The grass is greener where you water it.
You’ve heard it before, right? I know I have, but it’s never rocked me before like it has recently. Friends, if I heard that expression once in the first 11 days of 2018…I’ve heard it 100 times. God has been sending me a message so loud and clear about contentment and gratitude. I’ve heard that exact expression in podcasts, interviews, books, and conversations with friends so many times over the past week and a half that I just have to blog about it.
And I confess: it’s a message I’ve desperately needed. Throughout the last months of 2017, I found myself knee-deep in the comparison trap and the grass that seemed greener to me sounded a little like this in my head:
her daily life must be so much better because she lives on Maui
her husband must really love her because all of their pictures are perfect
she must be so much happier because she qualified for the Boston Marathon
perhaps I need to be in an industry that allows me to make more money
life would be better if we bought a home like they did
Just typing out those thoughts make me roll my eyes in disgust at how ugly and ungrateful they are, but the truth is, that is really what is going on in my head sometimes. Have you ever had thoughts like that? I’m willing to bet – yes, you have, maybe even multiple times a day. You’re not alone, sister.
These thoughts that the grass is greener on the other side are straight up lies from the enemy, who so often tries to convince us that our lives would be much better if only they looked more like everyone else’s. That’s just simply not true.
God has gifted us each with the life that He especially handcrafted and designed just for us. There is no other life quite like yours. So why waste our precious, numbered days focused on what everyone else has, instead of enjoying the gift that God has given us to the fullest?
But let me be the first to admit that this is a daily struggle. I know. I get it. The world is constantly telling us that someone else has it better. So how do we combat that?
Join me in my new endeavor: thankful thursdays. It’s simple, really. Even if you’re not a blogger, take 5 minutes at the start of every Thursday to write down in a journal 5 things about your own life that you love. That you’re thankful for. And then, write down 5 ways that you’re going to water your own grass. Wins, and then the water.
Here’s what this habit looks like for me today, punching those lies of comparison and ingratitude right in the face:
WIN: We live in the paradise that is San Diego, a dream we’ve had for a long time that we are actually getting to live out.
WATER: Spend more time at the beach and take advantage of our proximity to so much beauty.
WIN: Chad and I have been happily married for two years and together for four and a half, and we’re continually learning more about each other and only getting stronger.
WATER: Protect our weekly date night time and take two trips just for us this year.
WIN: I am healthy and able to run and I enjoy a sport that I’m passionate about.
WATER: Set goals that are personal and meaningful to me, and don’t measure my success against someone else’s.
WIN: I have my favorite job yet and love getting to serve children, families, and volunteers in foster care. And my coworkers have become some of my best friends.
WATER: Remind myself that contributing to kingdom work is more rewarding than the size of my paycheck — and that I have been blessed with more resources than I deserve, and there are so many people living in true poverty.
WIN: We live in an apartment because we live at the beach, and that’s what’s financially realistic. The joy of simple beach living outweighs the social pressure I can sometimes feel to settle down and fill a big house with babies and stuff I don’t need. 🙂 plus, there’s so much less to clean!
WATER: Steward the gift of our home well by using it to host friends and family, by inviting neighbors for meals, and by making it a place of refuge and peace for anyone that visits. Remind myself that it’s not what’s on the walls or in the cabinets that matters. Grow in hospitality.
So…what are the lies of comparison that you’ve been believing lately? Who’s grass have you been looking at and longing for? And what steps do you need to take to start seeing how darn cute your own grass is? And how will you water it?
None of our lives are perfect, but they are each a precious gift. And I have to believe that our lives will get brighter the moment we stop to acknowledge that.
What are 5 things that you’re thankful for in your life today? Feel free to share in the comments.