I woke up very crabby and irritated today and I'm having a hard time getting over it. I debriefed it over coffee with my husband, and felt better afterward, but the crabbiness continues. In the shower I finally deduced that the root of my irritation today is covetousness. (Does God speak to you in the shower, too?)
I want stuff that I can't have and it's making me crabby.
On the one hand I feel a bit pathetic blogging about this, yet on the other hand I think it brings relief to all of us to have our ugly sinful natures admitted before others...it's like airing out the dirty laundry...it helps us remember that we all have dirty laundry, and it refreshes the soul.
So yes, I'm coveting. There you have it.
(Wanna know something funny? As I wrote the above paragraphs my pandora worship station was playing "I Need Thee Every Hour..." Ha! Might God be reminding me that He's what I need, and not stuff?)
In our suppertime family devotions we've been reading through the life of Moses. It's been fascinating to read this with our children. We've just recently gone through the 10 Commandments and have been talking about all of them, including "Thou shall not covet." And here I am, coveting.
As we were quizzing our kids on the commandments last night, Lillian said, "We're really good at the first one though! We don't worship any gods but Jesus!"
Oh the faith of a child, right? I smiled at her pure faith, but inside I was thinking, "Hmmm, am I actually good at that one? Or do I worship stuff and worldly fortune more than I ever want to admit?
Isn't covetousness weird, in that it just keeps increasing...the more you want stuff, the more stuff you want. And then as your desire for stuff grows, it just continues growing. And it makes you crabby and ungrateful and irritated and blinds you to the goodness all around you.
I mean, it's been human nature's problem ever since Eve in the garden, hasn't it? I guess that's what makes me feel okay about blogging about my own pathetic covetousness...I know it's plagued every human heart since Eve. The one tree that she was supposed to leave alone...she craved that very fruit. But why? She had so much available to her at her fingertips. Yet she wanted the one thing she wasn't supposed to have.
That's like me. My life is abundant far more than I could ever deserve or even could have asked for. I get to stay home with my kiddos. I just had a "toast date" with my two year old, for goodness sake. At 10AM on a weekday morning I got to sit at the kitchen table and eat melty peanut butter on toasted english muffins with my baby. (And actually, I can do this every day.) I mean, how much more could I ask for, really?
But that's the nature of covetousness. It doesn't make sense. It's not rational.
I think my coveting came on this time because we just saw our credit card bill for the last month and it's obvious that we need a spending freeze. Summer fun, four kids' birthdays, school clothes, school supplies, kids' shoes, home projects, and a growing family's growing grocery bill all sent our last month's expenses way overboard and we need to back off.
It's not a huge deal...a bit concerning, but it'll be fine.
But you know how it is....once you decide to have a spending freeze, suddenly you want everything in every magazine that comes your way. We just got a new scholastic book-order last night at Back to Preschool Night for Gregory, and I want to order all the books for my kids. I want edging around my flowerbeds and a sprinkler system so that our grass actually grows. I want to go out for lunch today and spend three nights at a fancy hotel alone with my husband. I want new living room furniture. Today on facebook I saw friends in Manhattan, Ireland, and Hawaii, and I'm sorry to say that I'm a bit jealous of them all.
I want, I want, I want.
But I don't need any of these things.
So I turn my eyes to Jesus and ask Him to open my eyes to the abundance around me. The creamy peanut butter and english muffins and soft carpet and full refrigerator and overflowing pantry and full closets and the six full tummies that live in this home. My husband works way too hard for our family for me to be crabby about all the trite foolish things I think I want.
And when my eyes are fixed on Jesus, I realize I don't really want any of it.
I just want us, healthy and faithfully walking with God. And I want Jesus. And that in itself is more abundance than I could ever really ask for.
And again, God is so clearly speaking to me through His choice of songs on my pandora station. As I close, I hear the lyrics of "Be Thou My Vision" coming through my kitchen speakers:
Riches I heed not nor man's empty praise
Thou mine inheritance now and always
Thou and thou only first in my heart
High King of heaven my treasure Thou are