Monday, January 11, 2010

My Good Fortune

It's that wonderful time of year again--you know, the time of year when we get to look back on the mistakes of last year and determine to get our rears in gear for the next 365 days, hoping next January we will feel like new people. I often find myself feeling a bit overwhelmed and under qualified as I sit down to write goals for the upcoming year. As December came upon me this year, I actually felt anxious to take some time to reevaluate my life and set some simple benchmarks to help me prioritize my responsibilities better.

Then I had two surgeries in less than two weeks and Christmas and New Year's to plan, and my longing for some peaceful time to reflect and look to the future ended up taking a back seat. Finally, this past week, when my kids went back to school, I decided I couldn't put it off any longer; I mean, it's really quite ineffective to set New Year's Resolutions in May, right? I thought of the business of the upcoming months and realized if I didn't take time right now, it would probably be at least May when I did get around to it.

With determination and fervor, I marched to the junk drawer to find a pen and pad of paper to begin my quest. As I began rummaging through my messy drawer, hoping to find a pen that actually worked (yes, the thought crossed my mind that perhaps my goals should include becoming more organized), I ran across a small folded strip of paper. Of course, there were lots of scraps of wrinkled, folded paper askew in my draw, but for some reason, I felt intrigued to unfold it and see what it was; in fact, I felt a rush of excitement because this paper was just the right size to be a fortune from a fortune cookie, and as crazy as life had been at my house the past few months, I felt I could really use some good fortune.

I opened the paper, wondering to myself what amazing fortune it must have held for me to have actually hung on to it, since I tend to be the "throw everything that isn't absolutely necessary away" type. I held the paper closer so I could see the small words . . . then I took a deep breath, set it on the counter, and with tears in my eyes and an even greater resolve, I found a pen and paper and set out to accomplish my original task. This is what my fortune read:

"This year your highest priority will be your family."

I must admit I don't remember when I originally got the fortune, and I certainly don't remember stashing it in my junk drawer, but none of that mattered as I read those words that morning in my kitchen. All that mattered is that I had read them at just the right moment, at a time when I was about to sit down and map out my year, trying to figure out how to balance all the roles I play in my life. And I found myself feeling profoundly grateful I had had to rummage through my drawer for a pen, for those words were spoken to me at the time I needed them most.


I don't think I believe in coincidence. I had been praying for divine guidance as I set about making goals for this upcoming year, hoping to become better at the things that mattered most, mainly my role as wife and mother, and I felt this small fortune was God's reminder to set goals that helped me accomplish that. I have found it very easy to get caught up in the "thick of thin things," working tirelessly to make sure I fulfilled my obligations to others and never let them down, when sometimes in the process of trying to be everything for everybody else, my own family was left wanting.

When the holidays rolled around this past year I was determined to soak up the time with my children, to set aside some of my other responsibilities and simply enjoy my kids. It was wonderful (exhausting, frustrating at times, trying, but wonderful)! We played games, watched movies, built snowmen, went sledding, baked cookies, and many other activities, and although I was absolutely exhausted when it was all over, I was also happier than ever. I was reminded, once again, that I truly only have these kids for a short time--before I know it, they will be grown up and out of my home, and the last thing I want is to be left wishing I had spent more time with them, that we had laughed more, hugged more, and enjoyed each other more.

So this year, thanks to a simple reminder from a fortune cookie, my highest priority will be my family . . .

. . .I have a feeling, it will be my best year yet!


The Perkins Family said...

What a cool "coincidence"! I love it!

Brian and Rebecca Nate said...

My New Year's resolutions always seem to be something like: lose weight, clean my house more often, and learn to love my Scouting calling. I'm going to change them to reflect more on my responsibilities as a mother. After all, that is the most important thing, right? Hope you are doing well.

Taffy and Tony said...

Thanks for sharing. I love this type of testimony that our Heavenly Father really is watching out for us and helping us along our way.