Friday, January 29, 2010

There is a Season

Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us, "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven."

I've often heard of different stages of our lives be called "seasons." I've even referred to the many different seasons I've encountered. The interesting thing I've realized lately is that I usually don't realize the season I'm in until I'm well into it or it's almost over.

That brings me into the season I'm currently in. It hit me a few weeks ago that I don't have a baby or toddler or a really dependent child anymore. My kids are 8 1/2 and almost 6. Wow. I'm quick, huh? Haven't had a toddler for a while. I think I was in such a fog for so long that I didn't know who I was, where I was, what I was doing, where I was going.

I really think the baby/toddler stage was not a good one for me. Please don't misunderstand. I have loved my kids more than life itself since day 1. I have loved many different stages of their lives, and each one seemed more precious than the previous. But it was hard for me. I'm sure it's hard for everyone, but it sure seemed like everyone else had it waaay more together than I did. I struggled. I was in la-la land much of the time, just trying to rise above sleep deprivation and the constant needs of my children. Their needs frustrated me. Sounds selfish, huh?

I think I was selfish to an extent, but I also think my state of mind was due to immaturity, both emotional and spiritual immaturity. I didn't know how to care for these sweetie pies the way they needed to be cared for. I would do so many things differently if I had the chance to go back. Then again, I realize that I am who I am and my kids are who they are because of the way our lives have played out up to this point.

I now truly feel present in my own life. When it hit me the other day that my kids are getting more independent, I breathed a sigh of relief and thought, "Wow! I can breathe!" I mean that literally too! I used to have anxiety to the point I couldn't get a deep breath. Oh, I was overwhelmed. I attribute a lot of that to lack of sleep with baby, toddler and a wacky work schedule that required me at times to get up in the middle of the night to work.

So I look back on those tough years knowing that I have tough years ahead as well. I am relieved to be done with those baby/toddler years, yet I am sad it's gone so quickly. I would like to have been more present for my kids in years past.

However, I know that there is "a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance," (Ecc. 3:4), and I certainly intend to laugh and dance more in this season and in the seasons to come. I want to be an example of grace and stability for my children. I want them to see Jesus in me. I want to them to learn to laugh and dance in the presence of God and His blessings, and I want them to learn to laugh and dance in the midst of tribulation.

God is so good to me.