Internet Envy

A few months ago, I was introduced to the Instagram home decor community. Until that moment, I thought Instagram was just a place people shared pictures of themselves, their food, and their children. However, I found out that there is a whole different Instagram world where people share people share pictures of their BEAUTIFULLY decorated houses. Being a HUGE fan of decorating and DIY decor, I melted a little bit inside. These houses are gorgeous! Everything perfectly in placed, every pattern perfectly chosen… *sigh*  After scrolling through these houses for days, I noticed something was happening. I was becoming discouraged by my house. I had just painted it and redid a few pieces of furniture and I had loved doing it, but the more I scrolled through Instagram, the more I looked around my house and thought, “Will my house ever be that pretty?” I tried to “join in” on the Instagraming fun, but when I would go to post a picture, I would stare at it for a few minutes and then decide it did not measure up to all the other housed and I wouldn’t post it. I was not content in my house at all. My heart was changing. I used to be so proud of my new paint job and the new table I sanded down, painted, and poured my heart into. Now I looked at them and thought that they were nothing compared to what other have. In my head, because these ladies had perfect houses, they also must have perfect lives. I was so disheartened.

My husband reminded me that it didn’t matter what other houses looked like as long as I was happy with mine. I knew that was true, but I couldn’t help but be envious. Certain Scriptures started coming to mind. The main one was a pretty big one that we all learn when we are little kids in Sunday School.

Exodus 20:17

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s

It is right there in the verse. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s HOUSE.” Ok God. I got that. I shouldn’t covet their house. But what about the lives that give them the ability to decorate their houses like that? What about all their free time? What about their money? Why can’t I have time, money, and a life like that?

My husband works hard. Every day he goes to a job that is just a place holder until he gets the job he loves. Those kind of jobs are not fun, especially when you are applying day after day for the job you want and watching someone else get it. And yet he does it. He doesn’t complain…often (come on! he’s human!). He loves us and he takes very seriously his responsibility to provide for his family. He never shrinks away from it.

As this seed of envy began to grow in my heart, I was talking to a friend that is a part of this home decor community about the struggle that I was having. She echoed my feelings, then proceeded to encourage me. She told me that just because these women have beautiful houses does not mean they have beautiful lives. She said she had contacted one of these women and had a conversation with her and after talking to her found out she was a single mom to two kids. It made my heart so sad. This woman that everyone looks on with such admiration for her gorgeous home probably just wants someone to sit down and hug her. I felt so terrible. How could I be discontent with what the Lord has given me? He has given me a strong steady husband that would never leave me alone.

Later on, I was reading a blog post by one of these women. She was talking about how she kept her white couch stain free (an issue I have been fighting lately). She said one of the biggest issues people always bring up to her is, “What if you have kids?” She said that she felt like that was an inconsiderate question. It turns out she and her husband had tried many times to have kids and found out that they were not able to conceive. Of course my first thought  was “ADOPT ADOPT ADOPT!!!” But, oh what sorrow! Here I am trying to figure out how to get my toddler’s chocolate finger stains out of my couch and wishing I had the time to do it and she just wishes she had toddler to get chocolate finger stains all over her couch. How my heart broke.

The Lord worked on my heart. He was rooted deeper than that tiny seed of envy and he soon overtook it. I am so incredibly blessed. I am blessed with a house, with two sweet little (chocolate covered) girls, with a steady husband, and with the Lord my God and Savior. The life the Lord has given me is greater and much more beautiful than the houses I see in those pictures.

I still have to stop and remind myself sometimes. I still get caught up in internet envy. But then I stop and dwell on the greatness of the Lord and I remember that I am so, so, so blessed.

O Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
    Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
you have established strength because of your foes,
    to still the enemy and the avenger.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
    the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
 what is man that you are mindful of him,
    and the son of man that you care for him?

Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings[b]
    and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
    you have put all things under his feet,
all sheep and oxen,
    and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
    whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!



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