to-every-thing-there-is-a-season-and-a-time-for-every-purpose-under-heaven

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Seasons. : a time characterized

by a particular circumstance or feature.

 

Last week as I celebrated another birthday, I came to the realization that a new “season” is fast approaching. In fact, I believe it may already have arrived.

As my youngest child is ten, and my two older ones are teens, it appears I have graduated from being a parent of young children now, a mother of tweens and teens.

 

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I really did just blink and this happened.

Each season can feel like an eternity at times. Simultaneously,they also pass me by, without my even noticing.

I am far from perfecting any of the seasons of this life.

But, you know what? As I spent time reflecting on things this year,I realized I have gained something better, an opportunity to grow and learn throughout each one. Yes, much of living well is about trial and error.

However, there are still admittedly a few things I wish I had known along the way.

What I wish I had known in the early seasons of marriage and parenthood:

1) If you can, get out and travel before you have a 9-5 job. My husband and I were much to rushed to line up the responsible job. The opportunity to do so will be waiting when you return. I promise.

2) If your spouse is kind, loyal, hardworking, makes you laugh and has good character, you are doing better than most. Trust me.

3) The friends you choose matter greatly. Find the ones you can ponder life with, laugh until it hurts and act completely yourself around…..all at the same time. Make sure those same people alsohave the courage to call you on your faults, in an honest and gentle way. Finding someone who has each of the above mentioned qualities is rare. If you do, nurtureand tend to the relationship well.As time goes by, these will be the same people you end up reaching for when you feel like you have lost the ability to muster up strength during times of difficulty. Unfortunately, difficult times will happen. None of us are immune.

4) From childbirth to parenting, many will gladly share opinions with you. Some of these will certainly be worth considering. Yet, when it comes down to it, you and your spouse can and should make the final decisions together and guilt free.

5) This one is about pregnancy. I don’t know your story, so this one may or may not relate to you. But, if you were like me, (and this is said with a lot of gratitude and only a little bit of complaint), you may think you will never live to see your earlier, pre-pregnant, carefree life again. The irony is, the things you were worried about losing end up mattering not nearly as much as you thought they would. And what you never thought you would be into? Let’s just say, an apology for making fun of your neighbors minivan may be warranted.

6) The first time you see your baby you will experience a kind of love you never thought existed. You will also experience a kind of sleep deprivation no warning can prepare you for. You will get past the sleep deprivation, but the love? Never. I understand now when my mom says she still worries about and loves her kids with a great intensity, no matter how old we get. A mom’s love never ends.

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7) The dishes and laundry? Now, unlike the love discussed above, these are the things you want to end, but seem as if they never will. Yet, as many who have come before me have said, the time and moments of first smiles, giggles and birthdays won’t ever be re-wound for another viewing. So, exhausted as you may be, and as much as you want to be sure to get the everyday tasks completed to “pre-child perfection”, soak in each moment of that newborn baby breath, and intentionally study the miraculous creation you have been provided, as often as you can. The dishes can wait until the morning.

8) Yet, at the same time, it is ok to cry when the days are hard and long. They will be. I was often hesitant to admit I was needing something, or had a bad day. It felt like complaining. Admitting the truth does not mean you don’t love your baby or you are not thankful. It just means the day was hard and long. I have found most things that are worth it to be difficult. Admitting challenge does not mean you want the challenge to go away. Either does wanting a night out. You will be all the better for both.

9) When your children grow up and a few years pass, the opportunities for personal growth will continue. When one of your now elementary school age children come home after not making the team, or not being invited to the birthday party, or _____(fill in the blank), it is OK to want to march over to whoever made the decision and give them a piece of your mind. And, yes, even though you may feel this, DON’T. Our “feelings” are not always the best guide. Sometimes our way is not “the way”. Additionally, we cannot create perfect utopias for our children, nor should we. Life throws curve balls. If we don’t allow our kids to fall, they miss out on the opportunities life provides in figuring out how to get back up on their own.

10) Finally, although I feel as if I am just getting started, I would have to say that accepting what season you happen to be in, without inviting restlessness or guilt is imprative. A neighbor may be an active school volunteer,this is something you may not able to pull off with a newborn at home. Allow yourself grace and know your limits. As my oldest child is quickly approaching college, I have become incredibly mindful of one of the most certain lessons I have learned along the way. I am recognizing that although there are areas and moments I wish I had done plenty of things differently, not once have Iever regretted taking the time to connect and ” just be” with her. This same truth goes for my other two children, spouse, friends and family. As we stop and take time to just “be” with those we care about, we are showing them they matter. Regardless of season, that is a truth worth holding onto.

 

THE NEW YOU (1)

 

A relevant link:

On the Day I Die

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