I love being a part of a big family and one of my favourite things in life is spending time with the little ones.
Over the weekend, we stopped in at Drew’s parents place who were babysitting three of our nieces.
Between their schedule and ours, we hadn’t had a chance to see the girls for a while and still had their birthday gifts to give them.
After our cuddles with them and hearing all about their slumber party, we gave Brooklyn (7) and Marilyn (5) their belated birthday gifts. Both girls excitedly opened their gifts and ouuu’d and ahhh’d over their new treasures. Their little sister Jillian (3) was immediately upset because she didn’t get a gift (that day. Her birthday was in July and she most certainly got gifts). It’s hard watching others get something but not you. It’s easy to forget what we’ve been given when we see others being given something. I don’t think this is an age thing, it’s a human thing.
Shortly after the gifts were opened, I saw Marilyn lying on the floor with a sad face. I knelt down beside her and asked her what was wrong.
She replied, “Brooklyn got a prettier necklace than me…”
To which I replied, “You both got different necklaces and you know what? You got earrings. Brooklyn did not. And you got new pjs. Brooklyn did not. All the things that were in your bag were things we picked out just for you!”
And with that, a smile came across her face.
How many of us have had a Marilyn moment at one point or another? I know I have. It’s so easy to get caught up in what everyone else has that we discount what we have been given. Our eyes become so focused on someone else’s treasures that we diminish the very treasures with our names on them.
I wonder how often God blesses us yet we almost miss out on the blessing because it doesn’t look like the person beside us.
In that moment with Marilyn, I was reminded that God doesn’t just give out random gifts and the same gifts to everyone. Rather, He specially selects certain gifts just for us. Why? Because He knows us and He loves us. He thinks about us before He gives out the gift. And in the moments in which we are tempted to compare what we have with others or become envious of others, I believe He whispers to our soul “All the blessings in your life, I picked just for you.”
We in North America, are so blessed yet so bitter. We have an abundance of food yet are malnourished. We are fed yet ungrateful. We have endless opportunities in front of us yet more often than not, we prostitute ourselves for a paycheque. We appear physically strong but are emotionally broken. We are blinded by what we see. We are mute for the things that matter. We strive but find ourselves stuck. We compare hoping to find contentment but we find chaos instead. We chase after the next thing to satisfy us but the only thing that will satisfy us is the One who chases us.
And so my hope, my invite to you and I is that we become people of instant gratitude vs instant gratification. I believe when we can master the instant gratitude thing, we will realize we are richer than we think, far more blessed than we believe, and loved far more than we ever thought.