Just like every year has seasons, God is teaching me that our lives have seasons, too. Instead of spring, summer, fall, and winter, however, I would refer to them more like seasons of learning, experiencing, and teaching & sharing.
Let me explain.
Yesterday morning I had the pleasure of attending a MOPS meeting. MOPS stands for Mothers of Preschoolers, and I was a member when Emma was a baby until she was about three or four years old. It was a wonderful blessing at that time in my life. I was able to meet with other moms who were in the same stage of life that I was in and share my struggles with them. We usually had great speakers that shared their advice and insight with us so I generally left refreshed and more determined to be a better mom and wife.
The meeting I attended yesterday was such a sweet time. Young moms sat at round tables in their groups chatting with one another eating yummy egg casseroles and pastries. (The food was always one of the reasons I showed up to meetings, by the way. 🙂 ) I watched as a new mom held her baby in her arms as she slept and it brought back memories of me doing the same with Emma and Jack when they were that age. Strollers were parked along the walls. It made me realize that I can’t remember the last time I used a stroller with my kids. My kids aren’t little anymore. When we broke up into smaller groups I met two young moms that were sweet as could be. We introduced ourselves and shared a little bit about our lives. One of them had a three year old girl, and the other had three kids all under the age of four. As they shared some of what is going on in their lives, I found myself offering advice to them.
How is it that I am qualified to give advice? I’m usually the one who needs the advice. Hmm. I remembered trying to figure out these exact things that they are struggling with, only now I have some suggestions for them to try. I decided to share what worked for my kids. It couldn’t hurt for them to try it, too, right? There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel if it works. This is how life works. It is a big cycle where the older guide the younger.
“if your kid doesn’t listen, try offering rewards; if your baby won’t sleep through the night, try swaddling or a sound machine; if you feel rushed when you dress kids and pack lunches in the morning, wake up earlier or pack the night before… the list could go on and on”
I attended the MOPS meeting to watch a friend of mine speak. She did a phenomenal job sharing her thoughts and advice with this young group of women. I could see that they were encouraged by her words, just as I had been encouraged by speakers only a few years before. I felt a tug at my heart. I felt God telling me that I am now in a different season of life than the one that they are in. Maybe, just maybe, I could offer some encouragement to these moms. But, can I? It makes me uncomfortable to think about this. I am not qualified, am I???
Well, it turns out that I am qualified. My experience as a young mom has taught me great things, and if I can be a source of encouragement for others, why not? I welcome the idea with open arms.
I thought I was still young, but I think I need to start seeing myself as “middle-aged.” Ha! Remember I found some “silver” hair recently? This getting older thing is sinking in slowly. 🙂
Here is the scripture in Ecclesiastes chapter 3 that talks about seasons.
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.