Throughout my life one of the things I’ve struggle with most is embracing the season I am currently in. As a little girl, I remember dreaming of the day I would be in high school, and then in my youth, I dreamed of my wedding day. As I reflect on my life, one thing has been true of me at every stage. I always wanted to be in the season ahead of where I was.
One of my favorite quotes is:
“Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.” Jim Elliot
This statement has traveled with me since my college days, and has been a convicting exhortation to embrace in each season of my life.
You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Kids grow up so fast, enjoy them while they are young” about a million times. And if you are like me, you’ve probably even come to resent this statement at one point or another.
Some seasons can be a struggle. When you don’t feel good, you’re pregnant, and in the midst of dirty diapers, walking like a zombie after a week of nursing babes and taking care of sick toddlers it’s easy to feel like this season will never end. And all you want is OUT! You can begin to feel like a failure, like you have gotten lost somewhere in the midst of motherhood. Enjoy them while they are young?
Many assume that because we have six children, and one on the way, we have always wanted a lot of children, or that I must really love kids. Truth be told, I am not naturally a kid person, but I love our children and am thankful for each of them. In the five years I spent pregnant and eight years I spent nursing, God has definitely refined me and He still is. I laughingly tell ladies that I didn’t really embrace the baby/toddler season until my fifth baby! It wasn’t until about seven years ago that I really began delighting in and embracing the season of life God had placed me in and chose to enjoy it.
I remember the days when I had five kids, seven years old and under. Going to run basic errands was a huge feat by myself, and Costco wasn’t even an option in the play book. But now that my oldest is just a few years from graduating, seasons have shifted again, revealing new lessons to learn for all of us. That season that I once felt so entrapped by, is the one I look on with such fondness. Yes, there were difficult seasons, and there still are, but instead of desiring to be in the next season, I find myself with a renewed perspective of embracing where God has me.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God's gift to man. Ecc. 3:11-13
I have become convinced of one thing in reflecting on my struggle to embrace each season in my life. That when I focus on myself, my perspective becomes blurred, and any vision I had for purposefulness becomes lost. It’s in those moments of weakness where I am tempted to try to do more. My heart yearns to serve God, and sometimes in the midst of this season of child raising I am tempted to feel like I am not doing enough for Him.
If I may, I want to urge you sisters, who are in the young motherhood season, to be careful not to commit to too many activities outside your home during this season. It is more difficult to disciple and teach your children if you are running about. Don’t feel guilty for not being involved in a lot of activities, or even ministries.
One day, as I was pulling my car over to nurse a screaming baby, I saw my other two toddlers napping in the car on the way home after having been at church for the fourth time that week for bible study, and ministry meetings. I remember feeling overwhelmed, and like, if I kept going at the pace I was, I might be sacrificing the legacy I was dreaming of--a vision God had placed in my heart. And in the moment, on the side of the road, as I was listening to a cassette tape on Seasons in a Woman’s Life, the speaker urged me, the young mom to focus first on my home. It’s the only thing I remember from that talk, but it changed everything and set the course for the next 10 years.
God never calls us to any ministry at the sacrifice of our first jurisdictions.
If we are meant to do it, it might be hard, and we may face opposition, but it will also enhance our other relationships and our main priorities, never sacrifice them.
So here is the test, in every season: to choose joy and embrace the season we are in. And recognize that our roles, relationships, mistakes, or even our failures and sins don’t define us. When we focus on Christ and why we are here, our perspective changes and our eyes are opened to see the incredible opportunity He has given us to nurture and train a few of His children for the plans He has made for them! What an exciting call, to make disciples.
Let’s pray together,
Lord, we thank you for the opportunity to partner with you in bringing forth life and for the privilege to raise our children for You. Help us not to lose sight of that calling. When we struggle with embracing the season we are in, would you gently remind us that you have us where you want us for our own good. Help us to choose joy in the midst of any circumstance and season. Amen.
How are you doing at embracing the season you are in?