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.