Seasons: Seasons Pass

Snowy branches

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Our Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—SEASON. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out our hostess, Kate Motaung’s site. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!

SEASON

When my boys were little, I felt like I had cling-ons attached to my legs for-ev-er. But now, one is on the cusp of the teen years, and I am seeing how quickly the time flies by. In a few more years, he won’t be here to share family dinners, to make me laugh out loud, to drive me crazy by leaving his socks on the floor (okay, I won’t miss that part). My season of active mothering slips, day-by-day, into the past. And sometimes, it scares me a little bit.

As I look at the Christmas season, I’m a little amazed that we’re already at December 3rd. Sure, Thanksgiving was just last week. I’m seeing all that I feel I need to complete, and how the days speed past with very little marked off my to-do list.

Sun Shimmers

As I contemplated this word tonight, I was reminded that seasons pass. And when they’re gone, we’ll never have another one that’s just the same. We have one chance to live that season well. Because once it’s gone, it’s only a memory.

The beauty, the heartache, the awe-moments . . . slip into our past. Will we remember these aspects of our seasons?

How do we live each season well? The answer lies in finding that mix of living in each moment, yet still being purposeful with what God gives us to do.

For Christmas, my tree’s up, and we had a great time decorating it.

Will the Christmas letters all be mailed out on time? I’m not sure. I want to keep in touch with people, but my family is my most important priority.

As I purpose to insert stillness into my days, not as much is going to be accomplished.

Edmund and the cross

But what is the most important thing in each season of our lives? Living well. Loving well.

When we do these things—when we seek Jesus to know how to live them out—then we can rest in the truth that we are blessing Him.

What about you? How do you find the balance between the doing in a season and the living in each moment? What’s your favorite part about the Christmas season?

I’m linking up with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday—Season. Come read other great blogs!

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42 thoughts on “Seasons: Seasons Pass

  1. Great challenge to pause and appreciate these fleeting days, Jeanne! You’re right — soon this season will be but a memory. Thanks for the encouragement to saver the moments.

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  2. Jeanne,
    I love how you say that it’s a balance.
    “The answer lies in finding that mix of living in each moment, yet still being purposeful with what God gives us to do.”
    Some seasons, survival seems to be the only focus. (when they’re 2 and 4 and you’re having more…)
    With their growth comes blessed perspective, as their rationality grows. Oh how much God has taught me in the 8 short years of parenthood we’ve had so far!
    Loving every word of your posts!
    ~Tammy
    (and bringing up your caboose in the FMF train at #6 tonight)

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    • Laughing, Tammy. I remember the days when survival was the only goal. 🙂 Thank goodness, our kiddos grow, and as they do, our lives are even more enriched. 🙂 I’m so glad you were my neighbor tonight! 🙂

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  3. I am still struggling with doing in each season while living in the moment. I guess the best way is to be intentional. The best part of this Christmas season so fa is following along with an advent kit I purchased from a lady at church to do with my two young kids. It has activities for them to do each day while reading a portion of the Christmas story. They are loving it!!

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  4. My favorite part about the Christmas season is the lights and my family (not necessarily in that order). I haven’t sent out Christmas letters since I started blogging. I’m not sure if it’s because I feel like the entire world already knows everthing that’s going on in my life anyway, or because I’ve left that off the ‘Martha Stewart’ list of things to do for the season because I lost the list a long time ago ;).

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    • I’m with you, Anita. I love that our family has a chance to slow down and savor time together. We like the lights too. Martha Steward I AIN’T. But, I do enjoy sending and receiving Christmas letters. I used to hand stamp 150 cards (yes, I was a little crazy, and it was pre-motherhood days), and we’d print a picture of ourselves, and send a letter with a hand-written note on every.singe.one. We’ve pared it down to the newsletter and, if you’re really lucky, a personal note. 🙂 I’ve never excelled at Martha Stewart, but I’m learning how to keep Christmas in a way that works for our family each year.

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    • Thanks, Betsy! I’m with you. I want to be fully present with my loved ones in every season. Now, walking that out? That’s the part I’m still discovering how to do well. 🙂 Thank you so much for stopping by!

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  5. I too am finding life pass me by these past few days as we prepare to fly home to New Zealand for my little sister’s wedding. I’ve been reflecting on a guiding principle for this season (a la Jennifer Dukes Lee’s post) and I’ve decided I want it to be a season where I open my eyes wide in wonder and belief, expecting and looking for His Presence…so these words speak to me:

    The answer lies in finding that mix of living in each moment, yet still being purposeful with what God gives us to do.

