Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Life Lessons' through a Barbie Dream House

When I was young and growing up on a simple street in rural Oklahoma I had a neighbor a few doors down her name was Crystal. She and I hung out a lot. I loved to go to her house and we always played with our Barbie's. I liked to go to Crystal's house because she had a three story Barbie House that had the pull elevator. It was so cool! This is the modern version but was the hottest toy going at the time. The way I remember it she also had a really cool car.

I always wanted one. I was envious of Crystal's toy! My mom told me that I didn't need one because Crystal had one. She always said that playing Barbie wasn't as fun by yourself and so if Crystal had a house then we could play Barbie together at her house. There was no need for me to have one..after all Crystal had one. She was teaching me to enjoy what someone else has without needing to own one yourself.
The disciple of thinking something is awesome with out needed to buy it!

I have used that story so many times with my kids. Wither it is about awesome Lego's sets or little pet shop houses, Rescue Heroes, American Girl doll name it. My kids used to love to go the Hull's house when we lived in Dallas because they had a garage full of boy toys (Rodney included, that's the dad!). They wanted a garage full of toys too! I always remembered this lesson my mom tried to teach me. That life isn't even and sharing is good. Enjoying what someone else has without wanting it yourself is good. That this will create a happy heart that enjoys life more.

I admit I do still fall into the trap of wanting what other's have or even what other's (like Pottery Barn) tell me I should want. I am no longer envious of Barbie Dream House but I am envious of the houses I see in magazines and that I see on TV or as I drive down the street. I am not a huge comparer but it seems like the American Economy thrives if I DO fall into the trap. I like nice things...I even own some nice things...I just want to be content with them and not fall into sin by comparing the blessings that God has given me with someone else's blessing. It robs the joy out of the blessings God gives.

I think it has gone on since the beginning of time. Paul reminds us in Romans that we should rejoice with those who rejoice. Usually we like what we buy. So when I have something new I to share my joy and not feel like if I share my blessing the person I am sharing it with will want it. So, I don't want to do that to me either.

I don't even know if this is exactly what my mom was teaching me but I know that she understood that I needed to be content and keep from the love of money. Most Christian's would not say that they love money but most of us love the stuff that money can buy. Solomon tells us in Ecclesiastes that we should be content with our pay. Doesn't that seem unAmerican. We want raises every year, increase of benefits every year, expect that the next job we get will pay more than the previous one. Then in that situation we will be content. Theses reminders in scripture teach us to do what Hebrews 11: 5 tell us to do to be content that "Never will I leave you; Never will I forsake you."

I hear the whisper of the Holy Spirit reminding me that this is what Christmas should remind me of ... to be content (full of peace and joy) in the reality that the Emmanuel came like God said He would and that the Emmanuel will come again like He said He would. How could I want for more. (As Mary Poppin's would say, "Enough is as much as a feast.") Like the old Hymn says, "It is well...with my soul" Thanks mom for the great lesson (your the best). And a special thanks to Crystal's mom who bought her the Dream House so that I could be taught this important life lesson. And let's not forget Crystal who shared when she could have chosen to hoard it all to herself.

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