Wednesday, September 16, 2015


To everything there is a season.

As I get older (although let it be known right now that I am still 26 years old in my head!), I find that I think of my life as being marked by seasons . . . seasons come and then they go and give way to a new season, a different season.  Some of those seasons are bright and fuzzy and warm.  Those are the ones I wish would stick around a little longer.  It's kinda like fall.  I'm so glad it comes around once a year, and I'd love it if it came around more often or stayed a little longer.  Some of those seasons are dreary and rainy and cold.  Those are the ones I don't enjoy so much, but I still see their beauty and value and look forward to the warmer days that are inevitably ahead. 

I've been a mom for ten years.  That's long enough to talk like I know what I'm doing, but not long enough certainly to be an expert.  But one thing I can say is that there are seasons to mothering.  And just as quickly as they come, they seem to go and unfold into a new season.  Because there is a seven year difference between Mason and Ellie, I often feel like I'm straggling between two different seasons.  But what is so awesome about that is that I have one last opportunity to relish the seasons that passed that will never come again . . . you know, like rocking a newborn, potty training, sleepless nights.  Of course, those particular seasons have now passed with Ellie.  She's a rather high maintenance three year old who doesn't stop talking and asking questions from the time she wakes up until the time she goes to sleep.  Mason and Hannah Kate, on the other hand, can make their own beds and keep their rooms clean, they can grab their own snacks and drinks, they can take their own baths.  It seems they are becoming more and more independent on a daily basis.  While part of me is excited about this season of mothering my older children, I'm glad I still have my younger child who is a bit more dependent on me.

I realize though, that the day is coming quickly when Ellie will be an older child.  She'll no longer need me to fix her plate or give her a bath or help her wash her hands.  She won't whine all the time about pretty much everything and require constant dispute resolution tactics.  She'll be too heavy for me to carry up the stairs and to her bed.  It will be a new season.

This current season is so brand new.  It's like nothing I've ever experienced before.  One thing I've learned during the past 20 years is that I don't need to get too comfortable in one particular season or another.  Because change is coming.  I love our new season.  I really do.  I feel like we've found our permanent fall, the season that I'm so glad we're in and the one I want to last forever.  It won't though.  But while it's here, I'm going to enjoy the heck out of it.  Here's how I enjoyed it yesterday.

Ellie is still honing her cutting skills.  But she's decided she's not interested in tracing a line or a circle or a triangle.  She would just rather cut and glue.  She's also not yet a fan of coloring in between the lines.  She wants so desperately to write her name.  All of the capital letters of her name are so closely related and require only straight lines so I'm sure she'll be writing her name in no time. 

This girl right here told me last week that her favorite subject is grammar.  Yes.  GRAMMAR.  That made me absolutely giddy!  My college literature professor tried to convince me to double major in English or, at the very least, to minor in English.  I thought she was crazy.  But now . . . I so wish I'd have listened to her!  

And guess who is writing his own papers BY HIMSELF with only minimal edits from mom?  This boy!  He actually gets pretty excited about school now.  He really loves math this year because it's all about multiplication and division thus far.  He's actually being taught the groundwork for my favorite math, Algebra, but I'm not telling him that right now.  He is excelling in Bible and history.
We complete our actual work during the mornings and then do projects or other activities during the afternoons.  Yesterday the girls made chocolate muffins with only a chocolate cake mix and a can of pumpkin.  My best eater didn't like them!  I couldn't believe it.  I mean, this is the same girl who eats Brussels sprouts!  My worst eater devoured them, even though he knew very well there was a can of pumpkin in them!  I'm just not a fan of baking because it takes too long and requires too much careful measurement, which I don't have time for during this current season in my life.  But I like this kind of baking because two ingredients!  And cupcake liners.  Having said that, I'm still undecided as to how I really feel about these muffins.
We did a science activity to understand how small the sun is in relation to other stars in the sky.  I don't have any pictures of that.  Afterwards we began planting the winter garden.  The kids planted broccoli, cauliflower, butter lettuce, Brussels sprouts, scallions and cabbage.  (Yes, Mason is sweating, and it is mid-September.  It is HOT.  Oh, fall, where art thou?)  
It was a very full, very good day of homeschooling and living and learning and loving.

