A friend of mine once described Annalee as someone you accidentally tell all your thoughts to because you know she really cares and you know that she is safe. It’s true. She knows the questions to ask and the time to ask them. She carries the peace and the presence of God with her throughout her days, and we know Him better because of her. Thank you, Annalee, for the way you live your life in every season and for sharing your wisdom here.
This month I have entered into a completely new-to-me season of motherhood. All three of my kids now go to school at the same time for a whopping 15 hours every week. For 9 years I often daydreamed of a single day on my own. A doctor’s appointment without someone crawling around on me. A pedicure without someone in my lap. Only passing out snacks to myself through the day. A break from the endless questions while sitting in traffic. Running errands at my maximum efficiency.
Now my “freedom” has arrived and it is taking everything in me to give thanks for it. As the first day of school grew closer, the lump in my throat got bigger and my eyes were constantly overflowing. Did I really appreciate these days enough? Did I make the most of them? And if one more person asked what I was going to do with all my “free time” I was going to snap.
Here I am a week into this new time, and all I can do is smile because I have recognized that the lessons the Lord revealed to me all week were the same things He’s been showing me in every season of my life. Clearly, no matter my circumstances, I need these powerful reminders and truth:
We were made to grow. LIVING IN A PAST SEASON WILL CAUSE ME TO OVERLOOK THE RICHNESS OF THE CURRENT ONE. So I am trying to smile at the memories, but refrain from wishing them back or looking at them with nostalgia. Though I am thankful for the way we’ve grown through the past, I should now look forward to the next season of growth too.
Someone recently shared with me the “MINISTRY OF HELLO.” We know how to celebrate milestones and endings. We have mastered send-offs, goodbyes and end-of-(fill-in-the-blank) celebrations. But maybe, just maybe, we need a little more practice in the ministry of new beginnings. She explained what a ministry it is to celebrate saying hello to what’s next, instead of just lamenting what is coming to an end.
So that’s where I am. SAYING HELLO WITH OPEN ARMS, OPEN MIND, AND OPEN HEART to whatever is next and encouraging my kids and those around me as they do the same. God already knows our future and for that I am thankful. Here I am, learning how to flex my hello muscles and practicing saying “nice to meet you” to whatever is next.
I am motivated because I know the difference it makes in my day. It is not coincidence that the mornings I begin with the Lord first go better than the days I don’t. Not because of a lack of frustrations coming my way, but because my mindset is completely different as I deal with them. Remembering the perspective of eternity first thing when I wake up changes my outlook on the whole day and each detail in it.
I keep coming back to truth. I hate that feeling but of course it comes. And when it comes with a vengeance I especially need truth that I have read in scripture everywhere I look. I post it on my fridge. On my mirror. In my car. In front of my face. And then I need to read the words aloud. And pray for strength to believe them.
For me to embrace the ministry of hello with joy and know each day the Lord is my satisfaction and hope.
This post is part of the Summer of Seasons that Darcee and I are hosting. Our hope is that as others share about seeking God in their particular season of life, we would all be encouraged to know and love and seek after the Lord more in our daily lives.