Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Ground Hog Day and The Green Eyed Monster

I love being a stay-home mom, a domestic engineer, if you will. I love giving my kids opportunities I didn't have because my mom had to work. I love being available to them and allowing God to change me into the wife and mom He wants me to be. Mostly, I love knowing that I'm walking in obedience in this area of my life.

Most of the time.

Lately, I've been struggling with the green-eyed monster--jealousy. I'm painfully aware that this is a sin. I know that the Lord does not want me to fix my gaze on anyone or anything but Him and His plan for my life. Still, I have found myself hunkered down at home, watching the world zip by all around me as I spend yet another day on my hands and knees picking up Cheerios, Barbie shoes and crayons; wiping noses and toilets; chasing children and dogs; reading book after book of children's fiction, hoping to have a few minutes to read a few lines of a book without pictures. My husband asked me the other day if I ever thought my life was like the movie "Ground Hog Day." I laughed and then felt like crying when I realized he was right. It's pretty much the same routine each day, just another name for the day. And, since we decided to home school, there are seemingly many, many more "Ground Hog" days in sight!

Please don't misunderstand....I really do love the plan God has for my life. He is infinitely wise and knows the best place for me to accomplish His will. I've just struggled with the plan He seems to have for others...

For instance, it is a REALLY big deal to have time alone. My husband is fantastic about taking the girls outside to play or go for a walk or even to the grocery to give me a few moments to collect myself. Still, I'm envious of other women who have regularly scheduled time to work out or walk or read or...whatever they want to do, without children in tow. I'm also envious of women who have built in family support systems. Our families are as supportive as possible, but they each live over 3 hours away. They help when they can, but it isn't a regular occurrence. I covet little luxuries like new shoes and mp3 players, pedicures and lunch with friends, vacations and weekend get-a-ways. My husband spoils me with time and attention, but our budget is pretty tight with only one salary.

This thought process drove me to the Word this morning, searching for the cure to what ails my soul. It was so simple, really. It's hard for me to understand why I had not seen it before. The answer? Thankfulness.

"It is good to give thanks to the Lord and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; to declare Your lovingkindness in the morning and Your faithfulness by night, with the ten stringed lute and with the harp, with resounding music upon the lyre. For You, O Lord, have made me glad by what You have done, I will sing for joy at the works of Your hand." Psalm 92:1-4

Instead of fixing my eyes on all that God has done for me, all that He has rescued me from, all the He has promised to me, my eyes were fixed on the landscape of this world and all its' trappings. (key word: TRAP) I was coming to God with my laundry list of things that seem unjust in my life, not thanking Him for all He has already provided.

"O come, let us, sing for joy to the Lord, let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God and a great King above all gods, in whose hands are the depths of the earth, the peaks of the mountains are His also. The sea is His, for it was He who made it, and His hands formed the dry land." Psalm 95:1-5

If the God who made the earth and all that is in it chooses to bless me today, why shouldn't I offer Him continual sacrifices of praise? Why would I choose to focus on anything but Him? The book of Job asks better questions:

Have you ever in your life commanded the morning, and caused the dawn to know its place? Job 38:12
Have you entered into the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep? Job 38:16
Where is the dwelling place of light? Job 38:19
Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, so that an abundance or water will cover you? Job 38:34

God is not so subtly reminding Job (and me) that He is God alone. He commands the universe. He is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-wise, all-consuming. And still, he looks on me with love. He considers the cries of my heart; my heartaches and pains; my groanings and complaints. All He asks in return for this love is faith. Faith in Him and the power of what He accomplished on the cross. Faith that He is Love. Faith that His Word is true and right. Faith that He has a plan for for me and that plan is the very best plan ever dreamed or designed.

I need to be more thankful for what God has done, is doing and has promised to yet do in my life. I have not yet found in scripture anything that promises me a new mp3 player or a pedicure. I don't see any promises or entitlements to time alone. I haven't stumbled across any evidence that this life in Christ will be smooth sailing. But, I do know that God is in control. Job says it best,

"I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted." Job 42:2

No purpose God has for my life can be thwarted. That is so comforting. I am so thankful for that promise. He is with me, working in advance to prosper me and accomplish His will. Little 'ol me. Amazing.

Loving Father, Thank You for all the many, many blessings You have poured out on my life. I do not deserve them or Your presence, which You so freely offer at all times. Thank You for reminding me to look to You in all situations. Help me to offer each day anew to You. Help me to be thankful for each moment. Thank You for making a plan for me and working to accomplish it. Thank You for Jesus. In His name, Amen.


Ann said...

I hear ya. That's why I do the Thankful Thursdays--though I probably need to do it every day!

HeiressChild said...

when my children were younger, i couldn't always stay home because of $$$, but from time-to-time, my husband didn't mind if i didn't work, and i was able to contribute some thru unemployment or part-time work. that was before i was a christian and when my husband was living.

i'm a widow now, but when my husband died, God told me He would take care of me. that turned out to mean i didn't work for about 6 years, but in the meantime, i really learned to trust God to meet my every need. i didn't have all i wanted, or even all that i thought i needed,, but God took care of me.

my children are both married now with children of their own. they both went to college; my daughter has her masters, and my son is working on his now.

it's just me now, and i miss having family. i often think if i had children today, i'd homeschool them. but i'm a lot older and wiser now; who knows, maybe one day i may end up being one of my grandchildren's homeschooling instructors.

i understand what you're saying, but a lot of women probably envy you too. thank you for this post because even i have to stay focused, and remember to be thankful for where God has me right now.

i'm 5 classes away from my degree, but God detoured me last december, and is doing some things in my life right now before i finish up the 5 remaining classes. i don't always like where i am, or what God is doing in my life, but i know He's an all wise, all-knowing God, and knows what is best for me and my life. so i wait patiently, getting the teaching He wants me to have at this moment. it's easy to be distracted, so i pray for focus and discipline, and for being thankful and content in the place where i am at this moment, knowing my future is in His hands, and He's my guide, my teacher, my instructor, my God in whom I worship. thanx for such a beautiful post.

Deanna said...

Hello, I found your blog on from a comment you left on another blog...maybe Rachel's? I just wanted to say thanks for such an amazing post. I too feel like I am caught in a competition sometimes with people around me. If I would focus on God and not everything else, I think the unimportand stuff would fade into the background. Thanks for the reminder to be grateful to God for where we are!