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    • I love that, Anna. “I want it to be a season where I open my eyes wide in wonder and belief, expecting and looking for His Presence.” I hope we both see Jesus through this season. Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope your time back in NZ is restful and full of joy as your sister gets married!

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  6. Yes, I know my Christmas cards won’t get out until Christmas week or late because our Sam doesn’t get home until Dec 20 and we will take a family photo then and get the stuff out. So yay, they’ll be late! But I’m okay with that! Next year, maybe I’ll plan ahead and take some pics in the summer. That’s what I did last year and it was so much better!
    Thanks for these encouraging words! Have a great weekend and Happy Friday to you!

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  7. I am thankful that some seasons repeat – so I’m not down to only one opportunity. God knows I need some practice sometimes! Ha! But, I also need to learn to live in those moments that we won’t get again – to find the joy and blessing in them, and to be thankful for them. Thankful I stopped by this week! Hugs to you and your family during this season!

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    • Janet, I’m so glad you stopped by! Yes, some seasons come around again, but never quite the same. I, too, am so thankful God gives us many opportunities to learn how to live fully in the moments in our seasons. I hope you are able to find joy and blessing in each moment.

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  8. Priorities? Well, it’s not the decorations, and it’s not the food… guess we just enjoy having a laugh in our place – we had too many Christmases filled with tears, and I’m so glad that’s done with for now. There are some very real, very unchangeable reasons for finding joy in Christmas… that Jesus came at all, for example… remembering and celebrating those facts is a priority for me.

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    • Teary Christmases are hard. I’m glad you’ve had many reasons to find joy in this season. I’ve been thinking a lot about the joy that Jesus gives, especially as we see all the darkness in the world around us. His joy is a light to our spirits. You have your priorities right, Janet. Thanks so much for adding to the conversation!

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  9. You and I are on the same page this season. God has most definitely been talking to me about slowing down and stillness. He was so loud in my soul just a few minutes ago that I had to stop and just sit before getting on here to read and comment. The point isn’t getting the letters out exactly on time or having the most and best decorations. The point is Him. Always Him.

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    • Good for you stopping and just sitting. The “do-er” in me still chafes at doing that. But, I’m working on it. 🙂 I couldn’t agree with you more: The point is Him. Always Him. Great truth, Marie!

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  10. Jeanne, I enjoyed the sunlight shining through the autumn leaves and the light of joy in your sons’ eyes. Delighted faces of loved ones as they give and receive is one of my favorite things about Christmas.
    Blessings ~ Wendy

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  11. Sorry but this is a little long. It’s my daughter’s Facebook reflection of the first Christmas after her brother was l killed. A Christmas none of us felt like celebrating. Finding balance in life at times requires the assistance of others:

    It was a reindeer broom. A crafty little Christmas decoration you hang on the front door. It would hardly be on anyone’s list of proper gifts for a grieving family. Then again, what would be? Flowers? What about after the funeral? Nonetheless, there it was… Sitting on our porch… Exactly 12 days before the most dreaded Christmas in our lives… The first Christmas in my remembered life where I wouldn’t be having a “sleepover” in my brother’s bedroom. That room would sit as empty as his stocking, as empty as we all felt inside. The very next day, there was another delivery. Two items, followed by three gifts the day after, and so on. All of the sudden, we had something to think about other than how empty our lives were without Jake. We wondered who would leave such gifts. We speculated, asked, and outright accused our friends and family. We looked for clues and stood watch by the door so that we could catch the culprits in the act. But they were good. Coming at different times each day, we never caught them. And after it was all over, we realized that these mystery angels brought us far more than little holiday surprises. They brought us a desperately needed distraction from our pain. They brought us something to consume our thoughts for a moment other than our heartache.
    I eventually found out who was responsible for the mysterious 12 Days of Christmas the year Jake died. I discovered that the family responsible had made it a tradition to pray for and reach out to a different family in need every year at Christmas. I won’t call them out by name, as I don’t know if they still continue the tradition, and wouldn’t want to give away their secret. Even though there was no way to pay them back, we are forever grateful, and we have been fortunate enough to pay it forward a couple times ourselves.
    “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
    2 Corinthians 1:3-4

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    • Oh Gene, this beautiful story brought tears to my eyes. What an amazing thing for a family to do. I’m so glad you shared it. It inspires me to see how we might be beauty/hope-givers to someone else this season. I love how God put your family on the other family’s heart during such a difficult season. And that verse? Says it so well.

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