Yall. Grey has a new obsession – Dollar General. If you’ve noticed I haven’t posted anything lately, it’s because I have been running ragged between work, kids, birthdays, and …many trips to Dollar General. With my toddlers in tow, we run in, grab what we need, and inevitably wind up on the toy aisle.
We implemented a rule when the children were born about not having too much stuff. Our house is farmhouse chic, its feng shui interrupted by beeping bots and a landmine of Legos. We try to limit the junk people gift the kids, requesting books and experiences over Paw Patrol puppy pals. That said, it is a special treat when they have the opportunity to get a cheap toy at the dollar store. Still, the rule of thumb is that in order to get new toys, we have to give away some of the toys we don’t play with anymore.
My 4-year-old is all about this. But it’s funny to watch him meticulously sort through his prized possessions, the likes of which were things he absolutely couldn’t live without mere days ago, which have now found a place atop the mound of giveaway toys. My 2-year-old, on the other hand, can’t bear to part with her babies and all of the accessories they require. We’ll get there with her.
So lately when I pick the kids up from daycare, Grey will discreetly ask if we need to do anything before heading home. If I’ve planned my day well, the answer is no, for I will have already made any last-minute runs for candy to fill plastic eggs, restocked fruit to pack lunches, and grabbed more paper for the printer. Undeterred, Grey will usually proceed to ask if I need to go to Dollar General. He will graciously remind me of all of the toys he has given to other kids, and state that he would really like to get another Transformer (or whatever his mind is fixed on).
Sometimes, I give in and say “Let’s go!”
Other times, I reason (ha!) with him that I wish we could go every time we wanted to, and that it is sometimes disappointing when we don’t get to go. This translates into cries and murmurs of tearful imploring. Big emotions are tough on little people.
But through all of our Dollar General shenanigans, I am reminded of how God tells me the same thing. Yes, I beg him to give me the immediate desires of my heart, seeking the cheap thrills and the things of right now.
Sometimes, He says, Yes! That lines up with my plan for you.
Other times, He says, not right now. I have something better in store for you (with which He is met with my discontent and grumblings about all the times I cleaned out my proverbial closet).
Does He not provide for the sparrows? How much more does he love me?
Does He not know the desires of my heart?
It’s easy for us to get distracted by the things of right now. Yall have heard me talk about how we live in a world of instant gratification – from likes on social media, to texts, to Netflix. We do not like to wait and we really are not good at it. We are more than willing to sacrifice waiting for the nicer item if we can get a cheaper version with free two-day shipping.
God wants better for you. He isn’t holding the thing you really want back from you out of spite or because you have messed up so much that He now finds you unworthy.
No, He wants to show you a better way. His way. A way that means dying to yourself (your vanity, your right now-ness, your never measuring up-ness), and choosing to live like Jesus. A way that means you may not have it all or look the part, but that silliness doesn’t matter. When you shake off all the stuff you’ve been hoarding that makes seeing the things that really matter a lot harder, your whole world opens up. When we learn to look around, to really see those in front of us, rather than scrolling past the stuff other people are cluttering up their lives with, we feel lighter. We are not burdened by the things of this world.
Do we still look over to the toy aisle and imagine the fun we are surely missing out on? Yes. But if we’re intentional about the people we surround ourselves with, the way we spend our time and money, and where we allow our minds to rest, we see that those cheap distractions will never satisfy us.
Our souls long for fulfillment that can only be met in Jesus Christ. Coming out of Easter season and reflecting on the resurrection, I am so grateful to have a God that loves me (and you!) so much, that he would lose it all so that we could gain it all.
Stop chasing shiny things. Don’t wander down the toy aisle too long. Put the distractions away.
Even when you make the effort to go a different way, the ads and reminders all around you will kick your FOMO into high gear. Don’t be led astray, friend. Stay the course.
Just a reminder that you are loved. You are worthy. And you were made for such a time as this.
Psalm 55:22 “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.”
Romans 8:25 “”But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”
Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Matthew 6:25-33 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 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.”
Thanks to each of you who have reached out to me since I have been MIA! We have been enjoying the Spring season with new kittens and new calves (Moses, Aaron, Priscilla, and Sarah). We celebrated Ben’s birthday with The Office-themed party. We’ve planted flowers and prepped land for planting crops. We celebrated Easter by serving our community with our church and hunting eggs with family. My patients have been able to visit with their families at the facility for the first time in a year. I appreciate your patience as I have chosen to dedicate more time to all of these moments. But don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten you and have not stopped praying over you! I have been working on more posts and resources for yall. Stay tuned!