Friday, September 21, 2007

That's Not My Truck...er...Minivan.

I was reading to Jack and Max this morning one of their favorite books: "That's Not My Truck". It's a colorful, touch and feel book, and each page shows a different truck with a different characteristic. "That's not my truck. It's tank is too shiny; hubcaps are too rough; mixer is too bumpy, etc".

I often read to them half distracted, trying make my typically tired self sound animated and excited with each word, as if I have no idea what's coming next! (Isn't it completely adorable how children who have been read a book 100 times still view each page with such wonder?) But, today...these words jumped right off of the cardboard page and landed right on my heart.

How often do I look at things that aren't mine, and want...really want them? How often do I have to remind myself to be content? How often does my heart say, "You'd be happier if you had that body, that house, that minivan?" Or more accurately, her body, her house, her minivan?

And, then I start comparing. "She's too tall." "Her house is too big." "Her minivan isn't the right color." What starts as envy, slowly turns to pride, which then leads to discontentment, followed by guilt. It feels TERRIBLE!

This little book ends with these words: "That's my truck! It's tipper is so ridgy!"

What struck me as I turned the last page and closed this book is that God has indeed given me this "truck" with this "tipper" and it is marvelously "ridgy!" His blessings on us are everywhere...all over our home, in the blue and brown eyes of our boys, in our marriage, in our garage, in the precious life growing inside of me. His gracious touch on our lives has filled our "tipper" with moments of forgiveness, compassion, sacrifice and love. (And, many, many loads of laundry!)

I know that this will be a lifelong struggle. But, even as I read a simple book to my children, I am thankful that God is working on me; gently teaching me to look at my life and say, "That's MY truck!"

23 comments:

  1. Great post. I remember those days of reading in (*)excitement, yet not paying absolute attention.

    Great observation. I believe that God is working on more than just you! I am glad I came by to be gently reminded of not coveting.

    So have a wonderful weekend!

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  2. Thanks, always a good reminder, Sar :) Love you so much!

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  3. Oh, one more thing: what about an updated preggo pic sometime :) We all need to see how cute you and bean are getting (not that you already aren't, you know what I mean).

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  4. Ahhhh...that nasty habit of coveting, and comparing. I know it's one I participate in much too often.

    And you're so right...I've never heard it put this way before, but envy DOES usually turn into pride. Even the house we're fortunate enough to be living in right now (it's not ours...it's a friends). When we moved in, we were overwhelmed by how big it is, and I was completely envious. That quickly turned into 'well, I wouldn't want a house this big', and 'I would pick different colors'. Why can't I just be content? It shouldn't have to be more than that.

    Thanks for getting me thinking! Looks like I'll be doing a lot of that today!

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  5. P.S. We DO live pretty close. It's a small world, for sure. We have family in Muskegon and Portland, so we're quite often in the vicinity of your city. I was really hoping my husband would get a job in gr, before we moved back. I've always wanted to live there. But...the job opportunity came in Lansing, so we're back in my hometown.

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  6. What a great post Sarah! Don't you love how the Lord choose to teach us through very simple things too. I think sometimes it has to be through this audible, loud voice - or some dramatic intervention, but never through a children's book & yet now in my life, He teaches me so much through my children. Contentment...it's a virtue I'm trying to work on all the time because I can relate to what you were saying. Thank you for the great post! Have a great day friend!

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  7. *Please ignore the generic "our family" title - my slightly paranoid mother was concerned about me putting our last name anywhere on the website, so I changed it to "our family" to appease her - if you see it, know that it's Jenni ;) *

    Isn't it amazing how God can use the simplest of tasks as a gentle reminder - if only I would heed or sometimes even hear the gentle reminders (especially amidst the chaos of toddler-hood). What a wonderful thing that you're listening, Sarah.

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  8. So true..great post...I struggle with this so much. Thanks for reminding us how God has given us so many blessings already!
    K

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  9. That's a cool post, Sar. You got that from a CHILDREN'S BOOK? You're so sensitive. :) Which is why I love you.

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  10. What a great mommy-time devotion. Makes me realize that God is everywhere. Thanks for finding Him and sharing this today. The comparison game that we play is toxic to our relationships.

    Good reminder!

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  11. Totally agree with Janelle; devotions can (and do) happen during any mama-duty (reading especially however,Curious George Gets a Medal is truly weird - that was this afternoon). I like to find the spiritual in the practical too!

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  12. Sarah,
    That was a really good post. I think pregnancy agrees with you. You've been writing lots of good things lately!

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  13. i think God wants to teach us life lessons each and every day. we just miss them most of the time. i'm glad you didn't miss the one He had for you today.

    have a great weekend.

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  14. These kinds of things are my favorite lessons in life. I love it when God just shows up right in the middle of my day and brings His Word alive and fresh through some thing so unexpected. I must admit I haven't read a childrens book in a very long time, but I will look for God in anything I can.

    Great post. Thanks for sharing. I need this reminder each day as I often feel less than adequate right where I am. God has blessed me with more than most of the entire world and I needed to be reminded of that simple message.

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  15. This issue reverberates anywhere there is a Christian woman living in America. I love the actual quote - it will stick in my head for awhile, I think!
    It is funny how the "secular" can become "sacred" when you are a believer. I once had a mom mention "that great theological movie, The Lion King." At first,I was puzzled... then, as I continued to think about it, I realized, yes, if you look at it in a certain way, yes, we can even learn from the Lion King! :) And it's a good thing we have those moments... because lets face it, those are MOST of my moments these days!

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  16. p.s. I added your button about praying for the children... what a great reminder!!

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  17. Wonderful thoughts, words and reminder!!!
    Susan

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  18. "What starts as envy, slowly turns to pride, which then leads to discontentment, followed by guilt. It feels TERRIBLE!"

    True, true, true!

    Thanks for sharing this today!

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  19. You are not alone, my friend. I think it is easy to compare ourselves to others who have more money, nicer cars, bigger houses, etc., etc. I wonder why it is so difficult for us to be satisfied with what we have when we are so blessed? Thank you for reminding me of this today!

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  20. Another great post.
    Thanks for sharing with us.
    How true I always wish for or want for something else or something more. This is a great reminder to be content in all things. In everything give thanks.

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  21. It's amazing how the Lord reveals things to us...even hidden in children's story books!!

    0:) Amber

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