I live in a beautiful part of the world where we experience 4 distinct seasons, each one enjoyable and not too extreme. Our warm summers transform to colorful autumns, which give way to mild winters, which eventually come back to life in sweet springtime. Right now we are experiencing the peak of fall, many people’s favorite time of year here in east TN. The leaves are vibrant, the temperatures cool, and the pumpkins smile a bright, toothy welcome on many front doorsteps.
Usually I’m ready for each season as it comes; change outside brings about change inside and I’m ready to let go of one season to embrace another. I’m always ready to see summer cool off into fall and exchange the tank tops for sweaters. I’m less willing to welcome winter, but I do look forward to the slower pace and cozy times at home. Spring is always a welcome friend, as the flowers bud and the much-missed sun returns to thaw us out.
I’m finding, however, that I am less willing to welcome seasons when it comes to seasons of my life. I’ve lived through several already… There was the fun college season, the newly-married season, the young mom season, the room mom season, the seminary season, the teaching season, the adoption season and most recently, the foster care season. And those are just my seasons. Combine those with the changes happening in my husband’s and children’s lives and you’ve got a lot going on under one roof.
Honestly, I kind of like change. I need to switch things up every now and then so I don’t get bored or stagnant. So, in some ways, seasons of life are a good thing. But what I don’t like about seasons of life is not being able to do everything I love at the same time.
I love a lot of things. I love being a wife and a mom. I love learning and reading and writing. I love teaching and discipling. I love dancing and creating. But I’ve never been able to do all of these things at the same time. In college, I was able to do it all (except for the wife and mom part) and loved every minute of it. Once I got married and started having kiddos, though, some things had to go for awhile… for a season.
We’re coming out of a season of foster care. Our sweet little guy was placed with his maternal aunt in the Chicago area about 6 weeks ago. I miss him tremendously. Letting him go has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. He is in wonderful hands, though, and I am so grateful for that. I treasure the pictures I receive of his happy smile.
It’s hard to let this season go, but there are good things to embrace as well. While I was a foster mom, I didn’t write much and hardly ever showed up at the ballet studio. Now that we’re taking a break from foster care, I’m writing again and thinking about new projects. It’s a new season.
I don’t know what season of life you’re in right now, but undoubtedly there are gifts to enjoy and losses to mourn. I’m learning to look for what God has given me in each season and to embrace it fully while I’ve got it. Because seasons change. That’s what they do. I may not be able to do everything I love at the same time, but I can learn to enjoy each season for what it is. And to embrace the seasonal gifts God has to give in each of them.