Hello. My name is Heidi, and I have not watched HGTV in two weeks and four days. I say this not because I do not ADORE this channel and all it has to offer. I say this because of my own weakness and well-being.
I have a problem. A problem of insatiable want. Most likely, you do, too. I want things. Nice Things. I enjoy my home, my family, my trips and my cars. My problem isn’t my things; it’s the effect these things have on my ability to enjoy life. They will steal my joy and zap my happiness if I let them.
This reality hit me pretty hard after I found myself in a summer slump. I had been binge watching hours of HGTV and dreaming of how to improve my home, my yard, and my life. For most, home improvement shows are a perfectly healthy way to pass the time and get ideas for future projects. For me, however, watching HGTV with a dwindling bank account was a toxic combination. The more I watched, the more I saw what I lacked. Thoughts of home improvement started to consume my every moment and with each passing day, my contentment faded along with it. Before long, all I could see was what I needed in my life, completely blind to what I already had.
When I walked into my home, I didn’t notice the beautiful flooring or furnishings, I zeroed in on the popcorn ceiling that desperately needed to be removed, the patio that was screaming for a pergola, and a kitchen that needed to be white with subway tile as soon as possible! As the weeks went by, I no longer appreciated the beautiful home that was once a dream for my husband and me. I was consumed with my desire for improvement and unable to see the beauty right before me. Since my bank account could not support my growing passion, I knew I had to change and change quickly. This mindset was destroying my happiness and would eventually destroy my family if I didn’t fix things fast.
I realized my situation wasn’t just happenstance. It was a targeted attack from Satan. He wants me in this state of dissatisfaction. He NEEDS me to be discontent if he is going to have any kind of chance with me. He needs me to forget about all the wonderful things I already have in order to lure me with what he claims to offer. He knows my weaknesses better than I do and knows that if he can keep me longing for what I don’t have, he can render me ineffective for God’s purpose.
I read a great post on Facebook recently that said, “I still remember the days when I prayed for what I have today.” Wow. Me, too. When I examined my life, I realized I have much of what I dreamt of twenty years ago. God has blessed me greatly. I should be the happiest girl on earth according to my hopes of yesteryear. Yet, I forget to be grateful and to bask in God’s blessings. I always seem to have my eye on the next best thing.
I quickly understood that Satan wasn’t coming into my life with horns and a pitchfork. Nope. He will show-up as what you have been dreaming of and longing for. For me, it was thoughts of a pool, updated kitchen, and kids’ playroom that kept me from experiencing joy and contentment. For you, it may be a desire for a more attentive husband, better job, popularity or particular dress size. Whatever keeps you from appreciating the things you DO have will be all Satan needs to steal your joy and distract you from anything productive.
I started to get better when I woke-up and realized I ALREADY had everything I needed within the walls of my own house. I don’t need to look for satisfaction in anything other than Christ. Nothing else will ever satisfy—not the best husband, most luxurious house, number of Facebook likes, or accomplished children. Nothing supplants the need for a relationship with Him.
When I turned-off the TV and turned to Him, I started to see my life for what it was. A blessed existence. I have my challenges, but I refuse to let what I want steal the joy of what I have. Perhaps you need to turn-off Facebook or the Home Shopping Network or that neighbor who is always bragging about her kids.
Don’t get me wrong. I still get a little excited at the thought of fresh paint and shiny new appliances, but they no longer dictate my mood, my mind or my happiness. I still have renovation projects in mind, but I refuse to bombard my brain with constant thoughts of what is to come. Instead, I am choosing to delight in what IS today. Join me in a new season of gratitude and the gift of contentment!