Knowing that I am having a baby makes me feel like I am instantly catapulted into a new season and stage of life. It is amazing to look back at pictures from High School, College, Flock, traveling, different jobs, being single, moving, engagement, marriage and now babyhood and see how life changes. Each time has had struggles and joys and seems like it was just yesterday. When I have been in each phase it always seems like it will be forever and this is my life indefinitely. I am quickly realizing that life not only changes, but life also changes fast. My life looks so different then it did 5 years ago when I was running for AS President, going to Washington DC, finishing college, getting ready to move to Italy and so excited about the future. In so many ways, my life is just as I would have expected it to be and in other ways it is drastically different. Often I try to “hold on” to other seasons and carry things into the next, because they are so dear and have become a part of the life the Lord has given to me. It seems like it makes sense to do that, but it makes me realize that I don’t wear my rain boots in August just because I love them. And I surely wouldn’t wear my bathing suit in December just because I had a great time at the lake the previous summer. Do I have to get rid of those things just because they are out of season? Not necessarily, somethings I can store away for the next time they come around, and other things I do need to put in a box and take to the goodwill simply because that season is over, not to return again. Don’t get me wrong. Savor, remember, learn from, grow from and add nuggets of truth from every season. Let your heart be refined as you trust the Lord. Your heart should soften and strengthen as you proceed through life.
When I am walking through each season of life, it is important for me to LIVE each season appropriately. It is easy to look forward or backward and resist, resent or refuse different times of life and seasons. When I do that, it is a reflection that my heart it is not content with the work that the Lord is doing now. Newsflash! Every season won’t be fun and my favorite. It can’t always be summer, everyday can’t be Christmas. But, being content in the season the Lord gives me in its time is my favorite and the desire of my heart. One of the ways I can live in the season is to ask God. Ask Him for a joyful heart, or perseverance. Trust in His Word and be faithful to the work at your hand. A well-built home can withstand any weather. A well founded heart will thrive in any season.
I noted above the live each season appropriately. Some things are not appropriate for different times of life. I am coming to terms with that 🙂 Some spending habits are not appropriate for every season. Even the way I do my make up or dress isn’t necessarily appropriate for each season of life. Selling my mustang was the end of a really fun season, but is not appropriate for a mom car. Going out to coffee and dinner with girlfriends everyday isn’t an appropriate way to spend time as a new wife. Hopping in the car to go on a road trip to see people at the drop of the hat isn’t appropriate when I am working full-time. the list can go on! It is HARD to let go of some of those things especially when they are habits. The Lord is gracious and will satisfy all my needs and will give me grace for today. I haven’t solved it all and most days I barely clamor through especially when I don’t trust the Lord, which unfortunately is most of the time.
So how do I remember the old seasons, prepare for the new ones and savor the current? I am definitely no pro at it and have many areas to grow but some ideas and encouragement for you might be found in the following:
-Don’t dwell on what you do or don’t have. If God wanted you to have it, you would. Easier said than done 🙂
-Keep an updated email, address and phone list. Updated entails adding AND deleting as needed. This keeps my head from spinning and rummaging through a bunch of cluttered names is not relaxing and very distracting. Really I don’t need my camp counselor from my freshman year of high school who I haven’t talked to since the day I lefts email or phone number. However, a contact that I met 5 years ago who I was really encouraged by in DC who gave me her card, I might want to keep that in a specific file to reach out to at some point. Be discerning with a heavy hand.
– Don’t keep everything… or if you are tempted to… use technology. Did you tear an article out of a magazine 7 years ago? Great. Scan it and put it in a file on your computer and throw it away. Do you have a favorite trophy from 10 years ago that’s a little broken, you would never display in your home but you just can’t part with it because it is such a good memory? Take a picture and move it along. Do you have 50 million t-shirts from events? make a t-shirt quilt, or better yet just get rid of them… honestly you can’t keep everything and it makes space for the 1/2 marathon t-shirt you are hopping to run this year.
-Reach out to the people you care about from different seasons and hold them dear. These people will never be deleted and always remembered. This is my greatest area of weakness. I am trying to get better and Christmas cards have really helped but I always feel like I can be doing more. I don’t know how to balance seeing people I care about and keep in consistent contact and I have not even figured out what consistent means. Chico people, high school mentors, friends of my parents, and my peers are so dear to me and I wish they were all in every season and phase. 😦
-Plan and journal. Keep a dialogue of the past work that the Lord has done, even if the season seemed like a flop, write it down. You will be glad you did later. And be thinking about what is to come and don’t necessarily invest and begin making active plans, but be familiar with what it might be like. Interested in buying a home in the next year or so? maybe read the real estate section of the paper every now and then to see whats going on in the industry. Think you might want to go to college? Look at what colleges are looking for on applications now, it might help motivate your present situation. God can and will change your plans at anytime for His glory and our good. If you don’t end up pursuing what you planned consider yourself a bit more knowledgeable on the topic.
This post could go on, but I think I should stop here. Maybe a to be continued soon…