Wednesday, April 8, 2015

New Seasonings

     Ava and I were driving across town after school and we were talking about getting her a little pool for the backyard. She was excited and asked "is it still Spring?". I told her yes it was and that we are so glad too! :) She then said, "then after Spring there will be a new seasoning!!" hehe. I giggled and told her she was right. A new season comes after Spring.
I have always loved the visual that new seasons bring to my mind. I love how in reality I am always ready for a new season.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven; 
Ecclesiastes 3:1

God created the seasons that our world experiences throughout the year. The beautiful part about seasons is that not every place in the world experiences the same seasons at the same time. It is Spring here in Texas, but in Australia, Spring won't be starting until September. We are so used to thinking inside  of our own context/little box that we forget the world isn't the same in every place. Seasons create different environments in which things do not thrive and in which things do thrive. Spring, here in the panhandle, is always fun for me as we go from a very bland color palate to a much brighter and vibrant green, blue sky, pops of yellow (thank you dandelions). Spring is such a time that feels so alive and fresh. Winter, for instance, is always a time that I feel like hibernating, being tucked away and recluse like just like the underground seeds/dormant plant life. The cold wind, bare trees and desolate flower beds are somewhat depressing. Yet, all that time inside with people we love, yummy food and rich holidays full of life lessons and a time to reflect and focus make for an awesome season. Life sort of stands still and it is not really the time to plant and watch things grow. I deeply enjoy fall. Fall is refreshing in its own way because after finally burning to a crisp all summer, endless yard work, mowing, late nights, dirty kids, sweat and high electric bills, a coolness in the air begins to calm us and prepare us to get back into a routine. The Fall season brings with it many opportunities to fellowship, be with family, a fresh school year begins, etc. Fall, in my little world, looks different in my home, on my porch, the smells in the kitchen change and the hoodies come out. But, Fall would  not be as awesome if Summer didn't come before. We love Summer. There were 2 summers in the last few years in which I was very pregnant and it was not so fun. Worth it, but not so much a fun time I suppose. Summer is fun with a little kiddo. Swimming, sprinklers, picnics, park trips in the evenings, the sun is out longer, sidewalk chalk, nature walks and sandbox time. We love that our new house has a private backyard with a play set, trampoline and sandbox where Ava can have her own little world to play in. Blessed indeed. Summer brings about BBQs, friend time, family trips, birthdays and anniversaries in our world. Summer is full of late nights, snow cone runs and grilling. 
Each season is so specific in how it affects our home/schedule/moods/activities. Each season is particular and needed. Without the one before we would not appreciate the one coming up, nearly as much. The world needs each season. Our own worlds need each season. 

So it goes in the "seasons of life". Our seasons of life are just as important as the seasons we experience in nature. Our seasons of life come at different times for different people. They are necessary for some at certain times and necessary for others at other times. I may be in a Winter season in my life while someone else is experiencing all the freedom of Summer. When we compare each other and our different seasons of life we shortchange ourselves and create an attitude or an assumption that the "Grass is greener on the other side" but in reality the grass is greener on that other side because it is Spring in their season and Winter in yours. BE WHERE YOU ARE, for THE TIME GOD WANTS YOU TO BE. Remember a few years back with Spring turned into Summer around the end of March and never went back? We had Summer from March 30-Septemeber 1st ish.... It was like we got robbed of the cooler mornings and evenings that April brings, the rain showers and morning dew we so love about that season. We didn't have a choice, but the effects of having a season creep in too soon or one prolonged out can be harsh not  only on crops, yards and flower beds, but when we experience things "out of order" we feel like, it can be a harsh reality. 

"Since his days are determined, The number of his months is with You; And his limits You have set so that he cannot pass." Job 14:5

God is right on time and has every season planned out and timed the way he wants. Our days are determined and numbered rightly and when we try to shorten or lengthen the seasons he has placed us in we do not trust him. We get ourselves into trouble when we take our seasons in life into our own hands. Relationships fail, jobs end, friendships break because we cannot be submitted under God's plan and his perfect security. Uh oh, Submit. Ya, I wrote that. Submission is a nasty word to so many people, but in the context of God, his plan, his will, his way and his hands... submission means obedience. Be obedient in the season God has you in and he will always make the seasons change right on time. 
I've never seen an oak tree uproot, move south and then come back after winter. IT STAYS ROOTED AND PLANTED even and especially during the winter months, only to blossom in its proper time. It doesn't run for cover or escape the harsh reality. It endures, submitted under the creator's authority for such a time. The tree isn't naive or immature by staying planted during the winter. We don't make fun of, criticize or mock the tree for staying put during the cold months. We certainly are glad they are there when spring and summer hit and they provide the shade we desperately want/need. Be rooted and planted for the time he wants you to be so that when the next season comes you are ready to produce new life, fruit and shade for others. 

When Ava said, "new seasoning" it got me thinking. New seasons are full of new flavors. I love grilled veggies, snow cones and homemade ice-cream in the summer. I can't wait for pumpkin bread and spiced cider in the fall. Winter screams hot coffee, potato soup and beans/cornbread. Spring means salads and deviled eggs... right? I know our tastes our different, but that is what makes each of our seasons so special. We are able to season them and enjoy each new place in life by seasoning them with ourselves. Not all people make potato soup the same way. AND IT IS OK! We all do not drink the same apple cider, like the same coffee drinks or even want to look a a pumpkin haha! I could do pumpkin crafts and pumpkin flavored things all day during the fall and some people can't even think of pumpkins without falling apart. :) God has created us so perfectly in his image, but with characteristics and special quirks that make us so awesome. Each of our seasons are different for so many reasons, but they are all UNIQUE AND SPECIAL for many reasons. We can make a difficult season a sweet one. I think back to our time in Ft. Worth and it was a bitter season for sure, yet, there were parts of that season that are and will forever be SWEET. Relationships we gained, friends we grew to love, opportunities given us, adventures gone was hard, but we still had good times within it. The season of grief was deeply painful and sometimes lonely, but we found ways to season it and savor it. Trips to Ft. Worth, heart parties and Ronald McDonald House volunteering, coke tab collecting and lots of resting. The season we are in now, coming out of a very "easy going" time the last 9 months or so has now turned into a growing season. This time is stretching us and causing some pain, but it is still good because we are aware of things we weren't before, freed up from some bondage that we did not know we were in, we're breathing fresher air simply because the direction of the winds has changed and even when it is  a bitter wind, cold and piercing, it is different and it creates changes. Be mindful of God's provision and steadfast ways in the middle of your seasons. 

Bloom where you are planted. 

My times are in Your hand 
Psalm 31:15a 

Our seasons, our times, our waiting periods, dark times, valleys and mountains are all in his hand. The timing in which each of these things occur has been known and decided by our Father since time began. The desert season is necessary so that the time of thriving and lush living may be appreciated and savored. (grief vs rejoicing) The busy season is necessary so that the slower time is soaked up. (school vs summer) Don't rush God. Don't linger when God has asked you to move. Don't move when God has asked you to stay put. Be thankful for the things God is doing in your life, when he is doing them, for the reasons He is doing them. 


Happy Seasonings!!