I was all set to write an end of the year post about not setting New Year’s resolutions/goals, but instead, having constant and ever evolving goals that we’re reaching for and adjusting throughout the year. But then I read this quote by one of my favorite authors and apologists . . .
“Human history is the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.”C.S. Lewis, “Mere Christianity“
So much is summed up in that one simple quote. And all of the reflection, the resolution making, the goal setting, the vision boards done as one year closes and another year opens . . . all of it matters very little if we’re not seeking Him first. Like so many things in life, these things aren’t bad, they actually serve a very “good” purpose. I’d even go so far as to say we need to set goals and have a purpose in our lives, but y’all, we need to do it with eternity in mind.
More and more, as I grow (just a little) older, I look at my life and wonder, “What is the eternal effect of my earthly choices?” Because, you see, if I’m just doing things for my own personal gain and promotion, I’m missing the point.
I’m currently a stay at home mom and full time housewife. Two things I never thought I’d be when I finished college and first got married, but as our family and my husband’s business both grew, we knew it was the right thing for us. For the most part, I love it, but at times it can be exhausting in a way that working full time never was. And it’s far from glamourous or even pretty a lot of days. Sometimes I look up, and I realize that my life is an endless cycle of cleaning and laundry and cooking and reading with kids and doing homework and school meetings and programs . . . you get the point . . . and I actually love it all, but that’s not to say it’s not tedious and monotonous somedays.
But when I stop and look at what I do in light of eternity my focus shifts and what seems routine becomes eternal.
I get to stay home and keep my home in order. It is a privilege to shepherd my children. To make my home a safe and comforting place for my whole family. That’s not to say it’s always perfect or I’m always perfect. Not even close. Somedays, I’m impatient and yell. Sometimes, I’m grumpy and need just one more cup of coffee, but there’s a ministry in motherhood, in parenthood, that is oft overlooked and minimized. Regardless of how that looks for you, whether you are working in your home or outside the home, your role as a mother, as a parent, is one of the most important and holy callings of your life.
So as I look at my goals for the year, I look at them with an eternal focus. I choose to make the best choices for me knowing that they’ll help my family . . . to be healthy physically because I’m not the best version of myself when I don’t get enough exercise and eat well . . . y’all know I always say that God made our bodies to move . . .to keep my house and my life in order because that brings peace in our daily routine . . . to be present for my children and my husband . . . to be more patient . . . to spend time in the Word daily . . . to write more . . . to give my time and focus and attention to organizations and ministries that are changing the lives of hurting children and orphans throughout the world . . . to be more mission minded and less me minded in my giving . . .but to know, that none of these are the things after which I want to chase. And if it all comes to a screeching halt because of injury or illness or just a bad day or a bad month . . . that’s okay, because I’m not chasing after any of these goals. I’m not chasing after perfection and results. I’m chasing after the One for whom it all matters. I’m chasing after God.
2019 was a weird year. It had its high points and big adventures, but it also had some pretty low and scary and sad points for both my immediate and extended family. I never like to look back at a year as all of anything . . . because nothing is all good or all bad. As I look back at this past year, I see so many good things, and I see how God is always faithful in even those hardest moments. How He is there in the hard and there is a holiness in the hard that isn’t found in so many of those easy moments in life. There’s growth in the hard. There’s change in the hard. Hard doesn’t always equal bad. Hard doesn’t always equal evil. And hard and good are not mutually exclusive despite what our flesh may say. I pray for good in 2020, but I also pray for peace and change and growth in my own heart.
May you have the Happiest of New Year’s as you look forward to the start of a new year and a new decade.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
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