Today I went to a beautiful home to celebrate the graduation of a good friend. It was good to honor my friend for her accomplishment. It's not every day that an older student is able to finish her degree. She worked so hard, and still found time to do many other things, like head up the food distribution ministry. She is a talented woman, and I will enjoy seeing what God has for her in the next phase of her life. She will be a blessing wherever she goes.
The party was held at the home of one of her friends. This was the view from the backyard, looking down from the far edge of their lawn.
It was one of those homes that seem big from a distance, and enormous when you are there. I've been to similar places in Oregon, but never thought I'd be able to go to one in California. I can't even imagine how much this property costs, yet I was able to enjoy it today. I love beauty, and there was so much peace and beauty in this place. The contrast was sharp when I came home and our neighbors were blasting hip hop music with a DJ and a large sound system.
It is so tempting to become jealous of what others have, their homes, their degrees, their possessions, their relationships, or their easier lives. Envy sneaks up and grabs joy and thankfulness from our hearts.
I have had plenty, and I have been in want. I have had a new, beautiful home in an upscale neighborhood, and I've lived in a cramped, old home in a crime riddled area. The challenge for me is to be happy in whatever situation I am in. When I concentrate on what I have lost, what I've never had, or on what others have and I don't, I tend to miss the blessings I have been given. But when I am thankful, I can discover blessings that have been overlooked. When I am grateful, I can enjoy life. And when I can rejoice in other's blessings, I can love more deeply.