The Thief of Joy

Contentment on the beach

Travel is a very relative thing. Relative to our friends and family we travel a lot, and the children have especially been on a lot of flights and road trips. Relative to the travel bloggers I follow, we’ve basically never left our house. ?

For me personally, when I read about families traveling or living abroad, I have to make sure I’m reading for inspiration and knowledge and entertainment. It’s too easy to compare my own travels and start to feel jealousy or discontent.

When these feelings crop up I’ve found a couple things that help.

  • Recognize that my feelings are trending negative. If I’m not aware its happening, I’m obviously not doing anything to get it under control!
  • Examine my motivations for traveling. For me, travel is a way to experience the incredible majesty and diversity of God’s creation and to introduce the children to his power and beauty. If travel has become something I want to check off my list or show off in Instagram, then my motivation is wrong.
Hawaii Sea Turtle
Creation in Hawaii
  • Count my blessings unrelated to travel. I have a loving husband who goes along with all my schemes and supports us, my daughter is so smart and observant and is turning into a hilarious and beautiful little girl, and my cute son is so caring, affectionate, and easy going. Our extended family is loving and supportive and fun and everyone is healthy.
Kids hugging in the park
Showing some sibling love, 5 minutes from home.
  • Count my blessings related to travel! We’ve traveled a lot! My memory is not great, so I review pictures of the wonderful trips we’ve taken and feel blessed.
Rooftop Bangkok
Kids exhausted after a long day in Bangkok.
  • When all else fails, go outside! If comparison is the thief of joy, then my laptop/iphone are the getaway cars! We live in a beautiful world and God’s creation is all around us! For me at least, all discontentment fades away when I get into the woods or the mountains or step onto the beach.
K looking at tide pools
Exploring the tide pools here in the Bay Area.

Many people have been to more places then me, people have stayed for longer at the places I’ve been, people have stayed at nicer hotels or eaten at better restaurants, people travel more frequently then I do, but at the end of the day, what does that have to do with me?

1 Timothy 6:6-7 But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.

5 responses to “The Thief of Joy”

  1. leni Covington Avatar
    leni Covington

    Well stated!!!


  2. Hello 🙂 No, jealousy really isn’t a thing for me. Never has been. We do what we want to do, others do what they want to do, those two are completely separate in my head. Maybe it’s because I know we CAN and most likely WILL do whatever it is we desire. I had a feeling, 5 years ago, before we started this trip, that life was going on somewhere else and we were missing out on it. I think that was through living in a town I really didn’t much like and feeling isolated. I’ve never had it since, I also have zero desire to go back to that town. Here in Romania we’re far more isolated in some ways, but just looking out of the window, grass, trees, flowers, birds, passing horses and carts…it puts a smile on my face every time!


    1. magnetsfromeverywhere Avatar

      Thanks for sharing! That’s great that you don’t struggle with this, I think that makes you exceptional! ? Even before I came down with the travel bug I struggled with comparison over clothes or whatever else was cool at the time.


  3. I love this! I always find myself wishing I could travel more when I hear about friends’ vacations! These are some great suggestions for not letting that jealousy get the best of me!


    1. magnetsfromeverywhere Avatar

      Thank you! Glad I’m not alone!


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