It was late Friday night, Ethan was at the Gateway Young Adults Retreat and I was laying in bed thinking of how jealous I was. Jealous of Ethan for being able to go on a retreat. Jealous that he got to sleep 2 glorious nights in a room all by himself with no worries about children. (All mothers understand why I was jealous about this) Jealous of all the adult conversation, worship and God moments he would get to have on this retreat. Jealous of my girlfriends- some who were on the retreat as well, some who were able to do a girls night out and some because my perception of their life via social media was well perfect (I have since learned/ been reminded that they too have messy NORMAL lives) So as I laid in my bed, thinking of all I was missing out on and allowing my jealousy to take over my mind. I didn't even realize I was being robbed. To be honest, it wasn't until Saturday afternoon on my way to church (which was a miracle that I made it to church with all 3 kids all by myself!) that I realized I had been robbed. I was devastated! Would I ever get back what was stolen? And so sweetly the Lord whispered in my heart, "Yes honey you will!"  

The truth is nothing of material worth was stolen. No, it wasn't anything physical. The truth is jealousy robbed me. Jealousy robbed me of seeing the blessings right in front of me.

Since I was a little girl my greatest desire has been to be a mommy! And here I was living my dream with my answered prayers all around me. Yet I was seeing those answered prayers as burdens, as inconveniences. When I realized what had happened on Saturday, I was devastated because the things I had prayed for and desired for so long- a loving, hard working husband, a beautiful home, lots of children all close in age were right there and I had lost sight of them as my answered prayers, my blessings! 

I have talked about being intentional and I believe that we should be intentional. Intentional with our time, our money... but also with our minds and our emotions! In today's culture, with all our social media outlets, I feel it is easy for us to allow jealousy into our hearts. But do we realize that jealousy is not a friend? Jealousy doesn't come into our home to help us clean or cook. It doesn't bring flowers and cookies and come just to talk and give you a breath of fresh air. No, Jealousy comes in with every intention to steal all your valuables- and I don't mean your material valuable items, I mean your answered prayers, your greatest desires, your blessings.

So friends, have you been robbed? Have you allowed jealousy to come into your heart and turn your blessings into burdens?

Just like the Lord so gently reminded me on Saturday, we can get back what has been robbed from us. But in order to do that, we have to kick jealousy out of our hearts and our minds and invite gratitude back in. You see gratitude can not stay in the same place as jealousy. And just to let you know, God won't grant us the other desires of our hearts when we are busy lusting over others answered prayers. 

In some ways, jealousy is lusting... I know we might not always think of it in that light. But when we are jealous, we are lusting over what someone else has and we want.

Nature is content with little, grace with less, but lust with nothing.

If jealousy is in your heart, you will never be content. And God works when we are content.

So, take a moment today and examine your heart... Has jealousy taken residency in your heart turning your answered prayers, your blessings into burdens? Take a moment and kick it out and then invite gratitude back in. Begin to thank God for how He has provided for you and has answered your prayers! Look around at all your blessings and thank God.

Let's not allow our worlds to be robbed by jealousy. Let's enjoy our blessings, our answered prayers. And let's remember to have a heart of gratitude and thank God for all He has given us. And let's thank Him often. It will help keep jealousy away.