Waiting Through the Seasons of Parenting with Grace

James Tissot Quiet

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. Psalm 37:7

Patience is not a natural virtue of mine, and yet, it seems the one God most ardently wants to build into my life.

When I was single, I could hardly wait to get married. Then I waited to get pregnant. Then I couldn’t wait until my children slept through the night. Then, I couldn’t wait until they were all out of diapers. Waiting for them all to be beyond naps. Waiting for them all to read. Waiting for them to learn how to do chores, to pick up clothes, to develop manners, to quit fighting.

Waiting for the teens to calm down emotionally, and waiting for decisions about life, college, marriage, money, and it goes on and on. Just fill in the blank of what you have waited for in your own life.

Somewhere amidst all of this impatient waiting, I realized that I could miss life if I just waited for a season to pass or something to change.

God, however,  seems to be more concerned with the process, the shaping of my own soul in the midst of the daily steps of life. His fingerprints and common miracles are all around me every day. However, my spiritually blind eyes do not see Him or hear the whisper of His voice and wisdom unless I engage my heart in His omnipresence every second, at each turn of life.

How crucial to know the delight He gets when I trust Him and praise Him each day, the faithfulness of my own servant heart for my family, amidst the mundane moments, the gathering of grace, love, gentle instruction, laughter, joy crafted in the midst of the moments that God has granted.

How much time I have wasted when I was waiting for a season to pass so that I could “get on” with life, when God is strategically using those moments to stretch me, to make me more unselfish, more compassionate, more humble. He even plants all sorts of joy and humor through the antics of my loved ones, if I have the eyes to see. Every season and every moment and every day is a soul-shaping season for my heavenly Father in the life of me, His child. He is more concerned about my response to acknowledge Him, and accepting with grace these moments along His ways, in the midst of the wait,  than He is concerned about me getting my own way.

Most of life is making it faithfully through the seasons and issues of life. But the glory of a spiritual woman can rest on her ability to bring the beauty, joy, perspective, thankful heart into the presence of the waiting. For this child, this circumstance, this season is His gift to me today, but only becomes so if I accept it with a thankful heart and live each moment that is given fully, joyfully and by faith.

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  1. Jaime Scott says

    This is such a struggle for me…to just rest content, embracing fully the stage we are in now. This stage esp. seems to be a hard stage and I find myself wishing for the next one. At the same time, I know the next one is likely to come along with the good and the bad too. I’m learning how to rest and look for God’s blessings mixed in w/each day, some days are easier than others. But I really want to find contentment bc I don’t want to look back and realize that I wished every stage away and never fully embraced any of them.

  2. Sharon says

    I almost constantly live in the future. I am always thinking about what’s coming down the road, and just as you described, Sally, looking forward to (or sometimes dreading) the upcoming stages for my daughter. Thank you for reminding me that if I continue on in this fashion, I’ll be missing life. I don’t want to do that!

  3. janet says

    With 4 out of our 5 already out of the house – I have learned to slow down and am trying to enjoy everyday with the 9 yr old daughter that we have left at home. It’s very bittersweet to look back and wish you would have.

  4. Ruth@gracelaced says

    Sally, this is the very thing the Lord is pressing into my heart. I was just reading in Mission of Motherhood last night and was reminded of how fast the days are fleeting (even if it doesn’t “feel” like it.) I truly desire to live presently and thankfully withIN each season!

  5. says

    Oh I needed this today SO MUCH! We are going through quite the season at the moment, and I woke up realizing I can’t wait for this season to pass to be happy. There will always be a season, and I need to learn to be content in the growing process, not just wait for it to pass. Thank you so much for this confirmation. It truly lifted my spirits this morning!

  6. Enda_deangelis says

    Very profound and such a simplistic idea. I have felt this way so often recently and realize I do miss out on the opportunity to grow! So glad I read this. Puts the daily grind into perspective!!

  7. says

    I have 9 children (ages 21 down to 5) and homeschool most of them still. So I’m in the midst of combined seasons! I’ve been on that journey of wishing the seasons would pass quickly. Now, I have some regrets for being that way. It’s not too late though, because I’ve repented, and now I seek to embrace each season and whatever sorrows or joys come along the way. I’ve come to realize that it’s not all about me, but all about making Him known through me, and that’s a big deal! Having an open heart to be instructed and corrected, even when it hurts, is so key, and of course, dwelling in Him and meditating on His words. I like what Jesus said in Matthew 11, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” When you come to realize this it is so liberating, but it is a process of growth happening one day at a time!

  8. says

    I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who struggles with patience. I sometimes think God chuckles when He has to teach me yet again that patience means trusting Him for the timing. I suppose that makes me a slow learner at times. Thank you for this insightful post

  9. JSK says

    Always having had a “pushing-on” sort of drive in me, it has been very difficult to learn to slow down and savor where I’m at in each stage in life! Oh, my. I remember when I was in my early 20s, commenting to an older woman, “I just want to hurry up and get on with life!”( I was having to work full time to put my husband through school, and it just felt like I was treading water!) Her quick reply back to me was, “Honey, this IS life!” That comment right there was part 1 of the journey!

    We always thought we would have a big family – then at age 30 with only two children, my fertility suddenly ended. That was devastating to me and made me realize again the importance of savoring each stage and not rushing on! What an important lesson. Thanks, Sally!

  10. Tess @ Tapestry of the Mundane says

    So refreshing! This post seems to mirror my life, too. Thanks so much for sharing!!!

  11. says

    I can totally relate to not enjoying the process! (even posted on it a few times!!) But as I pondered your post, I thought that just maybe, when we live in the moment and enjoy where we are, we’re practicing for eternity when there is no future, only now. Blessings to you and thank you for your post!

  12. says

    So thankful for this post! I, too, try to rush through these little years instead of being contentment with the now. The Lord knows we’ll all look back on these seasons and wish we could have slowed things down. Thanks for the wonderful reminder!

  13. Kim Hall says

    I found that I couldn’t wait for the really difficult years to pass, especially the mid-teens! You are right, though, that we miss out on so much if we just sit tight and wait for change.

    God uses that time to shape us, and perhaps we need to be more active waiters, to seek Him more, to offer more grace and forgiveness, to be more understanding and humble. I am guessing those years didn’t have to be as hard as I allowed them to be.

  14. AmyFowler says

    Beautiful words….a reminder to me today to enjoy the season I am in. THANK YOU! This has blessed this mommy’s heart! :)

  15. says

    So true! My husband has this “issue” as well. I try to always remind the both of us that this is it! Right now is what we have with them and we won’t get it back. I try to cherish every moment, as cliche as that sounds! I know that I am going to miss them when they are old, so I want to snatch hold of every memory right now while I can…speaking of which, I think I will get off of the computer and go play with them! Great post! Thank you!

  16. says

    Patience is not a virtue of mine either but He always seems to give me lots of opportunity to practice!!! I don’t enjoy the process either but I’m just so thankful to have such a loving, kind and forgiving God and He knows what is best for me so I just trust in Him and let Him work in my life! Great post!

  17. says

    Great post! As a mom of three teens with one a senior this year, you are right. We forget to let God do what he needs to do sometimes. Thank you for the reminder!

  18. says

    As a mama that time has zipped past (my babes are 22, 19, 18). I can attest to hanging in there when it seems like not much is happening. You blink and they’re grown! Enjoy each moment!

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