have a crazy rescue pigeon who makes us laugh. Our garden is small but we have just enough room to camp out and eat meals out there. My car takes us out to see new places and means I don’t have to push a heavy child in a wheelchair on every single journey.

Magpie-mode finished…hopefully for a long time. Living with gratitude is much better.

Published by N Hadley

Single parent to children with additional/special needs. Interested in eco friendly and frugal living, and recently exploring minimalism as a way to express my Christian faith.

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