Fall has a tendency of bringing me to a place of evaluation. It forces me to face the challenges of change and pushes me to ponder my life and my existence deeply.
I know I might be alone in this...When I talked to D about the topic I'm writing about today, and I asked him if he ever thought about things like that, he laughed and said no. For some reason, God has wired my brain to be philosophical and full of questions no one else seems to ask.
As the leaves fall from the trees, we watch the beauty of the end of this season's life. With each leaf floating down, a memory of what has happened this season falls into my memory, As I breathe in the deep smell of fall and enjoy the sunshine on my face, I close my eyes and think about the life lessons that this season is trying to teach me.
It seems as though we all live, in some ways, like the trees. We live our lives in seasons, and with the end of one season brings life to a new one. It's like we are living multiple lives all within our one, each one a new and distinct experience, and each time, we ourselves have changed completely too. Like the tree changes from bones to a sprout, from fullness to bareness, we too change with each life we live.
When I think about my life, I can break it apart easily to the different seasons and the things that have brought upon those changes. The first season was childhood, full of wonder and questions, full of play and laughter. Childhood ended for me when I went off to college. I stopped viewing myself as a child, and began to view myself as an adult. My second life, my new season was beginning.
The second season was a short one. It was a time of experimenting, learning who I was. It was a time to wander and explore different parts of this life so that I could find out who I wanted to be (and who I didn't). This season was a time of transformation and of growth. It was a time for mistakes and regret, but a time for learning and moving forward too.
Then became the season of newly married. D and I were starting our life together in marriage, learning how to live alone together. We were both building our careers, building our idea of family, and wishing for what the next season would bring.
Next came the season of new life. New life in the form of our baby boy, thrusting us into the responsibility of parenthood and forcing us to come face to face with some of life's hardest questions. This season brought a new life in faith for us as we began to realize what really was important in this life.
Another season was born with the birth of our daughter. We learned to be parents to two and battled a hard postpartum depression. Our experience as parents grew as we settled into parenting the two little ones who called us mom and dad.
And then little baby K entered the world and brought once again a completely new season. With her, this season was full of change; a change in where we lived, our lifestyle, my job. A transition from who we were to who we wanted to be.
The seasons have changed once more for us here, now that we are here in our home. We have settled in, built our life around our dreams, and are creating memories as we go.
When I think back to each of those lives, I know that they were me....Yet, I am somehow so different from each season, that I can hardly recognize who I was then. The person I was when I was a teenager in college is so different than who I am today. The mom I was when I was just a mom to C is a different mom than the one I am to all three of my babies today.
The point of it all is that we are living so many lives here on this earth, each one ending with the beginning or loss of something in our lives. Losing a family member ends the life we knew and forces us to enter into a new life in a world without them. With life's big changes, we end the life we knew as we face the sun and begin the new life we've set forth for ourselves.
I wonder how many lives it is that I will get to experience here on this earth. Each life, each season, has taught me so much. Each one has had its dark struggles and its wonderful highs. They all have a purpose, and each of them give us new perspective.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.
So what is it that has brought you to the season you're in right now? And more importantly, what are you learning now?
Remembering that each season, that each life we live here, will end can be both comforting and hard to hear. In difficult times, we need to know that it will get better, that something will happen to change and propel us into a new life with this season only as a memory. In good times, we need to be reminded that these days are not to be taken for granted. They will not last forever, and each moment should be lived with that thought in mind.
As C played tonight with D, he giggled and ran around. I tried to memorize the moment so I could hold onto forever. As he stood up on the bed, I looked up into his face and asked him if he ever thought he'd be that tall. He laughed as he looked down on me, and suddenly I was reminded that my little boy would someday be a man who would do just that. I pulled him in close for a hug, doing everything in my power to keep that feeling of love and that image of his sweet face in my mind. Someday, when this season is gone and I am looking up into his face as a man, I will remember this moment and smile about the season that once was.
May we always live with the reminder that each season will end and that we never know which one will be our last. May we always embrace each season, taking all that it has to offer. And when it's time to let go of one season and transition to the next, may we do it as beautifully as the leaves in the fall.
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