When You Don’t Want to Change

 

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Every morning when I dropped my daughter to school, I saw this beautiful tree in the car park.

I was drawn to it’s bright red leaves. I loved the way it was still clinging to them despite all the other trees having dropped their leaves weeks ago.

I guess it was a picture of resilience to me – a lone tree clinging to beauty in the face of bitter frost and fog.

But the other morning I saw something different.

I saw defiance and rebellion. I saw one little tree recklessly holding onto “same” when it was time for “change”.

 

It made me reflect on life’s seasons, and how sometimes I can stubbornly cling to one season, even long after the fog and frost has arrived. Refusing to let go of the warmth and colour of autumn, even when the time for winter is here.

You see, I really hate change.

I’m like, okay, so this is the season we’re in? Great, let me make up a schedule. Let me find what works. Let me finesse our routine.

See? I can totally do this. Everything is running smoothly. Life is just gre…

What? A new season already? But I just… *sigh*

 

So I really relate to that little tree with it’s brilliant red leaves. It’s just got the hang of autumn. It’s rocking autumn. And it just isn’t ready to deal with a new season yet.

The Bible says that just like the seasons in nature, there are seasons in life.

Ecclesiastes 3 puts it like this:

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

And just as there is a season for everything, it is God who directs the seasons and determines when it is time for each activity.

The passage goes on to say that “He has made everything beautiful in its time.

When I cling to the last season, unwilling to let it go and move into the new season of life, what I’m saying is that I believe my fears more than I believe God.

I’m saying that my own worries about what the new season might bring are bigger than the God who guides the seasons.

Which is ridiculous!

I think of Jesus walking on the water, calling Peter to walk out of the boat, across the water to Him. All Peter could see was his fears (and to be honest, logic!). Logic and experience says that if you step on water, you will fall in.

But Peter forgot Who was calling him.

The very One who made the water with all of it’s natural laws! He had no reason to fear, because Jesus was the one who made and controlled the whole realm of nature.

When God calls me into a new season – when He says “it’s time for something else” – there’s no reason for me to fear because He holds the seasons in His hands.

He is the just as much the Lord of autumn’s brilliant hues as he is the Lord of winter’s frost and fog.

And whatever season my life is in, I can trust Him.

 

 

 

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Ecclesiastes for Mums

The book of Ecclesiastes is so rich with meaning for this season of motherhood. Often my work can feel “meaningless” – doing the same things over and over only so they can be undone and then redone the next day.

The sun rises and the sun sets,
    and hurries back to where it rises.
The wind blows to the south
    and turns to the north;
round and round it goes,
    ever returning on its course.
All streams flow into the sea,
    yet the sea is never full.
To the place the streams come from,
    there they return again.
All things are wearisome,
    more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
    nor the ear its fill of hearing.

Ecclesiastes 1:5-8

To be honest, motherhood is kind of kicking my butt at the moment. I won’t go into the details, but this is the hardest it’s ever been for me as a Mum and as a Christian.

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I’ve had a go at writing a poem about the different “times” of motherhood, inspired by Ecclesiastes 3:1-8:

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to give birth and a time to lay our lost babies to rest,
a time to plant your vegetable seeds and a time for the toddler go and dig them all up again,
a time to kill the baddies in their imaginary forts and a time to heal the booboos with a kiss when the game gets too rough,
a time to tear down your sister’s duplo tower (because that noise she makes is sooo funny) and a time to build it up again when your brother is occupied elsewhere,
a time to weep because the toddler spilt flour all over the kitchen floor you just swept, and a time to laugh because his look of flour-dusted shock is just priceless,
a time to mourn because your husband just texted to say he’ll be home late and you really need a hug and another adult in the house, and a time to dance for joy because you just heard his bike come down the driveway and the gate close,
a time to let the toys be scattered joyfully throughout the house and a time to gather them back to their boxes in the quiet of evening, while little eyes are peacefully closed,
a time to give just one more cuddle and a time to say “no more, go to sleep”,
a time to search for that beloved bedtime toy, Sharkie, and a time to give up because “Sharkie must be on holidays”,
a time to keep that favourite, annoying toy with a million parts and a time to throw it away secretly and hope they don’t notice,
a time to wear holes in those little baby pants, from little legs learning to crawl and a time to mend the holes so you don’t have to buy new pants when the season is almost over,
a time to be silent because Mummy is settling the baby and a time to “tell me all about your day!”,
a time to love being a Mum and a time to hate how tired it makes me,
a time to make war against the sin in my heart and a time to be at peace with the fact I’ll never be perfect this side of heaven.

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