Friday, August 9, 2013

Greedy

I'm feeding Evie breakfast. I'm sipping my coffee, and she's filling her hungry belly, stuffing her face with scrambled eggs. But I'm looking past her, at the grimy walls that need to be wiped down. And then I see our dining room chairs that have been stained with spilled spaghetti sauce and badly need new slipcovers. Then I see the weird space in front of the fireplace that I dearly want to get some chairs for and make into the living space that it's supposed to be, instead of the weird empty space it has been for years.  I see the section of baseboards that never got painted, the couches that I want to replace.

I fall into this trap so quickly, and so easily. The greed, the gimmes. I see something in a magazine, or in a blog, and I want it. I want our house to look like THAT HOUSE.  I want Evie to have THAT precious dress, even though she has a closetful of perfectly good clothes.  I want THOSE shoes, even though I have perfectly fine shoes. I convince myself that somehow, I'll be happier/more fulfilled/cooler if I just had THAT. 

But you know, Evie doesn't care. She doesn't care whether her clothes come from the children's clothing exchange or Nordstrom. She doesn't care that our dining table has chipped paint. She has no idea that her shoes are hand me downs or that her mama doesn't wear cool clothes.  What I value most in my life, after all, is my role as a wife and mother. And that stuff doesn't matter to Evie. It won't teach her anything.  What will matter is having a mama that doesn't compare.  It will matter to her that her mama teaches her to be satisfied and content with her blessings, rather than striving for more.  

Yesterday, Kemi went out to the alley to take out the garbage. He said there was a family digging through the dumpster. He told me the father pulled a toy from the dumpster, and handed it to the little girl. When he told me this story, my heart broke. I felt so remorseful. I thought back on my day. I fed my daughter nutritious meals. I took her to the mall so she could play with other children. I gave her a warm bath, a warm bottle, and read her stories and sang her songs before I laid her down in a crib with clean sheets and warm blankets and a stuffed bunny.  And I didn't once worry today whether I could feed my family. Or whether I could pay the electric bill.  Or how I could put clothes on her back. But I did spend time today in comparison. In wishing I had a Crate and Barrel living room instead of a hand-me-down one.  I felt sick, and ashamed of myself.  Just feet away from our home with a pantry full of food and dressers full of clothes was a family rifling through our trash. I hope I can remind myself, each time I let my mind wander to all the STUFF I want, and the THINGS I don't have, to all I do, and how blessed I am.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for this reminder! I am constantly doing the same thing in my house and the "stuff" truly doesn't matter :-)

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  2. beautiful blog!

    love reading your posts :)

    ReplyDelete