She asked me to take on a new responsibility and normally I just do, I say ‘yes’ and add it on to the stuffed-to-overflowing to-do list and cram it onto the overcrowded calendar.
But this time, I answered, “Seven months.”
This is the season I’m in: a season of no more and not now. For seven months, what I have is what I can do. And then, who knows? God will direct the steps.
For now, though, my life is packed full and I must invest myself fully here with this blessing of a new baby, a new book, and three daughters in school and after-school activities that dictate our schedule and keep me in the car driving here and there for hours in every day.
It’s the best advice my mom ever gave me as I awaited the birth of my firstborn babe when I, in my innocent pre-motherhood state, thought I knew what being a mom meant and the sacrifice it required.
I didn’t, of course.
The advice sounded good enough at the time, something to tuck away for another day perhaps.
But I didn’t realize the depth of the wisdom here or how I would return to this as a promise of hope on the hard days…
when I’m finding it hard to breathe because of the clutter and mess
and the noise is drowning out my own sane thoughts
and I’m longing for a ‘quiet time’ at the kitchen table but settling for a quick devotional-on-the-go while waiting for preschool to end
and dinner is macaroni and cheese from a box instead of the gourmet meal I found on Pinterest
and I’m lacking in sleep and feeling like a mess and groaning about laundry and dishes.
Ecclesiastes made it clear:
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8).
“To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven”
That’s how The Byrds sang it in the 1960’s and the song jingles around in my head when I consider the wisdom of this.
There is a season. And one season follows another just as surely as day follows day. Nothing is forever. God makes all things new time after time after time.
It’s been my mantra as a mom.
Sleepless nights….potty training….terrible two tantrums…
A season. Only a season.
A messy minivan and hours outside the ballet studio, endless noise, sibling rivalry, homework, and diaper changes.
A season. Only a season.
I think aloud to a friend about my life right now and she reminds me of my own words,
“I’ve heard you say it often, that this is only a season.”
She echoes it back to me and I realize how often I give that advice to others, sharing the wisdom with them that my own mom gave me.
But I realize something else on the good days—
when my baby is cooing so sweet and tosses me a smile that stops time for that moment because I love him so
and my children work together and play together sweetly and my heart dances with pride in their beauty and strength
and we laugh at the dinner table and tell stories of our day and I think how precious is this gift
Seasons come and seasons go, but God is in every one of them. Yes, in this season of sleeplessness and carpooling….and this season of baby giggles and child songs.
I could grit my teeth, grip the wheel white-knuckled, and hold on tight until this season of busyness passes me by or I could revel in the joy, yes–here, yes—now.
There’s such beauty in this season of watching my children grow, discover, learn, and transform every day.
All too quickly this passes me by.
I could endure the frantic pace of it all, but so much better to enjoy the blessing of it all.
This season you are in right now, whatever it may be, does it chip hard at your rough edges and wear heavy down on your soul at times?
Perhaps you are weary some days.
Maybe you are feeling raggedy, lost, and alone on others.
Hear this sweet breath of hope when you feel the suffocation:
This is only a season, going and then gone.
And hear the urgency of this challenge:
This is only a season; revel in the joy of it, even the joy of knowing God is with you even in this.
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2013 Heather King