Like most introverts, I have few people that I genuinely consider friends, but those with whom I connect in that way are as close to me as family.
I have a few friends who travel overseas on a whim, or indulge in month-long birthday celebrations. I have occasional self-indulgences, too (read all day at-home hair and skin day), but most often, alone time to focus solely on me is not my season.
I have other friends and family members with small babies who need tons of care and snuggling as they become increasingly self-aware and totally oblivious to the world around them. Minus the snuggle factor, I am generally thankful that that season is behind me.
What is my season?
Well, this summer has me playing taxi cab to our son as he volunteers in the morning and teaches dance classes in the evening.
This summer has me guiding our youngest daughter’s activities (and sometimes being guiding by them) as she tries to discover her niche and exercise her passions (as opposed to taking a back seat to her big brother).
This summer has me texting and Skype-ing with our oldest daughter, enjoying an increasing friendship with this sister in Christ and yet cherishing the moments in which she still shows herself to be a youngster who occasionally needs Mom’s help.
This summer has me laying aside my reading for pleasure—at least temporarily—so that I can document this flood of business ideas that threaten to inundate me after months of mental drought.
So, with an alert body but often droopy eyes, I try to remind myself that this, too, is a sweet season—a season in which I can date my husband again, but also a season where the word ‘bored’ never enters our conversation.
It would be easy to complain. Our son would probably jump in with verse 2, as his activities are the primary source of my weariness, with something that sounds like, “But y’all made me do…” My refrain would be that what we made him do was invest—in sweat and sleep equity—in his future.
10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:10-13, NIV)
This is not new text for many; in fact, Philippians 4:13 is perhaps one of the most frequently quoted scriptures in the Bible after John 3:16. It gives us courage and hope and an assurance that our true impact, placed in the hands of an all-powerful God, is sooooo much larger than our human efforts. What I cling to during these days are the circumstances under which Paul wrote to the church in Philippi. He understands that, regardless of where he is, a consistent state of peace and satisfaction, i.e., contentment, comes through Christ. He also encourages his friends—the believers in Philippi—to pray for him.
Yes, if I focused on my own fatigue, the hours, the expenses, (the list goes on and on), it would be easy to complain. So the task before me is to cling to what Christ offers me—contentment in whatever state in which I find myself. Though provision may come differently than I expect, we are amply supplied, and I believe wholeheartedly that God is pleased (verse 18).
I choose to claim God’s promises, and to enjoy this season. And as I embrace contentment with where I am, I will remember Paul’s words to another church:
9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)
What season are you in right now, and what steps are you taking to embrace contentment?