Embracing Your Season

seasons

The sun is shining, and it’s warm here today. We’re probably still in for some more cold weather, but it’s clear the seasons are changing. Spring is on its way.

My writing in this space has been sparse lately. Those little girls in the header picture at the top of the page aren’t so little any more. They’re growing up fast, and I’m trying hard not to miss it.

Because just like winter turns into spring, there are seasons in life. And in this season, there hasn’t been a lot of time to write. There hasn’t been a lot of time for me to even breathe, much less dream my own dreams.

You see, in this season, my kids have needed me. My husband has needed me. And my calling has been to minister to them.

And sometimes, that calling can seem small. They’re only three people in this very big world. I could reach hundreds or thousands if I was blogging regularly. But those three people, they are my first calling. They are the people God has said to love first.

And that’s hard sometimes. Honestly, some days if I have to help do one more algebra problem or one more 7th-grade project, I feel like I might just lose it. If I have to take my older daughter to one more doctor or sort through one more day of girl drama, I just might create my own drama. And if I schedule one more date night with my husband to have it be interrupted by someone at his work scheduling a 7 pm meeting on Friday night, I might throw my phone across the room.

But this is the season I’m in. This is the season where my family simply needs me more than they have in a long time. We’re juggling a kid who has had multiple medical issues in the past year, a middle-schooler struggling to find her place in this world, and my husband’s parents who both need specialized care. None of that leaves much time for writing and dreaming and creating.

Am I selfishly ready for this season to pass? You betcha. I want to write and dream and create. I want to chase my own dreams. But there is going to come a day when my house is empty and silent. The bus will go by my door, and no one will come running home to share their day with me.

So, if my calling right now is to focus on the other three people in my house, then that’s what I’ll do. Because as sure as winter is changing into spring, this season will change into another one.

When God calls us to a season, he does so for a reason. We need to embrace the change. Just as winter brings the fun of sledding and snowmen, Christmas and Valentine’s Day, spring also has it’s great moments — the first daffodil, Easter and warm weather. Our seasons in life are like that, too. Each will bring challenges, but they will also bring some perfect moments, moments we would not trade for anything in the world.

If God is calling you to a season that seems to be leaving the things you want to do behind, remember that He’s calling you to that season for a reason. It may be that things you want to do require that you walk this path before you can walk that one.

Whatever the reason, embrace the season you’re in. There are beautiful moments to be found in it.

The Winds of Change

In about a week, our household is will undergo a big change. I’m headed back to work for the next two months. While I currently do freelance work from home, I haven’t gone into an office every day in more than nine years. This job is still a freelance job, but I have to go into an office every day except Friday. It’s a great opportunity, but my girls are less than excited about the whole idea. As a matter of fact, every time we bring the subject up, they get all weepy-eyed.

My youngest is worried about who will do her hair on the mornings her dad is getting her off to school. My oldest is concerned about her grandparents picking her up from school one day a week. Both are legitimate concerns, but they are just expressions of the much deeper cry of “I don’t want my life to change.” In that respect, kids are just like adults. How often do we face a change in our lives with anxiety and tears?

We often like to think that kids are extremely adaptable, but change is just as hard for them as it is for us. Sometimes it’s harder because they may not understand all the reasons behind the changes in their lives. My girls always experience anxiety the night before a new school year. It’s the same type of anxiety I might feel before starting a new job.

In Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, Solomon talks about how life is full of change and that God provides a season for everything. He says:

“There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under heaven:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

God has given us a time for everything. But sometimes those seasons come upon us, and they require that our lives change. I don’t know about you, but I’m as bad as my children sometimes. God asks me to make a change in my lifestyle, and I kick and scream and cry and say “But I like my life.” Seasons in life come and go, but God is constant. Despite our dislike of change, those changes help us to grow both emotionally and spiritually.
 
Helping our kids understand the changes in their lives, whether they are big or little, can make big life changes happen more smoothly in your household. Change also allows our kids to see that God uses those changes for a bigger purpose. Prepare your kids for big life changes, whether it’s a change in your employment status, a move or just the promotion to a new grade.

  • Show your kids pictures of themselves as babies. Have them point out the things that have changed about their bodies since they were small. Then, help them find the things that haven’t changed. Ask them if they would want to remain a baby forever. Talk about how God designed us to grow and change. Remind them that if we never changed, then we would never be able to talk or walk. Talk about how sometimes changes in our lives help us to be ready to do new things. A move can make us better at making friends or put us in a place where there are different opportunities available to us.
  • If you know that your family will be making a big change, don’t spring it on your kids at the last minute. Give them as much time as you can to get used to the idea. Answer their questions and do your best to calm their fears. Remind them of Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” God allows us to go through changes so that He can use those things for good. Help them think of a time when they were afraid or anxious about a change, but it turned out to be a good thing.
  • Read Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 with your kids. Try to identify times in your lives that match the seasons mentioned in the passage (when you get to the time to kill passage, you might look at it in terms of things that you have to get rid of in your life rather than actually killing someone). Helping your kids identify different seasons in their own lives will help them see that this change is just another season.
  • Go outside and talk about the current season. Talk about what each person likes and dislikes about that particular season. Remind your kids that the seasons change and each one is different and brings different adventures and challenges. Remind your kids that our lives have seasons, too, and each season of life brings its own adventures and challenges. No matter what season we are in, though, God is always with us.

I don’t know what season of life you are currently in. You may be raising preschoolers or you may be trying to decide what your purpose is now that your kids are in school all day. Whatever the season, remember that God has plans for you and your children in this particular season. Embrace the season you’re in and enjoy all that it has to offer. As the season begins to change, remember that God has good things in store for you and your children in the next season as well.