I was catching up with a friend tonight and we were simply talking about what we had been up to lately. I was telling her that Rob was still working an awful lot, so we were making the most of our limited family time together and were on the way back from a good weekend in Birmingham. We were talking about life with toddlers and how it’s fun, crazy and a bit tiring. I didn’t think anything of it until she replied with “I’m sure it’s exhausting being so positive all the time.”
Her comment stuck with me and got me thinking. Sure, I could look at my life and find lots of things I wish were different... I do wish my husband was able to be home more and wasn’t so tired and stressed out. I wish I had family that lived closer so I could get a little help once in a while with balancing this crazy thing called life. I wish we had a checking account with a whole lot more money in it. I wish, I wish, I wish... And sure, being honest with myself, I do have my moments when one of those “I wishes” becomes a little more predominant in my thinking. But one thing I have learned is that complaining and wishing will change nothing. All it will do is make me miserable, tired, grumpy and ungrateful. That is not the life I want for myself or for my family!
So, on those days that I’m tired and am getting lost in the “I wishes,” that is the verse I claim. And sure enough, we make it through the day, the important things get done and He always provides – an encouraging phone call, or a helpful gesture from a neighbor or friend, or a little extra energy, or a reminder of the purpose behind the sacrifices.
So, I choose to be positive and instead of focusing on the “I wishes,” I look at my life and see an incredibly hard working, selfless husband who makes great sacrifices to take care of his family. I see a Godly man that works as hard as he can so that I can be home, raising, teaching and loving our daughter. Though it would be wonderful to have family a little closer, I see that God has provided us with incredible friendships that fill that gap. These God-given friendships have become family – including open invitations to all holiday family gatherings and free babysitting when a need arises. Instead of wishing for more money, I see an opportunity to focus on what’s really important and have learned to be more obedient in tithing and generous in charitable donations than ever before. I see a smaller bank account, sure, but I also see those same friendships becoming more meaningful as we together strive to find cheap play-dates for ourselves and our children. Yes, fancy lunches and dinners out with the girls used to be regular events, but cups of coffee and potluck lunches at each other’s homes while the kids play are so wonderful!
Yes, it may be completely understandable, and some may even say justified, for me to complain... but when I look at my life, I honestly don’t see anything to complain about. I see an unbelievably blessed life, covered in God’s grace and purpose. I see a life described in Philippians 4:19 where God is meeting all our needs according to the riches of His glory and therefore we truly have life and are living it abundantly (John 10:10). My prayer is that I don’t lose sight of this and that I always choose to be positive! Why wouldn’t I be? We are living the lives that God has chosen and carefully laid out for us to live. That life is full of purpose, meaning, blessings, hope and love!