Thursday, March 8, 2012

Being Content in the Seasons of Life

"Snow Flowers" by Dan
The other night as I was lying in bed, I was overcome by a sudden longing to have children. It hurt. I found myself pleading in my mind with my Heavenly Father to bless me with this good desire. And then a very sweet, quiet thought came to me. It was this: How many women would postpone having children to be able to have better relationships with their husbands? You have that. Be happy.
It stunned me. And it took away the sting of my unfulfilled want. 

As I've thought about this over the past week, it has merged with another theme that has consumed my thoughts lately, and that is the seasons. I've noticed that at this time of the year, when winter is gently (and sometimes not so gently) melting away into spring, I find myself getting very restless. I get a glimpse of the glory and splendor of spring, and I feel suddenly very entitled to it. I want it, and I want it now. When a beautiful day becomes gray again, and the winds and snow return, I get angry. I don't want it to snow anymore! I demand. Winter should be done by now. Can't the weather just make up its mind?! The sad irony of these thoughts is that I'm not really asking the weather to make up its mind, I'm demanding that God make up His mind to match mine. I'm insisting that I know what's best.

An equally sad irony of all of this is that when I feel this way, I inevitably miss the beauty of the season that I am currently in. I wish it away and label it as unnecessary. I decide that the transition from winter to spring is not important because it isn't what I want.

But as my eyes are opened, I find myself thinking about what I can do to take advantage of this unique season in my life. My husband and I are no longer newlyweds, by our standards (on March 13th we'll have been married 3 years). But in many ways we can still enjoy life like newlyweds. We have ample time to talk to each other, read books together, go on walks, and even go shopping at the grocery store together if we want to. We have flexibility in our schedules and, though we don't wish for it, freedom from the burdens of caring for children. We've been granted a beautiful season to enjoy life together, just the two of us, and what a pity it would be if we were to cast it aside and say it isn't important!

Everyone has a different life story. For some, that place between winter and spring might actually be having children, and feeling overwhelmed. Or maybe it's the stresses of adjusting to married life. Or perhaps it's financial difficulty. Whatever it is, there is bound to be some striking beauty hiding beneath a layer of ice. And my guess it that it's a kind of beauty you'll never experience in the full heat of a sunny day when everything is green. Don't miss it. 

How do you enjoy the different seasons of life?


9 comments:

  1. while my seasons are different than yours, i couldnt agree more.

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  2. Love you cousin! I wish I could so readily accept the season I am in. I have had so many people tell me to just enjoy this time I have with Justin and no kids. It is really hard to hear that from people that already have children though. I always tell myself that we have had plenty of time with just us! One of my many faults is not enjoying the present. I am always waiting and eagerly anticipating the next phase of life. I have been doing better the last few weeks but that desire to have children never goes away. I am just learning to accept more frequently that it is just us for now. Great post! :)

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    1. Love you too! Coming from you, I know just how much your words mean. There are definitely some seasons in life that are harder to appreciate than others. Sometimes, all you can do is hope that someday you'll look back with fondness on those times, because you're doing the best you can. I pray for you and I hope your hurts get better!

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  3. Thank you for this wonderful reminder.

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  4. What wonderful thoughts. Reading this was like sitting down and talking with you (which I miss)! You're an amazing person, Annie, thank you for sharing this.

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    1. Thank you, Kelly! Ren and I were talking the other day about all the people we'll miss (and do miss already) when we move. When he mentioned your name, I just smiled and said. "Oh of course. I'll always miss Kelly. Kelly is a kindred spirit."

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  5. I love your posts. They always inspire me.

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    1. That means so much, Mariah! I miss you guys. Sometimes I feel like I'm much more closely related to you than I am. I feel like your husband is my brother-in-law and your kids are my nieces and nephews. Love you!

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  6. Wonderful thoughts, it is hard to sometimes accept our season. I think it is also difficult because sometimes we but too much thought into how others precieve us. We feel pressure to be in a different season from those around us.
    Life turns out so different that we have planned, but putting our trust in the Lord we become the person we want to be.

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