The Grass is Always Greener On The Other Side

Limited TIME Contest – read rules below.

At times in my life, I have to admit that I’ve looked at friends, neighbors or relatives and believed, falsely, that their lives were great in comparison to mine. I know you can relate. When I see the parents that show up withthe grass is always greener on the other side their kids wearing matching socks to church, I think – “they have it together.” Or watching another homeschooler who “easily” schooled multiple children, and they all did great – while sometimes we struggled just to get the day’s assignments completed.

I’m sure you’ve been as frustrated as I am when it appears that everyone else has their life together. I recall the words, “the grass is always greener on the other side,” and while logically I know this isn’t true, at times it sure appears to be that way.

Sometimes it seems like everyone else has their life together. I’ve been that tired mom, with a baby and two teens that just wants to crawl back into bed after less than four hours of sleep the night before, and instead, I need to coach my kids into a winning science fair project. Amazingly, the kids did win, but I have to say it was with very little help from me. To me, it seemed that I was falling short of my high expectations and everything was suffering. Especially my mood which could be described as volatile.

Everyone’s life is better than mine! Not necessarily. Let’s look at why we feel so down on ourselves and better yet, let’s look for solutions.

Tired and Stressed Out:

Problem: First, you are tired and stressed. Once you get run down or tired, it is hard to focus and be happy about anything, or anyone. When we are stressed your body goes into survival mode. You can gain weight even if you are not eating more, you can become ill and your mind will be sluggish. You just feel like going to bed. When that happens it is very difficult to be positive.

Solution: Try to get more rest is the natural solution but if that isn’t possible, give yourself some slack! Try not to plan or execute major events when you know you will be sleep deprived. Plan ahead. When I have big events looming I do as much as I can (like baking or buying things ready made *gasp*), and I know this is a temporary fix, but it helps my state of mind. Identify our stress points and avoid them! Plan, plan, plan.

One of my favorite reminder verses: Matthew 6:31-33
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Chronic Illness:

Problem: For those of you who suffer daily or during times of serious bouts of illness my heart goes out to you. Yes, it is easy to look at those of us who are not ill and think, “they have it so much better.” In this case, I’d have to say that it is very natural to feel this way. During those times give yourself some slack.

Recently I took a hard fall. I bruised ribs and it hurt to breathe. I had already pulled a shoulder muscle a few month before and only the week before my other knee (not the one I fell on) was inflamed and swollen. I had to rest and getting up and lying down were both very painful. I just shut down mentally as well as physically. I was angry at my own clumsiness and even more so that I had done this same type of thing, ten years ago and it took the “younger me” six months to recover. I was short with my family and very frustrated over completing even the easiest of tasks. It made me think of those of you with chronic illness and how frustrating life can be for everyone involved. Thankfully, I will recover and my injuries are not life-threatening. However, how amazing that this is what I thought about when I was down-and-out. I surely didn’t think that everyone else had it easier. We can learn through these times.

Solution: Again, give yourself some slack! You can’t expect perfection when you feel less than perfect. I’ve not been blessed with the perfection gene (thank you, Jesus), but if you have, realize that you are just one person in a very big world and while many people may depend on you, just for today – that one day, give yourself a break. I had to take almost two weeks off after my fall. Am I way behind. Oh, yes. But that is when I pray and ask the Lord to help me with the things He wants me to accomplish and I’ll tackle those with His help.

and – pray this prayer:  The Whole Armor of God – “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Ephesians 6:10-11 RSV

Tragic Event:

Is there an illness, death in the family, loss of work or job, divorce, or parents with mild memory loss? Those events can throw us into a tailspin and the first reaction is usually, “why is this happening to me!” I know the stress and the toll on the family that comes with a tragic event. My mother died when my fourth child was a little more than a year and we were getting ready for a big family reunion up north. At these times, we can feel such a loss that we are frozen and unable to make a rational decision.

Solution:

Don’t make any rash decisions and get help. Whether it is counseling from a pastor or professional or help with the kids so you can tend to the most immediate needs of the family, do it. We can’t ignore what has happened and I can’t think of one situation that I was in, personally, that I was able to handle alone. Prayer is a given, but in addition, you need outside help.

As we approach Easter Day I recall the reason we are on this earth and that is to love and serve the Lord. When our eyes get focused on the hear and now, the day-to-day struggles or on others that we consider more “blessed” or “together” than we are, we miss our mark. Do you know your purpose? Do you know Jesus? He wants to know you! Ask our Lord and Savior to come into your life in a deeper way, and you will be blessed with the help and the fortitude to live our your life as He would have you live.

Another verse I’ve used: Philippians 4:11-13
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Have you struggled or is there something we can help you with? Please leave your comments here and we’ll pray for you – your needs and your family.

Congratulations to Amy – the winner selected for our special giveaway. Thanks to all who participated.

Comments

  1. Orilla Crider says

    Wow, last night was an awesome message!! Jean truly spoke from her heart. So many homes are being wrecked today and sadly a lot of them is because our world is spinning out of control and the family is pushed aside for work, sports, TV, internet, even church activities. I have heard some say that it isn’t necessary to “court” each other after marriage, but if you don’t in some way you will drift apart. If you quit talking, communication lines are broken. Jean gave some great ideas how to keep the romance going. Thanks for such a heartfelt evening! Thanks also for all you do for the homeschoolers.

    Thanks, Felice, again for listening to the Lord and making these available!

    • mediaangels says

      Thanks so much Orilla for attending and sharing your thoughts with us. I know that you “get it” and your family leads by example. Jean’s session really spoke from the heart, I agree! I appreciate you and your continued support of this network and Media Angels!

  2. I am so in that place where everyone else seems to have it together and I don’t. It’s frustrating. But I remind myself that I’m doing okay and I can keep improving wroth time.

  3. Amy Ritchie says

    I have been so tired and stressed out for so long that it caused illness in me. So many times in my life where I see others who “have it all together” when I don’t. I have been working on taking care of me now for a while and telling myself that God is enough and I can let go of all the stress. Thank you for the giveaway!

    • mediaangels says

      Amy, you are not alone. It seems at times we have more than we can handle, but as you wisely said – God equips those he calls. Keep marching forward.

  4. Knowing that some artificial standard of what is how we homeschooling moms should be should be let go is so important. When I was in bed for almost a year and homeschooling from my bed I felt terribly inadequate. You speak about not making your own, we went down to plastic plates! We do not need to be supper mum!

    • mediaangels says

      Naomi – your kids memories will be about the heroic mom who did not let illness keep her from her children. The greatest lessons in life are not learned from a book. Thanks for commenting!

  5. Orilla Crider says

    I’m not sure if this is where you want us to write or not but this is where the link went to. I love listening to Latoya! She always has great thoughts and down to earth suggestions. Building good character in kids can sometimes be hard but it is amazing that they do pick things up when we least realize it. Thanks again for another amazing show.

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