I am going to do something a bit different right now. I am literally pouring this post out straight from my heart. Sometimes things just come to me all of the sudden, but I feel as if these words have been being etched onto my heart for some time now just waiting to make their escape.
Just like the seasons in a year, our lives go through many seasons as well. Of course, they don’t follow the traditional, winter, spring, summer and fall pattern that my type A brain and personality wishes. Wouldn’t that be something if we had a map for the seasons in our life? It certainly wouldn’t be as interesting though. Anyways, my oldest just turned 7 and I feel as if these past 7 years have come and gone in the blink of an eye. I know, I know. Everyone says that. It’s true though. One day we’re bringing home a new baby wondering if God has equipped us with what it takes to raise a tiny human and then we wake up and he’s 7. And by now we’ve also added two more tiny humans to the mix and had a lot of life changes along the way.
You see, even though 7 years can feel like a fast-moving train that is not ready to slow down when I look back and reflect on those 7 years and really think about them I can see many seasons that our lives and ourselves have been through. I’ve been through seasons where I have felt so grounded and rooted in the right now that nothing can stop me and I feel on top of the world. I have also been through seasons where I feel like an utter failure, bearly treading above water, and just wishing I could hand someone else over the reigns to show me how to do life. I’ve been through seasons where I feel great about my body and love myself no matter what I look like in the mirror. And I’ve been through seasons where I avoid the mirror and quite honestly felt like a total mess. Cue the postpartum hormones. I’ve also been through seasons where things feel really easy and every part of my life is trucking along like a well-oiled machine. And I’ve been through seasons where there are so many balls in the air that they begin to feel like heavy boulders that I am certainly not equipped to carry. The funny thing about seasons is that they are constantly evolving and changing, as we are. Our lives are meant to have fluctuating seasons where from them we can not only learn but most importantly grow.
Ok, back to the purpose of this post. The Season of YES. Usually, I am a YES woman. Saying yes to probably too many things and spreading myself too thin. But I have made a realization that when I was telling everyone around me, yes, I was telling the most important people in my life, No. My kids. I am quick to say, no, to them. When I started to think about it, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. I don’t know why I started noticing it, but I saw myself saying no to things just for the sake of saying no. Maybe it was a habit formed from when those busy seasons of life took hold of me and I felt like I just didn’t have time. Little things that my kids would request of me like, “can we have ice cream tonight?” “Will you come and lay with me, mama?” “Can you read me a story?” “Can I join that club or sport?” or even a simple request of where THEY want to go to eat or go shopping. Before you get the wrong idea about me, I don’t tell my kids no all the time to those things nor am I implying that I should stop telling them no altogether. I mean they can’t have ice cream everyday. Hahaha. But what I am declaring is a SEASON OF YES for me and my family. Saying yes to hard things and fun things. And sometimes things that YOU don’t want to do, but will make your kids whole world light up. I am declaring that I take this opportunity to really listen to what they want and why they are seeking these things. Read the stories, eat the ice cream, sign them up for the sports or let them choose the restaurant more often.
I guess you could say this all kind of started stirring inside of me ever since we made the big move to Oklahoma from Texas. It was the first YES that has spurred a major life change for us. I am now a full-time stay at home mom which for me means learning to say yes a lot more to my children and navigating this new season of my life which is proving to be the best one yet! Without saying yes to this big, awesome yet scary move, we wouldn’t have all of these amazing changes happening for our family. It’s not always easy to recognize the seasons in your life while you are deep in them. The best thing I can suggest is to take a moment to reflect on things and really listen to your heart.
I caught myself the other day going to my automatic no when my son requested to go to a particular restaurant for his birthday. It’s not my favorite place. In fact, there are several other places that I would rather go. I thought about trying to sway or influence his decision, but then I realized that this is somewhere that HE really enjoys and wants to go. So we did it! The kids had a blast and so did we. I also found myself sinking back into the comfortability of no when I was at his classroom orientation. There were sheets going around for classroom volunteers and several different activities to sign up for. I felt that nagging feeling in the back of my mind. “I’m too busy.” “We’re too busy.” “I have a newborn.” “Maybe next year.” But why was I thinking like this? I snapped out of it and signed my name up. I also looked over at my son and realized that he was so excited about the cub scouts table and sign up station. His eyes lit up when he saw how they would be hiking, camping and doing a lot of fun outdoor activities. I signed him up. Everything in my heart was pulling me to do these things even though my mind was trying to grab for every excuse that I could come up with.
In the end, these are just a couple of examples of why I have decided to make this our season of YES. After all, if our seasons in life are ever changing and developing, why shouldn’t we have some control over what type of season we want!