Most of you know that I've been involved in Bible Study Fellowship, a weekly, in-depth Bible study, for the past five years.  All of my Wednesdays during those years have been spent at BSF (with the exception of the summer time).  And I served in leadership as a children's leader the past two years.  So all of my Tuesdays during those years have been spent at BSF, too.  When the Lord called me to homeschool, He called me out of BSF leadership.  He so graciously provided a way for me to still attend Bible study on Wednesdays, but I stepped out of leadership in May.  It was hard and sad.  I mean, I thought my season of serving as a children's leader was going to last forever!  I decided that I would volunteer to serve in the children's program every week this year.  I decided.

But God, in His sovereignty, had a different plan.  Imagine that.  A couple of weeks ago I received a phone call from our precious admin leader.  She asked me to serve as a host.  I graciously agreed and was just so thankful to the Lord for blessing me with a place of service in BSF this year, even if not as a children's leader.  Obviously He knows I needed adult interaction.  Today was our first day back.  And I'll be honest.  I had to check my emotions at the door because it was all I could do to hold back the tears.  There are four moms in my small group whose children I have taught the last couple of years.  One of them said her son looked for me first this morning and asked where I was when I wasn't standing at the door to what was my classroom last year.  Another one of the children I taught saw me after class in the hallway and told his grandmother that I was the nicest teacher ever.  So many of the women stopped and asked me "what happened" and why I wasn't a children's leader this year.  I was able to hug the sweet sisters in Christ with whom I sat in leaders' circle with, the ones I dearly missed yesterday as I knew they gathered together for the first leaders' meeting.

I was so excited about a new year of Bible study (we're studying Revelation this year!) at BSF this year that I jumped out of bed this morning at 4:30.  I washed my hair and even hot rolled it.  I cooked eggs and sausage for the kids for breakfast.  All of this was done by 5:45.  Why is that a big deal?  Because I am NOT a morning person.  I have tried and tried.  But I just can't do it.  Let me stay up late.  That's when I'm on top of my game.  But then let me sleep late.  Because I really can't and don't function before about 9:00AM, and that's pushing it.  Even Seth said he couldn't believe it when he rolled over and saw that the clock said 4:30, and I was out of bed.  Well, that's because it was not just any old Wednesday, but it was BSF Wednesday, and I got to go and be with my people today!  The sadness of not being a children's leader today lingered only a minute or two.  It's a new season.  And I'm going to love it.

Ellie is loving it, too.  The sure fire way I know she enjoys her class is that she falls asleep on the way home.  And today was no different. 

Before Ellie and I went to pick up the big kids, we ate a quick lunch with my dear friend who is moving back home to South Carolina.  I feel like the story of my life over the past 15 years has been that of finally making those friends who are real and true kindred spirits, only to have them move after a couple of years or so.  That has happened over and over and over, and today was no exception.  Seasons.  But today I just couldn't tell "Miss Leese" (as Ellie calls her) bye.  Instead I told her I'd see her when I come visit Charleston.

When I got home this afternoon, I began combing books and documents and old church records to compile an organized, written history of my church for our upcoming 75th anniversary celebration.  I've been a member of my church for only six years now, but my history with my church dates back to 1999.  And it's the church my husband was born and raised in, as was his dad.  During the past 75 years, there have been different pastors, different buildings, different programs.  Seasons.

So I find that to be the common theme weaving a chapter in my life right now.  Seasons. My current one is such a good one.  I certainly hope it sticks around for awhile.  Something tells me it just might.  But if it doesn't, something also tells me that I'm going to enjoy the next season just as much as I do this one.

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