We were having a conversation- it was months ago now- but I remember making a comment that went something like, "Babe, I'm so sorry you are carrying so much on your plate during this season...work full-time, school full-time, raising little kids that require so much time and energy and patience... you deserve to sit down even ONE night a week to relax and watch tv and relax." To which he responded with, "That's dangerous, Lauren. When I start thinking about what I deserve, it's a slippery slope."
And I have thought about that concept at least weekly since he said it.
I find myself caught up in the "I deserves" so often.
I deserve time to myself.
I deserve to finally buy that _____ I've been looking at forever.
I deserve to have the evening to relax. I don't want to fold laundry tonight.
I deserve to eat dinner out tonight. I cook every night, which means I wash dishes every night.
I deserve to go out with my friends.
And so on.
And darn it all if it isn't a very slippery slope. Because before you know it, that has become, "I deserve that house, those shoes, that car, that marriage, that life, that paycheck..." That whatever it is. And even more dangerous yet is when it morphs into "I don't know why THEY deserve that house, shoes, car, marriage, paycheck, etc." And the next thing you know, all the gratitude is gone from your own life and resentment fills your heart toward those in your life who are blessed with the things you don't feel they deserve.
At the end of the day, the truth is that we deserve NOTHING. No one does. Even the best attempt at the perfect life, filled with hard work and integrity, is empty and sinful unless God steps in and reminds us that we don't DESERVE anything, yet we are WORTH everything. Because He placed His name over us when we became His kid. And if we get one hundred pennies in our wallet, that's more than we deserve. And if we have a one-room shack to life in, that's more than we deserve. And when He wants to bless us, we say "thanks." And when He chooses to bless our friends, we celebrate with them. Yet that defies our very nature. Am I right??
It was Liam's birthday a few weeks ago and watching Roman struggle with the desire in his heart for the perks Liam was enjoying was hard. My mom-heart was simultaneously happy that Liam was opening gifts, and blowing out candles, and playing with his new toys first; yet sad for Roman because he didn't have those things. But Jerry and I have decided that in our house and for our family, we want to learn the ability (because we believe that isn't an unlearned behavior for humans) to be happy when others have blessings even when we don't. So when we saw Roman struggling with the desire to have those special moments for himself, we stepped in and taught him how to feel and how to show that to Liam.
Gee, Ro, isn't it awesome that Liam feels so loved by Mimi and Papa!
Look how much he is enjoying riding his new four-wheeler! That is so great!
I'm so glad Liam gets to feel special by blowing the candles out for his birthday. How fun to celebrate him!
Isn't it great that Liam gets a special day to feel extra- loved??
And those are the messages Liam will be hearing when it's Roman's turn at it. Because that's how God works. Sometimes we are the one receiving the blessing and sometimes it's a turn for someone else. And oh, isn't it be grand to be able to celebrate with them.
And so, when I see that darned InStyle magazine sitting on the table belonging to the fabulous girl on Instagram I follow, and I think to myself, "You know, I'm going to just subscribe to a year of InStyle because it's only $20 and I deserve to spend that much on myself. I work so hard taking care of others that I'm going to take care of myself." (which, admission of shame, is how this whole post was inspired in the first place!) I'm going to hear, again, the words of my husband. "When I think about what I deserve, it's a slippery slope." And I'm going to to wait. Wait for another month when I have spending money again, or wait for someone to gift it as a birthday gift in a few months, or just grab one at the grocery store when I have a few dollars left of my weekly grocery budget. But I'm going to wait. Because the point has nothing to do with whether I have the cash to do it, but what my reasoning/motivation is for getting it.
Because I deserve nothing. And I have a whole heck of a lot. And my heart just told me it was time to sit on that for a while.