Thursday, May 29, 2008

Wouldn't You Know...

Just a few short days after I post about being content, I'm given a pop quiz. Just like Him isn't it! I guess He wanted to see if I was going to walk my talk.

The first test came at the pool Tuesday. A couple of other mom's and I were chatting. The other two kind of got into this "who can outdo the other" conversation. I hate those. They compared everything from square footage of their homes (which isn't that different...we all have the same builder) to their landscaping. This is where my pop quiz came in.

As they compared their plants, vines, annuals....they were both getting on the other's last nerve. It was very obvious, but neither one of these ladies was going to be the one to stop it. One of them kind of joked with me and made this comment..."so...when are you going to do something with the beds in front of your all haven't added anything yet. Everyone else has?"

Excuse me?

This was not only a test of being "content" it was a test of me controlling my mouth. I didn't say much other than, "Well you know...spending money on landscaping has been the last thing on our mind over the last year." I would love to tell you my tone was meek and merciful and oozed the fruit of the Spirit, but it didn't. It was defensive and I was doing everything within my power not to break down into tears. How crazy is that!!!

The subject changed. One mom left and I was left to chat with the offender.

I know her well enough to know that she just speaks whatever is on her mind without thinking. I know she didn't mean to hurt my feelings and she probably didn't intend for that statement to come across the way it did.

I was over it pretty fast and we had a pretty decent conversation, but her comments have stuck with me all week. Which leads me to believe that God wanted to just see how content I really was. I told Him that her comment made want to forget about doing anything in the backyard and just focus all my attention and money on the front..what people see....but that isn't the plan.

You see, the plan is to get the backyard going...this is the place where we spend time with family and friends. It's where we talk, pray, relax and weather permitting I do Bible study. It's very important to me that it be an environment that is welcoming, peaceful, a place where you feel the presence of God. (which is our prayer for the rest of our home as well) I know and have accepted that it is a process and since I know from past experience that God is the ultimate landscaper, He will show me some great deals and provide everything we need to create this dream garden. I'm totally okay and very excited about it. After the back is going and as we have the money, we'll add some to the front. That has been and will continue to be our plan.

Now.....before I go any further, let me just say that the front...does not look bad. We just haven't added to what the builder put in!

I wasn't real sure where I would wind up as far as a spiritual application goes. We could talk about our tongues and the power they have. OR, we could talk about being wise with the resources you have and not spending what you don't have. Then there is patience....(Yikes! There's a whole novel with that one!)

God gave me a different lesson. This one took me by surprise. I was soaking in the tub Tuesday evening after "THE COMMENT" was made. Really talking to God about why it bothered me so much. Here's what ran through my mind.

"Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds; for riches do not endure forever and a crown is not secure for all generations." Prov. 27: 23-24

I had read that early Tuesday morning, once again He was giving me exactly what I would need for that particular day. God reminded me of my ultimate goal for the backyard.(and our home) We want to use that space for His glory today and for years to come. The girls and I have had some great conversations out there. It's a place where we invest in our "flock". And seeing as they refuse to stop growing, at some point they are going to leave. I want to use every minute to prepare them for the next stage of life. For our family that backyard is a place where everyone feels safe enough to let their guard down and talk about life.

If we were to neglect that area and just focus on the front yard, the part people driving by see, would we be so quick to grab a cup of coffee and go out back for after dinner conversation? Probably not.

Don't get me wrong, I've got some ideas about the front too! But for right now, that isn't where our focus is. We've got to complete the work inside that fence around the backyard before we can work on the front of the house. (If all goes as planned, the work on the inside of that fence, will produce enough to cover the front too.)


LAURIE said...

thanks for sharing from your heart. I say your intentions are correct....concentrate on the area that your family spends the most time and enjoys the most. Maybe your "outspoken friend" would be willing to come work the front for you?? just a suggestion. -blessings, Laurie

BethAnne said...

Do you ever wonder why people try so hard to outdo each other? Or why people care what other people are doing in the first place? There has to be a great deal of insecurity there. I think maybe God put you among these ladies to show them that there are more important things in life than keeping up with the Joneses. You keep on planninng for that back yard - looks like the neighbors will worry enough about the front yard for everyone........

Cheri said...

All I can say is good job for seeking God and his wisdom on this.

People can be cruel without even knowing it. You did good and you GO on that backyard , girl!! :)

Angela @ Refresh My Soul Blog said...

OH girl, you are doing the very right thing! God will continue to bless those works! LOVE those verses.

I am kinda scared that I will be tested as well after my post about the girls and being content! :)

Much love,

DeAnna said...

You know, people can be down right petty and uppity (is that a real word), can't they? Way to go for not landblasting the neighbor. You never know when she will need your sweet spirit lavished on her when she is down. You are absolutely right for "taking care" of the areas in your yard where your heart will be most exposed. Those family areas/times need to be cultivated far more than where the passersby will see.

Carol said...

Oh, I soooo need to do some serious landscaping. If somebody starts talking landscaping at my pool, I'll have to dive in real quick like.

Heather said...

Hi Stephanie! I have been reading your blog for a little while now, but just started one of my own a little while ago, so I decided to leave you a comment now that I have an "identity," so to speak! I love your blog, and actually came here because of your sweet comments and wisdom on the LPM blog! You're a powerful witness, girl!
I love this post. I had a similar experience last week with someone who needed to "tame her tongue" and did not. Words hurt so bad! I love how, like you wrote, though, God allows us to simmer on them and then speaks to us about how he will use them to show/teach us something...even if they were originally hurtful nor did they have anything to do with His intentions.
She was wrong in her comments, but look what HE ended up teaching you through it! I am still trying to get His discernment in my "comment" that was made to me. :)
Thanks for your encouraging blog!