By Katie Gibson
They say, “The grass is always greener on the other side”.
Well, in my case, it is. It really is.
Our family just moved and for the first time in my adult life I have a yard. A real, actual yard complete with an array of plant life, all scattered underneath several well-established trees that tower over us, like giants, shielding us from the hot Georgia sun.
Our yard is charming and quirky, and I am giddy in-love with it--
But our neighbor’s yard… challenges me.
Our neighbors, Mike and Janet, are an older couple who keep an immaculate homestead. Not only is their grass greener, but it exists. They actually have grass, while we have dirt and weeds.
Each of their majestic trees are beautifully surrounded by lush, weed-less shrubbery, with hardly a stray leaf in sight. Their house and driveway, are freshly pressure-washed and like-new looking in spite of their 1950’s origins.
Others might flinch at residing next to A+ homeowners, but I’m thankful, and not because of home value or anything of that sort, but because, their yard challenges me to work on my own.
Not out of jealousy.
Not out of competition.
Out of aspiration.
The more I think about it, I want to live my life with people who have better “yards” than I. In other words-- I want to surround myself with friends, mentors and colleagues who challenge me to rise to the occasion, instead of settling for sloppy.
I want positive friends who won’t let me sit around in a rut.
I want mentors who model hard work and Christ-likeness at home and in the workplace.
I want colleagues who are more talented than I, who will give me honest feedback that will help me learn and grow.
I want to be surrounded by greener grass.
Friend, can I tell you something? This doesn’t just happen.
The truth is, if we only ever allow friendships to “happen” organically, we’ll more than likely find ourselves surrounded by others who are just like us.
God created us for community, but we have to be intentional and we have to be wise.
Real, beneficial relationships must be sought out and maintained.
And detrimental relationships must be cut off.
Hard questions must be asked:
Does this person’s life challenge me to work on my own?
Is my life more like Christ’s because of this friendship?
As moms, our lives are busy. Our limited time, energy and resources mean that we need to be all the more intentional about who we spend them on.
Do you, currently, have people in your life who challenge you to grow in your relationship with the Lord, your husband and your children? If not, today is the day to sit down and make a list of several women you can reach out to, to begin intentionally growing relationship with.
Or maybe this devotion has brought to mind a particular friend that leads you to settle for a barren and weed-covered life. Friend, while God calls us to love all, it doesn’t mean we need to give first-place to less-than-best. It may be time to have a talk, set some boundaries, or—in some instances—cut off the relationship entirely.
As women who are becoming deeply rooted in Christ, let’s surround ourselves with others who will partner with us to recognize and pull out the weeds of our lives and water us with the Word and with encouragement.
Word of the Day:
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17
God, thank you for creating me for community. Help me to be wise and intentional about the relationships I pour my heart into. Thank you that as I seek, you are beginning to surround me with others who will challenge me to grow and become more like You. Help me to be wise in all of my relationships. In Jesus’ Name, Amen