Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Seasons.... and not the 4 that we know so well....

Today, the thought of seasons has been mulling through my mind. And, no... I don't mean Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. If you ask me, those seasons are much easier to prepare for, deal with, endure, and eagerly anticipate the next one to come around! After all, we generally know the climate to expect, the precipitation (or lack there of), what kinds of clothing to wear, what kinds of activities to participate in during that given season, and we all know WHEN that season is "over". Thanks to all the "solstices" we have exact "days" even for when a season starts and ends... Sure, sometimes mothernature throws in a late this or an early that... but for the most part it is consistent, expected, and we know the routine...

Ecclesiastes 3 gives a LONG list of seasons...
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

Wow. That's a lot of seasons, don't you think? Life is hard, life is good, and life is FULL of periods of time where we get in a "place" that just holds us for a while... In God's time, we inch out (or sometimes leap) and start a new "Season".

God created us to be dynamic, enthusiastic, complex people. And each one of us, is just that... we hold depth, and breadth, and intricacies that often only our Maker sees. You know, the thoughts and dreams you keep to yourself, the silent hopes you don't share, for fear of appearing silly or stupid or even worse being called a dreamer or fool. How about the people you want to meet or get to know better, but you feel you have nothing to offer, nothing to give, nothing to contribute to... That, my friend is a season that I call "fear". It's a season where we're always holding back, where we're always being just slightly (or sometimes HUGELY) less than the person we were created to be.

All to often, we somehow start to buy into that season of fear and we allow it to become our place of normalcy. We accept the lies and untruths and we adjust our dreams/hopes/desires accordingly. We downsize internally and we settle for less than our potential.

Here's my challenge to you... close your eyes (when you're done reading of course!) and remember back... back when you had BIG BIG dreams... when you had BIG ridiculously huge aspirations... remember the thrill, the excitement... the shiver or that tingle... the heart rate that would pump and the sparkle in your eye.... God GIVES us those for a reason! Sure, not every wild concocted dream will become reality... but you'd never know which ones would be CLOSE to a reality if you never tried, never pursued, never followed through and never sought God's thoughts on the matter! The God of the universe, who put your frame together, KNOWS you, more intimately than another other breathing being... and He sees you at your full potential... I think if we could just get a glimpse of ourselves thru HIS eyes, some of us would be unrecognizable..... are ya following me, here??

Okay, not to totally squash that beautiful flow up there... but something else is just picking at me and I have to get it down and I know i'm getting long... I told you I would never promise to be short!

Here's the hard part... we're all in different seasons from each other. The beauty of nature's seasons is that we all share and embark thru the same weather... we can all partake in the same activities, look the same, act the same, and expect the same...

Not so with real life... I have friends in life who are in seasons of mourning; seasons of grief; seasons of denial; seasons of joy; seasons of illness; seasons of healing; seasons of being too buys; seasons of growth; seasons of peace; seasons of letting go; seasons of anticipation; seasons of hiding; seasons of giving; seasons of accepting; seasons of vulnerabitlity; seasons of change; seasons of trauma; seasons of drama; seasons of pain; seasons of fear; seasons of intimacy with their Savior; seasons of worship; seasons of awe; seasons of waiting..... and the list goes on!

And... the really tricky thing about our "inner" season is that we can HIDE it really really really well.... from most people! So, we often go through our day to day interactions with others, shoving our "season" down so that others only see what we want them to see.. so that others see only the glimpse of them that we feel is acceptable... so that we appear to have it together, so that we appear to be something that deep down we're really not! GUILTY as charged here, ever so many times! How many times have we greeted a friend or acquaintance at the store, at church, when dropping kids off or picking them up, on the phone, where EVER ... and someone asks you how you're doing and you say.... "GOOD!" Never mind that your husband just lost his job, never mind that your marriage is crumbling, never mind your child has walked away from God, never mind your battling an illness , never mind your anxious about finances, never mind you're mad at God stuff he allowed happen in your past, never mind... never mind... never mind.... We throw in the "Good" answer to speed up the small talk, all the while not making eye contact so that we can resume or hasty retreat...

But if you're like me, and you've DONE THIS VERY THING.. you walk away feeling even a tiny bit more empty than you did moments before... part of you is sad, that the person didn't see through you.. part of you is sad you didn't have the gutts to show you're real heart... part of you is regretful for missing a chance for encouragement and a big part of you feels invisible...

So, we've go to TALK to one another. We've got to LISTEN to one another. We've got to SEEK each other out. We've got to FOLLOW through with those nudges from the spirit that says, "Call so'n'so"... Just obey! Just do it. It's uncomfortable, yes. It's scary, yes... But who cares?! The last time someone said to me, "You know, God put you on my heart and I wanted to check in with you and see how you were doing..." I literally teared up instantaneously! It wasn't someone i knew REALLY well, but the bond that we now have is amazing...

As a mom, I often feel locked into my season of being a mommy! It's hard to switch gears into being a friend, being a wife, being a daughter, being a ..... you name what it is for you... And, honestly, there are days when i WOULD rather give my attention to being in the season of "Friendship" and "ME" than being a "mommy". Here's the season I'm struggling in right now... It's finding JOY and contentment in being a mom to my kids. Ouch, that hurts just saying it. Don't get me wrong, I love and adore my kids... But i'm getting lost in the day to day and not building a firm foundation to grow upon in further years. I'm in a rush throughout my day to get to the next thing. It's like a mental checklist. I've found myself begrudging the little things... and not using those little things to be teachable moments... but rather using them to fuel my frustration and sense of entitlement.

I've been long winded. I've felt a little bit skitzofrenic in my thoughts tonight.. jumping here to there and back... but it's how my crazy brain works! Not to mention It's nearly 11 pm :)

Thanks friends for reading... I'm so excited to just write and i'm ever so encouraged by your posts to let me know I'm not alone.

I still have more season thoughts rattling around... but those will have to wait...

I'll close with this...
Ps: 73:23-26
Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but GOD is the strength of my heart and my portion forever!

AMEN!

now go close your eyes and go back to a time you drempt big... feel free to share comments :)


7 comments:

The Kinsey Family said...

Thanks Charity! Lots to think on for someone who's a "hider of seasons." :)

Heidi said...

if I could get through just one of your posts without tearing up....

thank you for you sweet thought.
I love you

Connie said...

Charity ... I am sitting here with tears streaming down my face. I am also an inner "season stuffer". Your post really made me think and really made me want to look for those small yet important moments in each season.

joy at home said...

Yep! I'm "good" most of the time, too....

Love your honesty, thanks!

Tanya B. said...

Charity, This is something I've really been working on these last few months. This giving of an honest answer to a question I'm beginning to realize most people don't expect more than a "good". Thanks for the post.

just me said...

You know Tanya... you DO have a point. Maybe when others ask us how we're doing we should ask them if they REALLY wanna know?! HA!! And also bear in mind when we ask others, too. :) Thanks for sharing!

God's Not Finished With Us Yet... said...

Thanks Charity for the sweet encouraging words on my blog regarding my daughter. I'm glad it touched you because it also touched my husband and I when we realized that God often withholds us from going forward only to protect us. Thanks for your support.

Now, about your blog, I searched all over to read about you but couldln't find your profile page. :-(