I love to read things that make me smile, remember, think and then give me good, practical advice. Today’s guest post does just that. I haven’t met my friend Lindsay Hufford in person yet, but her writing makes me feel like we’ve been hanging out for ages. After you’re done here, please go visit her home page at http://www.searchforthesimple.com. The simplicity she writes so beautifully about is addicting and good for you!
Lindsay is first up in what turned out to be three different views on seasonal change. She encourages us to do for our souls in life seasons what comes natural to do when the weather changes. Enjoy!
Embracing Changing Seasons
by Lindsay Hufford
One of my favorite pictures from my childhood features my sister and me right before Christmas time. The photo was taken just after our family went to pick out our Christmas tree that year. We’re wearing matching loud sweaters from the 80s with a big panda on the front. The shirts are the only clue to what season it was in the image. In the background, you can see lush green grass and palm trees. This is Christmas in South Florida where the seasons don’t change but shift from unbearably hot to slightly less warm.
I lived in Florida for the first six years of my life, then my family moved North. The change of seasons was well, a significant change. I’ve now lived most of my life in areas with definitive seasonal variation, and I have come to anticipate and love what each season will bring. We snuggle up on January mornings under mountains of blankets drinking pots of tea and watching crystals of frost melt off the windows. As spring approaches, I begin obsessively checking my flowerbeds to see the first green shoots from bulbs emerge from the still cold ground. We mark summer with the opening of a favorite lake.
I love all the seasons, but there is something almost magical about fall. In September the mornings become crisp, and fog settles over the fields near our home. October is when Michigan truly shines. Trees put on their best and brightest hues ranging from fire red sugar maples to golden aspens. The world glows in October.
The seasons in our lives rarely have such delineated markers of beginnings and endings as do the seasons of the natural world. One day we are bright-eyed high school graduates ready to take on the world. Then, in a flash, we are middle-aged adults with more wisdom, wrinkles, and cellulite then we ever thought possible.
The seasons of life can be challenging to embrace. Some seasons prove exhausting. Others have challenges and anxieties we would never have wanted. So how do we embrace the changing seasons of life?
We count our blessings. More wrinkles mean we have shared a thousand laughs. When your preschooler calls you up to their bed for the fourth time that night, hold them close remembering that soon you will be fighting for their time and attention.
Mark your seasons. Keep a short journal to record the blessings and the challenges of the periods of your life. Make a note of the first teeth lost and the day they realize the tooth fairy isn’t real. Record your thoughts and feelings on aging, marriage, friendships, especially in the difficult seasons. Your journal entries become your battle scars, proof that you made it through the hardest things and you are still going strong.
If you’re in a hard season, keep your chin up and your eyes open to the beauty around you. We only see the manifestations of the seasons in nature. Remember that tiny shoots struggle to break through the cold spring ground to become vibrant plants bearing fruit. The trees know when it’s time to change and when it’s time to let those beautiful leaves drift away as they prepare for a season of rest and quiet. You will make it through this season. Don’t miss what it’s teaching you.
Wow, thank you Lindsay! I’m finding this season more beautiful every day!
Lindsay is a happy wife and homeschooling mom to three kids. Whether she is reading, running, gardening, teaching, cooking, dancing, writing, or chasing hens, she counts it all as joy. Lindsay writes about this beautiful life at www.searchforthesimple.com.