This week the Book Stop blog is featuring book excerpts from chapter four of Kay Warren's new book Choose Joy. For background on the book, see the article Kay, Warren, Saddleback Church Co-founder, Helps Christians to 'Choose Joy'.
Kay Warren, Choose Joy, Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, © 2012
Used by permission. All rights to this material are reserved. Material is not to be reproduced, scanned, copied, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without written permission from Baker Publishing Group.
Yet day after day we look to our children or our husbands or our friends or our co-workers to fulfill us. When they don't, we get angry. They owe us! That's when most of us pick up our weapons of choice. I'm not proud of the weapons I have been known to use when I'm wounded, but I will be honest and share mine with you as long as you will think truthfully about yours. My favorite weapon when I'm disappointed in someone is either the cold shoulder (the not-so-subtle way of turning away from the offending person) or a sarcastic comment that cuts like a knife.
As we hold our weapon of choice, we justify our attitude. We decide that if the other person would just change, we would be joyful.
Why is this? Because we're expecting the people in our lives to meet needs they cannot meet. They were never supposed to.
Just Click Your Heels Together: Places
When Rick and I got married, we rented an apartment in a new complex that offered tenants the choice of units with a lime green, baby blue, or dark brown color theme. The carpet, wallpaper, and one wall in each room echoed the color theme. Don't ask me why—maybe because it was the mid-70s and we were still in our psychedelic hippie days—but we chose the lime green unit. What initially seemed fresh and hip and funky quickly became nauseating! I couldn't escape the fluorescent lime green on nearly every surface of our small apartment. "What were we thinking? Why didn't we go for the baby blue?" I moaned to Rick. "I will never live in a place with lime green carpet again!" Wouldn't you know it—our next two apartments had lime green carpet! Like I said, it must have been a 70s thing.
I'll bet I'm not the only one to regret a choice I made about where I live. I imagine you have said something like this before:
In my next house I'll have more storage.
We should have bought that other model.
I should have rented something closer to the office. If only we lived closer to my parents.
If only we didn't live so close to your parents.
How often do you catch yourself dreaming of the next place you'll live? For many of us women, our house, city, and neighborhood carry a lot of weight. The trouble is that we can move to a new house, a new city, or a new neighborhood and one thing stays the same: us! Our needs and expectations move with us.
No matter where we live, we are tempted to compare our home to others. We're satisfied until we go to the Christmas party in a house bigger, better decorated, or newer than ours. We find ourselves thinking, If I lived in that house, the parties I would throw! The people I would welcome! The ministry I could do if only I lived there instead of here! All the potential and goodness of our own home are gone. Our joy goes with them.