Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Green with Envy

[From this past Saturday]

Early Saturday morning...before the traffic, before the stores are packed...this is my favorite time of the week because it's when I get what every mother needs but rarely ever takes... 

Mommy Time!

I rise early before my family is up, make my coffee, grab a bagel and head out to the grocery store. Yes, I know it may seem extremely lame to some that I'm excited to go grocery shopping. But this is my "me" time; my time to get alone with the Lord, pray and worship Him. Sometimes I can hardly wait for that moment when I get in the car, plug in my phone and listen to the song that's playing in my heart. Other times I feel God calling me to be quiet and still before Him. And naturally there are times when I go before the throne of grace with the things that are burdening my heart. By the time I get to the store I'm already feeling more refreshed, light-hearted and joyful. The cashiers are almost always in a good mood too. 

The young woman at the register today immediately caught my attention. She had this cute little fro with a couple of twists in the front. As she started scanning my items she looked at my hair and asked if I'd done a braid-out. I explained how I'd set it in chunky twists because it's the closest I can get to wearing my natural curl pattern (I'd done my pseudo wash n' go). She commented that she liked my hair and quickly lamented that she wished hers would be less frizzy and more defined (my curls happened to be more defined today). I encouraged her as best I could to stick with it and embrace her hair, but I felt like I fell short. There were so many things waiting on the tip of my heart to share with her. But most of all I wanted to say...

Your hair is beautiful just the way it is.

I feel that so many more naturals would be able to love their hair (and therefore a part of themselves) if they could see the beauty in their curls and kinks instead of longing for someone else's. I used to fall victim to this mentality so I know how challenging it is to overcome. But if we're always envious of other naturals then we'll never be able to fully appreciate and love how God made our own natural hair. 

And that goes way beyond natural hair. I will admit that I am guilty of envying others' possessions; it's been one of my greatest struggles lately. Envy is one of those seemingly harmless but very dangerous emotions because it is an absolute joy stealer: it sucks the life and joy right out of you, leaving you bitter, empty and ungrateful for what you do have. 

Let's anchor our souls in verses like this:

A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. ~Proverbs 14:30

Rots. The. Bones.....Yikes! I don't like the sound of that, and I'm sure you don't either. So when we find ourselves stumbling over the trap of envy, let's keep this in mind:

Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 
Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. 
~Galatians 5:25-26

Whether it's someone else's curls or the next person's car, when we find ourselves feeling envious we need to remember that envy blocks us from fully appreciating what God has blessed us with and most of all, from knowing in our hearts His incredible love for us. 

For His Glory,

Lauren <3

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