Saturday, August 20, 2016

Seasons...of Life

Seasons of life, like the seasons of the's hard to pick a favorite.

I love Spring...things are new, fresh, beginning, blossoming, alive. Much like the newness of a life, a baby.

I love Summer, but not when it gets burning up hot for days and days and days. I DO love that the kids are home in the summer. I love NO schedule, NO real plans. Those long summer days, when our family was young, were pretty much the same every was hard to fill the days.

When they got a little older, there were camp, baseball camp, soccer camp, football camp, church camp, swim team (which was pretty much every day for Holly), VBS. They were at the age where they wanted to see their friends, and we felt like it was important to keep them active. Our town worked to keep the camps on different weeks...which was a big help to families.

Later, when the kids were in high-school, it was early football practices (or swim practices for Holly), followed by lots of fluids and a small lunch, followed by a nap, followed by "second lunch." Ha.

I love, love, LOVE Fall. I feel like this is where we are in our lives right now. On the "downhill" side of life, so to speak. I mean, not to be morbid or anything, but we aren't going to live to be 100 years old. We just aren't. But being in this season, doesn't mean it's bad. Our kids are older, which I always thought I would HATE with the hate of a thousand fires...but I love it. Of course, I've loved every stage. It's not easier, by any means. Oh, it may be easier physically, because they are independent, and we aren't having to carry them around. But mentally, emotionally, spiritually? This is a hard season, and it's a long season. The decisions in front of my young adults...the choices they make...the things I need to pray for...all seem a million times more serious and potentially life-changing. As hard as I prayed during my kids' teenage years (and they weren't bad years), I pray a thousand times harder, and a thousand times that they are young adults.

I'm not a big fan of Winter. I mean, I love Christmas...and I love snow (a little snow). When my kids were in school, I lived for snow days. LIVED.FOR.THEM. Because then they would all be home, and we would all be together. We'd have hot chocolate, and I'd make cookies or brownies, and they would watch TV, play outside AND inside...and sleep late. It felt like such a gift...UNTIL JUNE WHEN WE HAD TO MAKE UP THE DAYS. Ugh.

Now that my kids are older, I pray on snow days, because, people have to get to work...right? So I pray for their safety. And when we have ICE? No, thank you. When everyone stays home because of ice, my husband, and those who work for utility companies...they head to work. Jim doesn't work outside...but God bless those who brave the elements to get our power restored. And God bless the ones in customer service, like Jim, who have to brave anger, frustration, and even threats from customers.

Winter, to me, used to symbolize death...because as alive as things look in Spring, that's how dead things look in Winter. But Winter is mysterious. It's a don't-judge-a-book-by-it's-cover season. The gray and white of the sky, the ground, and the trees...doesn't mean things are dead or lost.

Likewise, the gray and white of a person's hair doesn't mean they are dead or lost. It doesn't mean they have nothing left to fact, they may have even MORE to give. Because life? It's in there down deep...things planted and tucked away long ago: wisdom, strength, faithfulness, trust...learned and gained over a span of time, and through difficulties and experiences.

And like Winter quietly turns into Spring, bringing to life what appeared to be we will be at the end of our lives. The silver taking over until we are no more here on Earth...until we burst forth into eternal life in Heaven with Jesus.

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Hebrews 13:8

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