Staying Strong in the Seasons of Life

Because we started our family later than some, my husband and I are well into our fifties and are still up to our fetlocks in parenting.  Because our oldest son and his wife started their family earlier than some, we are also beginning the season of grandparenting.  Since I’m a bit over-the-top in the whole planning and structure realm, I guess I thought that we’d get a break in between these two seasons to re-tool, become wise, and maybe . . . finish our house.

Sarah Geringer reminds me that God’s timing is perfect, and in her devotional Newness of Life, she invites me to examine my life in terms of thresholds with a determination to view each season with confidence and anticipation of all that God will do —  even when the seasons overlap in ways that I did not foresee!  She is writing from a season of pre-teen children with its financial pressures, time constraints, and quiet doubts.  Set against the backdrop of Ecclesiastes 3, her own story and the words of tired King Solomon make it clear that God is at work in orchestrating the big picture:  birth and death, planting and harvesting, tearing down and building up, grieving and dancing.  And, thankfully, He is also present in the seasons that, to us, seem to be less momentous:  the scattering and gathering, keeping and throwing away, silence and speaking.

I have had a tendency, in the past, to view the momentous words of Scripture from a distance.  After all, when does a homeschooling mother of four who lives on a country hill with spotty Internet service ever encounter a season that tips on a balance of war and peace?  How about on a Sunday morning in a house with one bathroom and six people who need showers?  It turns out that this life of mothering and sock sorting is a great test case for the long view that says there is “a time for every activity under heaven.”  The truth of the gospel is also present in those long ago Old Testament lines of poetry, for each threshold of life is one more occasion in which to witness the newness of life that Jesus ushered in, that we might have life “to the full.”

Listen to the implications:

“In your seasons of birth and death, Jesus remembers you.
In your seasons of planting and harvesting, Jesus bears fruit through you.
In your seasons of killing and healing, Jesus transforms you.
In your seasons of tearing down and building up, Jesus is your cornerstone . . .
In your seasons of war and peace, Jesus empowers you.”

Hildegard von Bingen famously said, “I am a feather on the breath of God.”

When the unpredictability of life is viewed from this angle, there is beauty and a keen anticipation of what God will do next.  In times of transition, our response is key.

What will you do with the newness of this particular season of your life?

//

This book was provided by the author in exchange for my review.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Great news!

Sarah has released her new devotional The Fruitful Life, just in time for this Lenten season.  Click here to read more about it or to pick up your copy!

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Published by

Michele Morin

I am a teacher, blogger, reader, and gardener who finds joy in sitting at a table surrounded by women with open Bibles. I have been married to an unreasonably patient husband for nearly 27 years, and our four children are growing up at an alarming rate. Nonetheless, two teens still remain at home, and along with an incorrigible St. Bernard, we laugh, make messes, clean them up, and then start all over again. I love hot tea and well-crafted sentences, poems that stop me in my tracks and days at the ocean with the whole family. I lament biblical illiteracy and advocate for the prudent use of "little minutes." I blog at Living Our Days because "the way I live my days will be, after all, the way I live my life." You can connect with me on Facebook or Twitter.

42 thoughts on “Staying Strong in the Seasons of Life”

  1. I could definitely benefit from viewing life in terms of thresholds with a determination to view each season with confidence and anticipation of all that God will do.
    My husband and I also started our family later than many of our peers (not because we wanted to wait, but because we had trouble getting pregnant). We will have teens in the house when we are in our 50s, too.

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    1. So good to know that we are walking a similar path, Shannon. It has had its challenges, but point of view is everything and I come back to the overarching question: Do I believe that God is sovereign?

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  2. Michele, What a refreshing way to view the changing and overlapping seasons–as thresholds into newness of life! I want to be more receptive to seeing the “new” here in these places where it’s all too easy to keep trying to find the “old.” Thank you for this beautiful review and these uplifting thoughts today! –Blessings!

