It's August in Virginia. I had forgotten how those subtle signs of the approach of Autumn send out little flashes of warning, even in the roasting heat of summer. It's coming... The Cold is coming... I'm alternately soaking up the last of the heat and dreaming of hot cocoa and snow forts.
One of my favorite things about growing up has been the slow, gradual realization of the truth that nothing ever stays the same. There have been times when this was a truth full of pain and regret, but as I"ve gotten older, I've begun to see that this constant flow of change is a Mercy. Yes, the beautiful babe in your arms is going to walk, talk, run, sass you, possibly reject you, leave you... But then, they will come back. Older and wiser. That relationship, while nothing like nursing a babe in arms, is its own kind of beautiful. Nothing stays the same.
Keeping this in my mind helps me view life as a flow of seasons. Whatever is now, will be different soon. Babies waking up at all hours of the night? Just a season. It won't last. Laundry finished, folded and put away? Enjoy it. There will be more tomorrow. I had a beach season in my life and it was lovely. Now it is mountain time. There have been seasons in my life (and will be again, I'm sure) when my house was constantly turned upside down, I could never find time to cook a decent meal and exercising was a distant memory. Again, a season. Don't try to hold onto any one of them too tightly, it won't help. The turn of the seasons is inexorable and unending.
The thing that really puts the cherry on top for this theory is remembering that these seasons aren't random events strung together without order, they are the deliberate plot points in the story that God is writing for my life. He's very carefully crafting the Beginning, Middle, Climax and End to each of these seasons of my life and I can rest in His storytelling, even in the midst of the most chaotic of seasons, because I know the Ending of the Story.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal;a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh;a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose;a time to keep, and a time to cast away;a time to tear, and a time to sew;a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate;a time for war, and a time for peace.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.