I love my house. I chose my house. Dean and I were married a year when I sat in my in-laws family room and scrolled through house designs and floor plans. There it was: a white house with three dormers. I showed the plans to Dean and he promised to build that house for me.
Through every phase of construction we were on site to oooohhh and aaaaahhh over nothing but wood and a concrete foundation. When the foundation was poured we walked around and wondered which room we were standing in. When the frame went up we pictured where to put the furniture. When the sheetrock was put in place we daydreamed about the color we’d paint the walls. To say we were excited would be an understatement, and I’m sure our builder wished we would just stay away!
My husband is a concrete contractor. We see new construction and remodeled backyards every day. He has worked on brilliant homes with two story structures that would make the house owners on Beverly Hills jealous.
We take our business to the local home and garden show and see the newest gidgets and gadgets every new home or yard has today. We see what others are doing to their houses and we realize what ours doesn’t have. And this causes us to want something new, something different, something that promises more satisfaction than what we have now.
Would you like to know a little secret? I don’t just do this with my house. I do this as I scroll through social media sites and see someone’s beautiful hair and I want that style too. I see boutique ads and want the clothing or accessories they offer. I go over to a friend’s house and see their new furniture and suddenly my furniture seems worn out and old.
I hate that. I hate that feeling of discontent when I thought contentment had already settled itself in my life. I get uncomfortable when longing shoves its way into my head when I was sure thoughts of wanting more was nowhere in sight. It’s almost as if it would be better if I never saw the things that stir the desire for more.
Why do we long for more? Is it because when we see what we don’t have we realize what we lack? Not only that, but why is it a big deal to want more?
The desire for more is nothing new. If you go back to Genesis ch 3, we meet Eve, the first woman who wanted more than what she had. The irony in all of this is that Eve had it all. Everything was perfect in her world and she had access to every bit of that perfection in the garden of Eden.
Eve didn’t know what it felt like to long for more when she fixed her eyes on the beauty of all that was the garden. She knew she wasn’t supposed to eat from one tree, and because she had access to everything else, she was never in a state of wanting more.
It wasn’t until she fixed her gaze on the one thing she couldn’t have that she felt her first feeling of dissatisfaction. Nothing had changed before this. She was still standing in a perfect garden with everything she could ever need. So what changed? Her focus.
Genesis 3:6 says, “When the woman saw … she desired.” What Eve focused on stirred her desire for more. And we all have the desire for more, but there can be a danger in wanting what we don’t have, and there’s imminent danger in wanting what we can’t have.
No matter where we come from, where we live or what we believe, we all have something in common: the desire for more. Proverbs 27:20 says, “Sheol and Abaddon (hell and the grave) are never satisfied, nor are the eyes of man ever satisfied.” It is said that the eyes are the window to the soul. What we see goes deeper than just a glance or a view. If we linger long enough with our gaze, what we see begins to stir up desires that are endless. And so, like the grave, the eyes are never satisfied because we will constantly battle the desire for newer and better.
One Saturday morning, during the time when my husband and I were contemplating buying a piece of property and building a new dream home, I looked out my window and into my backyard. As I stood there in silence for a few minutes I took in the sights of my swimming pool, the beautiful mature trees, and the concrete my husband and his guys poured all around our house with our boys’ handprints in them. As I set my gaze on all we had and all that was mine, I realized how blessed we are.
My husband walked into the room and asked me what I was looking at. I told him, “Babe, if we ever look at this backyard and the view gets old, we have lost our focus.”
Sometimes we can see the same thing every day and we take for granted the view. I drive down the highway here in my hometown and on the clearest day you can see the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains. On those clear days they will take your breath away. But there are times I drive and never notice the beautiful mountains at all. Do you know why? My gaze is somewhere else, and although the mountains are just as beautiful, I don’t notice them.
Do you struggle with seeing what you don’t have and battle those feelings of discontent? Don’t feel bad if you do. We all do. But there is a way to help stay focused on what we have so we don’t reach for something we shouldn’t. Proverbs 4:25-27 says, “Let your eyes look directly ahead and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. Watch the path of your feet and all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right nor to the left.” Solomon, a very wise man, understood that where we turn our eyes is what will catch our focus.
Just like I turned my focus to my backyard when we thought about selling our property, and saw the beauty in it, so we can do that when we lose our focus in every area of life. And when you think about it, it’s really all in our perspective. It’s the outlook we have on life and the way we see things that either help us with contentment or leave us wanting more.
I’ll leave you today with this verse from Matthew 6:22. It says, “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light.” Just like a lamp lights the way, so the eye helps direct our path. If our eyes are healthy or fixed on what is right, we will be headed in the right direction.
I challenge you today to take a closer look at where you’re looking. Do you look around and see what everyone else has and long for it? Has your view of the world around you become less perfect because of what you don’t have? Maybe it’s not that what you have isn’t good enough. Maybe you’ve just lost sight of the beauty in it.
And so, my friend, I hope that as you take a look at yourself in the mirror or put a little eyeshadow on those pretty eyes of yours, you’ll remember to make sure your eyes see the good in yourself and the good in life. Most of all, I hope they see good in the God who blessed you and me, and instead of reaching for the things we shouldn’t have, we will reach for Him.
Hey friends! There are a few things coming up in February you won’t want to miss! A virtual friendship retreat will begin on Monday, Feb 4th with giveaways for you and a friend all month long.
February 23rd is our I Am Known women’s event in the Central Valley in California. Click here to register.
The I Am Known devotional will be available for free download in February. Keep an eye out for it!