“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”
Proverbs 4:23 NLT
This verse has been chasing me down lately. I doodled it in my journal, a new little hobby. (I realize I need practice – and some better pens.)
I have a slightly different take on this, but I’m saving it for when these words that swirl around my head and heart finally get onto pages held in hand.
I dream of the book, finally written, published- it seems far, far away because the work is hard and honestly, I don’t know what to do once it’s all down or if I’m even supposed to be doing something before it’s finished.
The process is more painful than I imagined. I’ve gone back and dug in deep into dirty places and cried bitter tears of regret and some of self-pity. The very tears I thought were dried and my story of how God wiped them spill out and I’m teetering on the edge of that pit.
I have to guard my heart from social media. The place I’ve been encouraged to write and share our story is the very place that can pull me into the jealousy and discontent that I thought I was healed of.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” Theodore Roosevelt Or Dwight Edwards. I’m not sure who to contribute this to, because the internet says different things.
So many different things. No matter how we choose to live, someone is telling us it is not enough. We must do more, make more, build more so we an have a big house, big car and big bank account.
On the other hand, we have those telling us to be less- weigh less, age less, buy less, own less clothes, less stuff, so we will have less stress and leave a smaller carbon footprint.
We can have it all.
Or we can’t.
So many conflicting, confusing voices telling us what to do.
I’m tired of not feeling like enough because highlight reels are only veiled in truth and what some are selling, I don’t want to buy.
I’m sad with myself for comparing my seemingly limited life and what I haven’t accomplished against someone’s arbitrary standards.
No one’s life looks exactly like another’s and my contentment should not be dictated by what another feels I should do, because I may not be able to, or I simply may not want to.
I am learning to be content, but the feed of discontent is forever in our face.
I just looked at the “on this day” section of Facebook and I cringed. On two posts on two different years, I lamented about having so much to do, but wanting to go do something fun with my kids. As if that’s a choice I have to justify.
I’m exhausted letting everyone know how busy I am because I am afraid I might be thought of as lazy. If I’m not productive, I may commit sins against all the inspirational memes meant to motivate.
Some days, instead of “Just do it”, can we just not?
The irony of the internet is is not lost on me. I follow many writers on social media to learn and yet I waste time wishing I was on their publishing timeline instead of my own. Yet many would never read a word I’ve written if it weren’t for Facebook and Instagram.
The internet is a tool. It can create beauty or cut deeply, carving something useful, but a slip can leave a gaping wound.
I’m not sure if I’m guarding my heart or ignoring it. I deflect by mindless scrolling on Instagram. It’s a vicious cycle, because I love a peek into my friends’ lives, yet when they are doing things or going places I wish I could, loneliness creeps and threatens to settle.
I’m rarely alone, but often lonely. I’ve read articles about the isolation of special needs parents and thought of sharing, but lately, I don’t have the energy to post so much nor do I want to have anyone think I’m trying to evoke sympathy. Even with these words, I want to explain without sounding ungrateful for all I’ve been given.
I’m choosing to rest in Him. I’m choosing contentment. I’m going to “count my blessings” like Momma would tell me to.
I’m choosing to listen to One voice.
My heart is guarded, but wide open. My heart is healing, like my son’s- who by the way, got an excellent report at the cardiologist yesterday. I’m so grateful to my huge-hearted God Who loves us so much.
He loves us when the report is good and when it’s scary. He loves us when we are broken and when we have been fixed enough to help those shattered around us, even if our scars show and tears flow. He loves us over and under and through and through.
More than enough.