I am a big fan of blogs

I write a blog. And I do love it.

But before I was a blogger, I was a reader of blogs. Lots of them.  And I still am.

My intention with this post was to share a list of the blogs that I love : and that will come : but I feel this need to share something else instead. Something not quite as fluffy as blogs I love, but probably important to say since it’s been on my heart for quite some time.

Comparison. Insecurity. Self-righteousness.


My best friend says that blogs are like pornography for women. Now don’t be offended. I know that it’s a pretty raunchy comparison, but bear with me. The thing about pornography that traps so many is the lure of something almost reality.  The women are gorgeous and tight, they’ll say what you want to hear and do what your wildest dreams could only imagine. They give you promise of something so good, but always leave you feeling inadequate, let down, and unsatisfied with your true reality.  And yet that promise is so tantalizing, you keep coming back for more.

The same can be true of blog-reading. It all looks so good and attractive, is inspiring and encouraging {even addicting}, but you often walk away feeling inadequate, let down and unsatisfied with your true reality.

We get so absorbed in and enchanted by the life of whosever blog we’re reading that when we step back from the computer and look around at the beautiful mess that is our real life, we feel like we don’t measure up.

How many times have I had these thoughts :

I wish I was as creative as Ashley Ann.

If only my house looked like Erika’s.

I will never be as full of wisdom as Angie.

Or as chic as Seleta.

Or as clever as Kasey.

Or as good a mom as Meg.

and on and on and on.

I don’t know these ladies, but in my few interactions with them I can say that none of them intend to make others feel this way.  They are beautiful women who are simply sharing their lives.

But this is the problem with blogs. We present what we want to {typically only the best of life} and put on a front that we have it all together. Of course that is what I want to write about. Who wants to read about my bad hair day and the bad attitude that followed? Or the frustration I feel when I just want to eat my own breakfast and wish my children would leave me alone for five minutes!? Sometimes posts like that happen, but the majority of them are happy, clean and pretty.

What breaks my heart, sweet reader, is that in my attempt to share the best of my life with you, perhaps I have left you feeling somehow inadequate.

That your home doesn’t measure up. Or your talents. Or your children {or lack thereof}.

And that is truly not my intention.

My maiden name is Jones and I find it quite ironic that my biggest struggle of all is comparison.

You know, the whole keeping up with the Joneses thing?

Oh, how I am completely aware of it in my own life.

It is a constant struggle for me to be able to look at other’s successes and be genuinely happy for them without that little nudge of insecurity to creep in.  And on the other side, it is a challenge for me to look at my own successes and not feel like I am somehow better than another.

To be in that place where I am fully confident in who God made me to be and have no need to compare myself is where I am headed, but I am not yet there.

I read this devotion to my children months ago and it has stuck with me:

“Stop comparing yourself to other people. When you compare yourself to others, you end up either feeling that you’re better than they are, or feeling bad about yourself. Neither of those things is what I want for you.

I created each of My children with unique talents. And I have given each of you your own road to follow. So it is useless to compare yourself to someone else – that person has a completely different path to follow.

When you want to feel good about yourself, remember how much I love you. Remember that I made you just the way I want you to be. And remember that I died so you could have My salvation. You are a jewel in My crown.”

Isn’t that good? Written for little ones, but pierces my soul with its truth.

So this is what I am trying to say :

I love reading blogs. There are so many ridiculously creative, talented, wise women who I am daily inspired by.  And I want so much to be able to leave their little corner of the web feeling encouraged rather than defeated. That is a decision that is completely up to me. It is all about confidence : knowing who I am and whose I am.

At the same time, I want my little corner that is Jones Design Company to be a place where you can also come to be encouraged and inspired.  I try my best to be my genuine self and I hope you know that while I try to be as honest as possible, this is not the perfect representation of me and my life.  I am terrible at making meals. My closet is a wreck. I like crass jokes and am very goofy in real life.  I cry at stupid things {like the beluga whales doing tricks at the zoo} and I haven’t opened my bible in a week.

