Do you live next to the Jones’? I do.
Literally…my neighbor’s name is Jones and I’m pretty sure that the familiar quip was birthed in them!! There is not a single blade of grass out of place in their yard, and if I am honest with myself, I have to admit that I am just a teensie bit jealous.
While their lawn greens up with each passing day in the spring…mine only blooms with dandelions. As theirs gets thicker and thicker after fertilizing, my dandelions grown bigger….and stronger! This past spring I tried spreading weed-and-feed in hopes that some of the brown patches would be swallowed up with new growth and my shame could begin to dissipate. After about $80 and many hours spent finding the spreader, fixing the stuck lever, filling and refilling…..and refilling it with granulated gold; I still had brown patches.
So I looked from my lawn to theirs, and discontentment began to seep into my heart.
“Why can’t I have a yard that looks like that?” I asked myself, “a lawn that seethes care and nurturing?”
My husband tells me that there are many things required to have a healthy beautiful lawn; good soil, the right nutrients, a proper balance of water and sunshine and a lot of TLC. Apparently the one time a year that I actually address the way the front yard looks, isn’t really enough to actually produce one.
“It takes many scheduled ‘feedings’ beginning in the fall and also aerating the ground.” He says, “Then seeding not only the bare spots, but also the remainder of the lawn, to encourage a thicker growth.” As I ponder this itinerary, weariness begins to crowd out the desire to keep up with the Jones’.
What I’ve realized is that instead of seeding my lawn, I really needed to stop sowing seeds of discontentment.
When we compare what we have to what others have, we begin to travel down the slippery slope of dissatisfaction…
Instead of counting our blessings we begin to keep count of the blessings of others.
Thankfulness is replaced with ingratitude.
A peaceful heart makes room for a demanding spirit.
…and at the bottom of that slope? Sin.
“sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” Genesis 4:7b
If we allow the seeds of discontentment to sprout within our lives, (ie: in our marriage, our belongings, talents & opportunities) we risk being consumed by our desires which ultimately results in separation from God.
Instead, take your focus off of what others have and place it on introspection. Nurture your own healthy, beautiful life, independent of what you see in others.
Add new soil – gain new wisdom in which you can grow and learn a new bible concept.
Study a new chapter or take a class that will help you to put down deeper roots in your faith.
Feed with the right nutrients – foster beneficial relationships that will encourage and nourish your life. Avoid the ones that are chronically negative or lead you in directions that you know are unhealthy. Just as we need good food to grow, our faith requires good company to become stronger.
Proper balance of Son-shine and water – A good balance of time with our Savior; developing a closer relationship, and the living water that He offers, will guarantee consistent progress in our spiritual lives, strengthening our ability to toss those seeds of discontentment aside.
Get lots of TLC! – Accept the love that the Lord wants to pour on you. Revel in it, for it will make you shine like dew soaked grass in the sun.
If we nurture our lives with thankfulness for all that we have and all that we are, it will be difficult for those seeds of discontentment to germinate, and the results will be a beautiful life that you can be proud of!
Soli Deo Gloria!
~and if you want to have really nice grass next spring, now is the time to spread that fall fertilizer for a jumpstart on a beautiful lawn next year! Just sayin’!