For the last few weeks I’ve been reading a book called Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist. It’s not a long book, but I only read at night before bed and never more than one short chapter at a time. That’s never been a problem before, but here it is 10:45 on a school night and I can’t sleep for thinking about something I just read. What’s a sadly neglected blogger to do?
Write, apparently. So this – my first blog post in nearly two months – is unplanned, unedited, and unprocessed (in the way I usually process things).
The chapter I read tonight is about seasons. Shauna Niequist writes:
“Anything can happen in a year. Broken down, shattered things can be repaired in a year. Hope can grow in a year, after a few seasons of lying dormant […] I don’t know where you are these days, what’s broken down and what’s beautiful in your life this season. I don’t know if this is a season of sweetness or one of sadness. But I’m learning that neither will last forever […] This season will end and something entirely new will follow it.”
When I read that I can’t help but reflect on the seasons I’ve walked through in the last 3 years: seasons of growth, of rest, of learning and application, of change and challenge and more growth. In the midst of some of them I felt just like the author of Bittersweet, who writes of a difficult season: “I was afraid, then, that it would always be like that. I was afraid that this was a new normal, that seasons of lightness and peace were over in my life, and this brittle, fractured way of living would last forever.” I remember thinking that exact same thing, fearing that where I was was my destination, my new normal.
(That’s my way of saying, “I have something to say about this but I’m tired and my husband is snoring, both of which make it difficult to think. Let’s just move on.”)
So the thought I came away with from reading this chapter is that seasons don’t last forever (I bet you didn’t know that). They change, as seasons will. Looking at the season I’m in – full time student only a semester from graduating with an impractical degree and zero career plans, first time foster (and possibly adoptive) parent of an incredibly precious 20 month old boy – and I wonder, how do I live on purpose in this season? What changes or adjustments do I need to make in my attitude or actions in order to live intentionally, to get as much out of this season as I can? Because it won’t last forever. This season will end and something new will follow it. Suddenly the thought of missing out on what this season might offer is scary.
And now Aerosmith is singing in my head, “I don’t wanna miss a thing.” Very nice.
My prayer then, is that God would show me the specific ways I can live in this season on purpose. I don’t want to say I want to live on purpose – I actually want to do it. Practical steps (even if they mostly apply to my own attitude). That’s what I’m after.
I know this blog doesn’t usually lend itself to comments, but I’d love to hear your thoughts. How do you live on purpose according to the season you’re in? In what season did you find it the most difficult/necessary/rewarding to live intentionally?
Blessings! Off to bed now.