Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Seasons

I'm a four seasons kind of gal. Not the hotel variety, but the kind you experience when living in northern climates...Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. I love the hope and the changes that come with each new season, even the ones that accompany my least favorite season: Winter. Each season has its glory. Springtime has the green grass, the rain that renews and the flowers that remind us that the cold, drearyness of winter cannot stop new life. Summer has the warm weather, the summer thunderstorms, and flip flops. Fall brings about soups that simmer all day, football, crisp mornings and cool evenings on the porch, while winter brings that fresh blanket of snow that so vividly reminds us of how Gods mercies are new every morning. While I create my lists of the gifts that come with each new season I'm reminded of the "gifts" we would rather not have. For example, Sringtime can bring floods, Summer heat waves can steal the joy of the gift of warm weather, the drearyness of Fall can linger and let's face it, Winter can become downright miserable when a snowfall leads to months on end of brown slush on our streets. Growing up in the Midwest I learned that sometimes the best way to make it through a season is to simply embrace it. Bemoaning the snow won't stop it from coming, neither will complaining about the heatwave that shows up every August. Survival simply came with preparing, acknowledging mad embracing each season as it came. And I'm realizing that this is the same with the seasons of life that God puts in front of me. I've lived a variety of seasons from working with homeless youth, doing street outreach and searching abandoned buildings in the middle of the night to walking slums in east Africa learning kiswahili and making friends with women as I learned their way of life. No matter what I did I seemed to land the job of a lifetime and claimed yet again to do so as I packed up and moved to North Carolina (which doesn't have the harsh fourth season of winter I might add) to serve as a Missions Pastor, then Care Pastor. In each season I experienced grand moments of Gods faithfulness, His presence, His provision and joy. I'd be lying if I said there weren't also those dreary days or those times when those seasons were hard. Fast forward to 2014... my last season came unexpectedly like that hurricane that arrives before the noted "hurricane season." It caught me by surprise and if there was ever a time when God was trying to instill in me the task of embracing the season I'm in it is now. My job these days does not require me to have performance evaluations (although that might be nice) or report to someone in leadership above me. It doesn't have me traveling to distant lands, except in storybooks and make believe. My charges are 2 babies 18 months apart who have their own whims and desires. They have their own idea of adventure and my job is to love them, lead them and help them grow into world changing adults. I won't lie, this has been one of the hardest seasons to settle into. This season that has moments of full hilarity and full chaos all in a two second time lapse has been a tough one for my adventurous, independent and sometimes selfish spirit to submit to. But like other seasons, I'm learning the blessings of embracing it for what it is. As my passport collects dust, for the first time ever, I'm learning that God has prepared me for this, he has called me into this, and that it is, much like my other career moves, likely just a season. My babies won't have health issues that require my presence quite so regularly forever. My son will one day walk into school and not look back. My daughter will use those big brown eyes to speak straight to my heart without words and one day they will look into the eyes of another while she says "I do." This season we are in is chock full of joy. It overflows with laughter and good times and it is also speckled (or slathered depending on the day) with moments of challenge, heartache and frustration. But it's a season. One that God has put us in. And one thing true about every season, is that He is very present in the middle of it. He still speaks to me like He did in the plains of Africa. He pulls at my heartstrings much like He did in those days talking with kids living under bridges in Indianapolis. He has his arms wrapped around me as I navigat this season of parenting two babies who need their momma. We have choices in the advent of a new season. We can moan, complain, strategically think of ways out of it or around it or we can embrace it and seek to learn and experience all tha God has for us in the season we are in. I think I'll choose the latter. I may be forgetting Kiswahili, but I'm becoming quite an expert at translating 2 year old gibberish. It's a season worth embracing. It's the season He has me in.

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