Things in Life that Bring Lasting Fulfillment
I write this with a cup of hot chocolate (+ a hint of Bailey’s) by my side, the girls at school, my notebook resting on my lap and the challenge of sharing this last year before me. As I look out my living room window, heavily faded grays, browns, and whites, reflect back. Only the boldness of red from ribbons on Christmas wreathes and on the coats of Nutcracker soldiers’ stands out. It looks arctic outside. The white that covers the ground is both ice and snow and the high today will be 10°.
If I believe what I see, there is little life. There is hardly a movement. There is no warmth. The trees are bare, the lake frozen, and the wind still. It is quiet in my home and I am reminded of the barrenness of this season. Winter has come and I am in the middle of it. In these moments, my heart stirs. Sadness wants to come in. Quiet begins to engulf me. Worry tries to trickle into my thoughts. My eyes tell me coldness is all there is. It has conquered towering trees and froze expansive waters and land. My eyes tell me this is life or rather, this is how life is defeated.
So I close my eyes. My heart longs for more. My heart has always longed for more. “God, show me what I cannot see.” With a richer desire, I open my eyes. Some of the same images appear but my stirred heart now notices the sled trail on the lawn where just the night before I pulled Shaelah and Sofia up a small self-made hill. I can see the run over snow angels and places where Sofie picked icicles off and enjoyed nature’s popsicles. I see Shaelah’s boot prints and become aware that they are closer to my size than they are to a child’s.
As I look further out, the frozen lake and shoreline remind me of this year’s road trips and our mini vacations in search of the perfect pool or beach. Spring break took us to Arizona where the girls discovered the small flags attached to pool lounge chairs, poolside service, and Shirley Temple drinks. Memories of our days at Lake Holiday or North Avenue beach this summer return. These girls are fish in water and connoisseurs of sandcastle tools. I can clearly see in my mind the mounds of shells they have collected over time and realize they have saved a piece of every beach we have ever been to together.
It now begins to snow. I kid you not. God’s timing is perfect. As snow begins to cover the ground more, I remember our road trip to Sparta, Missouri. Gratitude overwhelms me when I think of profound friendships that would take the girls and I so far. I smile at the memory of standing in untouched nature, watching a mare and her colt galloping through open acreages and feeling the earth move beneath us. Seeing a beautiful strong mare leading her own, captures the heart of a mother. It took my breath away.
Tears are welling up in my eyes now as my heart feels like the luckiest woman in the world. I realize that the life the girls and I live is a good one. We are healthy, happy, loved and love. When the girls crawl into bed with me, I know that I have everything I need right beside me. God has always taken care of us. Always.
My takeaway this year? “Do not believe solely in what the eyes see.” There is great abundance in life and we are blessed beyond what the economy, our businesses, and our trials try to tell us. If we still ourselves long enough to close our eyes, our hearts tell us that there are only a few things in life that have meaning for eternity and bring lasting fulfillment. Look for those things and life becomes alive again and again and again!
by Tania Kinzinger
Meditation: While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. – 2 Corinthians 4:18
You will succeed because Jesus loves You!