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  3. This sounds wonderful. I love your words about the unpredictability of life and us being that feather. God knows and cares about us. Thank you, thank you, Michelle. I will float a while today. : )

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  4. Staying strong in the seasons of life. I’ve been thinking about this topic often, lately, and your timely post was a blessing. Sarah’s book sounds like one I’d love to read.

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  5. What lovely and wise words. Your post caused me to take a couple of big breaths and pray that I would be conscious to embrace each season fully, and to be more aware of God’s leadings. I especially loved the illustration of the feather on the wind…how many times are we concrete blocks to the wind of God’s leading. Be blessed…thanks!

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    1. Yes, Susan, such a good thought to embrace the season we are in — even when it does not look the way we expected. “Concrete blocks” — smiling over this metaphor which is so fitting!

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  6. Michele- thanks again for pointing out another great book! Changes of seasons is on-going indefinitely. We can’t fight it, so embracing it is the best! Sarah sounds like she points out good ways to embrace the change.
    #DancewithJesus

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  7. I’ve been thinking of the seasons of our life recently as we get closer to 50, we have only recently come to terms with not being able to have children and now the season of not having grandchildren will come next… enjoy yours every moment of them and all the chaos.

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    1. Amanda, one of my dearest friends has also walked the path that you describe, and she has done it with such grace that I wish I could get you both together in a room over coffee. May you find grace for this new season of “coming to terms” and may you find that the process brings you closer to your husband and closer to God in the process. Thanks for sharing a tiny glimpse of your journey here.

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  8. Michele, I love that you get to experienced the beauty of mother and grandmother all at the same time! What a wonder it must be!! In a world where keeping control seems to be the mantra of motherhood, this line speaks volumes to me…When the unpredictability of life is viewed from this angle, there is beauty and a keen anticipation of what God will do next. I never want to lose that anticipation of what God will do next!

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  9. Michele, I always appreciate your book reviews! I have actually taken you up on a lot of your recommendations. 🙂

    I’ve always been cognizant of how different seasons of life all have God’s grace poured into them. Even though our lives and circumstances may change, our God never does.

    Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Yes, it does seem as if my constantly shifting perspective (and lack of same!) put me in the perfect position to benefit from the wisdom and strength of a God who is changeless and completely outside of time. Thanks for reading — past and present!

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  10. What an inspiring story. Yes, God is with us in every season of our lives. Even in the pruning season when things are painful and slow. What an awesome God we have.

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  11. This sounds like a fabulous book Michele – I particularly like the quote you shared!
    Books about seasons of life always resonate with me!

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  12. It’s always good to be reminded that even in the unpredictability of life or when things don’t work out as we plan, God is in control and he has a plan and a purpose for us in every season. Thanks for sharing this review.

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  13. This sounds like a great book, Michele. I also enjoyed getting a peek into ebb and flow of the seasons of your life. I get bored easily, so maybe that’s why I like living where there are four distinct seasons (though the winter was mild and the summers are always too hot)! In life, it helps to remember that seasons come and seasons go … the emotional intensity of the one I’m in now is not permanent. Knowing that Jesus goes before me and is with me in every season provides comfort and strength like nothing else.

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    1. Yes, it’s good to know that we are being led by an unchanging God. We’re so inconstant and subject to change at a moment’s notice! And I do love the metaphor of the changing seasons.

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  14. Thanks for sharing! I have turned to Ecclesiastes 3 multiple times in our family’s current season. Sometimes life has a way of surprising us, but never God! And there is certainly a time for everything. If you liked this devotional, you may also enjoy the book “Real Moms, Real Jesus” by Jill Savage. I read that a few years ago and it was very encouraging to me!

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  15. This is good for each of us, in whatever life stage we are in: “view each season with confidence and anticipation of all that God will do — even when the seasons overlap.” Thanks for sharing Sarah’s book with us.

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  16. Thanks for linking up with us again at the #LMMLinkup. I always enjoy your reviews. I loved the ways the author transformed Ecclesiastes for us. My favorite: “In your seasons of tearing down and building up, Jesus is your cornerstone . .” What a wonderful picture of faith and how Jesus is my cornerstone.

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