Did your momma ever tell you, “Be careful honey. You become like the company you keep.”?
Ashley and I were just talking recently about a friend of hers that she chose to stop hanging out with. Not because she didn’t like her or because they didn’t have anything in common, because that’s wasn’t the case at all. She made the tough decision based on a few things that the other girl esteemed highly in her life and Ashley did not. She knew that if she hung out with her regularly, she would surely be influenced by her. I was so impressed and encouraged by her decision. It is so incredibly true, and unfortunately, most of the time we do not make that hard choice and instead continue to subject ourselves to standards lower than we should. Would you have hung out with your future husband in a strip club while you were dating, just so you could spend time with him? Would you allow your children to play with children who had foul mouths and hit your kids, just so you could spend time with their sweet momma, who happened to be your friend? Then why do we do it to ourselves?
I’ve come to realize recently, just how much people change as we grow into adulthood and choose new circles of influence. My ten year high school reunion is in the fall and I will likely be a completely different person to those who haven’t seen me since graduation. It’s just a fact of life; people change.
This became more evident to me this weekend as I went to my friend’s bridal shower. The shower was in a new, million dollar neighborhood, and most of the close friends in the bride’s life right now have husbands or fiances who are doctors, dentists, lawyers, or are merely a year away from one of these professions. They are very career focused and many of their conversations center around their houses, neighborhoods, job opportunities, or upcoming vacations. Please don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. But everything seemed so shallow. To be honest, I tried to keep to myself without being rude. The last thing I wanted to do was gain attention by someone asking about “all my children” and “how I do it” and “bless your heart, what a good thing you’re doing”. All the while, I’m thinking to myself, in my circle of friends, I’m NORMAL!. I’m a stay-at-home mom. No career. No crystal. No china. No extravagant weekends. But I love my life. I love having three (or six) children. I love homeschooling. I love that my husband does what he loves for a family-friendly company where he can go in late because his son has a recital or a doctor’s appointment.
So why do I leave company like that feeling inadequate? Why do I allow their different choices and different lifestyles make me feel like my choices and my lifestyle is wrong? Most of those girls love the Lord just as I do and one day will have a few, or even several, children of their own. I suppose deep down there is jealousy and a bit of pride. But most of all, I yearned to cross back over the tracks to my middle class neighborhood and my house full of kids, whom my husband so lovingly sat with so I could spend five hours with my mom.
I hope that if the Lord chooses to bless us with abundant finances one day, our conversations will not waver from God’s goodness and what is truly important in life. Our stuff does not define us. I am a child of God. I am royalty! Sometimes we just need to remind ourselves. 🙂