Hey you guys. Hopefully this week finds you well, has you asking questions, searching for thin places and has lightened the load that this world can put on ones shoulders, at least by a little bit. Lately the weather has been absolutely gorgeous, the birds are singing, friends are amazing, the flowers are blooming, (as well as the pollen), and the only thing that seems to be missing is my family. Yes, I am a northerner and my folks who live in Idaho are still battling snow and ice. (winter doesn’t want to leave) I am not one for cold winters and no blizzards for me please. I guess I shall await summer until I see them again. Which made me think of all the different seasons in my life. How they have shaped and molded me into who I am and who I am growing into.
The most peaceful seasons that come to mind are the seasons spent as a child. How easy it was to feel so much love everywhere. My favorite memories are from my grandparents house. Waking up bright and early to the smell of freshly cooked bacon. My grandparents chattering away as the rest of the household awoke. A huge hug and a kiss from my gram awaiting me as I wandered into the kitchen. Everyone sitting down enjoying a breakfast fit for a king or queen. Pancakes so fluffy they could have floated away. They are still one of my weaknesses. My dad and I walking to the meadow and soaking in the simple and at the same time awe inspiring beauty all around us. We made campfires at night and ate smores and talked about anything and everything. My dad’s wise words of wisdom resounding in my head. “ Enjoy being a kid, kiddo. Don’t be in a hurry to grow up because once you’re grown up that’s it.” Truer words have never been spoken. From that day on I was quite determined to not ever really grow up. Being the girl version of Peter Pan seemed quite amazing and attainable. I mean who truly wants to grow up?
Well as time would have it. Life didn’t stand still and no matter how much my mom threatened to put me in a box to keep me little, it didn’t work and life threw a whole new set of challenges at me. The years of junior high and high school came and went along with me being incredibly awkward and so shy you would have a hard time believing it today. Not only was I shy but I won’t even venture to say that I was in the realm of average weight. I liked to eat and had no self control when it came to food. Emotions a young person can run a muck and I found myself to be an emotional individual. This season of life was not nearly as easy at the previous season. Love wasn’t quite so easily felt although it was always present in one shape or form, being shown through one person or another. God’s grace and hand was always present. Don’t get me wrong here, I was never in want for love from my family but the views of the outside world became harder to ignore as I grew older. One moment in particular with my dad caused me to pause and think a minute. My dad is a very wise person. He told me, “Look kiddo either people are going to like you or they aren’t. As your grandpa would say if you don’t like what you are looking at, you have twenty other ways to look. Not everyone in life is going to like you. But the people that matter will like you for you, they are the ones that really matter.” Yet again another season with different lessons learned The world was not always kind. There was a presence of a love that never failed though. A constant reminder of what was truly important. A love existed that was beyond me and beyond this world. It was profound and would never leave as long as I kept my heart and mind open to it.
As my adult years came to be. I found more and moments of growth. Sometimes the moments were found in failure, others in triumph, and even in uncertainty. It is in the question we all ask of ourselves when we reach the pivotal again of eighteen, I found myself searching for something more, something bigger, but what? At the young age of eighteen yes, we are technically adults but not quite grown ups. We are still coming into ourselves. The question of where and what the heck I was I supposed to do with my life now came to mind. I knew I wanted to dance and teach, but how to get there and could I truly make it on my own? Yet again a gentle reminder came that I was not on my own and that I could be successful. It might take a huge leap of faith,that was scary and it was not promised to be an easy leap. But I could do anything I put my mind to, I never walked the world on my own. It was going to be a journey of faith beyond my imagination.
So here we are in this new profound season of life. I was just talking to friend today saying sometimes I feel like I need to pinch myself. Is this truly my life? I can honestly say I love what I do and not sure everyone in life can say those words and truly mean them. Yes, I am a shift manager at Starbucks. I suppose some would say that isn’t much. On some day’s it feels like I can do nothing right. On others I am humbled and caught off guard by stories shared and the impact each person can have on another human being. My love of life is dancing and no matter how long of a day I’ve had or how long I’ve been awake, dancing and sharing my love of what I do with the world never grows tiring. Watching the “light bulb moments” happen, seeing someone smile, or just become more confidant in themselves makes the journey of dance breath taking, incredible and more than worth the leap of faith it took to be where I am today. Could I have done it all on my own? Never, if it weren’t for God, my family, and friends, I would never have found the courage to move to Birmingham on my own. It is quite a daunting task to pick up move and hope you’ve made the right choice. I needed to have the faith that I could learn enough and train enough to become a dance instructor. It finally came to be, but not without hard work, stubbornness, and determination. The support and love I had when starting this journey never ceased and I am beyond happy to say that today I am actually making it.
Each season we find ourselves in each truly becomes one of faith, hope and trust in promise of a plan we cannot always see. It was bigger and better than I could have ever fathomed. I never really had to worry about the plan. Funny how God always does that ? Here was a season that was unlike any other. In hindsight though, not one season is ever alike. Which if they all stayed the same we would never grow, change, or mature as individuals.
Some seasons are like the winter. Cold and blustery, not quite easy, and every once in a while we run the risk of slipping on a icy surface that we don’t always know was there. It can be a slightly lonely in this season and at times we feel like we are walking alone. No matter how layers we wear and no matter what we do it never seems to be enough .When in truth we never walk alone. Somewhere in the quiet we find simple beauty and the journey to a new season eventually comes to pass.
Spring comes with promise of something new, perhaps it’s new life, a new job, or a new adventure that awaits us. This season promises new things and a refreshing change from the colder winter. Flowers bloom, the sky is blue, there is a lightness to everything and it seems so much easier to see the good in people. Hope blossoms in all of the sunshiny moments of love and promise of something greater than ourselves.
The summer season can be balmy, not too many changes in this season. It’s almost like we are sitting in the pool, just hanging out watching life happen. Content with where are and why things are the way are. Why change things if it’s going well? It’s probably one of my favorite seasons. I am not one for great changes or challenges. Sitting in a pool drinking fruity drinks is much more preferable than dealing with the challenges of life.
Autumn sweeps in with a crispness, it shakes summertime up a bit and makes us grow. We never know what to prepare for. It can be warm one day and cold the next. But without this season we would be content to sit in the summer season, bask in the sun, and never grow past where we are.
Not that I am not saying that all of my seasons are your seasons. Perspective is key in all facets of life. Each season can change and in turn will make a person grow. My mother always says “The one thing that stays constant is change” My mom is one wise woman. Seasons will come and go. We can try our best to prepare for them, make the best of the ones we find ourselves in, and encourage others as they walk through there own season. Some seasons seem to last forever, others are so short lived. The key is learning to live in the season we find ourselves in. These moments are not promised to be easy. Than again God never promised that life would be easy. We are promised his presence and unfailing love in everything we do. We never walk alone. An easy walk on earth would do no one, any favors. It is by the hand of grace that I have made it through the seasons that have come to pass and will make it through the seasons to come.
We can find the fortitude to continue on in this journey of life. It is when we find the amazing people in life that will help us weather the storm, offer a hug, a smile, or just simply can be there if needed. Community is key to surviving this world. We are stronger in numbers when weathering a storm. Living in Louisiana after the hurricanes Katrina and Rita were one of life’s greatest examples of people pulling together for the common good. No one individual could have made an it on their own. It was finding the unity in complete strangers uniting, each wanting to help one another out that made the biggest impression on me.
So here is to seasons, the cold ones, the warm ones, the just right ones. A good reminder on this journey is that the current season will not last forever. Make the most of it. Search for hope, accept help, and know that you can make it!!