May 1: Ecclesiastes 3:1

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To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

I am sure I am not the only mother out there who has thought of this passage of Ecclesiastes while wrestling through a challenging phase with your kids. I feel like the very famous lines that follow this verse could be replaced with such common place things as ” A time to be morning sick and a time to feel good. A time to be preparing for birth and a time to have already given birth. A time to nurse and a time to wean. A time to be totally freaked out tired and a time to sleep through the night. A time to feel capable and a time to feel impossibly slow. A time to have well behaved children and a time to have children who are not. A time to feel like the little years will never end, a time to feel like your children grew up when you weren’t looking.”

Often times you feel like you just have your head down and you are just trying to be faithful. And then gradually, almost without you noticing that anything happened, you realize that that phase is gone. In my case I don’t think I had noticed that we were out of the baby work until we were back in it, and I was surprised by how much time a baby takes. Really? This is my sixth child. How did this surprise me? Where have I been?

This may seem like a ridiculous thing to have to point out, but I am going to anyways. Sometimes the same phase repeats itself. Sometimes you thought you had gotten all the grace you could need for a phase, but in reality you had just grown out of it. My husband brought this up with me recently. He pointed out to me that I wasn’t relapsing because it is hard for me to handle a toddler and an infant. In his words, this is another spring, another season of planting. God gives the seasons and He gives the grace to weather them.

But there is something that is very freeing about realizing that your spiritual life has seasons also, and repeating a spiritual lesson is not necessarily a sign of failure. Sometimes you are back to the springtime basics, where you are in constant need of encouragement that God loves you. That His grace is sufficient. That there is nothing new under the sun. God is our constant, He is our shelter from the storms of every season of our lives, and our hope for the next. Rest in Him. For in Him, “There is no variation or shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)

 

 

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14 thoughts on “May 1: Ecclesiastes 3:1

  1. I have a 2 year old and a 1 year old and am 8(ish) weeks pregnant with #3 – and I have felt exactly the same way about pregnancy! Morning sickness (aka progesterone poisoning)? Extreme (and random) fatigue? Crazy emotions? What IS this? Oh right – a normal first trimester. Seeing as how I’ve been pregnant more often than not in the past few years, you wouldn’t think those things would take me by surprise! Thanks for the encouragement and good perspective!

  2. To Katie’s comment, I am the same way in early pregnancy: taken by surprise at how it completely wipes you out!

    I love how God does not leave us without evidence of His care. I am having quite the evening with my little people and was thinking, “I’m a failure.” I probably have failed tonight, but I also am being refined. Thank you, Lord, for seasons of sowing and growth!

  3. Thank you for the reminder that we have not necessarily failed simply because we are repeating a spiritual lesson. We have five children and our fourth has some severe disabilities. Now the baby, our fifth, is showing clear indications that she, too, has some very special needs. It is hard to go down this road again and not wonder what was necessary in two of our children having such challenges that couldn’t be accomplished with just one, but the secret things belong to The Lord our God. (Deut. 29:29)

  4. Thank you for this post! I am in one of “those” seasons right now with my youngest daughter, & this is such a great encouragement for me to read, to be reminded that this is just another season of spiritual planting, as you called it. God is good!

  5. Thanks for the encouraging perspective on repeating spiritual seasons. The recurrence of a spiritual season does bring a richness or a new dimension or level of understanding, depth of insight, and greater strength that wasn’t there before.

  6. Another mom expecting #6 in 8 weeks… Thank you SO much for this encouragement! When the next season comes around, though, I can see God’s faithfulness and grace all the more. The sanctification is a little more evident and He IS guiding me through this beautiful challenge of motherhood.Remembering how stressed I was with 1 or 2 littles, in comparison, I am more relaxed with a little experience (of His grace being present for me before) behind me.

  7. Rachel, thank you for your post on the DG blog, The Real Life of of the Pro-Life home. My heart resonates with your words. As the mom of eleven, currently fighting the fight of our lives along with our baby who has infant leukemia, the Gosnell details have been overwhelming to read from the hospital. Our baby, beloved, worth a multi-million dollar fight. A story that eveyone rallies around. What to do with my horror filled feelings for those thrown to the volcano. I snuck over here to make a comment since DG rather wisely doesn’t host comments. Congratulations on your new baby. The name Shadrach made me smile as we have a beloved book by that name on our shelves… Shadrach, Meshach, and a-bed-we-go! If you don’t know the reference. Nevermind. :) Blessings to you.

  8. Sometimes I think you live in my head to write such poignant posts that truly speak to my daily need for God’s grace! I cannot thank you ladies enough for your devotions of late. God is using you to be a mercy in my life.

  9. I have been reading your blog for a year or so now, and am often so encouraged by your collective writings. My soul is fed and my heart is strengthened to joyfully love the Lord, rest in his grace for today and serve my husband and baby girl well. Thank you all for all your thoughts, insights and words! May the Lord continue to bless your ministries and your families!

  10. “But there is something that is very freeing about realizing that your spiritual life has seasons also, and repeating a spiritual lesson is not necessarily a sign of failure.”

    Rachel, this was such an encouraging post. In particular, that sentence above hit me between the eyes. I’m going to write that in big letters in a place I can see it from all directions.

    Thank you so much for that much-needed encouragement in a tough season!

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