“The grass is greener where you water it.” This was the quote that replayed in my head when my daughter and I traveled 6,000 miles to the other side of the world to gather the remaining belongings of our former home. I braced for a wide range of emotions—from sadness to guilt to relief to a longing to return.
But the prevailing emotion honestly surprised me. I was flooded with peace.
I prayed that God would show me whatever I needed to be shown. We were going to do fun things together, and I was excited about spending quality time with Tate. But we also came to say goodbye—goodbye to a physical place, and goodbye to the life we once lived.
I’ve mentioned before why saying goodbye was important for us, but I still wasn’t sure what, exactly, to expect. I’m completely serious—the calm flood of peace was unbelievably surprising. It just wasn’t what I really expected.
I don’t think it’s because I’m particularly gifted with wisdom, or because I knew exactly how to process all my emotions as they came. I think it’s because I’ve been in the trenches in living out this quote: that the grass really is greener where I water it.
What does this look like for all of us?
• It means I’m learning to find contentment when I’m cultivating my own lawn, and not gazing at my neighbor’s.
• I can’t sit around and just hope that my grass stays green. It takes work.
• When I’m watering my grass, I’m investing the resources that I’ve been given, not spending my energy wishing I had different grass.
• Heck, I’m blessed to even have grass.
At the end of the day, this means:
• I’m focused on taking care of my tangible belongings, my relationships, my health, my lot in life, and not wishing I had something else. I’m doing my best to spend my energy on stewardship, not on jealousy or ingratitude.
• My body is healthy, my work is productive, and my relationships are flourishing when I take care of them.
• It might seem like there’s always something better, somewhere more beautiful, or some house more functioning… and it’s true. There always will be. We’ll never be content on this earth until we’re grateful for where we are now. And when we finally are, it’s surprisingly enough.
• I really can choose to be content with where I am.
• Life is mostly good, and when I make the most of that life, I find contentment.
I sat on the return flight slowly crawling back across the Atlantic, and I was eager to squeeze my boys and return home. Home. Exactly where I belong.
p.s. On gratitude.