Green Grass / by Kate Brightbill


Sometimes we get this grass-is-greener mentality.

I hear it everywhere from perfectly healthy & blessed individuals. I hear it regarding work, I hear it regarding relationships, I hear it regarding children. I hear that if my scenario was like another's day-to-day, I'd understand. I hear if their scenario was like this or that person, they'd have it better. If they had more of this and less of that, they'd have it better. If life hadn't handed them this or that, it'd be better.

Here is the truth about life: though there are plenty of things out of our control, we all make choices. We choose to work where we work {or not}, we choose to live where we live, we choose to cultivate and commit to certain relationships and not to others. We all make sacrifices to do the things we want to do, and we need to be grateful for the good things that are happening, rather than the have-not mentality. 

Our little family together made the sacrifice for me to stay home and raise our girls during the day-to-day. This isn't common around here and it isn't easy. We've also decided to live in the city, which brings with it good & bad. For years, we lived in a small one-bedroom to make this work for our family. I don't have a car to get here and there. We chose this lifestyle, and we're living it.

Was it simple for us? No. I remember when I had Sophie and none of my friends were pregnant or even close. I lived in our small home with no dishwasher or modern amenities, with all my local friends working during the day, and my life including walking our laundry blocks to get to a laundromat and then had coffee dates with my girl while we waited. I also hauled the laundry back home balanced on the stroller while I was 8 months pregnant.

Is that the scenario I would have painted for myself at that time? It really wasn't. I had lonely thoughts, and thoughts about how sad it is that my coffee dates were with a small child who couldn't even form complete sentences yet. I look at that time, and though it felt like a sacrifice at the time- we were striving for greener grass; today those days feel like some of the most precious and lovely moments of my life. It feels like God gifted me with solitude during those days so that I could experience the slow-moving, sweet days of toddlerhood with my little girl, and cultivate a beautiful mother-daughter relationship with Sophie. 

The grass was sufficiently sweet then, whether I was noticing or not.

Today, the grass is also sweet. I am sleeping full nights. My children can play together without me completely devoted to every moment and movement. I have bigger days because my children require a bit more runaround than they once did. I end each day a bit wiped from the chaos and often feel like simply a hired hand to cook & clean and grasp at straws to make things work and I get so tired.... There are many things I would adjust if everything was painted my perfect way {like hiring a housekeeper, perhaps?}... but the fact remains: this is green grass we're living.

These days are so long and years so short. It just seems that we shouldn't be pining for perfection when we have so much lovely around us now.