Baby Shower Devotional:? Is the Grass Greener on the Other Side?
When A. S. asked me to do a short devotional I jumped at the chance!? I began to consider all the possible topics and verses, such as:
- children are a blessing and gift from the Lord
- train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it
- remember the Creator in the days of your youth
Instead, I’ve decided to ask everyone a question?? Is the grass greener on the other side?? I’d like to not only ask the question, but try to answer it with some illustrations.
Just a few years ago I had 4 little ones 7and under, then a 5th came along, later a 6th who is with the Lord.? When I had the first 4, I took a class 2x a month for a while to learn how to speak better in public.? Well, one of my goals was to learn how to tell a joke in public.? I know that sounds pretty pathetice, but it’s true.? I remember standing in front at the Toastmaster Club, very nervous, joke written down.? I began the joke by saying, “My husband told me not to say this but…” (pause) – everyone then proceeded to burst out laughing and I didn’t get to finish what I was saying so I’ll finish it now, 18 years later….”My husband told me not to say this , but, I’ve never told a joke in front of people until today!”
Why did they laugh?? Did they think I would tell a dirty joke?? What were they thinking?
Anyways, that same year, I remember going into the doctor’s office for what seemed like the 32nd time (I counted my receipts that year ’90-’91 and I think we averaged almost 3 visits per month to the doctor’s office).? One time, as I sat there with my baby on my lap and 3 toddlers scampering around, the nurse looked at me and asked me, “Mrs. V., what do you do all day?”? I didn’t even waste my breath answering her verbally, and in my thoughts I told her off.
Friends, our culture is throwing a bill of goods at us and we need to nip it in the bud.? Even if we unplug the tube and watch self-selected videos and dvds, if we just get into our car and drive somewhere we see billboards and signs inviting us to live it up with all the trinkets , trips and toys imaginable.? This sometimes causes us to think the grass is greener on the other side.? After all, if we have this or that or go to this place or drive the newer cars and live in certain subs or?? we think, we’ve arrived and yes, the grass is really greener.? Now there’s nothing wrong with new cars and nice homes if you can afford them, but at times this equates to hubby working longer hours or figuring out some other arrangements decided on in order to acquire more.? Because, so we think, the grass is greener on the other side.? But is it really?
From the pulpit we hear of God’s sovereignty, are we accepting it, His plan for us, whatever that may encompass?? Are we embracing His sovereign plan for us, right where we are at?? Do we thank our Lord daily? verbally, in front of our family and children for the shelter, food, clothes we have to wear?? Or, do we find ourselves thinking the grass is greener on the other side?? So and so has it better, easier, etc.? We need another bedroom, so we think, or we need a nicer car or we need to go to such and such place because we have to keep up with the Joneses.? My maiden name was Jones and we had a big family of 11 but we didn’t have “it all!”
For many years our children had a paper route in West Dearborn.? There were two elderly ladies on the route for a long time, then, suddenly, they were gone.? Here one week, gone the next.? The one who was caring for the other passed away due to lack of food, we heard.? This was in a fairly nice middle class area.? Is the grass greener?? Things seemed/appeared to be ok there.
Some folks have adequate bank accounts but wayward chidren.? Some have a cottage on the lake, but no one to share it with.? Someone once said if we all wrote down our trials and struggles on paper and passed the papers around so we could see the others’s struggles (that we might not know about otherwise), we’d end up picking our own struggles back.? Isn’t that what God does for us?? He hand picks what we go through, our situations.? He directs us.? He grows us.
I read a story in the Reader’s Digest several years ago about a young dad on the subway.? His children were out of control.? He wasn’t doing anything about it.? A couple people brought this to his attention, that his children were running wild.? No answer came.? Finally, another person openly rebuked the young dad.? Bewildered, the young dad mustered up enough strength and said,”We’re just on our way back from the hospital.? May wife passed away.? She had been sick.”
Ladies, is the grass really greener on the other side?? Or is the grass greener right under our feet?
In February, my husband and I went to a parenting seminar in G. R.? The speaker told about a young executive who had a wife, 5 children, big house, nice new cars, – all the trappings of success.? But, to maintain the lifestyle, he was hardly home.? The family was languishing and falling apart, really.? After attending a parenting seminar and hearing God’s Word, he asked for a demotion (opposite of promotion), downsized the house, sold the newer cars and bought a couple of older ones, and began to invest the extra time in his wife and children.? His children never complained again about Dad being gone.? They had dad back.? Mom did, too.
Raising little ones is a labor of love.? It involves deep ongoing sacrifice on the parents’ part.? My parents raised 9 of us; plus, they lost a 10th child.? Many nights my mother and dad were up half the night or all night doing clothes, feeding babies, changing diapers, tending to sick children.? We saw the sacrifices they made daily.? Do you know that sharing a room with 3 other siblings teaches you alot about life?? And love?? Sacrifice?
In conclusion, embrace the days, busy though they are, saturating yourself with God’s Word through Scripture memory, worship and praise songs, sermons on tape, especially when the Evil One tries to twist your thinking. ? Try to see the green grass beneath your feet, right now, and live out His love in your home.? These days pass quickly and you will reap a harvest of seeds sown for Him from your labors.
Copyright July 2008; J.Vos?? All rights reserved