Welcome! The blog is active again! I recently made some big changes in my life and entered a new season. I stepped down from a Ministry Leadership position in order to write, speak, and teach (Bible Studies) full time. Freeing my time up of course does not guarantee I use it wisely. If you are in a new or changing season of life, you may identify with this…
Growing up in New York meant getting to experience all four magnificent seasons of the year. In Winter, I knew what it meant to watch the wonder of the snowfall, grab my sled and head to the nearest hill, or spend an hour shoveling my car out of a snow drift. In Spring, I knew the beauty of watching a wide variety of flowers bloom and those perfect temperatures for tennis and long walks. In Fall, I knew the splendor of the leaves changing colors, the sound of fallen leaves crunching under your feet, and the scent of the cool crisp air. In Summer, I knew the joy of boating, swimming, or catching fireflies and then sleeping to the noise of a window air-conditioner as it tried to cool the room during a heatwave. With few exceptions, it was easy to tell which season you were in by simply stepping outside your front door. I miss that.
Now I live in Texas and stepping outside your front door only tells you what the weather is at that given moment. Nearly every day, a member of my family asks “What’s the temperature?” so they can decide what clothes to wear. Unfortunately, knowing what the temperature is now gives you absolutely no information as to what the temperature is going to be an hour from now. After twenty plus years I am finally getting used to it. In New York I dressed in layers to stay warm. In Texas I dress in layers because it may be summer and winter all in the same day and you need choices. I never pack away our summer clothes.
People talk about the seasons of their lives. There are seasons of being a student, a newlywed, a new parent, an empty nester, or a grandparent. There are seasons of having a full time job, or a part time job, or no job at all. There are seasons of good health and bad, or of being out of shape or fit. There are seasons of healthy relationships, of broken relationships or of no relationships. Some of the seasons have a distinct beginning and/or a distinct end. Like the seasons in New York, you see them coming and can plan for them. Other seasons of life sneak up on you gradually or pull you into them unexpectedly and unwillingly. These seasons are a lot more like the seasons of Texas – ever changing, overlapping, and unpredictable.
I am in a new season of life. It doesn’t really have a tag. But it definitely has both a New York and a Texas flavor to it. In some ways, it is distinctly different from the season I just left. Yet there are still a lot of overlapping facets too. Have you noticed that new seasons bring some new challenges? Time management, learning to let go, and consistency are my current top three. I want this to be a season I look back on in wonder over what God did in and through me. I want to know that I claimed this season for His glory. I want to meet these challenges head on.
The biggest change has been in my profession: going from writing and speaking part time to full time. Professional development is exciting, but it is a lot of hard work. Personal growth comes with each changing season as well. Learning to “let go” is a key aspect of my current life. Maybe that is why the decision to de-clutter my home grew into a serious ‘purging’. I am learning to let go of things, and as I do, I also learn to let go of ‘control’, people, weight, and ideas. It is not easy. But it is freeing.
Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
Nothing lasting will change either professionally or personally without consistency. The only way I know to meet the challenge of consistency is to make new habits and be – consistent. So along with the new season comes a new schedule. The schedule, like a food journal, helps me see at a glance if I am staying on target. The first thing on my schedule each day is prayer and time in His Word. It is in His presence I find the direction, motivation and inspiration to follow my calling.
The New York element of my season tells me “This is exciting! You have finished one significant piece of your life and now you have started something new and fresh.” While the Texas element tells me “Hold on! It’s going to be an ever-changing bumpy ride.” Every night I take a deep breath and appreciate the gift of another day, the promise of tomorrow, and the ability to extend grace to myself for what was left undone.
What about you? Are you in a New York season or a Texas season? What challenges does your current season present? And what are you doing to meet them?
Let me know. I would love to hear from you!
Let me know. I’d love to hear from you!