Take Yourself Out of the Running

note: I actually wrote this blog post in June + God told me to sit on it. I'm posting it now, months later - and praying for all of you women who need to take yourself out. 

It's Sunday morning and I just had to put down the book I was reading and open my laptop to write this. I knew it was coming, this post, and I've started to share these words in different formats, but today I knew it was really time to just settle in and write. 

Backing up, I really love 6am-8am on Sunday mornings. The rest of the day can be pretty stressful as a pastor's wife, but these hours feel different than any other day of the week to me. It's the day Nick wakes up earlier than me for sure, so I can linger in bed a little. I keep my robe on and sip some coffee and don't hustle off to answer emails or run to the gym. I read and drink coffee and read and drink coffee. Then the crazy of Sunday breaks in. 

But today I was reading and it hit me like a ton of bricks. Comparison. Envy. That empty pit in my stomach that screamed "WHY DID YOU EVER TRY AND WRITE A BOOK?". The book I was reading, it's not very well known, but it's exquisite. The writing, the content. I wanted to copy and paste every single word I was reading and share it everywhere. And I genuinely wondered - WHY did I just write a book? Why did I sign up to write a second one? Why would I try and string words together when other people do it so well and have such larger platforms than me? 

I talked to Jamie Ivey about this for her podcast on Friday, then I spoke about it at a conference on Saturday, and then I instagrammed a little about it last week as well. It's this constant desire to look to the left or the right and compare. To measure up. To see where we fit in and understand our place. And I have a new way of fighting it that I knew I wanted to share with you gals right this very minute. 

I am taking myself out of the running. I've realized that what's happening in my head is that I'm constantly assessing where I stand in the running for all the things. Of all the moms I know - how am I doing? Am I the most lazy seeming or like third from the bottom? Of all the print shop owners I know, how would I be classified? The one without a lot of natural talent but a good amount of hustle? Out of the 3 billion women on earth, where do I stand in the beauty department? In the race for most supportive and spicy wife, am I anywhere close to winning? If we're competing for most visible volunteer mom in my kid's school, I think I started really trying to win and finished the school year limping over the finish line last. As an author, will I even be on the scoreboard when my book comes out next year? Or will it be a blip on the radar, listed as something that could have been great, but wasn't?

I don't feel as if I function all day every day living in a world of comparison, but there are so many areas of my life where I subconsciously compete and measure and assess where it is that I am in the race. 

And now, I'm taking myself out of the running. 
I am throwing my hands in the air and telling the Lord, the world, myself, and the enemy of my soul - I am crucified in Christ. It is not longer I that live, but Christ in me. 
I am exactly where I'm supposed to be. 
The goal of my life is not to be the best anything,
but to worship the only One who is the best. 
I do not have time to be in the running for anything
other than the race God has called me to.

And I'm wondering if you need to do the same? I had the gals at the conference on Saturday get weird and awkward and stand with their hands in the air and repeat, "I am taking myself out of the running for ________________." I'm finding myself doing it multiple times a day as well. As I'm getting dressed and feeling the familiar pang of not being beautiful enough. When I realized I've forgotten to text that friend back and hear the nagging lie that I'm never going to be known as a great friend. As my eyes scan over our dirty summer house, full of noise and fun and life, but with our floor looking like the bottom of a gerbil cage. Throwing those hands in the air and reminding all parties involved - I take myself out of the running of having the most clean and stylish home. 

I believe the race He's called you to is incredibly important. I know that you don't have a second to waste either. So, join me? Right where you are? Throw your hands in the air and repeat after me. Take yourself out of the running and abide in Him.