About “Loving My Lot”

If you’ve ever had an entire bowl of oatmeal spilled directly into your lap (and worn the same pants anyway), or fallen asleep with Dora’s theme song stuck in your head, or caught your toddler stark naked in the front yard teaching the dog how to pee in the grass, then maybe your current “lot in life” is similar to mine.  Three years ago I packed up a beloved career to become a bona fide stay-at-home-mom.  Never once have I regretted the decision.  Yet despite my indescribable love for family, and my unwavering commitment to biblical living, six months ago I found myself ready to toss in the towel.

I could not reconcile the attractive ideals of biblical womanhood with the mundane realities of daily living.  I felt like a ping pong ball ricocheting between guilt and entitlement: “I should be a better homemaker, more organized, better at training my children in godliness, more joyful in serving my husband…but what about me?  What about my ambitions?  My passions?”  I thought of all the lesson plans I had carefully crafted as a teacher, all the praise I received for my efforts, all the ideas and dreams I’d nursed through adolescence…and here I knelt picking up the same toys in the same play room…again…and again…and again.  Discontentment.  It began to consume me.

It was in the midst of a particularly emotional gripe-fest with God that He directed me toward a passage in Ecclesiastes.  After condemning the “grievous evil” of a father who lost his son’s inheritance and as a result had nothing to show for all his toil, the author goes on to write:

“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 his life that God has given him, for this is his lot.”  Ecclesiastes 5:18

The passage cut me to the heart.  I had structured my toil, tried to become efficient in my toil, read books about my toil, but failed to find enjoyment in my toil.  I came to see that enjoyment begins with acceptance–with daily choosing to wrap both arms around this lot of mine, embracing all of it–the beautiful, the painful, and at times the downright disgusting!  Currently, my lot in life consists of parenting two little girls, and standing by a remarkable man who is waiting on the Lord to direct his steps.  We are at a crossroad, only instead of two paths, there seem to be a million spiraling out before us.  Yet even as I type, there is a smile on my face because truly, I am at peace with this lot.  Yes, there will be grand days and exhausting days, make-my-heart-want-to-burst-with-joy moments, and rip-my-hair-out-in-frustration moments.  But I only have one life, these “few days” that God has given me.  And I refuse to waste them in the sewer of discontentment when I can live in the paradise of gratitude.  This blog is a simple way to celebrate my lot…indeed, to love it.

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16 thoughts on “About “Loving My Lot”

  1. Bethany Furst

    Oh Jeanne, this was just what I needed to read tonight. We too are at a crossroads, and it is hard. And everything you are saying is true. Thank you so much for encouraging me – thank God for encouraging us both! Love you. xo

    Reply
  2. Sheila

    Wow! This hit home with me. I’m on the other side of the toil these days, but was once privileged to be a stay-at-home-mom to my four babies. I am now divorced and working full-time. I love my teaching profession, but at 51 with two kids still at home, and doing the single-parent thing….well, let’s just say that I have not always found joy and contentment in my lot. Thank you for this reminder from God’s word–this tiny treasure of a verse (and a truth) that was there all along–just waiting to be unearthed, fleshed out, and applied to each and every one of us.

    Reply
    1. jeanneharrison Post author

      Sheila, so glad that this “tiny treasure of a verse” blessed you as it did me. I am beginning to realize that all “lots in life” contain joy and struggle, often at the very same time. Thank you so much for sharing from your own lot. It is an encouragement to me to see other women on a similar journey!

      Reply
  3. lolbmg

    A mutual friend of ours recommended your blog to me, and I can already tell that it is going to be sooo encouraging for me! Thank you for using your talent in writing to share your Christ-like life with the online world! And thank you for shining a light in a dark place.

    Reply
  4. Alessandra Ferguson

    I just came across your blog through a post someone shared on facebook. I’ve been reading post after post for the past hour. I love your heart and I love the words that fill your blog. I am so excited to follow along with you now.

    Reply
  5. Crystal

    I too just stumbled on your blog after seeing a friend post on Facebook. Let me just tell you, I am not a big reader and a smaller blog reader. But I have been deeply burdened for women, namely sisters in Christ, that are in this mommy war you mentioned in your Mom vs. Mom post. I am a pastor’s wife (40 years old) and have three daughters: two 2 year olds (they are ten months apart) and a 13 year old. I must tell you that your blog has captivated me. I am excited about getting a little time to read through more of your posts. May The Lord bless you and keep you. May The Lord makes His face shine upon you and give you peace!

    Reply
  6. The Narrowing Path

    Hi, just found your blog through another blog I read here in Australia. I look forward to reading your articles. How nice to meet a fellow MK from the Philippines (I was in Mindanao, then Manila from 1975 to 1989)!

    I too am learning to be satisfied with my lot in life. Well, to be more accurate, the Lord is teaching me and hence I am learning. :-)

    Reply
  7. jen mathisen

    Wow! God is going to use you mightily! I’m so glad to hear your story! I’ve been at mothering for over 18 years now. I started before all these great blogs were out and available for encouragement! I grew up in a Christian home and learned all about how a “good Christian girl acts” and then as I became a mom, how a “good Christian mom acts”. I had many, many frustrating and discouraging years filled with bitterness and anger with trying to do everything and doing it perfectly. I praise God for the work He’s been doing over the last 5 years or so. I am falling I’m love with Him like never before and I’m learning to be chill about messes and not having the magazine spread house. I’ve dug deep into Ecclesiastes too! ! Yes!! I love it! The way you put it, loving my lot! I try not to dwell on the early years where I fear I “damaged” my first sons in their early years. I choose to praise God for where He’s brought me and focus on today. If I still lived in my “old” mentality I’d look at you young talented bloggers and say “I should/could” do that! I used to think I could and should do everything! But I choose to rejoice in the fact that you are figuring this stuff out ( relax and rely on God) way earlier than I did. I chose to watch my oldest son as I let him go at college this last week and know I did not damage him but I loved him and nurtured him the best way I knew how and by God’s Grace he is a young man who loves the Lord and is going to serve Him mightily. I choose to focus on and savor the time I have left with my younger three boys (15, 11, 7) and thank God daily for them and my fantastic husband who has also grown leaps and bounds! May God bless you as you encourage women! I will do my part in my quiet little community and minister to those moms God puts in my life here, while you write beautifully and accurately on a larger scale. I will be following your blog and soak up encouragement from you too! I’m loving my lot too! !

    Reply

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