“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” (Matthew 6:21).
“Mommy, can I get a new game on your iPad?” My three-year-old tilted her face toward me and grinned. “Please? Just one new game? A dinosaur game!”
“Hmmm, I suppose we can look for a new game, sure.” I glanced at the clock. “But it’s almost lunchtime so you can have 20 minutes on the iPad and that’s it. Okay?”
“Okay, Mommy! I promise!” She climbed onto the kitchen chair beside me and watched as I typed “free preschool dinosaur games” into the search field. We scrolled through our options.
“This one looks good.” I suggested a colorful Jurassic paint-by-number.
“No. I don’t want that one.”
“Well, how about this one? It has puzzles.”
“No, not that one. Can I look, Mommy? I want to pick one.”
“Well. . . alright.” App store shopping with a three-year-old is a painstaking process; meanwhile a stack of dirty dishes sat calling my name. I placed the iPad on the table in front of her and got up from my chair. “You can look and tell me when you see a dinosaur game you like.”
Twenty minutes later, the dishwasher hummed behind me while I sliced crusts off my daughter’s grilled cheese.
“Lunch is ready, sweetie. Time to put away the iPad.”
“But Mom!” She whipped her head around. “I didn’t pick a game yet!” Her voice squeaked and she clutched the tablet to her chest. I raised my eyebrows and looked straight at her pink face.
“I told you—20 minutes on the iPad. You chose to spend that time searching for a new game instead of playing one of the games you already have. Now close it up and wash your hands for lunch.”
“Noooooo!!!!” She burst into wails. “I wanted to play on your iPad!”
Darlin’, I know how you feel.
I get bored with the same old games, too. Games like laundry and grocery lists and wiping out the potty chair a dozen times a day. Life is steady and predictable. Every once in a while I wonder if there’s something more interesting to experience beyond my current menu.
Like my daughter, we could spend our time pursuing the next thing—whatever promises more variety, more entertainment, greater rewards and higher joy. Maybe it’s a new job. A new relationship. A new hobby, ministry, resolution or dream.
Those things might be fine. Change can be healthy.
Think of your life like an iPad. God is your operating system, then you have an app for marriage, an app for parenting, an app for work, cooking, housekeeping, friends, church, and so on. But when you get bored or restless or dissatisfied, what do you do? Look for a new app, naturally.
And here’s the danger: We can spend so much time and attention seeking what we’d rather have that we miss the opportunity to enjoy what’s already ours.
I do this.
When I dream of building a new house instead of vacuuming the one that keeps my family warm today.
When I grumble about my husband’s socks on the floor and lose sight of his loyalty, integrity, protection and love.
When I wish so hard for my kids to stay in their own beds, I grow blind to the beauty of tiny eyelids fluttering in the moonlight beside my pillow.
So you see? New apps are ok—as long as they don’t steal our appreciation of the old ones.
“Sweets, I’ll tell you what. When you finish your lunch, I’ll give you ten more minutes on the iPad before nap—but you have to play a game we already own.”
Her eyes brightened and her sniffles stopped short. “Ten minutes is a lot!”
My mouth curved to a smile. “It is, my love. So let’s make the most of it while we can.”
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If this post encouraged you, please share it. You might also like How to Get the Life You Always Wanted, If You Give a Mom a Minute, and When You Want What They Have.
Linking up with: Playdates With God, Titus 2sdays, Wedded Wednesday, Grace at Home, Thriving Thursdays, and Things I Can’t Say.
You’ve managed to convict my heart again, Becky. I struggle to stay in the moment–thanking God for what is and not pining for what is not yet. Great thoughts, my friend! Always a pleasure to visit!
Living in the moment is one of my life goals for this year, Beth. Thank you for reading and commenting faithfully, my friend. I always love to see you here!
Monica Nixon says
Becky, your words are so powerful. Even as one with no children, I somehow, can always relate. That’s the power of the Holy Spirit moving on my heart to show me the relevance to my own life. I think we all are guilty of looking for the newer app. Often we see someone else doing something similar with something different and we automatically think it’s better. We then take our eyes off of what we have in search of what they have. When what we have is usually best for us. We can be mindful of this in so many areas of life. I will be mindful in my marriage, my work, etc. Thank you for sharing this lesson with us.
Thank you for reading and encouraging me with these words, Monica. I really believe that many of our struggles are the same, just wrapped in different circumstances, whether we have children or not, are married or not. Thankfully we have a great and gracious God to seek through all of it.
Oh, Becky, I needed this today. I spent the weekend watching opera concerts and wondering what I’m doing with my life and my music degree. I seem to have lost sight of the fact that I teach music, act as church music director, etc. I do wonder, though, how we tell the difference between a “grass is greener” and a true “you should be doing something else”.
Thank you again – as always,
I’ve fallen into that same trap, Courtney. I have a music degree, too, and I purposely avoid reading my alumni magazine because I don’t want to slip into comparing myself against my classmates who are on Broadway or releasing their next hit album. What you do MATTERS just as much as what God has called someone else to do, and he doesn’t want us to compare. (Think John 21:20-22.) The “grass is greener” is usually fueled by jealousy or some selfish ambition. God’s prompting to do something else, however, is fueled by a godly discontent. That’s not a bad thing. It could be a goal or dream he has placed in us, which from my experience often comes about through scripture, prayer, godly counselors and an alignment of circumstances that can only be from God. Pray about the difference and God will make it clear, my friend! Meanwhile, here’s another one for your encourgement. https://beckykopitzke.com/on-dreams-contentment-and-spaghetti/ Blessings to you and your family today!
Crystal @ Serving Joyfully says
Becky, your posts always speak right to my heart. In fact, I usually just “lurk” rather than leaving a comment because I find that my thoughts are always the same. You hit the nail right on the head once again. You write perfect devotions…would love to see a book of them one day 🙂
Oh, Crystal, you make me laugh – my “lurker” friend! I hope we get a chance to meet in person someday. I value your encouragement so much!
Such a great perspective. I know sometimes I spend so much time looking for something “other” instead of just spending time with what I already have.
Richella Parham says
LOVE this, Becky. Convicting, for sure. You have such a gift for this kind of writing! Thanks for linking this post to Grace at Home–I’m featuring you this week!
Thanks so much for your encouragement, Richella! How exciting to be featured!
Amy Donlon says
Well, this should be in every newspaper, magazine, and on the news! Everyone, most certainly me, needs to read this. Just beautiful, and hits me right in my heart.
Amy, your encouragement blesses me. I am so glad to know that the message God gave me through this dinosaur app thing has spoken to your heart as well. We must be in the same boat. Thanks so much for reading!