“It isn’t the great big pleasures that count the most;
it’s making a great deal out of the little ones.” ~ Jean Webster
Y’all. I’m slowly coming out of a place of feeling dull and apathetic about many things. Jen Hatmaker calls it “the doldrums” in her Of Mess and Moxie book and that’s a great term. Not straight up depressed, but just a numbness of sorts that has had me all, “Meh, why do we bother with pursuing a career when we’re all going to die anyway?” and “Meh, what’s the point of all this effort?” and “Meh, whatever, Whole30, you’re not the boss of me I eat what I want” and “COME ON! Another horrific storm, murderous earthquake, maniacal terrorist attack – what’s the point, Lord?!” Lighthearted stuff, I know.
I’ve been wrestling with being content in this SAHM phase. A dear friend mentioned a sermon on Ecclesiastes that I should check out, but after a mediocre search on my podcast app came up empty, I decided to just start reading the book, one which I’ve always avoided because Solomon seemed like such a Debbie Downer with his all-are-from-dust-and-to-dust-all-return negativity. Ahem.
Solomon, y’all. He had it all in terms of wisdom and riches. He too wrestled with finding what the aim of life is, and concluded all our best efforts are but a vapor – a breath – here for a second and then gone. He had pretty much all the resources ever for this grand experiment – he built houses, planted vineyards and parks, had tons of livestock, drank all the wine, bought slaves and had concubines (well ok then)… he tried all sorts of ways to find happiness, but after it all he determined that everything is “vanity,” a vapor, a mere breath.
SO WHAT ARE WE TO DO??!
He concludes that “there is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil (work)” (Ecc. 2:24a). This meaning of “find enjoyment” is also translated “make his soul see good.”
Make your soul see good.
AHA! THAT is what it is to “find enjoyment” in life. Joy/enjoyment isn’t some passive phenomenon where my ship comes in, happening upon a magical system to help me lose 10 pounds or getting a check in the mail for $5 million dollars or that magazine-worthy lake house or 15 BFFs from college on that annul fancy trip or being a National Geographic photographer assigned to epic locations or instantly earning a massive following on this blog and being famous because I’m so dang clever….NO. It is making a conscious decision, choosing, for my soul to see the good in my life. That’s it.
Maybe that looks like gratitude for little things. Like when Annelise and I were crawling up the stairs this morning. I was singing a silly song and when it was over, she stopped, turned to me, and started enthusiastically clapping as a huge grin spread across her sweet face. Be still my heart. Or what is it with all these crepe myrtle tree branches sagging with lush, gorgeous, vibrant flowers throughout our neighborhood AND IN OUR FRONT YARD?
It seems pretty counter-cultural, this searching for good in the here and now. How many industries would crumble if we were more content with where we are, what we have? Something I’ll be exploring more in posts to come.