People say ‘life imitates art.’ I’m starting to believe life imitates the weather. The older I get, the more I notice changing seasons in my life often match up with changing seasons in nature. Since we’ve moved to beautiful Tennessee the grey skies have offered us an almost steady supply of rain. The winds have whipped and the temperatures stayed low enough to keep us inside most days. It’s felt like an isolated little winter both outside and in.
Being in a teeny townhouse with no routine, no familiarity with the area, no church and 1% of the time with O I’ve had for our whole marriage has been a challenge. Within one week we already received our first noise complaint (we’re the upstairs neighbors–anyone with tips for keeping toddlers from jumping/dancing/running/dropping things, send them my way). The babes have now been battling some less than fun health things for the past two weeks. I’ve had a Hashimoto’s flare up. A bitter winter.
There are times in the middle of the night when I’m back and forth between bedrooms or cleaning up the same toy explosion after bedtime and crawling into bed alone that I want this season to speed along. To hurry up. Bring on the sun.
Just as quickly as the thought bubble forms in my mind, it’s replaced with another one. A better one. There is purpose here in the winter. All earthly comforts have been stripped. There is no one coming at 5pm after a hard day. No one to wake up with the littles after a night of no sleep. No comfort food to indulge in, no familiar place to visit…it’s just me and the only One who brings true comfort. I’m encouraged by just how resilient I’m able to be through the power and gracious help of the Holy Spirit in me and also alarmingly aware of how completely weak, sinful and desperate I am on my own.
His power is made perfect in our weakness. Our weakness shines in cold, dark winters. These days are difficult but they are freeing and filled with hope when I keep my eyes set on truth. James 1 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” And there it is. I can’t plant a seed and wish away the time necessary for it to take root. Winters plant seeds. Spring bears fruit. You cannot have one without the other.
This isn’t a forgotten season,
A pointless season.
A wasted season.
It’s an appointed season.
‘And let us not grow weary in doing good for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up’ (Gal 6:9). In this season, ‘doing good’ looks like uplifting my kids and loving them as my neighbor and giving grace for this season of long days inside, caring for and being a good steward of the space I’ve been given-no matter how small, working hard to be joyful and tender even when I’m beyond overtired and not feeling my best. Work the dirt. Dig and prune. Plant the seeds.
This weekend, after a long night of holding Keogena and helping her restless body fall asleep and back to sleep hour after hour, I saw sun streaming through the blinds. I peeled them back to see the first blue sky in weeks and smiled. Harvest time is coming. The winter isn’t over yet, but the sun shining on my face reminded me not to wait until the seasons change outside to pursue changing seasons on the inside.