Ever find yourself in a place in your life and wonder how the heck you got there? Like this looks much different than I imagined or I never thought I’d be doing “X” …yet here I am? (Please tell me I’m not alone.)
I sat on the porch this morning. As any true southerner would, I’ve spent many hours there in the 20 years we’ve lived in our Lakeland, Florida home. But ever since we cut down the diseased century-old tree in the backyard, things look much different. As I tried to adjust my adirondack chair behind a column so as not to be blinded by the morning sun, I missed that old tree. The shade sure made things more enjoyable, I thought. Then I looked up. As I did, I realized I could see the sunrise so clearly now. Wow, Ok God, I hear you. Don’t get so focused on what’s no longer there that you miss what is. Out with the old and in with the new. Noted.
Then I looked down. At the base of the porch steps lay a little fur ball. Our new puppy, Beamer, was relaxing in the sun. Who am I, I thought as something foreign tugged at my heart. As mentioned here many times, I have never had an affinity for animals. Owning a dog again was not on my list of life goals. Yet, here I am. Outside. With a dog. Before 7 am. Not only that, but I feel something other than “ew” and “help”.
Beamer contently doing his thing in our backyard while I write from the porch.
Well, I sure didn’t see that coming. Life can be so unexpected can’t it? I may have had five+ decades around the sun, but I’m still learning about life’s seasons and stages. Some seasons are easier and some are harder. Some come highly anticipated and others dreaded. Regardless, I know things will inevitably evolve. And when they do, sometimes you’ll find me kicking and screaming for the old things while other times I miss something important as I spin my tires getting out of there. I’m a work in progress. Do what you can, Lord.
There’s a time for everything in life. Wherever we are and whatever we are going through, there is something to be learned and taken with us into the next day. Old seasons give way to new ones and there is something encouraging about knowing while this season may be cold, the next is warmer. While this season may be as hot as hell itself, the next comes with a cool breeze. As one thing fades away, a new thing comes into view. We may not realize it until we’re hit in the face with the actual sun, but new things in our life allow us to grow more into the people God has called us to be if we let them.
I had a beautiful conversation with a fellow mother this week. She’s going through a tough time and finds herself in a place she never thought she’d be. Instead of wallowing (as mama would say) in her anxiety and despair, she stressed to me how much she was trying to learn from this time so she would be in a better place tomorrow. Even more importantly, she said, she knew she was meant to help others she encountered during this time and was asking God to show her how. I was so impacted by our chat. What a beautiful testimony to how God can use seasons of your life to help you and others if you let Him.
So here I am – writing full time on the porch in the sun with a dog. Next I’m headed to exercise with Alaine. (I’ll pause while you recuperate from that statement.) Things look much different now and for that, I’m grateful…even if I’m still learning to embrace the glare and the puppy poo.