I love reading blogs. And I will share with you a list of some of my favorites. But I just wanted to get it out on the table that sometimes I struggle mightily with feeling insecure when I read these blogs.  I’m not sure if you feel the same way, but I’m guessing that since women can be very insecure creatures, perhaps you can identify.

But just remember {and I say this to myself as well} that you were made to be you. Not Ashley Ann or Meg or Seleta {who are all delightful, I am sure}, but just you.

You are a jewel in His crown.

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248 Responses to I am a big fan of blogs

  1. Tammy August 17, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    This is my first comment on your blog and your blog is the first that I have subscribed too! I find most blogs very inspiring but yours touched me in a way that I did not expect. I am compelled to peruse the tutorials of your designs. I love everything that you have there and just wish I had more time to create my own versions. All in all what I am saying is that I your blog does not make me feel inferior but inspired.
    Additionally, I was reading your most recent post of your Uncle Kevin’s Salsa recipe (who doesn’t love a good salsa) and it made me more drawn to your blog. My father was diagnosed in January 2009 with ALS and passed away in May of 2010. Such a horrible disease can take away so much from a person and their family. I am sorry for your loss but happy to hear that you have many ways of remembering him in your everyday life!
    Finally, I would like to thank you for your blog and inspiration! Hope you have a great day!

  2. Sarah August 17, 2011 at 1:29 pm #

    This is my first of your entries that I have read. your blog entry was sent to me by a friend. I opened my email after my morning devotions yesterday. I’m starting a bible study with some girlfriends tonight but our book “so long insecurity” by Beth Moore is not yet in.. So I was asking the Lord for a little guidance about what to share. I opened this entry that my friend had forward to me. What an immediate answer. Priaise Him! Kno w that you are being used and you have about 7 women in Michigan who will be reading your entry tonight as passage into our study about women and insecurity. Thank you for being transparent! Also thought you should know that I spent approximately 2 hours yesterday studying each of your tutorials. You are indeed gifted and creative! I attempted the starch flower with success.

  3. Wendy August 17, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

    Thank you… I needed to hear this today… Your vulnerability is refreshing and challenging me!

  4. Jean @ Flower Hill Design Company August 17, 2011 at 4:44 pm #

    Thank you for your honesty. It’s so nice to know that others often have the same feelings as I do! Good advice to stop comparing yourself to others. Our main goal should be to strive to be the best YOU can be!

  5. kbarberphotography August 17, 2011 at 8:37 pm #

    Thank you for your honesty. It was what I needed to hear today. Thank you.

  6. Jennifer August 18, 2011 at 7:34 am #

    beautiful post! my favorite quote – one that I have to go back to again and again (and again) – is “comparison kills contentment.” it SO DOES!

  7. Jill August 18, 2011 at 9:24 am #

    OMG – How well said….I have been critisized by friends who have told me I need to share the more personal side of myself on my blog and to show more pictures of my home etc….what has held me back is exactly what you have said. I fear making others feel inadequate as so many blogs (I feel) show just the rosy-side of life and often feel (to me) like “look at how awesome I am, while I home-school and do all these fabulous DIY projects and make a complete gluten-free meal using only organic produce we grew in our backyard garden”. UGH!

    I love coming to visit you here – and who knows, maybe someday in person!

  8. Christine August 18, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

    Sweet Emily. I love your blog, not because of how crazy creative you are, beautiful, talent, and your giveaways but because you are honest and so surreal. Right now in this moment, I’m sitting in Starbucks avoiding the fact that I’m suppose to be at my chemo appointment. I wanted to have just one day where I’m not stricken to doctors and utter sickness. I’ve been struggling with the balance of taking care of myself and my family, work, LIFE. I see or hear of people & families that get through the struggles of treatments and they don’t stop everything else in life or that their fighters and never give up. My thoughts are always wondering why can’t I do it all, why can’t I want to fight for my life, have a clean house, savings in our bank account, the clothes that we all want, craft everyday, not have my children cry or act crazy plus so much more. Today you have helped me see what the Lord is truly been trying to tell me….. that it’s okay to not be all put together. I’m sitting here with people looking at me as tears are flowing and I truly feel lifted up. You are a blessings, flaws and all. Thank you.

