Friday, September 2, 2011

greener grass...

The Beloved Beauties, my Bible study group, has heard me talk alot about  transparency for the past year or so.  Why?  Because I believe God calls us to lead transparent lives.  I believe that when we are transparent before others, God can use our struggles and victories to minister to others.  But being transparent is easy.   Being transparent means putting yourself out there before others and risking rejection, ridicule, pity.  But it also means that you can relate to the similar struggles and victories in those around you. 

Below is an email that I sent my Beauties this week...

Allow me to share my latest struggle because I know there is someone in our group that can relate or has been able to relate at some point in their lives. Up until this weekend, I had been struggling with pride and jealous and want. I was jealous over friends, who on the surface look like my family does...young kids, nice houses, big cars, exotic vacations...ok, so not all of that is true, but that's what my rose-colored glasses see. I'm jealous of my friends who stay home with their kids and have nicer clothes and bigger houses. I want name-brand clothes and a nicer car for my husband and a nicer house (maybe not a bigger house, but at least a better decorated house). Anybody following me? I don't want to count pennies anymore. But yet, I want everyone to think that I've got it all together. I don't want people to know that there are times that we feel like we are literally living paycheck to paycheck. 
But God revealed something to me over the weekend...if you want to know how I received the revelation, check out my blog post. But this morning, I was hit with another couple of know, just in case I wasn't sure God was speaking to me and just to make sure that I was hearing Him...He's a funny guy, sometimes. He definitely likes to make sure I'm paying attention.
During my devotion, I read Proverbs 14:30. "A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones." I looked up and said, "I hear you Lord." I'm trying REALLY hard not be jealous. And He spoke to my heart and this is what I heard..."Jessica, they may "have" everything that you think you want. But do you know their struggles? Do you know they may want what you have?" What, God? Why would they have struggles like mine? And He said, "Their struggles might not be like yours, but they have struggles, too. The grass is not always greener somewhere else. Fertilize your grass and watch it grow." 
Oh, I get it. You want me to focus on the blessings You have given me and stop whining about the things that I don't have. I can do that...but only through You.
You see, God is trying to empty my heart of what I think my desires are. He is trying to show me over and over and over how blessed my family is. He wants my desire to be Him. That's it...just to desire to walk in His will...
"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."-- Philippians 4:12
Ahhh, contentment! I'll have a side of that, please. But contentment is hard, isn't it? I looked up the definition and this is what I found...Contentment is being mentally and emotionally satisfied with things as they are. 
That's a hard place to find...contentment. Currently, I am not content with the size of my bank account or the pants I'm wearing today or the number on the scale that just won't go down. And then the Truth hit me like a ton of bricks...contentment is not found in circumstances but in our salvation. Despite the size of my bank account or the size of the britches I am wearing, I will spend eternity in Heaven. That's all I need to be content in this life. Everything else is just stuff...stuff that will not follow me through the Pearly Gates. 

So my prayer for you this day is the same as my prayer early this week to my Beauties..
May you find yourself content today. May you know that your struggles do not define you. May you know that God has blessed you beyond all measure through your relationship with Jesus Christ. May you find that your grass is just as green as the other side because you have fertilized with the Truth.  

And may you know that you are deeply cherished by your Creator...

Happy Weekend!

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