My Kitchen’s Not White, and That’s Okay. Choosing Contentment.

Contentment:: a state of happiness and satisfaction.

Pinterest:: the fastest way to obliterate contentment. Period.

I love Pinterest. It’s become my go-to for recipes, organization tips and outfit ideas. It’s also one of the fastest ways on the planet to become totally and utterly obsessed with giving everything and everyone (including your dog) a makeover. And if Pinterest is leading the charge on obliterating contentment, Instagram might just be it’s trusty sidekick.

Don’t get me wrong… I LOVE both Pinterest and Instagram. I really do. I love seeing Instagram posts from friends and all kinds of people and organizations I find inspiring. And like I mentioned, Pinterest is a go-to for keeping dinner time in our house from being a repeat of the same six meals over and over again. It’s a great resource. But that’s what it has to be a resource, and maybe a little bit of entertainment. What you can’t allow it to become is the standard by which you judge you, and what you have. Because then, it is simply a house for the comparison monster to live in; and pretty soon that comparison monster is eating you out of house and home, devouring your joy and sucking you dry.

I’ve been really blessed not to have been effected by jealousy or comparison throughout my life… when it comes to people. When it comes to stuff, that’s where I’ve struggled a little bit. I like to dream big and when I see a really cool “She-Shed” in the back of someone’s yard, my wheels start spinning and I think, I can build that. (I probably couldn’t, but I like to believe I could if I really wanted to). The one that I’ve found myself getting caught up in lately are the images of beautiful white kitchens with gorgeous windows above perfect white farmhouse sinks. Every time I see one I think, “oh, if that was my kitchen I would Instagram it all day and night.”

Suddenly now every time I walk into my kitchen, my brain goes, “but it’s not white.”  My kitchen has lovely cabinets, but they’re not white. We have beautiful countertops, but they’re not white. Never in my life have I thought more about the color of my cabinets. It started about six months ago when the all white kitchen took Pinterest and then eventually Instagram by storm (it may have happened earlier, but that’s when I noticed it.) And just like that my once gorgeous and perfectly fine cabinets suddenly became less than. They became less than what they could be, and less than what felt Pinterest/Instagram worthy.

And isn’t that exactly what we do to ourselves? We start to see ourselves, our relationships, our jobs, our homes, our cars, our handbags, our outfits, our accessories, you name it… we start to see it as less than. Less than what someone else has. Less than what the world tells us we should have. It’s an easy trap to fall into. But that’s exactly what it is. It’s a trap.

It’s a trap that steals our joy and robs us of contentment, wiping out our state of happiness and satisfaction. And for what? To what end? Why is it that we can so easily lose satisfaction in things like cabinets? Because it’s just stuff. It’s stuff that at the time seems so incredibly important. We become convinced that if we just had that all white kitchen, with the huge farmhouse sink that we could wash our hypoallergenic dog in, while taking the world’s best selfie and writing an Instagram post that would elicit those crying tear emojis from our 25,000+ followers, then, that’s when we would be on top. That’s when we would be happy and satisfied. But in the end, it’s just stuff, and it eventually leaves you wanting MORE.

Stuff can’t hold your hand on a bad day. It can’t Facetime with you when you’re feeling homesick and it can’t point you back to the truth. The truth is that in another six months (or less) it will be something else. There will be some other design craze that will take Pinterest by storm. And when you’re caught up in the cycle and feeding the comparison monster that lives in your backyard, then you’ll be unsatisfied with your perfectly fine fill in the blank, and wanting something new; suddenly convinced that what you have is less than.

From a Christian perspective we are reminded that everything we have, has been given to us by God. By God who is not now nor has ever been concerned with stuff, but rather with souls. We know that we should not be consumed with the things of this world. What we should be focused on is doing our part to build the Kingdom of Heaven. We know it, and it sounds great. And like our Senior Paster, Cal Jernigan at Central Christian Church says, “it would make a great bumper sticker.” But the reality is that we can’t just say we’re not storing up treasures in this world, we actually have to NOT store up treasures in this world. I’m guilty of it, and as a family we’re committed to doing less of it. Is that an easy choice? No. Is it a radical choice? Yes. But as we’ve been learning in the Kingdom Series our church has been doing, Jesus was a radical teacher. His ways were not of this world, and if we’re truly followers of Christ, our ways can’t be of this world either.

So my kitchen’s not white, and that’s okay. I’m choosing to be content with the cabinets I have and praising God that they hold the plates we eat on every night; because those plates hold the food we’re blessed to consume. At the end of the day, the white kitchen doesn’t change the love that sits at our table and our comparison monster is becoming smaller and smaller, quieter and quieter and our praise for the One that gives us everything grows larger and larger, louder and louder.

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"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits."

Matthew 7:15-20 ESV