Sunday, March 1, 2009

Preparing the Soul

As we approach Easter, during this Lenten season, we think about preparing our hearts, minds, souls for accepting Jesus into our lives. I have a relationship with Jesus and God that I enjoy. Then, out of the blue, comes envy and jealousy, and I was instantly overwhelmed, saddened and really felt beat down. 

Our neighbors put their house up for sale this week. They packed and moved out yesterday. I was surprised to see them go so soon! We chatted quickly, and they said they had not sold their house yet, but they had it paid off for a while now. (!) They said they couldn't pass up a deal for a house with a view of Lake Michigan. (!) 

How wonderful for them! I said that to them, congratulated them and wished them well, told them I was sad to see them go, as they had been nice neighbors. But inside, all I could do was be sad that our house was not paid off. That we couldn't move to a house that was bigger, or had a better view. Then I looked at my garden area and instead of seeing the beauty that was there in the chives, zinnias and day lillies poking through, and the pussy willows trying to open, I saw all the work ahead of me that would have to be done as Spring approaches (whenever that will be!). 

I went inside and told Derek how sad and beat down I felt. And I was able to rationalize through it all, but needed to hear it from him too. We've paid off lots of school loan money. (Lots.) We were completely credit card debt free for a while there. I don't have to be working to keep this lovely roof over our head right now, I can be home with the girls doing all the fun and wonderful things we do. 

My physical capabilities are improving every day. (I can ride the bike for 26 minutes now without my legs falling off! I started at 2 minutes.) So I'll be able to better attack the work that has to be done out in the garden/yard. I've whipped the bedroom into shape, and only have a tiny bit more to do in the basement. 

I need to see the good. I need to appreciate what we have. I need to realize that a little hard work and suffering for a great outcome is preparing myself, my heart, my mind, my soul. Envy and jealousy felt horrible. After an apology and a prayer for strength and a "thank you", I'm feeling better now. It was only a moment, but the affects will be long lasting. 

In this time in our nation, I hope others can feel some hope, can see that the suffering can lead to wonderfulness. Can see the good that has happened so far and can be strong enough to say "I don't want to feel that awfulness anymore" and then have the support to improve and more on. 

There are many people who help me everyday with spirituality, frugality, craftiness, inspiration. It helps to feed my soul and is helping me prepare myself in this Lenten season. Thank you all for your support and encouragement. 


  1. Hey there Friend!

    When we begin a relationship with God, our struggles against our worldly nature do not end. In fact, they often increase.

    Hence, feelings such as envy and jealousy often creep in.

    I think it's good that you recognized them for what they were and then prayed about it. So many people find it hard to get past such feelings and harbor anger and resentment afterward.

    Don't be too hard on yourself. Tomorrow is another day that may or may not find you dealing with similar feelings. be human is difficult sometimes, isn't it?!


  2. What a beautiful post giving us a glimpse into the window of your soul! It's amazing how our selfish human attributes are more recognizable to us when we have Christ. A blessed Lenten season to you!

  3. I know it's hard sometimes. I feel like I could work full time and pay off some of the things we would like to, but what's more valuable than raising your kids yourself?

    I do want to congratulate you on being gracious to them. I've seen so many women feel that jealousy bite them and they say something to try to "bring the other person down". That behavior is really just so awful and ugly, and I really think it's step one to be gracious on the outside,. After awhile it will be on the inside too. I promise!

  4. Whew, sounds like you're going through some of the same stuff I am. Just when you think everything's going good, those jealosies and buried resentments pop up and you feel like such a terrible person. I was greatly touched through our pastor's message Sunday from Romans 5:1-5. He was focusing on the phrase: "rejoice in hope of the glory of God" which we learn through tribulations which work patience, then experience, then, finally, HOPE! Sometimes just knowing that we're not alone in these problems can lighten the load and help us keep striving on; what you wrote here seems like an extention of yesterday's message. Thank You

  5. Been there done that! Thanks for sharing! Hugs!