Yet other things were accomplished, to my joy and satisfaction. The most significant change in our home (to me!) was the addition of a closet for dh, which has had the happy result of making it much easier to keep a clean and organized bedroom. That fell by the wayside in the days leading up to Christmas, but a whirlwind day of cleaning has rectified the situation.
Our living room was mostly re-done. We stripped off the wallpaper and painted. There are a few pieces of trim that need to be put up, and the floor definitely needs to be dealt with, but overall, it's a nice, welcoming room. My favourite spot is my little desk, where I sit each morning with a coffee and my Bible and notebooks and pens and a ruler. It's where I find peace and joy and strength for the day ahead.
I didn't keep up with the garden; my neck and shoulder hurt too much. But we did raise 130 meat birds and did the processing* ourselves. (*euphemism for decapitation and gutting.)
We sorted out the library and got rid of many books that we don't need any more. With the youngest going on 12, we don't need picture books or books for younger grades. Of course, because we're bookaholics it's hard to get rid of books, and others seem to find their way into our home. Don't know how that happens...
The biggest thing we accomplished as a family was learning to work through difficult situations and relationships by leaning on the wisdom of God. The trials will never end, not this side of heaven, but the joy of walking with God and doing the work He has prepared beforehand for us to do outweighs by far the troubles we experience on the journey.
The work of a homemaker never really ends. There are always meals to prepare, mountains of laundry to tackle, toilets to scrub, children to teach and train, walls to paint [again!], gardens to plan, soil to till, lawns to mow, flower beds to weed... and the list goes on.
There's a Time for Everything:
A Time for Everything
3 For everything there is a season, and l a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
The God-Given Task
9 What gain has the worker from his toil? 10 I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. 11 He has a made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. 12 I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; 13 also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God's gift to man.
It really doesn't matter that we didn't get everything on the list done. What matters is that we learned to take pleasure in the journey, in the process - not in the results.
In the words of Thomas Merton, "Do not depend on the hope of results... you may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect. As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results, but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself."
Enjoy 2011! Do what you do with joy and confidence that God has given you the ability and means to do it.
Enjoy Life with the One You Love
7 Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do.
8 Let your garments be always white. Let not oil be lacking on your head.
9 Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun. 10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.
May you have a blessed 2011.