The Lesson of the Puny Daffodils

Three puny daffodils popped up in the patch of country dirt right outside my window facing my husband’s man cave.  I planted flowers there for an excuse to stare out the window when I need a break at my office desk.  They bring me joy!

In no way do they compare to the array of daffodils I photographed on my trip to Rhode Island in spring a few years back.  My heart leaps when I think of those rows and rows of yellow loveliness popping up just off the shore of the Atlantic Ocean.   

Compare Daffodils, But Not People
As a child, my mother compared me to my cousin.  I displeased my mom when my grades didn’t reach the honor roll like my cousin or if I gained a few more pounds than her.  My strongest feeling at that time, intimidation, shaped me.

I avoided comparing my kids when I became a parent.  I learned the enemy of our souls does a number on us sufficiently without our parent’s words echoing in our heads. 

The small-boned kid says “I’m glad I take after your side of feminine looking women.”

The straight-A kid says:  “I lucked out with Dad’s genes.  I’m glad I’m smart.”

Humans compare themselves.  It’s good to assess our strengths and weaknesses.  We need to remind ourselves that God always loves us.  In fact, we are all special kids to Him.

Competition is good.
Hopefully, we will not lose sight of the fact that we are unique and loved the way we are as we set higher goals.  More importantly, may we not forget to celebrate others in their achievements. 

Scripture holds me accountable:  

“Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct.”  Galatians 6:4,5

I’m taking a lesson from my puny daffodils today.  They popped up in a country patch; end of story.  They do not know that they are less than their royal breed in a perfect weed-free spot in Rhode Island.  They just don’t know any better than to raise their less-than-perfect little heads and shine their yellow smiles in the air and bring their owner quiet joy.


  1. Wonderful post with an important message regarding comparison and competition of people!
    The example of the three puny daffodils outside your window versus the rows of 'royal' ones in Rhode Island - is perfect.

  2. Good for you on not comparing people! I love your analogy and the daffodils are lovely.

  3. Now that is a very good lesson from those daffodils!

  4. I am so 'in love' with your last paragraph, Mary! I used to get so cross when folks would comment on my (younger) granddaughter's naturally good looks, without thought to her older sister. For that reason, I always championed and have felt an inordinate bond to Sarah. Unfair perhaps, to Chloe. How true, that old lyric, "Everyone is beautiful, in their own way."

  5. That is a great lesson! I know I compare myself to others far too often, and God keeps reminding me that I need to examine my own life, not others. I also had some puny daffodils outside my window. They may not be the strongest blooms, but I look forward to seeing them again each spring.

  6. I felt for my daughter when she was younger. She was very pretty in her own way, but her brother had unique features in beautiful long eyelashes that were dark and he was so blond. People would literally see us across the shopping mall and make it a point to come up to us and say how "beautiful" he was (this was within his 1st year of life). I take no credit on his or his sister's looks; they were both adopted. I felt for her because they never commented on her. Same happens these days. People will comment on the wee one and his sister is there with him. I constantly speak up that this is his sister and she is very pretty and and a special young woman. I wish people would be sensitive about things like that. I'm so thankful in God's eyes he looks at the heart.....that is what really matters.


  7. We compare ourselves; we compare others; others compare us--I am so thankful that God finds each of us incomparable and unique--and loves us equally. Good words, Mary!

  8. Beautiful lesson and reminder that we are all the same...with different God-given talents. Even the beauty of the flowers fade. But what matters is the joy its beauty brings. To encourage. To inspire. To remind. That life is short. And what matters is what it will leave behind. Thank you for this post. Thank you for your prayers. Stay strong in the Lord's mighty power!

  9. Hi Mary! What a lovely blog here! I'm sure you worked hard on your new 'look' and it shows. Congrats!
    I remember this little saying: 'Compare/Despair'. Comparing ourselves to others is human, but should be avoided. You were so smart to avoid it with your kids as they grew. Just like the daffodils, we are all different people with different gifts and needs and talents.
    We all can't be on the honor roll!

  10. LOVE this wonderful thought, my friend! If only we would be as the little, puny daffodils and stop comparing ourselves with others! If only we saw ourselves as God sees us! How much pressure would be removed from our shoulders. I think the older I get the less I care at all about things like this, but it is always an area of improvement. God bless you for sharing your heart! Sending love and hugs your way! P.S. I love the new look of your blog! Great job!!!

  11. I like your new blog layout. :)
    And a beautiful story with valuable life lessons. I love it when ordinary things could teach us profound lessons.

  12. Hello my friend. I loved this lesson of the puny Daffodils. I mean, aren't we all guilty, at one time or another, of comparing ourselves to others? Yet, it can be so damaging. I was the oldest of the three of us kids and my mother had set a standard that I was to know, the perfect first born standard that left me feeling as though I was never doing anything quite good enough. It wasn't until I met Jesus at the age of 34 that I was able to realize that in His eyes it wasn't about performance but that I was loved with an everlasting love and it totally changed my life. I loved the daffodil story because it reminded me of the fact that it is okay to be me and not trying to be someone else. xx

  13. That is a beautiful lesson learnt and thank you for sharing it with us. I think your puny daffodils are very pretty and they are to joy to look at.

  14. Love the analogy here Mary. What a great post. Oh do women ever do the comparison game. I think we all do at times even when we think we aren't. Love this post dear lady and I am so glad that my Jesus loves me just like I am! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  15. Your neighbor at Sitting Among Friends. I don't think we often realize how hurtful making comparisons can be. This is a good reminder. The Lord created each one of us to be unique, to fulfill His purposes, and to live out His love. When our eyes are on others we often lose sight of what the Lord desires of us. May your soul be refreshed in His love.

  16. sometimes comparison is not bad at all right?
    as long as it is intended to lift/build someone up.

    I guess that's our earlier generation's mistake right? they keep on comparing people.. though atleast today i believe no one does this or atleast few...

    stevevhan here!

  17. I have a ton of daffodils at our house, but they have come and gone here in the south, but each had it's own beauty while they were here. Some were large and strong, others small and delicate. Some in large bunches, others stood alone. IT's much like our lives. We need not to compare, or compete as you said, but be beautiful right where we are and exactly the way we have been made.

  18. Love the analogy and attitude, sister! It really is about us being the best we can at what God has determined our limitations are, not the world. Just because we aren't Billy Graham doesn't mean we're not called to share all the same.

    The verse often reminds me to be careful what I ask and work for; "To whom much is given, much is required."

  19. It's the host of golden daffodils that we enjoy - all together. So all the saints will shine together for the Lord's eternal pleasure!


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