Greener Yards

I juggled the two dog leashes in my hand as I went off for our morning walk in the neighborhood. The sun was shining, birds were chirping and everything was going my way. I smiled as I waltzed down my street and admired the adorable craftsman style houses. I thought to myself how blessed I am to have found such a gem in the brick-box factory that is Texas. As I turned the corner, I came upon a certain house.

The actual house was the same as everyone else’s, but what caught my eye was It’s yard. It looked like a beautiful green carpet that had been rolled out. It was perfect. It was almost like every single blade of grass had been perfectly calculated and angled. I immediately grew suspicious and thought it was fake. Because that is a thing now, people install fake grass in their yards. Crazy right?

So I walked over to the house and looked both ways to make sure there was no one around. I knelt down and grazed my hand across the soft, cool grass. It was real. I couldn’t believe it. How does grass even get that green in Texas, let alone in the middle of summer?

As I led my dogs back to our original path, I began to think of my yard. 

It had weeds that were overflowing the flowerbeds. In fact, there was even a weed that had grown as tall as me. Nope, not even exaggerating. It was brown and parched, even after watering it on a schedule. The bushes in the front window had started to creep above eye level. 

I grew jealous. Green with envy you could say … pun intended. Then I thought of the phrase, “The grass is always greener on the other side.” or in my case, greener in someone else’s yard.

But isn’t that something we all struggle with? Comparison, jealousy and contentment?

One second, we love our lives and are perfectly content with what we have. Then our eyes look up and focus on the blessings of others rather than focusing on what God has blessed us with currently. 

Trust me, I am by no means someone who doesn’t struggle with contentment or envy. There is always my sinful flesh looking at others and asking …

"Why is she more pretty than me?"

"Ugh, I just want my hair to look like hers."

"I wish I was as tall as she is."

"Why is she so creative? Man, I suck.

"She must be loaded to buy all those brand names, I wish I had more money.” 

“Her marriage is so perfect. They look like they never fight."

But the problem with focusing on someone else’s life is it takes our eyes off what God is doing in our own life. Our focus goes onto what we are lacking  and what we THINK we need versus what God has for us. God made us the way we are for a purpose. He gives us what we need for the day and when we grow discontent we essentially don’t trust God to provide for us. We don’t trust that God is who He says He is.

Somewhere along the way, I began to think of God as a killjoy who just wanted to withhold things from me. So I stopped praying and believed a lie about God. But through His love and grace and through His Word, He taught me that He is our Provider and loving Father. He loves His children and gives GOOD gifts.

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change" - James 1:17 

"If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!" - Matthew 7:11

I am reminded of the time that my parents bought me a horse for Christmas. I ran down the stairs in my pjs to see a VCR playing of a beautiful horse with a red ribbon on his head. I cried the biggest, happiest tears a 12 year old could cry. If my parents, who I love but are human and therefore sinful, can give me such a wonderful gift … how much better are the gifts that God gives me. He knows my every thought, He knows my heart, He knows what makes me squeal with delight. He knows me intimately and loves me immensely. He knows my every need. 

That day I saw my neighbor’s yard, I should have just admired it’s beauty and kept on my way or even recalled how lucky I was to have my home with a yard. So the next time you are tempted to grow jealous, remember our Good Father who is generous and loving. Take a look at your life and acknowledge the blessings that He has given you and thank Him for it.