I’ve reached a point that I thought perhaps I might not come to for a while yet. And when I see Lowell heading for his computer to read this, I may just split on out and visit my greenhouse or something.
Shame on me, I know. But he will probably smile that sweet smile which says “I’ve been telling you that for quite a few years now.” So why am I even posting this publicly? Do I really like swallowing that humble pie that tastes like sawdust in my mouth? Can’t say that I really do . . . all I know is that sometimes it’s freeing to think something over out loud.
You’re probably thinking “Well get on with it, lady, what is the point you are talking about?” I’ll get there. I have a little wandering to do first.
Think back over your life while I think on mine. Do you see a pattern of seasons in it? I most certainly do. I had the really, really long season of sleepless nights, feedings every 2 hours, projectile baby poop that ran down a wall, myriads of peanut butter sandwiches and sippy cups that must be half water, half juice. Half water, half juice. I could probably do that in my sleep. What was that supposed to do anyway? Save only half of the poor kid’s teeth?!
Then we hit the season of school. Driving kids to and from and from and to and on and on. With more babies in the back seat yelling at the injustice of having their 2-hour feeding schedule rearranged – all because of some little second and third graders with backpacks. Life got reversed. Breakfast actually had to have a schedule to it and naptime didn’t. What was up with that?
These two seasons were the ones that were the most tiring. It seemed like we gave of ourselves all hours of the day and night and all days of the week . . . and then hoped that our kids would actually turn out good. It was like watching skinny little seedlings emerge from the soil and you hold your breath to see if they will keep on growing into mature plants. You do alot of holding your breath and are sometimes tempted to turn away at just the moment when that spurt of growth shows an actual result to all your work. Truthfully, the results could be comparable to the size. Compare a 24″ princess in fake high heels to a strapping 5′ 10″ young man whose goal is to dunk a basketball. Results must start little.
Yet we did our best with the knowledge we had at the moment – which is still what we are doing, and relying on the grace of God to cover the rest! Even in all that work, this season was awesome. Life revolved around us and our littles – nobody was going hither and yon. Our lives weren’t really complicated and going different directions.
Then I hit the season of a little more freedom. I had spent the previous decade either pregnant, almost pregnant, or nursing. And I LOVED that time in my life. But seasons change and I was forced to accept that I was getting older. Yet it brought many pleasures and one of those was more free time without interruptions. The kids could actually work. Let me repeat that because it is vital information that 10 years ago I wasn’t entirely sure I’d see. The kids could actually work. Work as in clean the house, do the laundry, clean the car, clean the shop, and even cook a few things. They could call on the phone, tie their own shoes, set mouse traps, and even drive. One day you wake up and realize you can go to the grocery store all by yourself. That’s freedom, folks.
This freedom did something. I began to look outside of my little home, now that it wasn’t relying so heavily on me. And God began to open my eyes to those around me. I saw people I could love, pray for, and be a friend to. It was a season where I saw God use my husband and I in ways I would never have imagined. And it was rewarding, but I will be honest, it was also tiring.
More recently, by the time January rolled around, I had been doing several outside things such as teaching music, subbing periodically at school, helping with mail, and working a few hours at a bulk store. And I loved it. But I was drained.
You see, therein lies the problem. I love doing too many things for too many people. There. That is the point that I was trying to make in all this blathering. That is why I may be sulking in the greenhouse by the time somebody reads this – eating my humble pie. But it’s true. I honestly have a hard time saying no when I know someone needs me. It’s called “being a softie”.
But sometimes we softies must choose to be honest with ourselves. It recently hit me that I love taking care of my little castle. And not everyone has this choice and are in other seasons, but I did have this choice. I realized that I was having so much fun at home with the snow falling outside my kitchen window while I was making some new recipes and learning how to make 5-day sourdough bread. Who doesn’t like to sip hot coffee while gazing at their lovely sourdough starter as it does it’s wonderfully magical bubbly thing? It was actually fun to be planning my grocery shopping day with the little guy and sewing while I listen to sermons on youtube. I felt peaceful.
Then I had this thought.
Will I ever be able to do anything really well if I do not take care of the special people in my life really well?
They are my calling right now, so they are where I need to put my main amount of energy. This is the season I am in presently. I have them all home yet for only another year or two, and then they will begin to fly.
Next year the littlest guy will enter kindergarten and I will be left all alone. Whatever will I do? This sweetheart is with me almost everywhere I go. When I go to the store to work a few hours, he is there helping, too. Or fussing. When I go teach music, he is there as well – in the class with the big kids. When I do my 7-minute workout, he is there doing better pushups than I could ever hope to do. We snuggle on the couch in the afternoon, sometimes watching a movie while the big kids are gone. He holds my hand at the grocery store – unless he is feeling too big. We share Coke and chocolate. In truth, he is my little buddy – my trusty sidekick. When he leaves for school, I will probably be found wandering the house talking to him, only to turn around and find he isn’t there.
Some of you homeschool and probably can’t relate to this post. I understand and part of me envies you. Were I a homeschooling mom, I would be in yet another season – but God is in every season! This is key. God uses each season to teach us different lessons that perhaps can only be learned well by going through that particular season. As long as I remain willing to learn and to change.
Seasons are necessary in order for us to learn new concepts and become more like Christ.
When the season of being a mother-in-law hits and grannyhood rolls around, I will learn yet even more things I never knew. But I’m thinking those will be pleasant lessons, right? If the lessons come with squishy, cute grandkids, it must be pleasantness all around!
Do I still love it when God shows me someone I can help outside the home? Absolutely. It is amazing to have the Spirit guide your footsteps both in the home and outside of it. People are precious to God everywhere – no matter what they’ve come through or the state they are in when they come to Him. Therefore, people are precious to me.
Am I learning to say no to a request outside the home if it interferes with my family and calling there? I’ll be honest – I’m still in the learning stage. It’s humbling at times to be reminded of this inclination to always want to please others, but if I remain teachable, it makes this humble pie so much easier to swallow.
It also makes it easier to come out of the greenhouse.
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