Summer…a time of warmth and light. Of slow, steady growth.
Autumn…a time of change and preparation. Of looking towards what lies ahead while celebrating what has past.
Winter…a time of beauty in hardship. Of holding steady and hibernation.
Spring…a time of rapid growth. The turning of the tide from dormancy to life when everything bursts out in bloom.
Seasons of the year. Seasons in which nature flourishes and grows, changes colors and prepares for the coming cold, hibernates and waits patiently, then bursts forth with new growth and new life.
Have you ever really thought about the changing of the seasons? Or is it just one of those things that happens? Or has it become an annoyance because you have to change out all of your clothes and your children’s clothes so that they’re not wearing shorts in winter? Is it something that you look forward to? Or is it something you dread?
But what if we leave the clothes and closets and boots and flip flips alone for a minute?
What if we take a moment to consider how, just like the earth has seasons, our lives go through seasons?
Oh, the seasons of life are, sadly, not as predictable as the earth’s seasons! Sometimes they last a long time – sometimes a great deal longer than you want them to! Sometimes they last a short amount of time. Some years you may be in only one season while other years you may go through many, many seasons.
But that’s where the beauty lies: Each season is different. Each season will bring its own unique set of challenges, blessings, and opportunities. Each season will reveal more of your character as you allow it to refine you and shape you. You cannot control the seasons that come into your life (much as you may want to!), but you can control how you respond to each one. When you walk into a season with an attitude of learning and growing, there’s no end to what you can learn and accomplish in that season.
And yet when you talk about seasons in a big clump like this – all four seasons put together – sometimes it can start to get confusing. And, let’s face it: Life is confusing enough as it is! Let’s see if we can break this down a bit more:
Summertime and the livin’ is easy…Summertime by Benjamin Green
Summer seems like a season where things almost go on autopilot. The intense growth of springtime is over. For the farmers, the planting season is complete and there’s this moment, this window of time to catch your breath. A time to sit back and enjoy. A time to almost rest. A time where you finally have that pattern figured out and it’s actually working for you and your family! A time to enjoy that tall glass of sweet tea on the rocking chair on the front porch while you listen to the drone of the katydids in the trees.
If you think about it, nature responds this way, too. Summer is a season of growth, no doubt – just look at the flowers and the farmer’s fields! – but at the same time, summer is not a season of explosive growth. It is a slow, steady, almost unnoticeable growth. It’s almost like nature is taking a break from the hustle and bustle of spring. Still growing, still moving forward, but taking things at a slower pace because everything is working and heading in the right direction.
Isn’t this so true of life? Have you entered those lovely summer seasons where that pattern you’ve been trying so hard to find finally clicks? That goal you’ve been working towards is finally achieved? That personality conflict you’ve been working through with a friend or your spouse finally melds together in a beautiful understanding? That place where everything just seems to fall into place and you have this moment to take a deep breath and enjoy this beautiful season of life.
All too often it feels like summer is fleeting, doesn’t it? Both in the physical seasons of the year and in life’s seasons! If you find yourself in this season of summer, embrace it! Enjoy it! Know that these beautiful, smoother, slower summer seasons don’t always last, but don’t let the fear of what might be coming taint this current season you’re in. Instead, approach it with a healthy dose of reality: Know that this season won’t last forever, but enjoy every moment of this lovely season while you can!
There is something incredibly nostalgic and significant about the annual cascade of autumn leaves.Joe L. Wheeler
Some people say autumn is a season of everything dying and it’s depressing. I disagree! Autumn is a season of change, a season of preparing, a season of eager anticipation for the incredible changes that are coming. Autumn is a time of brilliance. A time of rich harvest. A time of rich smells, spices, and tastes. A time of pumpkins and apples, a time of warming by the fire at night and basking in the sun during the day. A time of contrasts and brilliant colors everywhere you look.
Do you see those seasons in your life? Do you see the times of preparing? The times of knowing change is coming? The times where it feels like there’s a bit of urgency in the preparation, yet the knowledge that the preparation will be well worth it in the end? Do you feel the bounty of the harvest in your life? That feeling when a lesson really takes root and you start to see the benefit, the harvest of what you went through to learn this lesson? Do you feel the times of richness and abundance? There is a gratefulness in this season. Yet, there is a tension between looking back and the gratitude for everything you have walked through before and the anticipation for what’s coming next, looking forward to what lies ahead.
Sometimes in these autumn seasons, it becomes very easy to keep looking forward and to start getting anxious or scared about what is coming. It’s almost that feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop and not knowing when it will come, right?
But in this season of abundance, don’t allow yourself to get so focused on the future that you forget the past. Take time to be grateful for the things that have brought you to this point. As cliche as it sounds, count your blessings. Even as you look towards the future, don’t forget to look back, remembering where you were, and celebrating where you are now and the lessons you learned to bring you to this point.
Embrace the seasons and cycles of your life. There is magic in change.Bonnie Ware
To some, winter is bland and boring. I say it’s all in the way you look at it. Oh sure, on the outside it may look like the trees are doing nothing: just standing there with no leaves on them and waiting for the snow to fall. But on the inside, there is strength that can only be found by weathering the winter. On the inside, the sap still lives in the trees. It may have slowed down, but it’s still there! On the outside, the harsh and the cold of the weather and the snow may seem to have won. But on the inside there is a hardiness, a perseverance that can only be shown through the trials. The snow looks beautiful! Yet, despite its beauty, it has the ability to nourish and strengthen or it has the ability to break down and make brittle.
