Do you avoid certain books of the Bible? Maybe not on purpose, but are there those books that you always flip through and never actually read? I do. And one of those books was Ecclesiastes. Doesn’t that just sound like it’s filled with a whole lot of old testament laws that don’t necessarily apply to us in today’s society? That’s exactly what I told Jeremiah the other morning at breakfast when I asked him what book he wanted me to read from and he said, “Let’s do Ecclesiastes.”
He laughingly pointed out that he thought I was confusing it with Leviticus. Dad, are you cringing right now? Apparently I don’t know my Bible like I should 🙂 Anywho, we gave the unintentionally avoided Ecclesiastes a go, and now I am loving it. If God promises to make someone the wisest man to ever live, it might be a good idea to listen to what they have to say:
So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself,…I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never be anyone like you, nor will there ever be.” 1 Kings 3:11-12
I’ll pre-warn you that it starts off pretty depressing, but I came to this yesterday morning and it has stuck in my heart so deeply:
Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work–this is a gift from God. He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart. Ecclesiastes 5:19-20
What better gift could there be?!!! I want that! How often do I remind myself that here, in this home, with a husband and children to tend, is exactly what I’ve always longed for… And how often do I bang around in my discontentment? Literally bang. Bang the dishes in the sink (because I feel like I’ve washed 10,000 of them already that day), bang the car door (because I feel like I’ve strapped 95 carseats over the course of three “quick” errands), banged the girls’ bedroom door closed (because I’ve told them to be quiet and take a nap for the hundredth time). I don’t want to bang around! I want to be “occupied with gladness of heart” because of how richly He has blessed me…and most of all how much He loves me.
So yesterday, I reflected on those verses as I cleaned the mud off Pace’s back from her attempt to make a snow angel–even though none of the snow was sticking to the ground.
I reflected on them while I learned the hard way that galoshes don’t only trap compacted snow in their crevices but also dirt and grime–that gets tracked throughout the house.
I reflected on them while I cleaned up the diarrhea Locks had all over the one rug in our house (I think he developed a nervous stomach after guarding the girls in their state of snow hysteria in the front yard).
I reflected on them during Pace’s sassy attitude and during Mary Aplin’s constant shenanigans 🙂But I must say that there are lots of moments, when it is ever-so-easy to be thankful for right where I am:
WOW! Beat me in the brow! I certainly needed that. Thank you!
thank you. i've been banging all week long. you said it so perfectly when i can't seem to make a thought stay put long enough to formulate a sentence. plus you backed it up with scripture. perfect way to begin my "friday night carly-time." Lord knows I need some scripture to get out of this funk…
PS: would you mind if i linked this post from my blog?
awesome reminder and gorgeous photos!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We do have a lot to be thankful for! Thank you Abby for reminding us of that!
As my sister reminds me, I need to be more thankful for the things I don't have that I don't want! Thanks for the lovely post!
this is awesome. when i start feeling like this i always ask myself, if i could rewind several years and look into my future, what would I want? And I always end up laughing at myself because I end up with the same answer, which is exactly what I have! Being a stay at home mom is sometimes SO daunting with all the repetitive chores. I know that when they are all grown up and gone I will miss it so much!
Abby Maddox, I just love you, girl! Thank you for this *beautiful* post. I've had my own encounter with that verse and I know that the Lord wanted to gently nail me with it again. Why is it so easy to forget??
God bless you, dear one…
Thanks for such a wonderful post that I really needed to read and understand. The pictures were beautiful too.
i needed that today. thanks abby!