To those who know my husband, it is no secret that his heart is absolutely set on people. His ability to look past a person’s faults and see them, love them, strictly as human beings, without any other requirements, is undeniably a gift he has been given by God. I know this, because some of us (me) have spent our entire life struggling to look UP from our own tasks and OUT of our little bubble, at the people who share the very same apartment complex, grocery store, and even church as us. And I may be incredibly biased in my opinions of my own spouse, but the truth is, we all know people like that. People that seem to truly understand love. They give without any strings attached. Not just their resources, but their time and their thoughts (as in they actually spend time–a lot of it–thinking and focusing on other people). It’s as though they walk through life with Jesus gently lifting their chin and whispering, “Heads up, look around. He needs your attention, she needs your encouragement.” Yes, for some of us it is easier than others, based on a mix of several factors like our environment, our childhood, the examples set for us, our individual temperaments, our faith, etc. And although certain people may have an easier time than others, there is not a person born on this earth that doesn’t struggle with self-centeredness.
The human condition is the child’s urge to yell, “MINE!” when someone tries to play with their toys. The very natural inclination to live comfortably, to “do what’s best for me.” Even anthropologists recognize that a human being’s primal instincts urge us to find the easiest route, taking what we need with the littlest amount of sacrifice. BUT, we have also been created with the beautiful gift of free will, and the ability to change. This means there’s an opportunity for all of us to improve, with the help of Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:7 says, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” There is hope, for all of us to improve.
Simply being “in Christ,” or drawing near to him through prayer and intention, has the power to literally transform those not-so-great character traits (Hello, selfishness.) into a new and beautiful attribute.
This has been my focus, as we approach our big move. I have been eager to “come up for air,” so to speak, from the current, suffocating focus on myself (MY paint color, MY furniture, MY flooring, MY light fixtures, MY this, MY that…). Of course, if you’re renovating a home, these are things that must be done. And of course, these tasks are going to draw in 100% of your free time. It’s normal, and I was prepared for that. What I wasn’t prepared for was the way that this “Me mentality” would seep in to the other areas of my life. Forgetting family events and important dates, having to pass up on social plans, and using every. last. moment of our after work time on a thing, and not a person… That’s when, for me, it starts to feel like too much of myself and not enough of others.
Now, make no mistake, I love this project and Colt and I have had such a rewarding time making up our first home together. The way it has all started to look and feel is thrilling and I have had an absolute blast sharing it with you all. It has just caused me to become extremely aware of my tendencies to focus on “all things Emma,” lately, and I felt I should communicate that.
We all have an opportunity today–and every day—to be better than we were before, to change and be ‘transformed by the renewing of our minds,’ no matter what life is throwing at you.
I challenge you to remember to keep your head UP and your eyes OUT today. Life feels richer that way.