Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Peeking Over Fences

You know the statement: “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” Are you peeking over someone’s fence? Whose grass are you envious of? Let’s be honest: as women we often struggle with contentment in many (or ANY) areas! 
It’s kind of crazy when you think about it:
  • A single woman longs to be married...a married woman wishes she were single again.
  • A woman who has no children longs for children...a mom wishes for the days gone by without the responsibility of raising children.
  • A working woman longs for retirement (or any way to quit working)...a retired woman wishes for the busy work-days again.
  • A woman living “here” wishes she were “there” again...and then she gets “there” and longs to be back “here”! (Did I lose you on that one?)
  • A woman with straight hair longs for curly hair...a curly-haired woman wishes hers was straight!
Now, this is not to imply that a woman struggling in any of the above areas does not love her husband or children...or the fact that she has hair. But can you relate with any of those situations -- or come up with your own? I can!
Too often we spend so much time looking over the fences of others and what they seem to have, or even looking back over the fences of our past, and longing for what we do not have instead of thanking God and enjoying what we do have right now. Just imagine all of the blessings we miss out on when we expend our energy and time thinking and dreaming about the [seemingly] well-cut grass in someone else’s yard that we long for.
The good news is that we can learn to be content, like the apostle Paul who said: “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am” (Philippians 4:11). Many of us cannot even compare our “trials” to those he faced; yet Paul learned to be content in the most difficult of situations. Certainly we can, too.
If contentment is a struggle for you in your life, first of all acknowledge what area(s) it is a problem for you. Confess it to God and ask Him to teach you how to be content. Ask Him to help you have a proper perspective on your life and to give thanks instead of longing for something else. Here’s an idea: make a list! Write down as many things as you can think of for which you can give thanks in the very thing(s) you are not satisfied (content) with. It may take some creativity, but you can do it! After all, Scripture tells us to be: “always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ...” (Ephesians 5:20). This is one antidote for discontentment. In fact, this is such a good idea that I think I’ll do this myself right now!
Blessings for the Journey,
P.S. In 20 minutes I listed 40 items. How about you?