Usually in my life there is at least one thing that is a challenge or problem that I am tying to work through or solve. It isn’t a contentment issue necessarily, just something that if I had the opportunity to change I would. Sometimes those things are bigger than others and more easily solved than others. Sometimes I just need to figure out how to organize a closet. Recently it was only having one car. For a little while it was a longer commute. Sometimes it is a tight budget. In short, it is something that I know is only for a short season of life and one that I probably won’t visit again. Usually, when in a season like that, I just put my head down and push through. Take it for what it is and just hope it ends soon.
Currently, the challenge that I have been thinking about is our backyard. I LOVE living in our house, I LOVE having space in the backyard for the kids to run around. I LOVE eating dinner on the porch. I am not complaining or discontent in anyway about having a backyard. What makes it tricky is that where there should be grass there is spotty crab grass and lots of dirt. Smooth, silty, get everywhere dirt. “Best of all” the kids LOVE being out there. Translation = The clothes and kids are filthy when the playing is over. Just today I was talking to a recent empty nester and asking her about some ideas for the yard. We thought about putting sod or grass and the investment is too great in the middle of a drought and for a rental home. Currently my MO is to let them play outside before bath time and other than that, we only play inside! The mom that I was talking to gave me a few ideas and mostly just encouraged me that everything about the season is so short. Just let them play outside and get dirty. Dress them in play clothes or let them go without and embrace the short season that we are in. Soon enough they will be older and will be able to play without getting so dirty. Soon enough winter will be here and the rain will prevent playing outside. She thought I could find a few things for them to play on in the back and just let them enjoy it.
After my conversation with her, I was really encouraged and less tempted to wish the dirt away as if it never happened. Instead of trying to solve the problem and find a permanent and expensive solution right now and avoid the trouble of the dirty Dirty DIRTY. Maybe instead of avoiding the issue, I should change my attitude and think of a reason why the dirt right now is SO GREAT. And solve the problem without removing the dirt. In reality, the dirt is so great because that is exactly what God perfectly provided for our family. I am thankful for the WHOLE gift of the home, not just the parts that I like or are easy. It is easy to avoid or hurry through seasons of life instead of embracing the beauty of what that season has to offer and teach my heart. Many of these opportunities refine my character, make me more grateful and a better steward of what I have. An analogy I have heard is that sometimes we stand with our nose in the corner of the toy room because they don’t have our favorite toy, instead of turning around and appreciating the amazing other toys that you have never seen before.
Life is made up of all different moments and if I am not careful I will wish and rush away every less than perfect season and before I know it the seasons will be gone and I won’t have enjoyed any of them. There really is something sweet that I can be thankful for in every situation. Even the dirt backyard. Today I came up with a few ideas that we can use in the backyard and we will be thankful and embrace the great opportunity of an un-manicured space and all of the potential that is there. One day we will be thankful and grateful that we have a yard, but for now we will just be in the season that we are in and love it, because it is our family and we want to make the most of EVERY opportunity. Sometimes I think that sometimes the Lord puts me in a situation that I don’t like it is to merely teach me that I NEVER want to be in that situation ever again. Or that job ever again. Or that business relationship. Or that home.
So what about you? What are your rubs or less than pleasant things of the season you are in? Do you need help or encouragement about how to enjoy your season? If you spend a lot of time in the car can you learn a language or listen to sermons? What can you learn from your matchbox apartment to encourage another young married couple? How is your character being refined in EVERY situation of your life?