I can not count the number of times I have looked at an old picture of me and wished I still looked like that, weighed that number, was that size. But if I were to face the entire ugly truth, I would admit that I felt discontented with me then. As that picture was taken, I was having the “I’m fat” chat in my head.
Perhaps I am the only one.
My body image is not the only place I struggle with this. We’ve hosted many last day of school parties at our house. The kids swim, hubby bbqs and a good time is had by all. Last year I remember sitting at the gathering, listening to the splashing and laughter, and daydreaming about finishing our landscaping. My hubby was having the best year ever in business and there was hope of having extra money. (It was hard work to remember what that might be like…)
Yesterday I dreamt of a water feature and a flagstone area with a fire pit. I envisioned colorful flowers (on a timed drip system so they would survive) and a walking path through fruit trees that we could pick fresh fruit from. I had hopes for a raised vegetable garden that the girls and I could plant together. In my mind we would make a leap to a healthier way of life designed to more easily have people gather.
I wouldn’t have to apologize that we still had not yet finished landscaping…in spite of our best intentions.
Ahhhh….such great ideas.
Little did I know at the time that my hubby was planning a surprise trip to Disneyworld for the family.
There goes the extra money.
And…that doggone el nino did not come through like I hoped. The draught painfully continues and we are on a well. That means when the water runs out of the tank nothing comes out of the faucet until the pump refills the tank.
Imagine sixteen people staying at our house for my father in law’s memorial service last fall, most of whom really wanted to shower before heading to the church.
Selfish, I know.
And when the showers were turned on there was…nothing.
The sound of air filled the room.
There was not even a drip.
Do you know how quickly dishes for 16 extra people pile up when there is no water to wash them? (That is a wonderfully legitimate excuse for not doing dishes.)
The yesterdays that I should have appreciated looked like this:
And the today I knew would be better looks like this:
Here’s the deal: Basing my happiness on a tomorrow I can not control is a recipe for failure every time. Everyone knows we are in a draught. I can either move on with what I have or lament that which I have no command over. The weather is a great example of something I have no influence on. I need to decide, do I want to show off my yard or connect with people?
My Hubby’s business is not having a great year so far this year. This means that what is, is what I must deal with. If someone thinks less of me because my yard now crunches when they walk on it, that relationship would find an end anyway. And whether I like it or not, Jesus wants my pride to crunch under the weight of His sandals. He walked the earth so I could learn what really matters and live it out. The Word became flesh…
Over pastrami sandwiches or chef salads at a local restaurant each Tuesday Night, my Bible Study friends and I have been talking a lot about Romans 1:18-27. It is powerfully relevant to battles that rage in our culture and it offers us the chance to dig deep into application and discussion. Tucked in the middle, verse 21, is the pivot point where things begin to move in the wrong direction: “For even though they knew God they did not honor Him as God or give thanks…”
The pivot point of my life rests there as well. How much of my life do I waste by not giving thanks? Do I realize that a lack of gratitude means I am not honoring Him as God?
The only way my todays will be what I long for, whether my tomorrows are better or not, is to marinade my thoughts in gratitude. The aroma of thankfulness can be what fills my senses if I will just. pay. attention.
It is my desire to thank Him for everything; to see Him around me; to obey Him purposefully, and the only way that will bring me joy is to do it now. Seeing the joy in hindsight is a waste of a life.
May His joy fill my life to overflowing…today, regardless of what may come tomorrow.