This is so true in life, isn’t it? Those winter seasons seem long and hard and cold. Sometimes it feels like there is no end in sight. Sometimes it seems the trials you are going through might break you altogether! But inside, inside is being forged a strength, a courage you would never have known you had unless you went through the trial of the winter. There are beautiful lessons to be learned in the winter seasons. Lessons of perseverance, lessons of strength. They may not be outwardly seen, yet these lessons of inner beauty and inner strength are being forged deep within you. Yes, sometimes the winter can be long and hard. Yes, the winter can be harsh and feel like it has won. But when spring bursts forth, the beauty that was refined in the winter is undeniable!
So often when you find yourself in a winter season, the temptation is to keep looking forward, isn’t it? To almost count down the days until this season is over and you can start on the next one. But here’s the thing about seasons of life: You never know how long or how short they’ll be! So, trying to count the days or simply “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” to make it through suddenly doesn’t feel like the best strategy, does it?
But what do you do? Sure, the lessons learned in winter are amazing, but how do you make it through the winter seasons in the first place? I wish there was an easy answer or a “miracle pill” I could hand you to make it all better, but the reality of it is this: Winter seasons are weathered one day at a time. And yet, there are three words that stand out as guiding beacons in these seasons: Hope, Perspective, and Perseverance.
Hope is essential because it reminds you that you are a part of something bigger than yourself. It gives you something to lean into. It reminds you that winter doesn’t last forever and springtime does come. Lean into your faith, press into the hope that is found in knowing the One who is in control and knowing that, no matter how hard the winter is, the spring does come.
Perspective is powerful because it allows you to lift your eyes from the situations and circumstances right in front of you and see that this season is not forever. It feeds your hope that lessons will be learned and that spring will come. Perspective gives you strength and the desire to keep going and keep persevering through the tough seasons.
Perseverance is the will and the drive to keep going, To keep taking one small step in the right direction. To keep going even when the going gets tough. To make the choice to do the next right thing and take the next step. Perseverance is tough! It can be draining. But when you reach the changing of the seasons and spring bursts into bloom in your life, you will see how your perseverance has paid off!
It’s a new season. A perfect opportunity to do something new, something bold, something beautiful!Anonymous
Spring. The season where plants spring from the ground and leaves burst from the trees. A time of new birth and explosive growth. Spring is a jump start growing season. A time of stretching. A time of renewal and newness. A time of planting. Some growth you see immediately in the spring, like in the leaves of the trees and the wildflowers springing from the ground. Other growth, you have to plant and wait patiently for it to mature in the ground before it begins coming up and continuing the slow, steady growth of summer. Continuing to grow and blossom before it’s fully ready to be harvested in the autumn. Spring is a season of moving from the cold of winter to the warmth the sun brings. It’s a season of renewal and fresh perspective.
It’s this way in life, as well! Spring is a time of refreshing and renewal. A time where you move from the deep, inner learning of winter to living in what you’ve learned. It’s a time where you can see and feel growth happening. Sometimes this growth is painful, but the results and the fruit are so worth the effort!
When the springtime seasons happen in your life, enjoy them! Spring is a time to be celebrated. A time to marvel at the changes taking place in your life and in the lives of the people around you. It is a time of high energy and sometimes a lot of action! But in the action, in the commotion, in the excitement, don’t forget to take time to rest. Savor the moments as they happen. Live in the moment, absolutely! Enjoy them for all they’re worth! But take time to appreciate all the growth and the new life and the blooming that is happening.
You see, when the different seasons of life come (and they will!) these memories of spring, the reminder of the joy and the fullness of growth will give you motivation to keep going. These memories remind you that no matter which season of life you’re in now, spring does come.
What about you?
My Friend, what season are you in right now? Are you in summer? Winter? Are you in spring? Or maybe you’re in autumn? Each season looks different for each person. Each season comes with its own unique set of challenges and blessings. Each autumn of your life will look a little different than the other autumns in your life. Each season is unique all to itself and no two seasons will look exactly the same.
Where do you find yourself? Do you find yourself hating the season you’re in? Longing for it to be over so that you can move on? Can I offer you a word of encouragement? Don’t hate the seasons of your life. Now, I’m not saying all seasons will be filled with sunshine, flowers, and rainbows! Some seasons are harder than you ever imagined they could be! And yet, your mindset is so key to the experience you will have in this season of your life right now. Don’t hate the season. Don’t simply try to get through it and get on with life. Slow down. Start to change your mindset and look a this hard time as a season, a learning experience, not a time to simply endure and get behind you.
The key is to embrace your current season. To learn all you can from what is happening right here and right now. To lift up your eyes and see the beauty that is all around you if only you have the vision to see it.
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Elizabeth Tatham, founder of Inspiration in the Everyday, is a homeschooling momma of 5 who loves helping other homeschooling mommas create a unique homeschooling adventure your kids will love…without the overwhelm! Join in on the journey with 7 simple steps to make your homeschooling day go faster, easier, and with less tears here.