Greetings my beautiful sistas! Today welcomes another episode of Tell-It-Like-It-Is Tuesday. I had a convo with a sis a few days ago and it's been on my mind ever since. We talked about the level of covetousness these 'reality' shows bring out. Even in real life, we see sistas who seem to have it all, the 'Perfect' husband, children, car, and home. We see women who are afforded luxuries we think we deserve. We compare ourselves to these women and wonder "what is she doing that I'm not". Too often we don't take the time to 'count the costs' as the old folks say. We never wonder what we'd be willing to give in return for all those luxuries and pretty things. What did she give? This is not to say that every fabulous life comes with a dire price tag; but you'd be surprised to know that, more often than not, it does.

    I have always been grateful for most of my upbringing. I was blessed to be able to see the 'rich' side of life. I didn't have a want or care in the world. Luxury was an everyday thing and we threw money away like toilet paper. Needless to say, a fool and his money shall soon part and my parents no longer have it made in the shade. They were young and 'in charge' for a while though so I can speak from experience when I say, as I always have, you never know what goes on behind those beautiful custom glass doors. It is much more regular for me to spot a sista crying behind the tint of a Mercedes than a Honda. So what would you be willing to give to live the way they do on TV?
    It's not unusual for a brotha who is under the pressure of maintaining such a lifestyle to release that pressure on his woman. Sometimes even the kids get it. It is not a coincidence that the richest and most affluent black neighborhood in America also has the highest incidence of domestic violence. When we covet after the things others have, we put our men in a position to have to provide above their means. We put our children in a position to be without the guidance of one or both parents while we spend time and energy to acquire those things. Above all, we put ourselves in a place of neglect as we search out external fillers for an internal emptiness. I've been there. We buy and buy and buy hoping the next 'bad' pair of shoes or bag will fill in the space. An overflowing closet usually covers a broken, empty heart. 
    There is a reason we're commanded not to covet the belongings of others. Not their partners, their home, their car...NOTHING. Most certainly because what God has for you is FOR YOU and what they have is THIERS...but we also must consider what was given to have what they have. Money cannot fight demons. We see this in the fact that a famous athlete and his famous 'reality show' wife are separating due to his childhood demons and battle with addiction. Many a man/woman have sold their dreams for a $20 fix. You can never tell from the outside looking in but the pressures of maintaining a 'lifestyle' are far greater than the pressures of paying a light bill. More money, more problems; and not everyone is equipped, mentally or spiritually, to handle those types of problems.
     Now I'd love to have a huge, beautiful home and luxury cars and I know that one day I will, but there are things that I have now that money can't buy. Look at your life and count the blessings you have that the rich could never afford. If your husband comes home every night, give thanks. If you can put a smile on his face, and vice versa, in the midst of the 'struggle' give thanks. If your children are healthy and happy, give thanks. We are to give thanks and praise in ALL things because our Father has orchestrated our lives to His exact specifications. To give each of us the lessons, and blessings, we need right when we need them. 
    See, I don't even have a TV in my house. Why? Well, A) the boob tube aint never done no good for nobody....it takes time away from being PRODUCTIVE and B) when the TV is off, you find true entertainment and appreciation for life around you. Family, friends, and partners. Now I'm not saying go throw your TV away (by all means, if you do...BRAVO) but never look to what you see on TV as the model to what your life should be. Many of our families are in debt trying to keep up with the Joneses. The Joneses be in debt too and UOENO! 
    No matter how little or how much YOU have, Be Grateful! You never know what's hiding behind those $300 shades.

    Give Thanks and Praise today for All you've been given and anything that may have been taken away.

-Peace and Gratitude

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