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How to Make The Most of Your Season

October 1st, 2014 Posted in Encouragement
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Once upon a time I dared to dream I might write a book someday. By my age I would have book in hand yet here I am, book still unwritten, ideas dry in my brain.

As much as it’s continually uncomfortable to be with groups of people who are successful in ways that I would like, I’ve just come to understand that my “season” isn’t now. That has been a hard road.

In October it’s easy to recognize the fruits of the season: pumpkins, pumpkin bread and homemade pumpkin spice lattes dominate Pinterest right now. They are the fruits of an autumn in full swing.

But sometimes we still reach for a watermelon in October or a carton of strawberries near Thanksgiving and they don’t taste quite the same as they did in the height of summer.

I’ve struggled against the season in my life for many years.  My kids were too young, my life was too busy, my heart was too dry. And my book was {is} unwritten.

Psalms describes the righteous person:

Psalm 1:3 (NIV)

“That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither — whatever they do prospers.”

Fruit IN SEASON.

So I don’t have to produce giant harvests at all times of the year {or at all stages of my life}? And the small things I do are good things? I read this Psalm earlier this week and I took a deep releasing breath.

I believe God wants us to do great and mighty things for Him and He’s called us to listen and obey Him in this. But maybe my own personal tension between feeling like I should be farther along than I am and wanting to be a good steward of what I do have is simply that I’m in a different season. I don’t have to struggle against the season that I’m in.

That book? It will be written. In the RIGHT season.

I’m learning four ways to make the most of my season, recognize that the “fruit” I’m bearing is exactly the kind God wants me to bear and that God designed life to run in beautiful seasons and cycles.

1. Stop Comparing

The grass really isn’t greener, even if it looks like it is. So yeah, maybe you don’t have a crazy awesome book deal or your online shop hasn’t taken off like you thought it might. Maybe your toddlers are in a rough stage and you don’t even have the time to go to the bathroom by yourself.

It’s okay. It really is.

We are each of us designed to be right in the place we are in. Right now. I’m here to tell you that you were built for such a time as this and no other.

Maybe your kiddos are all hard, all the time, but I promise that no family has it as easy as they may seem to have it. Maybe your shop is still gaining ground, or you are still typing hard on that manuscript. Its okay. I promise it is.

Comparison will steal your passion, chase away your joy and kill your soul.

2. Be thankful for the “fruit” you have harvested.

So maybe you haven’t gotten as far as you wanted to by 25, 35 or 55. I know I haven’t. I dared to dream that I was going to be a real, honest-to-God author by now.  But I’m not. However today I have pumpkins and spice, candles and rain-boots, grey skies and warm kitchens. I have beauty gathered in arms full of harvest, it is smiles and hands-held and feet that have traded bare toes for socks because summer is over now.

The fruit in this season is good fruit. It may not be all that I’d dreamed but it is very, very good.  I think we are all familiar with how gratitude can change a heart and a soul.

3. Plant the seeds for the next harvest.

If you are worried about the things you must do, or the “fruit” that you want to see the next time around, there are things you can do to begin to work at it. A book does not write itself.  A business does not start itself.  Jot down the good ideas you have, find a mentor to help you in your project or ask some good friends for specific advice.

A few months ago I wrote a lengthy email to some trusted people in my life asking them for specific advice. It went something like this: If you could run my life (so to speak) what would you have me do about this ____. The answers that came back were varied, insightful and generally amazing. It helped plant some seeds in me for this next season.

And the time you have? Do something purposeful with it.

4. Be okay that sometimes the season is REST.

Repeat this mantra: It’s okay to rest.

When we can begin to understand that there ARE in fact seasons of life and now may or may not be your time to accomplish that dream that you thought you’d have done by now then you can take a deep breath. Our anxieties about it all begin to uncoil and we can be okay with the fact that our life is running the course God has chosen and not the one we have chosen.

There even is fruit in seasons of rest: inspiration, rejuvenation, health. Remember that sometimes “producing” means taking a nap or closing our eyes. It even might mean setting the project down for a few weeks or months to get a different perspective on it.

So here I stand. Coffee in hand with a blank paper. Pray for me and I’ll pray for you: that you realize your season and you rest in the place God has for you.

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