When a child insists on wearing clothing for the wrong season, it’s one of the most exasperating things for a parent.
A couple of weeks ago we broke through our frigid arctic temperatures and things felt “warmer” for us. My son decided that this was the perfect day to wear shorts to school for the first time in 2018.
We tried and tried to reason with him about this, as it was still well below zero celcius, but there was no convincing him. I sent him with ski pants to at least wear over top when he went outside.
When I picked him up at noon, he had left his ski pants inside the school. When I brought him back from our lunch date to play with his friends, he wasn’t able to go out.
He watched from the warmth of the van, promising not to wear shorts again until the right time.
This got me thinking about rushing ahead with the seasons of our life. It can be so exciting when we get a glimmer of hope that spring is in the air, but the reality is it’s still winter. And if we dress for spring, we’re going to get cold, maybe even sick.
If we run around acting outside of our season, we could get hurt, those around us are exposed, and everyone is put at risk.
It is so important to know our season. Not just our season in the spirit, but in the natural to.
Here are three questions I’ve been asking myself lately.
- What season am I in with my family?
- What season am I in with my work?
- What season is it in the Spirit Realm?
Having the correct answers to these questions frames my everyday life. If I want to thrive where I’m currently at, it is vital for me to follow through on the guidelines I put in place.
Right now, I know that I’m in a season with my family where we are recovering from a really intense 2017, along with experiencing our first year with a child in full-time school and after school activities.
My season at work is that I’m still in the first year of a brand new business. We’ve nicknamed it “the newborn stage”. That takes lots of work! I don’t have a business degree so I’m committed to learning on the fly and taking some online classes in the evenings geared toward working moms.
In the Spirit I know that God has told me that I’m a bird this year. I’m to be carefree in the care of Him, building my life around my nest. This doesn’t mean I don’t leave the nest, but it’s my top priority next to my relationship with Him. I will sacrifice profit and presence at my store for the sake of protecting my nest in this season.
All of these things together shape the day-to-day decisions I make. These realities cause me to guard my Saturdays strictly because ALL my kids have a day in the nest and our family needs time to rest together.
It means that I won’t take on any extra commitments outside of what’s already on my plate because newborns are a lot of work and if I want to see my baby business into the toddler years, it needs around the clock feeding and care.
It means that in the midst of balancing all of this I am aiming to live in divine peace because Jesus said:
“Take the carefree birds as your example. Do you ever see them worry? They don’t grow their own food or put it in a storehouse for later. Yet God takes care of every one of them, feeding each of them from his love and goodness. Isn’t your life more precious to God than a bird? Be carefree in the care of God!” Luke 12:24 (The Passion Translation)
Friends, let’s get real. Seasons come and go quickly. I feel like I was just changing diapers, breastfeeding and wondering if school days would ever come. If I have to say no to a few things now because of my season, those chances will come back again. And if I have to say yes to a few things that I typically wouldn’t because of my season, one day soon I can say no.
It’s simply the season. I don’t want to be caught outside in shorts during the winter time. And I don’t want to be drowning in a parka when it’s summer.
I know some of you are wondering how you deal with expectations during your season. I have found that people will respect and honour your ability to be upfront with where you are at (especially if you model respect for where they find themselves).
It helps to develop some one liners to keep with you when you feel caught off guard by a request.
Perhaps you have even heard some of these from me:
“That sounds like a fun opportunity! Our family day is Saturday so I won’t be able to attend.”
“Thank you for thinking of me! I’m guarding all my extra energy for my kids right now so I won’t able to participate.”
“Thank you for telling me about your _________ (insert product, business, other expansion opportunity), my business is in it’s infancy so I’m just growing what I currently have and not taking anything else on.”
Will you disappoint people? Probably. But staying dressed for your season is going to give you greater freedom for the seasons to come. You won’t be trying to recover from frost bite, or heat exhaustion, you will just transition into the next level of what God has for your life.
What season are you in? Have you been trying to wear the wrong clothes for where you are at? Are there some things you need to say no to to guard your priorities? Are there some things you need to say yes to demonstrate your priorities?
I pray today that you can throw off guilt and step into freedom to run exactly where God has placed you today!