Returning to the USA in November was like a breath of fresh air… umm, maybe I should say a breath of fresh, cold air! Wow, what a difference from Thailand. 🙂 One of the biggest differences I was looking forward to while at LVBC was sitting in a service and being able to hear the preaching… in English! In Thailand I am the nursery during the service, so it’s been refreshing to drop Ellie off in nursery and Paul in Junior Church. If you serve in these precious ministries, I want to say a big THANK YOU!! You are blessing this mama in a big way.
You see, right now I’m in a season of life that is extremely busy. But some days I don’t feel like I’m actually doing anything, if you understand what I’m saying. Wiping noses and bottoms, teaching and correcting, feeding and cleaning up spills, playing and giggling… sometimes I just need to step away for a second before I take a deep breath and plunge back in to the busyness of little children. As I’ve shared this with some people, I’ve heard one phrase repeated quite a bit: “it’s just a season. The days are long, but the years are short.”
But one particular day had been especially trying with my kids and in the midst of the craziness, that phrase was mentioned. I was mere steps away from falling into a puddle of tears as I thought over the chaotic morning.
My attitude of self-pity got adjusted during some time spent in the Word of God, as is often the case. Once I was removed from the “oh woe is me” syndrome, I got to thinking on this little phrase that is used quite a bit: “it’s just a season.” James 4:14 came to mind as I thought about life – not just life with little children: “For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” Forget season! My life is a vapor. Poof. Gone.
Now I know that I’m not the only one who is (dare I say it?) struggling in my season. I love my kids dearly, but there have been a few days where I’ve breathed a big sigh of relief and said, “Whew! We all made it through the day – alive!!” On those days, just managing to safely guide everyone to their beds was a major accomplishment and a reason for some chocolate. 🙂
I began to think of other “seasons” someone else might be dealing with and came up with a short list:
- Losing a spouse
- Unable to have a child
- Unemployment of months or even years
- High school graduates facing an unknown future
- Financial trials
- Seemingly unending years of school
- Military boot camp, deployment and separation from family
- Several major life changes happening within a short amount of time
- Empty nest
- Health problems
You can apply “it’s just a season” to all of these situations, but I’m sure at best the words are small comfort and at worst, they can cause some anguish and pain. Perhaps rather than just saying an oft-uttered phrase, we need to get creative in “bear ye one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2) because some days that little phrase just might be a huge discouragement to the hearer – the straw that breaks the camel’s back, so to speak.
Rather than saying “it’s just a season” to the frazzled mom of young children, why not do something practical and offer to babysit for a couple of hours? The high school senior who doesn’t have a clue what to do after graduation doesn’t need to hear “so what are you going to do?” for the umpteenth time, but would definitely appreciate some scripture verses and “I’m praying for you to have wisdom in the decisions you’re facing” written in a card. Know someone who is struggling with infertility? You might not know what to say, but “I care for you, love you and am praying for you” communicates your concern. How about the sweet lady down the street who unexpectedly lost her dear husband? Most likely she’s lonely, especially around certain holidays or anniversaries. I’m sure she would appreciate being included in gatherings you may host in your home. How about slipping a gift card to a family struggling to make ends meet because of unemployment?
We all face disappointments and trials. Life isn’t always sunshine and roses. It’s so easy to look at a situation and know what you would do if you were in so-and-so’s shoes, but… you’re not. Let’s be intentional and make 2015 a year of encouraging one another as we walk with the Lord. Because, truly, life IS just a season!
Living in Thailand is a daily adventure for Anne Williams and her family of six. In between all of the many language blunders, running after toddlers, and giving the neighbors plenty to smile at, she is grateful God’s grace is always available just when she needs it.