I’d be happier if….

There’s no life in “stuff.”

This is a statement I have heard Josh make many, many times throughout the last 10 years or so of our marriage. We came to realize that there is no life in stuff only after trying to find some life in some stuff. And from time to time the lie tries to weasel its way back into my everyday thinking. Sometimes I am at the mall when it happens, but mostly it happens when I am driving down the quaint streets just outside of the Queen City’s sky rise buildings. These southern Charlotte homes are large and situated on immaculately landscaped lots—lush and quite perfect. The front doors seem so welcoming. Sitting in the driveway is usually a Land Rover or a Benz (or both!). These people clearly have it made. 

One evening several months ago I was driving through an area of gorgeous homes with my kids in the car. Feeling the desire to have one of these houses rise up within me, I said to my kids, “Isn’t it funny that sometimes I ride past these amazing homes and think that I would be happier if I lived in one of them? I know that is not true at all. I realize there is no life in stuff, and even if you have one of these houses your life does not consist of your stuff, but MAN these houses are soooooo gorgeous.”

Then, I asked them, “What, in your mind, would make you happier?” 

Ruby said if it was summer all the time then she would be happier. {In my opinion, that was a great answer that I could relate to easily.}

Molly mentioned that having another dog would make her life better. {In my opinion, that was clearly a silly, untrue answer that I couldn’t understand at all.} 

Mack was fairly quiet, so I jumped in and said, “Like, the SEC Championship, Mack. If UGA had beaten Alabama, your life wouldn’t be better.”

He quickly said, “Oh yes it would.”

“No, Mack. You would not have real happiness just because Georgia beat Alabama. It wouldn’t make life truly better.”

Again, the reply from Mack came quickly and confidently, “Mom. Yes it would. I would totally be happier if UGA had beaten Alabama.”

He was clearly not tracking with my whole “real joy isn’t dependent on circumstances” talk.

I tried several more times to re-phrase my point or help him get what I was saying, but it never got through to him. I suppose I chose a bad example for an 11 year old football-loving boy.

He is still 11. And on Sunday the pastor had us write down five things that bring joy to our lives. He even told us that since we were in church we should write Jesus in our number one spot. So let me share the rest of Mack’s list:


I told the girls we made it in at number five as “Fam,” but it’s super heavy on the Josh side. 

This boy cracks me up. He’s honest, I’ll give him that. But what must a mother do to make it on his top five joy-giving list? Josh even makes the ribs and mashed potatoes he loves. And Josh watches the most football with him! 

Mack clearly has plenty to learn about where real joy and life that is truly life comes from. But don’t we all?

Luke 12:15 “Beware and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.”

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