Friday, February 4, 2011

The grass is always greener on the other side

I have spent a lot of time the past few days reflection on the expression, 'the grass is always greener'.  As a child, I remember very often saying to my parents, 'but that's not fair' and their response always being, 'um, life is not fair, and the sooner you learn that, the better'.  I also distinctly remember having a moment in college when I realized that 'life really isn't fair' but it was because my life seemed showered with blessings, when others were never given the opportunity. 

I think we spend a great deal of our lives complaining about the way things are, wishing that they could somehow be different....'If only I had more money', 'If only I had a nicer house', 'If only I had a better job', 'If only my husband did this', 'If only my friends were like this'...if only, if only, if only...then, I could be completely happy.  But in the past couple days, I have been reflecting on how we are getting it wrong.  We waste so much time thinking, 'if only' that we don't see the blessings in front of us.  I remember one of the most powerful prayer experiences of my life.  I was at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Plymouth, Michigan after communion asking God why he hadn't shown me who my spouse was to be (this was probably 3 years ago).  And very clearly, a movement in my heart spoke and said, 'which one would you give up'.  Quickly, teens that I had worked with in the past flashed through my mind. I thought about how, had I been married with kids, I couldn't have done the ministry I was able to do in my early/mid twenties.  God was asking me which one I would have been willing to 'give up' in order to have been married earlier/had kids earlier.  And I started to cry (shocking) because the answer was, 'none'.  At that moment I realized that God's timing was a bit better than my own.  That his plan, was probably a little more important than what my sometimes shielded eyes could see.  It gave me a tremendous amount of peace to have a confirmation that God was working in my life, He did have a plan, and I was working within that plan.  The grass sure did look greener as a single person looking in on my married friend's lives...but turns out, God knew exactly what he was doing.

Every moment we spend thinking about what we 'should have' been given, questioning the blessings or crosses in our lives...is a moment that we turn away from seeing the beauty of right now.  We miss trusting that we have a God who loves us, who has a plan for our lives, and as long as we are working with His will and avoiding sin (to the best of our ability) we are being taken care of. I think the closer we get to understanding that, the more contentment we will feel in our lives.

God, please help me to accept the blessings you have put in my life, even the ones that I sometimes fail to recognize as blessings.  Give me eyes to see as you see, and a heart to love as you love.  AMEN!


  1. Love this post! And so glad that I found your blog!! I have struggled with this for a long time and found that the thing that helped me the most was listing my blessings. I found the idea through blogs that ultimately came from the blog A Holy Experience and the idea of a Thousand gifts.

    We have had to be tight with our budget for so long (since hubby works for the church), and so often I focused on what we did not have, what we could not do, that it really weighed me down. It came to a breaking point about 2 yrs ago, when God finally got through to me. And then, over the past several months I have kept a journal of gifts from each day and I can tell you it has transformed the way I look at things.

  2. Thankful journals are SUCH a good thing to do. Your comment inspired my newest post:) It is amazing how much finances can dictate mood huh? Us FUS grads will never be rich materially, but lots to be thankful for nonetheless!!!