  9. Jennifer August 18, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

    You said this beautifully. Sometimes blog reading can get me down while at the same time inspiring me. When I started my blog I thought it would be a craft blog but I found I loved writing our family stories with a humorous take much more. I remember when I used to watch the follower numbers and cringe. Now I realize this blog has given me an outlet to share how I’m feeling through tough times and easy ones. I’m glad you wrote this post. Sometimes even the “big guys” get overwhelmed.

  10. bonnie k August 18, 2011 at 11:56 pm #

    Thank-you for this post. I always find your posts such a refreshing little break from my day. It’s nice to be reminded to NOT compare. It’s so true that blogs are usually our best self, glossed over and omitting the Mommy temper tantrum that happened 47 seconds before hitting “post”. As a fellow blogger, this is a good reminder to just be myself and that doing so gives others permission too!! You’re one of my favorite bloggers!

  11. Dina August 19, 2011 at 7:41 am #

    Thank you for this post. I have often had to remind myself of this over the last few years since taking up blog reading. Honestly, sometimes I even have to take a break from the blogs to keep everything in perspective…

  12. Marjorie August 19, 2011 at 11:00 am #

    Love, love, love your post. So very true. I am glad to know that I was not the only one feeling this way. Thanks for putting this out there!

  13. lora August 19, 2011 at 11:22 am #

    beautiful post! i wrote one on my blog today about the same thing! it’s interesting how lots of women are feeling the same emotions lately about this whole blog/comparison, etc… thing. so good to know that we are free to be ourselves! and know, like you said, that we are all “jewels in His crown”! lora

  14. Katie August 19, 2011 at 8:14 pm #

    Thank you, Emily for writing this entry. I, too, am reading the book “So Long Insecurity” by Beth Moore and am finding this struggle with comparison is so active in my life. I’ve been unemployed for 5 months now and have spent an incredible time reading blogs and often feeling inadequate after. My house isn’t cute enough. I don’t cook well. I need to be more. I appreciate the courage it took you to write this entry and allow us to all learn and grow from it. Thank you.

  15. Mallory August 20, 2011 at 4:35 pm #

    Thank you.

    I have been feeling this way and am so thankful when people are real. The devotional you shared is exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  16. Blair August 21, 2011 at 11:09 pm #

    thank you writing this post… as you can see {based on all the comments} this is a very real thing that all of us ladies struggle with! thank you for being so honest because i think we all have days like that.

  17. Amelia August 22, 2011 at 8:40 am #

    long time reader, first time commenter! i just had to comment because this is such a great, refreshing and honest post. I’d love to have a blog (and do plan on starting one soon!) but when i go to start i always think it’s never going to be as good as all the others out there and who’s going to read it. i get bogged down with comparisons and insecurity which is totally pointless! I love reading your blog not just because your funny and interesting but because your honest and you really seem to put yourself out there! inspiring!

  18. Leslie B. August 23, 2011 at 8:27 am #

    This post his WAY too close to home for me. I read lots of blog daily, and like you, often walk away feeling like I will never be as good as ___ (fill in the blank). It’s a terrible feeling to have, but yet I come back time and time again to torture myself. I’m sure that as long as there are blogs written by amazing and talented women, I will always read them, but it’s gonna be up to me to change my attitude about how I feel about myself in comparison. I have a feeling that it’s gonna be lifelong struggle to just be content with what I have and who I am. But, I know that God’s plan for me and my life are unique, it’s just up to me to decide to be ok with that. Thanks so much for this post!

  19. Lacey August 23, 2011 at 8:47 am #

    Wonderful post and I’m so glad I clicked over here from Erin Cobb’s blog. I began my blog to help myself gain perspective by writing about my life with boys (and to share the 1000’s of photos I take!) and in doing so, hope that others will gain perspective about this blessing of life God has given us.

