The beginning of a new year often causes us to evaluate where we are and where we’d like to be. Sometimes we feel a lack of contentment or are faced anew with a realization of the current season of life we’re in.
Setting goals is good when they encourage us to move forward toward our hopes and dreams. Sometimes, however, we’re dealing with current realities that might, in our minds, limit what we can do. Each of us is in a particular season, whether that’s as a single adult, newlywed, parenting young children, guiding teenagers, empty nester, or being a caretaker. Every situation is unique, but God has placed us in that season for a reason.
Here are a few things I think we can all do as we learn to accept what we’ve been called to do in this moment.
1. Manage expectations. If you have three little ones under the age of five, you’re probably not going to accomplish as much in a day as if you were home by yourself. Having a short, daily to-do list is mandatory in some stages of life. Don’t totally give up on your expectations, but learn what you can reasonably handle and be content with that.
2. Focus on what matters. Our walk with God takes first place, always. In any season, try to make time in His Word and prayer a priority. Then determine which of your responsibilities is the next most important. Often, that’s taking care of our family and making sure they know that they are loved. It helps to remember that souls are eternal while everything else that we deal with is only temporary.
3. Be grateful. Whatever your limitations in your current season, be thankful for what you can do. Look for the blessings that cross your path every day, whether they’re in the form of people, a tasty meal, or a beautiful sunset.
I’m in a season where I spend lots of time in the car, either driving or sitting in a parking lot waiting for one of my children to finish an activity. I also spend time in stores finding that particular item a daughter needs for a class project or a sporting event. One trip to the grocery store each week doesn’t work for me right now. I need lunch meat or a fresh loaf of bread or fruit for school lunches or cupcakes for a favorite teacher’s birthday on a very frequent basis.
But I know that this season is short, so I’m trying to do what I can in the hours I’m at home, seeking to keep my priorities in line, and thankful that I have the health to drive around town and a reliable car to do it in!
My goal is to not only accept this season, but embrace it, so that I’ll have many happy memories to look back on.