I try really hard to stay focused on the wonderful things in my life, but I have to tell you that I struggle just like everyone else in this area. In the interest of "keepin' it real" with you, my loyal readers, I've decided to share my own little battle with discontentment. I've had a case of the "wants" lately. It slowly crept in this time and I didn't put out the spark. Now, because I let it get out of hand, it's turned into a raging inferno of restless dissatisfaction. It makes me itch all over just thinking about it!
It started with an old toilet seat in the guest bathroom. We had an oak seat that was showing it's age, and starting to peel up. The thought of splinters in some one's hiney made this repair high on the priority list. We took a trip to Lowe's to buy a new one. When we walked down the bathroom aisle I saw all of the beautiful new fixtures on the shelves. I impulsively decided the whole bathroom needed to be remodeled. New sink, new shower, new paint, new mirror, new towels, new rugs.... nothing we had was good enough any more. I thought we walked out of there with only a toilet seat, but we ended up catching an illness there too. We got a bad case of the "I want"s.
We went home and suddenly the whole house seemed unfit to live in. Everything needed remodeling, and it all looked horrible to me. The next morning I decided that the house was too small. I felt like I was the only one in the universe that didn't have a room dedicated for the sole purpose of home schooling. My kids do their work at the kitchen table. Our computer is in our laundry room. I brought this up to my husband when he got home. "This house is too small! I need a home school room!" Then he did something horrible. He agreed with me. This was a bad sign. You see, my husband and I have a system worked out. Whenever one of us starts to complain about things, the other person reminds the complainer about all of the blessings we have in life, and how we really have nothing to grumble about. We talk each other off the ledge, so to speak. But on the rare occasion that both of us is feeling less than grateful, things go south quickly.
This time it's been pretty bad. My husband immediately started complaining that we didn't have enough land or cattle. We didn't have a big enough garden for his corn, or a big enough garage for his needs. Our trucks were too old or too tall. This went on and on until a half an hour later, he was talking about moving to Texas! The whole thing spirals out of control so quickly! What do you do when both of you are in a pit of dissatisfaction without a ladder to climb out? Glad you asked. Thankfully, God throws us a rope when this happens, all we have to do is look up.
This time God was the one to remind us of our blessings. He did it through every single thing I've read in the past few days. Don't you hate it when you get the "blaring sirens" and "honking horns" messages. O.K. God, you've got my attention! I feel like He spanked me this week. In this book I'm reading called "Crazy Love" I was reminded of a few things:
53 percent of the world lives on less than $2.00 a day.
If your family makes a salary of $48,000 a year, you make 100 times more than the average person on the planet. GULP.
We have nothing to complain about!
Sometimes God does instill in us a desire to make changes, and that's OK. We just have to discern our motives to know whether they are selfish, or from God. That's tough for me to do. Does God want our family to move, or do I want our family to move? Does God want us to have a home school room, or do I want us to have a home school room? I know one thing for certain. I do not want to be out of the center of God's will for my life. It's scary out there!
God also taught me another lesson through the reading of John Acuff's blog. He normally writes funny stuff, but his last post hit me like a ton of bricks. He said that often times, we let Jesus "take the wheel" of our life, but we want to control the gas pedal. That is me!! God, you may steer me in paths of righteousness, but could you please hurry up?? I'd like to think that God wants to bless our family with a huge spread of land and a bigger house, and I'd like to think that He wants to do it soon. Very soon....like, put the pedal to the metal soon!!! After all, it's been 10 years already. But God may not want that for us, or He may want us to move very slowly, to teach us some kind of lesson. FYI.... I have NOT prayed for the "P" word...... "patience". All seasoned Christians know that you NEVER pray for patience. That's a rookie mistake. When people pray for patience in Bible Study, we chuckle and say, "She must be a new believer!" If you pray for patience, it will jinx you, and who has time for patience anyway???That's why I don't like to give God the gas pedal. What if His will is for us to drive 26 MPH in a 45 MPH zone? What if He wants to teach me the "P" word....(don't say it or it might happen)? Can I handle that? Will that be alright with me? It's going to have to be if I want God's best for my life. I've tried out what Nell wants, and believe me, what God wants is always better than what Nell wants.
So I guess that I'll hand over the gas pedal along with the steering wheel of my life, and try to live in that sweet spot of contentment until God says GO! But if He wants to give us a bigger house and more land next week , I'm not going to turn Him down. ;) Perhaps a new coat of paint and fresh linens in the guest bathroom is all that God wants for this homemaker today. That's OK too. We really do lead an incredibly blessed life, and I'm ashamed that some times I lose sight of that fact.