    My trouble is that I often get sucked into reading blogs when I should be doing other things … like caring for my kids! :)

  20. becky mercado August 23, 2011 at 1:41 pm #

    Wow, so true. I am new to blogs, and have joined Pinterest. I am starting a blog, in the design stage, and am reading to learn from others. One page leads to another, etc. As I read it is overwhelming. I am an empty-nester, well over 40 and am trying to jump start my enthusiasm for life. My daughter blogs and encouraged me to start one. These bloggers all seem so beautiful, talented and together. It makes me wonder what I have to contribute and will I ever know enough about blogging, the internet, picassa and all the other things. Am I too old to do find a niche here? Thanks for the encouraging words. Just jump in…right? Well, I will and have subscribed to yours. In a week or two, hopefully, “Reinventing the Ordinary.com” will take it’s maiden voyage…thanks to my daughter’s help. God bless. I’ll be following you.

  21. Lisa August 23, 2011 at 11:09 pm #

    This blog was so perfect and came at just the right time. Being a new Mom, I find myself doing the comparison thing a lot. I always feel like some else has it figured out and that I am the only one having those hair pulling type of days sometimes. Your post made me laugh and cry a little and remember that it is important to not compare and hold true to who we are. I love reading your blog. Thank you!

  22. Stacia August 25, 2011 at 9:06 am #

    Loved this blog. I’m sure you can see by your other 266 comments others did too, but it was a great reminder to be real and true to ourselves. Thank you!!

  23. katie [the bright life] August 26, 2011 at 11:39 am #

    What a blessing this post is, and entirely relevant to my thoughts and feelings lately. I think your analogy of blogs being similar to the draw of pornography is spot on in a lot of ways. For many of us, blogs become an escape, a place to ignore reality and eventually we lose appreciation for what we have because we constantly see something better. Recently I’ve committed my pinterest to only include things that are realistic for me. So I don’t pin photos of million dollar mansions, because I’ll likely never be there. But I do pin a photo of a $6 DIY tote, because that I can do. :) Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. Carry on. XO, Katie

  24. wanda August 26, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

    Wow, I’ve never thought of it like that. You are right on, sister!
    I can’t tell you the times I’ve gotten off the computer and thought my own self inadequate or less than.
    I’m not a super blogger….but I love it and I love reading others. I recognize that God never wants me to compare myself with anyone. Just be me. ;)

  25. KRISTY FINLEY August 29, 2011 at 5:00 am #

    Thank you for this post. I love your heart…& your blog of course. Take Care.

  26. Jen m August 29, 2011 at 9:46 am #

    This is the perfect post! It explains so well how I feel sometimes. I have been trying to figure out how to blog about those feelings without sounding jealous and whiny. So, I just posted a link to your post instead! Thanks for taking the time to write this one. I enjoy all of your posts, but this one really hit home and it is a relief to know most people feel the same way sometimes.

  27. Molly Anderson August 29, 2011 at 5:05 pm #

    This was so perfect for me today. Love your blog, your writings, and your vulnerability :). I relate completely.

  28. Virginia Peterson September 1, 2011 at 1:25 pm #

    This post was so poignant for my life and the lives of women that I know. We all were able to relate and use this to greater our relationships with each other and God.

    So much so that I knew I needed to Thank You for real. Take a look: http://theartofappreciation.wordpress.com/2011/09/01/outward-inspection/

    Thank you!

  29. Allison B September 23, 2011 at 12:49 pm #

    I’ve never read your blog before today (and actually got here from a comment on YoungHouseLove) but I HAD to comment and say this is MY FAVORITE BLOG POST OF ALL TIME (ok, maybe minus Nella’s Birth Story at kellehampton.com)!!! THANK YOU is not nearly enough – every bit of this post rings true for myself and so many blog readers I know! My son is only 2, but I think I’m going to print that devotional and hang it in his room! thanks again!

