Burger Saturday—It’s about a Burger and a Prayer!

Most of us think nothing of having a burger. We can zip through any drive-thru window, order a burger, devour it, and we can do it almost anytime we’d like to do so.

Saturdays have become burger days in our household.
They are a reminder of hope.

…might sound silly…
until you know the background.

At “The Hut,” burgers are served on Saturday. When you’ve spent a few months or years in a place where you don’t get to choose what food you get to eat, burgers on Saturdays are something to look forward to.

When he came home, it meant a lot for him to be able to choose to eat a burger on a Saturday. It was a way of remembering where he’d been, those he left behind, and the fortunes of being able to choose what’s for lunch.

“Do you mind that we eat burgers on Saturdays?” he asked me the other day.

“Not at all. I enjoy sharing burgers with you.” I told him.

We don’t eat them every Saturday, but we’ve had a lot of burgers on Saturdays over the last five months.

He prays for them while he’s grilling the burgers—for those who are still there…for those looking forward to their thin, dried hockey puck with a razor-thin slice of tomato and a paper-thin ring of onion (except for every 5th Saturday—for some reason, the tomato and onion aren’t on The Hut’s menu once every five weeks).

I still see it in him after every first bite of a burger…
I see him savor that bite as he takes a long time to chew it.

Sometimes, there’s such a long pause.
Sometimes, there’s a quiver of the lip.
Sometimes, he quickly wipes away a tear from the corner of his eye.

I don’t think he realizes that I watch him take that first bite, but I do, because I will never forget the day he took that first bite of burger on the first Saturday after he came home. Never.

You just can’t forget something like that.

He enjoys his tomato, his onion, the mustard, ketchup and mayo…
He sometimes tops it with avocado, or bacon, and a creamy slice of real cheese…

He enjoys his burgers, and it makes me realize—yet again—how much his life has changed over the last few months. Every bit of time we get to spend together is a blessing to me. I’ve learned so much from him about appreciating the little things.

To Clyde, Dave, and so many of the others…
We think of you when we eat our burgers.
Today was Burger Saturday, and we prayed for you today.

 


 

Finding Hope in the Comparison Trap

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Photo and artwork belong to ComparisonTrap.org

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting some of my insights and takeaways from a Bible Study called the Comparison Trap

The study, written by Sandra Stanley and containing video lessons by her and her husband Andy, is about helping women to recognize the trap of comparing ourselves to others. It’s a 28-day devotional with four video lessons.

The study uses weekly video lessons and group discussion to kick off seven days of devotional time. A Scripture verse, a reading, and a daily challenge help women to discover the ugliness of comparing ourselves to others.

“Ugliness” might sound like a strange word to use to describe the discoveries, but it seems fitting at this point in the study (one of my own takeaways). Comparing ourselves to others leaves us feeling as though we are not enough, don’t have enough and can’t achieve enough, and it can also leave us feeling like we’re better than others or as though they have fallen short. …either option is pretty ugly, right?

Comparison also gets in the way of what God wants for us and how He’d have us walk with Him. It gets in the way of us being able to recognize where we are on our journey through life and why we are here. Comparison gets in the way of a lot, and there’s no win in comparison. 

Last night kicked off a four-week, five-session journey with 43 women venturing into the Comparison Trap and some of life with one another. Feel free to check in with me as I share some of my own insights, some of our groups’ takeaways and some of the life change experienced along the way.



Since today is my first post from the study, I wanted to also share some of what our group experienced last night at the start of our short-term group.

Our time together started with each of the women choosing a photo Story Card which reminded them of something they wanted but didn’t have in their life right now. We, then, took 30 seconds to say our name, describe our card, and then share why we chose that card. This can be an intimidating idea to share—even for 30 seconds—in a room full of women (who are apt to start the trap of comparing), but I’ve always been awed at how many women step forward to share a hope or a wound. God starts relationships and takes steps toward healing in these moments.

Andy Stanley’s video lesson brought us to the Land of Er, where we see other women who are rich-er, skinny-er, happy-er, smart-er or more married-er. See! It can get ugly!

He pointed out that “there’s no win in comparison” in the Land of Er.

This led us into Ecclessiastes 4:4-6 where Solomon outlines some of the ugliness and frustrations of where comparison can take us.

And I saw that all toil and all achievement
spring from one person’s envy of another.
This too is meaningless,
a chasing after the wind.

Fools fold their hands
and ruin themselves.

Better one handful with tranquillity
than two handfuls with toil
and chasing after the wind.

Andy asked us to participate in an exercise where we have one hand open—ready to receive and give—and to have the other hand clenched tight. Choosing to live more open-handed can bring us satisfaction, contentment and peace, but living closed-off and tight-fisted can leave us feeling like a fool, at a loss within our circumstances, and missing out on the peace we so often seek.

My takeaways were many, and my page of notes was full. I look forward to the journey through this study as a facilitator, as a participant, and as a woman seeking God’s heart, His hope, and His will in my life.

If you’d like to watch the video, you can download the Comparison Trap app to get started. Better yet, buy the book and DVD, ask a few friends to join you in your family room, and start the study while doing life together.
In case you are wondering, the answer is “no.” I do not work for or with this company, nor have they asked for my posts or endorsements. I’m facilitating a journey for others and walking through it myself. I’m just taking some time to be real to share some of it with you.