The beginning of this year went back to a mild winter. Cold and windy, sometimes stormy, but not necessarily bitter cold.
Quite honestly, springtime is short lived for me. I barely realize it when I'm there. And besides, as much as I love mild weather in real life, I have mad allergies in the spring.. . I don't even know how to finish this metaphor.. .
Back to now, this present time, this very moment. Autumn.
I think of harvest, the huge harvest moon, the best time to plant and prune and hide those bulbs. Time when reds, oranges, yellows, browns are the colors filling in the scenery. Time when families prepare to assemble and break bread together, despite conflicts and drama. Time when even the stingiest humbugs start reaching deep into their wallets to see how many places they can reach out to. And it just seems like the whole world is getting ready to cozy up and be tucked in.
Autumn is my favorite season.
And this "season" of life, despite all my moanings and groanings, seems like it's going to be my favorite.
Here's why, in list form (sorry, I'm beat tired)
- My older kids are showing signs that their training has sunk in. I am starting to reap a little of the harvest as they make good decisions, learn from their mistakes, and go out of their way to love others the way God wants us to. Being a purposeful, Bible-guided and balanced parent is exhausting. It's nice to see little snippets of the spiritual "grain" they are "storing" for their futures. While sometimes the emotional aspects are hard and it's difficult to let go, parenting older children doesn't seem as intense and demanding as parenting toddlers.
- I love the conversations that I'm having with the 9 year old. They are becoming so deep, so warm. Our relationship is changing, where I am now walking behind her in support rather than leading in front. Like I said before, we're cozying up and tucking in. No matter how stormy and cold it is in the world, we'll always have each other to stay warm.
- I listen to the kids play together and they love each other. Life just wouldn't be the same if they didn't have each other. We have family council once a month and we share a snack, talk family business, prepare for future events, share in the family spoils (allowance) and we end by singing songs together. As a child, I often wondered what a happy family unit looked like. A family unit that always expected to be together, that broke bread together, that welcomed the good and the ugly. Now I know.
- Not only is there harvest in the fall, but I've learned that Autumn is the best time to plant. Bulbs are hidden in the ground, not to re-emerge until spring. Trees bear down for the winter, shedding their leaves and appearing to go to sleep. It's as if the world is turning the warm colors of red, yellow, orange and brown in a cheerful,"Farewell, see you in the spring." I'm in that stage now, where much of the training (at least with the older ones) is finished. I'm no longer tilling the ground, making sure it doesn't dry out, etc. . .In fact, my job is to provide cover if there is a frost coming. And just as something "imaginary" happens to the bulbs and trees and dormant plants during winter, something "imaginary" is happening in the kids. . .I can't wait to see how they sprout and blossom and bring beauty to the world.
Thank you, Lord, for you lovingkindness. . .