Monday, August 4, 2014

Making room for gratitude -- Making room for God


There are 2 things I don't really love ... 

Watching TV. 

And window shopping. 

It's not that those things don't bring small pleasures in the moment. Trust me ... I love great design, especially in updated houses and darling clothes. 

But I have noticed that setting out to see things I cannot afford breeds ugly discontentment in my heart. 

Perhaps it doesn't cause it ... But like sugar with candida, it fuels discontentment's parasitic growth until I'm overcome with a desire for something I don't have. 

Suddenly all those cute summer dresses I bought last year just aren't enough for that upcoming business event. The house I have done my best to decorate on a budget just isn't stylish or functional enough. My body -- which just hours earlier felt strong and attractive as I exercised, hoisted my daughters in the air to their delight, and wrapped my husband in a bear hug -- suddenly feels less than. 
My muscles could use more toning. My legs are too lumpy to look good in a bikini. My hair is too thin and short. My face is too scarred from acne. My womb is too jacked up to give life to babies.

And so it goes. 

This insipid distaste for the things that once delighted me seeps in quietly, masked as ambition for more. 

When I have that promotion ...

When our income can keep up with the lifestyle I want ...

When we are in a position to buy a house ...

My spirit begins to insist that I deserve more than God has chosen to give me at this moment. It is a fool's pride.

While ambition and striving have their place (as do promotions and buying houses), my motivation must be for something greater than me. Greater than that next big thing. Greater than private school, and fun vacations, and an unlimited grocery budget. (Or shopping budget.)

There must be more room in my life. Not for more stuff. But for more gratitude. For more of God himself.

I must ask myself ...

Where is my gratitude that my family is safe and sheltered in our home when I am jealously eyeing that renovated kitchen on HGTV?

Where is my heart when I'm so keen on noticing my many flaws, instead of delighting in my good health, strong muscles and bones, and a body that enables me to do almost anything I want to do?

What would God say to me as I jealously watch others' pregnancies progress to babies, when He saved my daughter Madelyn, and blessed us undeservedly with little Leyla?

When I start nitpicking, I must chose to breathe a silent prayer of gratitude. 

Lord, even as my home doesn't reflect all that I want for it... You have provided in abundance. We are blessed beyond measure. And it helps me look forward to the home you, the ultimate designer, have created in heaven. 

Thank you for my health ... My heart that pumps blood, lungs that breathe in your fresh, foresty air, and legs that -- while lumpy -- still take me everywhere I need to go. 

Lord, thank you for allowing me to be a mom. Even as I may always struggle with my lack of fertility, thank you for bringing my husband and kids into my life. Thanks for keeping my other babies safe and happy with you in heaven while I wait to meet them. Thank you that you will use my suffering in some way to bring you glory and serve others. Thank you that my pain won't go to waste.

As I breathe in the truths of how rich I already am, I pray that you would fill me up even more with the realization of your many blessings in my life. 

May thankfulness, a spirit of abundance, and unending gratitude mark my character, and hem me in. May it keep out ugly jealousies, quiet discontent, and an attitude that tells me that you have not given me enough.

May my heart be glad ... 

Even as darling clothes call my name from behind the thick glass at that sweet little boutique.

Even as I appreciate the creativity and fabulous design that went into their granite countertops in the kitchen, beautiful soaker tub and hardwood floors. (Not to mention that fabulous backsplash!) 

May the only call for more in my heart be that of needing more of you.

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