Over the last 3-4 days my blog reader has been full of posts on the new year… looking back over the last year or posting goals and ideas for the coming year. I enjoy reading them, mostly. Then as the thoughts of others and myself merged in my mind sometime Monday – New Year’s Eve (just in case you are as confused as to the actual day of the week this week as I am) I looked around the house and just sighed. It was a mess. The laundry was piling up thanks to my dryer that decided to gnaw on small pieces of clothing while drying them and we needed to swap out the dryer for another one. The dishes hadn’t been done all day. Most of them made it to the sink though. The kids had made a royal mess of the family room and the toys were slowly creeping up the stairs into the living room. You know, since it was clean, it was much easier to play here. It was the last day of 2012. My dreams of a spotless kitchen, caught up laundry and a picked up house were not happening. Phrases and thoughts from Ecclesiastes started filling my brain. Things like “all is vanity”, “striving after the wind”, “yet no end to all his toil” – you know, real encouraging thoughts Then I remembered one of my favorites passages from there, Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 and thought it was rather fitting for this stage of my life.
“Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of this life that God has given him, for this is his lot. Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and the power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil – this is the gift of God. For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart.”
This is God’s gift. To enjoy life. To enjoy the toil of this life. ‘Cause what we are going to remember from these toil filled days are the moments of joy.
So while, this season of life may feel filled with things of endless repetition and thankless days and the same messes day after day, it’s also a season to find the joy. To rejoice in the little moments. To tune into the kids play for a few minutes and smile at their conversations. To take a few minutes and do the puzzle they’ve asked for help with. To not worry too much about the unfolded laundry on the couch. To snuggle a few extra minutes with the baby that is growing so quickly.
So, while in my mind I have several “goals” and ideas for this coming year, I think more than anything I want to enjoy this year. I don’t want it pass in a blur of everyday business, I want first find the joy and then through the joy see the growth and accomplishments that come with it.