This morning I woke up to rain hitting my window and an almost automated thought:
"How am I going to embrace this day?"
Every season is marked by something. A few years ago I was going through a season of purging--in other words, God was taking everything inside of me that wasn't pleasing to Him, everything that was eating away at me, and began throwing it out.
And, boy, is that painful.
But then I emerged into a season of new beginnings. God had totally restored a joy in me that I can hardly believe. It was beyond describable and has completely set the tone for my life since. I learned that every season has its purposes and each is special in some way. That particular season was totally care-free, easy going, and peaceful. During that season I spent three months in Africa, making new friends and allowing myself to be loved by others (which is something I hesitant to do at first). Then I moved to Las Vegas to help my sister plan her wedding, during which time I only worked part time. I spent my days leisurely, praying and thinking, reading, relaxing and planning, hanging out with friends and working out when I wanted to. That year was incredible in its own unique fashion; a perfect combination of youth and independence at the age of twenty.
Oh how I basked in the pure joy of that season---it was one I will surely never forget.
Now I am in a season of work. More specifically University work and work-work. With a schedule of 50+ hours of work as a nanny of three each week and a full-time student unit load, my days can get pretty hectic. It would be easy to begrudgingly get through each day and hope for the next season of life to come along when I wasn't writing research papers or wiping baby formula off my pants. But if there is one thing that I have learned over the course of my measly 22 years of life, it is that seasons come and seasons go and the things you once wished away will become the things you miss the most. So we can't do that---we've got to live in today and embrace it with all we have. We must choose joy in every circumstance because every circumstance has a gift that comes along with it; (in the words of Frank Ocean) whether in the form of a lesson or life long blessing.
Instead of hating how busy I am, I have learned to love it. I enjoy being active and occupied with the things I have in my life right now. Instead of becoming annoyed with the bickering, the crying, and the endless mess I have to pick up, I have to choose to acknowledge the privilege of loving on three adorable little ones everyday during the week, showing them small new things about life, and investing positively into their lives. Instead of complaining about the amount of reading, studying, and writing I have to complete each week, I have to choose to acknowledge that I am blessed to be a student---to have the opportunity to learn about something that I love learning about and believe that God has called me to. Instead of checking the box of my weekly volunteer-gig with my local church youth ministry, I have to take advantage of getting to know the jr. high girls, investing truth and love into their lives, and experiencing all the fun that comes with them. Instead of becoming irritated with their quirks, I have to be thankful that I have my family twenty minutes down the road and get to stop in any time I want or need. Instead of flaking on new friendships because I am "too tired" (as if no one else is!), I have to prioritize these pretty fantastic, God-appointed friendships! Let me tell you, each week will not be complete without a Wednesday evening coffee date with those three!
I have to choose to acknowledge that I am incredibly blessed.
Priscilla Shirer, from her book I am currently reading, The Resolution for Women (ps: if you're a woman, go grab a copy! It will totally refocus your life), sums up my thoughts perfectly:
"I do solemnly resolve to embrace my current season of life and will maximize my time in it. I will resist the urge to hurry through or circumvent any portion of my journey but will live with a spirit of contentment." (underlining is my own)
Seasons are bound to change, new friends are sure to come and old ones sure to fade.
And regardless of what it will look like, I am resolving to do just as Shirer says: embrace my current season of life and maximize my time in it.
Maybe you need to make a similar resolution yourself?
Because before you know it, this season will have come and gone and you will have no way to get it back...