  30. Krystal Rose October 18, 2011 at 11:15 pm #

    I just stumbled upon your blog because I was searching for images of favorite things to be a header for a post I am composing. In my google image search I found your post of favorite things and absolutely loved it! After viewing that post I came to this one and just had to comment. This post definitely hit home for me in many ways. Mostly because I am constantly finding that I compare myself to others around me and strangers and it causes me such frustration. I completely agree about the insecurity of reading other peoples blogs too. I created my own website months ago and constantly change it because I just cannot figure out how to make it as wonderful as everyone else out here in cyberspace. Thank you for your post! It has brought me some much needed perspective in a moment of being crappy to myself. =)

  31. Julie December 20, 2011 at 10:24 am #

    This is my first time commenting on your blog but I just had to chime in and thank you for your words of wisdom.

    Honesty and openness is inspiring.

    Thank you for bring both of these qualities to the table.

  32. Julie December 20, 2011 at 10:26 am #


    Honesty and openness are in inspiring.

    Ooopsy. You get it anyway. ;)

  33. Keila January 4, 2012 at 9:14 am #

    Thank you for this post, it is my first time commenting too, it just touched my heart and since I’ve been struggling to write my own blog with so many feelings like the ones listed. What moves me the most is the toughs of being remembered by my children as a beautiful, talented, creative, etc … woman but especially as a Godly woman who loved Jesus with all my soul, and heart and strength! surely this blogs inspires me.

  34. Desiree February 19, 2012 at 9:16 pm #

    Wow, here I am blog surfing, while my husband and dog are already asleep. I’m deep in that pit, you know where I look at all the beautiful things, and soon I will get up, and pass the messy living room on my way to bed. I needed to read this. There does seem to be fine line between getting ideas and lusting. I don’t want to lust, and I need to be happy with my home, because there’s nothing wrong with it.

  35. Lilliana April 2, 2012 at 9:51 am #

    Thank you for sharing this post. It’s been in every reader’s thoughts and it’s not only related to blogs but to most social media in general like Facebook or Instagram or even Twitter. This very topic came to mind when a friend shared on his Facebook feed the following, “The problem with Facebook is that you are comparing your behind the scenes with everyone else’s highlight real”. Thank you for reminding us that we are made to be “us” by His hand and that we need to stop the comparisons and just choose to be inspired by other’s who are just as human as we are.

  36. Jessica May 3, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

    Just want to say that your blog is always inspiring and encouraging.. :) Thank you for this post!

  37. Leigh-Ann January 22, 2013 at 10:20 pm #

    Gosh… what a great post!! Thanks so much for sharing exactly the right thing to say. It is so easy to experience those exact feelings when wandering around the “blogosphere”…

    Love your corner of the world! Feel free to drop by mine! I’d love to see you!

  38. Jessica September 12, 2014 at 4:49 am #

    This is one great thing about blogs/the internet. We have posts like this up and available since 2011 to read in 2014 or any time after. And the thing is, it will always be true and timely! Never thought of blogs as pornography – such a provocative comparison – and will never think of them the same way again. Such good things to keep in mind while I strive to keep my own life in order. Thank you, Emily!

  39. danielle September 12, 2014 at 1:34 pm #

    I love aspiring to something higher and your blog often inspires me to do that as I focus on becoming a developing my jewels and well as becoming one of His. Thank you.

  40. linda December 15, 2014 at 12:20 pm #

    Good reminder about anything in life…..less is more. And as the Ten Commandments speaks life into our hearts # 10- Do Not Covent Thy Neighbor.

    When our eyes are off of God , we loose sight of God’s many blessings in our life.

    I really like blog looking. It has given me ideas, encouragement to stretch my imagination and get rid of stuff that has been in our home many years.

    Thank you for sharing

  41. Laura French December 31, 2014 at 9:09 am #

    There aren’t many blogs I read like I have been reading yours Emily! I very much appreciate not only your creativity and beautiful ideas…but the not-so-perfect side of your life too. It’s more uplifting than you know! You are so spot on about how we women compare ourselves. It’s part of our feminine nature that we need to be aware of and curb.
    “Comparison is the thief of joy”
    Eleanor Roosevelt was a very smart woman!

    • emily January 4, 2015 at 4:10 pm #

      Thanks Laura!


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