Friday, December 07, 2012

It's Just a Season

There is a time for everything,
 and a season for every activity under the heavens... 
-Ecclesiastes 3.3 

One of the best pieces of mom advice I have received is, "This is just a season."  Whatever you are going through will not last forever.

Every time I brought a newborn home from the hospital, I remember feeling like time draaaaaaagged.  It wasn't just the baby's nights and days that got mixed up.  I, the mom, was stealing winks whenever I could- sun up or sun down.  After the excitement and magic of this new life started to wear off, I began thinking,  
When am I ever going to sleep again?! 
This is it.  I have officially lost my sense of style- destined to live in sweat pants and ponytails forevermore. 
HOW do moms keep their house clean, get dressed, take care of the kids, AND manage to sit down for a meal every day?

The truth is, that this time will pass.  

Babies learn to sleep through the night, which means you start to regain some energy for doing other things besides washing bottles and changing diapers.  After some weeks, you wake up one day, out of the fog, and find an extra minute to fix your hair.  Mommy gets baby on a predictable routine and realizes how much she can accomplish during the morning nap time. Your old clothes start to fit, and you can smile at yourself in the mirror again.

As my friend, Karen says, "There is light at the end of the tunnel."  

This is not just advice for parents of newborns.  There are so many phases we and our kids go through.  I, myself, am watching another tough season end with my youngest son (almost 2 years old).  The flowers are pushing through the snow, and I am thrilled to see hope blooming in me again. 

He isn't screaming much anymore.
More importantly,
He loves me!  He really loves me!

By far, my most difficult child to parent, as friends already know, God gave me a son with one heckuva strong will.  Unlike me, he likes a good fight.  I have felt like a failure and wished for easier days.  I have learned to trust God in ways I never have before.  I had toWhile at one time, patience came easy to me, for months and months I couldn't find a morsel left without some supernatural help.  I felt like I had to get my helmet on and hunker down every single day.  My resolve and spirit felt battered and weak.

Then all of a sudden, a new season begins.  I see the sun peeping over the horizon, shining down to reveal the positives of my son's budding personality. God is graciously showing me the wonderful qualities He created in my toddler.

He is SO smart!  Already recognizing letters and numbers faster than my older kids.  Trying to use the potty like everyone else does.  When he tries something new and doesn't succeed, he keeps trying.  This little guy is on the fast track and unfazed by obstacles.  

Okay, these are things I can work with.

I am so thankful that each day is new and seasons come and go.  Sometimes they're extremely tough and discouraging and exhausting.  Other times they're exhilarating, hopeful, and filled with content.  If we didn't have to travel through some valleys and hike a few rocky cliffs, the mountain top view  wouldn't be nearly as impressive, would it? 

We learn so much in the middle of those dark, tunnel experiences:
  • That God never expected us to do it alone.  
  • We are more than we think we are.  
  • Not to give up, because you are doing a great work (even if you can't see it right now).
  • And that God will introduce every opportunity to bring us growth and community during these times.
 From one mom to another, here is a glimmer of hope to hold onto: You can do it.  This is just a season.

Be strong and take heart,
    all you who hope in the Lord.
-Psalm 31.24
I remain confident of this:
    I will see the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord.
-Psalm 27.13-14


miller_schloss said...

Our second, Joshua, just turned four, and he is like this. A mom of an older Joshua (who is now 21) told us that a kid who is strong willed as a child will have incredible determination when he or she is older! She saw that with her son, and I believe we will see it with our J. Really, it's a good thing for a child to have that kind of strength. (It's just tough when they are toddlers!)

Dani Byham said...

My friend also reminds me to, "Parent with the end in mind." By noticing the benefits of their personalities, we can use them to guide them to adulthood.
It's just hard to remember when you're trying to get a 1-year-old to stop fighting your every suggestion :-)