Wanting what I already have.
Isn’t that the one of the biggest challenges we face in a culture so absorbed in the newest, latest, greatest?
My husband and I went on a cheap date while our kids were staying the night with their cousins. I found two cards for free bowling which = an affordable date. When we got there, we found out that we needed to wait 20-25 minutes until the bowling leagues finished up their games. We decided to kill some time by driving up the road to wander around a few stores.
That wasn’t helpful for me. I LOVE a great deal and I really enjoy the wearable artistic expression of shoes. We stepped inside a TJMaxx style store and I immediately found an amazing pair of fun royal blue heels with a side bow for $12.99. Shoes are great because no matter how many times your clothing sizes change, your shoe size still typically stays the same. $12.99 is not a lot for cute shoes but royal blue heels are not a necessity in our current financial situation. I really LOVE variety in fashion and already own many,many, many pairs of fun shoes. I tried them on, then mourned that I wasn’t going to purchase them, and then continued to look at all of the fashionable clothes and home accessories that I wasn’t going to buy that night. I got a little depressed and in my head I was having a little pity party.
Then we arrived back at the bowling alley and I noticed the bowling group of visually impaired people. Walking sticks, guide dogs or the fact that they couldn’t to see had not stopped them from enjoying a night out despite their impairment.
Right then I was instantly challenged to really SEE the blessings in my life that I take for granted everyday. Health for myself and my family, vehicles that run, food in our pantries, loving family, great friends, the list goes on and on and on.
Before my run at the park the other day, I watched a elderly woman being assisted to get into her vehicle by a younger female. She had been slowly pushing her walker by in the parking lot, determined to MOVE, to push thru, to brave each step thru the pain. Determined to make the most of the beautiful weather that day.
I began to think about how many steps I take for granted. I watched my mom slowly deteriorate from cancer with excruciating pain. She would use all of her will and might just to circle around the first floor from the kitchen to the living room. So many steps that I have the ability to take with ease everyday.
Unfortunately, it’s a natural mindset to think of what we don’t have instead of appreciating what we do have. I try to write down blessings each day, no matter how big or small and yet I still fall into this trap all of the time. There are sooooo many blessings in my life and people who have enriched it. If I was watching a movie about a character with all of the things I do have, ironically I would probably be envious.
I see so many amazing ideas on Pinterest or blogs that showcase their creativity, great cooking skills, parenting skills, amazing houses, traveling adventures and then I can begin to feel like I fall short. Like I’m missing something or missing out on something or I’m not doing enough. There is nothing wrong with enjoying things but sometimes we can get out of balance if it’s something we don’t need at that time or when we put pressure on things to make us truly happy. The greatest gifts can’t be purchased in a store. Envy is the thief of joy and I want to enJOY my life to the fullest. That’s probably why every now and then God puts people in front of me who put it all into perspective.
Lord help us all to want what we already have.
My challenge to you is to start a gratitude journal if you don’t already. Here is an app for a gratitude journal you can use on your ipod. Each day just take a moment and write down 5 things that you are grateful for.