Welcome to Your New Season – You’re Gonna Love It!
Our lives mirror the cycle of the Earth’s seasons. Do you have a favorite? Or, perhaps there’s a season that you dread? Have you noticed that some seasons fly by quickly while others seem to hold on forever, like a hot, Texas summer? Each season of the year has its challenges and its unique charms. The same is true with our lives.
Oh! Those Carefree Days of Spring!
Did you enjoy spring? It’s a season of buds coming into bloom, new growth in every direction, and seemingly unlimited energy. So much is new, just beginning. Like wildflowers, growth and opportunity are everywhere!
But Spring flies by, doesn’t it?
Spring is a beautiful season, but it requires both sunshine and rain to nourish and ‘feed’ the growing things. This is a season where thunderstorms can be violent, loud, and scary. A lot of damage can be done in a short amount of time.
Did you have the ‘sunshine and rain’ that you needed while growing up? Did you have shelter from the storms of life? Sadly, many don’t. I’m willing to bet that Spring was gone before you realized Summer had arrived.
Dog Days of Summer
Summer brings so many responsibilities. Perhaps a job or college classes, bills to pay, groceries to buy.
You may have young children, with all their youthful ‘springtime energy’ to care for. And each child has a basketful of needs all their own.
This is summer, baby! Hot, busy summer. This can be a tough season, but it has its pleasures. There is so much going on and yet more to do. Thankfully, you still have times of respite at the end of the day, when the heat relents for a few hours and you can relax for a few moments.
Research tells us that when it’s hot, we may not sleep as well. And in the busy ‘summer days’ of life, sleep often eludes us. Have you ever laid in bed at night, reviewing what you did or did not accomplish that day? Perhaps you’ve adjusted your pillow and made a list of goals for the next day?
Ever laid in bed thinking that you need a vacation? You need to sit with your toes in the sand, close your eyes and listen to the waves. Many of us have an app on our phone that creates this sound for us at night. It’s wonderful.
You’re on what feels like a never-ending cycle of work, marriage, children, responsibilities, and obligations. Weekends become a whirlwind of activity rather than a time to rest or catch up on a few things. When will it slow down, you wonder?
Trust me on this, Autumn is coming. Children grow and mature. They learn to bathe and prepare themselves for bed. They quit asking for help with homework. There will come a day when they stop asking you to ‘read one more story’.
If you’ve taught them wisely, their dependence on you will wane. They’ll do their laundry. They’ll know how to cook a few things for themselves and the family. They’ll drive and get where they need to go on their own.
Do you see that leaf on the tree out front? The green has faded and it’s turning gold, or orange, red, or brown. Change is afoot.
Summer is near its end and Autumn is on the way.
Been enjoying the cool breezes of Autumn for a while?
Autumn is beautiful. The pace is a bit slower. You have time to reflect as you rake up the leaves of Summer, such as cleaning out closets full of things left behind by kids who no longer live at home. You sort through books, letters and old photos.
But there’s still much to do!
The days grow shorter. It gets dark earlier and you are ready to rest. You wonder how you ever managed to stay up as late as you did in spring and summer. I’ve often said that if a friend were to call and invite me out like we used to, I’d already be dressed for bed!
As with every other season, there is a beauty to autumn. It’s a time for reflection but it’s also a time of preparation for winter. You make plans for and look forward to festivals, holidays, and family gatherings. You decorate!
It’s decidedly different from spring or summer. And even though you might miss the swimming pool, camping out, and limitless energy, there is something to be said for a warm fire, a soft lap quilt and a slice of pumpkin pie.
Let It Snow!
The beautiful leaves have fallen and blown away. The winds shift and blow colder. All the signs are there and if we’re wise, we prepare for Winter. Imagine all the work that this preparation involved in the days when there were no grocery stores, no central heat, and no cars.
As the Winter of life approaches, you’ve lost some dear friends and loved ones, and like the leaves, they brought beauty and variety to your life, but now they’re gone.
It’s cold! Winter sets in and you feel the need to bundle up. Perhaps you, like many of us with ‘snow on the roof’ (grey hair), choose to leave your sweater and hoodie in the closet year-round? Maybe you keep an afghan or lap quilt on the sofa?
The days are shorter. Winter can be confining. A snow or ice storm can keep us at home for days, much like an illness, injury or fall. And while that is isolating, it also gives us much-needed time for reflection. There’s much to look back on, years of precious and sweet memories.
Sadly, for many, the isolation and reflection can also be a struggle. There may be difficult memories and disturbing images that press in. Deal gently with those who struggle in life’s winter. You never know what physical, spiritual or emotional storms they may be weathering.
Our unwise choices often come home to roost in the winter of our lives. And who hasn’t made a least a few unwise choices? Winter is the time to sort all of that out. God’s love and grace are the ‘snow’ of life’s winter. They cover over the ugliness and leave a blanket of smooth, white perfection.
Snow not only beautifies, it also mutes loud noises. Have you ever walked in the snow and soaked in the gentle, peaceful silence? Heavenly! If we haven’t done it already, winter gives us time to let God’s love and grace hush the blaring voices that would disrupt our peace.
Ask and grant forgiveness while you can. Bury old grudges. Love extravagantly and purposefully. Imagine the snow of grace covering everything and creating a beautiful, peaceful landscape.