“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.”
I woke up this morning angry that my kids were in my bedroom before 7 AM. Their little voices pierced my eardrums and I felt like I was at a Metallica concert, front and center. I jumped out of bed, grumbling all the way to their bedroom, where I slammed the door and climbed into their bed…only to be met with loud knocks and questions, “What are you doing in there?”
“Go away!” was my reply.
I was not a nice mama this morning. I shot verbal arrows not only at my children, but also my DH. And I felt justified. Why were they jumping on my bed at 6:50 AM? I keep thinking of Michelle Duggar who did not sleep for a week straight after bringing her sick 18th child home from the hospital. When asked about lack of sleep, she said, “I can sleep later in life.”
Ha, if only I had the patience of Michelle Duggar! I am not a morning person, and everyday I wake up gradually…first my ears, then my body, and lastly my eyes. Today it took most of the morning to physically and emotionally recover from my tired temper tantrum.
There are many days that I do not find enjoyment in my toil. I don’t enjoy peeling myself out of bed at 7:15 in the morning (hats off to those of you who spring out of bed earlier!). I don’t enjoy when Baby Girl takes off her poopy diaper by herself, or when Little Man hits Big Sister in the head with a motorcycle, or when Big Sister throws it back at his head, or when the only clean space in my house is a tiny corner on my washing machine.
I even have a running list of things I won’t miss when they’re a little bit older:
- wiping bottoms
- sweeping up the crumbs under the table
- clearing snot from a darting nose
- diapers that mysteriously find their way into the laundry basket…and then into the washing machine…
It’s easy sometimes for me to focus on the negative aspect of toil. The part of the definition that reads
n.1. Exhausting labor or effort
Toil is exhausting work. It’s been that way since Adam and Eve fell.
Yet, according to the author of Ecclesiastes, my job is to eat, drink, and find enjoyment in all of my toil. What a shift! And what a challenge.
I’m to find enjoyment when my toddler sneezes and snot shoots down to her chin? There’s enjoyment in the moment my oldest accidentally drops her homemade book in the toilet – before it was flushed? Enjoyment when the boy spills his green smoothie all down his shirt?
The answer…yes. I’m not talking about a grin and bear it mentality:
I’m talking about being grateful that I have 3 children to change, wipe, clean up after, chase around, and referee. Maybe the enjoyment comes in focusing on the blessings themselves and coming through the challenges they bring. I believe that anything worth doing is going to be tough. Why should raising children be any different?
Oddly enough, I spend a lot of my time worrying about the safety of my children and if we’re raising them well…and a lot of my time frustrated at the things my children do. But I’m not called to worry or be angry with God’s gifts.
I’m called to enjoy what God has given me. I’m called to enjoy my lot. That means everyday I ask God to forgive me for my selfishness and give me new eyes to thank Him for my sweet gifts. And by the grace and forgiveness of God, I’m learning to!
Do you enjoy your lot in life? Or do you spend more time feeling frustrated and worried about your lot?