Loving the Season You’re In

I know, I know, “Love the Season You’re In” sounds a little touchy-feely, a little like something I’d see plastered on some car’s bumper and immediately roll my eyes and make some snarky comment about. But when I was walking in downtown St. Paul today during what’s probably the last of the beautiful Indian summer mornings we’ve been having lately here, the idea of loving the season I’m in actually made a whole lot of sense to me. The proverbial light switch was officially flipped on rather than off.

Now lemme explain…

Ever since I was a kid growing up in a town of less than 3,900 in Ladysmith, Wis., I’ve always been thinking ahead—way, way ahead. When I was enduring those oh-so-lovely junior high years, I was foaming at the mouth to be in high school because that was one step closer to college, which meant I got to finally vacate my small town for the big city for good and start pursuing my lifelong dream of being a writer. I also couldn’t wait for the adventures that inevitably went hand in hard with college life—having crushes on boys who weren’t from your hometown, late nights of eating pizza and studying (but mostly eating pizza and gabbing about boys) with the girls in the dorm, staying out as late as you want (or until curfew allowed at the private Christian college I attended) and even having chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream for breakfast because, well, you could! It all seemed so dreamy and elusive and amazing, and I couldn’t wait to be in college.

But inevitably a couple of years after starting college, the novelty wore off. Now I couldn’t wait to graduate—even though I really was having the time of my life. But as much fun as it was, I couldn’t wait to leave the insulated bubble and was determined to make my mark in the world. Another two years of taking classes and doing homework and hanging out with friends just seemed pointless, especially when I’d officially decided that I was moving to Nashville to try and make it as a journalist for CCM Magazine. So instead of loving and appreciating that season of life, a glorious season that would never be repeated, I was often so fixated on what was next that I couldn’t enjoy what I had at the time.

Even when I finally accomplished my goal in Nashville a loooong year and a half after I arrived and kickstarted my writing career at CCM, there was already something else down the road that I couldn’t wait to accomplish. And remembering that got me thinking about conversations I’ve had with some of my single friends lately. Back before I was hitched to the most incredible guy on the planet, I often subscribed to the faulty logic that if I was married (or at least in a functional, promising relationship) that my life would finally be complete. I’d never want for anything else or have a single care in the world. And understandably, that’s exactly where some of my friends are right now—and I totally get it. But the funny thing is that what feels like only mere seconds after you say “I Do,” the same people who pestered you about “when you were finally going to settle down with the right guy” are now wondering when you and your new hubby plan on procreating. And so the cycle begins again…

So I guess that’s precisely why God strongly recommends on several different occasions that we all focus on just one day at a time. Of course, this is definitely not easy for the compulsive planner types like myself. It wasn’t easy when I was single and not wanting to be, and it sure wasn’t in college when I desperately wanted to be exploring the world either. But “loving the season you’re in” sure does make the present infinitely easier to deal with. If I can appreciate all the blessings I have now and embrace what God is trying to teach me in this season, rather than always focusing on what’s ahead, it’s ultimately freeing.

That doesn’t mean that I can’t look forward to what the future holds. Or even plan for it. But I can appreciate today for exactly what it is—instead of for what it isn’t. And that makes my heart happy…

Happy first day of Fall to everyone reading,

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