I decorated my patio this week.
Last year at my apartments, they had a contest for the best patio decorations. I really wanted to win. I had just won in the Thanksgiving pumpkin cheesecake contest. (A fact, I have milked for three holidays, calling it my “award winning Pumpkin cheesecake.” There have been murmurings as to how long I am going keep that going. I haven’t decided yet).
But, on the wave of my pumpkin cheesecake victory, I was on a roll. I was so going to win this patio contest. The only problem was, this was my first holiday season in my apartment, and I had absolutely no Christmas decorations. At all. I didn’t have stockings, holly berries, or even a singing Santa.
So, having to start my Christmas decorations from scratch, AND win the patio contest, took a significant amount of my holiday budget. We did our best, and it was surprisingly quite a bit of work. In the end, we lost out to the dude who decked out his entire first floor patio into a candy land themed Christmas village, and even incorporated nearby trees and bushes. (Dude, seriously, why are you in an apartment?!)
This year they didn’t do the contest. (Interestingly enough, candy land dude has not appeared yet..hmmm). But, still having all the decorations from last year, I piped Hannah Kerr’s Christmas album onto the patio from my bedroom window, and was painfully reminded as to why it was so much work last year. Because, contrary to what you might think, wrapping every single rail of a third floor patio with white lights, PLUS trimming the top with lighted garland, IS a lot of work. It took an hour. I finished and went to bed.
Today, I went to run an errand, and when I came back, I caught the sight of my lighted patio. My heart leapt. It was beautiful. And it was mine. Then, I came upstairs to my beautiful apartment that I Iove, and I was struck by all of the things I had worked for, planned for, and painstakingly hand-chosen. There they all were, in the places I had tediously chosen for them, creating the coveted and desired harmonious…feng shui.
And it was all there—for me to enjoy. I work hard, and when I am not working, I am thinking about how I should be working, or what I can do to be working. I get so caught up in “making it happen,” and “showing myself approved to the Lord,” that I forget to enjoy the blessing that he sends my way. But, tonight I realized, there is beauty in just enjoying everything you have worked for. Everything you have put into motion.
The Bible talks about enjoying the fruits of your labor. It’s not a Scripture I necessarily pay attention to. I like more the Scriptures about diligence and hard work. But, today, I realized God loves for us just to stop and enjoy the fruits of our labor.
Because, what is life if not to enjoy it?