Embrace Your Season

beach angel
We’re on a bit of a vacation this week, staying with dear friends on Cape Hatteras. Unfortunately, no one informed the children that mommy was on a bit of a vacation this week. The boys have succeeded in waking one another up the last two days around 5:30 am. And of course, once they are awake, Mommy is awake. I’ll admit I was sorely tempted to be out of sorts about it. But on the first day, as I was getting up with them God lifted up my eyes to notice the glorious sunrise bursting over the Atlantic. I turned on some cartoons for them and sat myself facing the shore.  I comforted myself with the thought, “This is a sunrise I would have missed if I were still sleeping; God wanted me to see this sunrise.”  And I praised Him for it.

Before we left home, I was looking at a stack of books on my counter and thinking about bringing them along and then just laughed about it aloud to my husband. “What’s the likelihood of reading a book on the beach with a toddler and a 3 year old running around?” I asked him. He shrugged and said, “About as likely as me taking a nap on the beach while you read.” We laughed and I brought them anyway, if only because that’s what I do: I bring books places. Today, I didn’t read and my husband didn’t nap on the beach, but we made one mighty fine sand city—I called it Minas Tirith after The Lord of the Rings. We shoveled and the boys buried our toes in sand. I jumped the baby in the icy cold crash of the surf, and flipped not a page, nor closed an eyelid. And this afternoon as I snuggled up next to my three year-old, him sleeping soundly after being kissed by the sun and lullabied by the waves, I praised God for this season.

There was a season of my life where I slept in on weekends and vacations. There was a season of life where books were devoured seaside and naps in the sun were a possibility. This is not that season. This is the season of early wake-ups, of sand on the beach blanket and in our hair and everywhere else because toddlers don’t know any better. This is the season of little boy laughter and giggles and yes, mighty tantrums too. And it’s a season of my life I longed for more than naps and books and sleeping in late on vacation. It was a season I was willing to sacrifice to know. And now I don’t want to miss this season longing for another one. I don’t want to grumble through it. I want to enjoy it. I want to be thankful in it and savor it in all its messy glory.

One day there will be time for books on the seashore and naps, once more, but there won’t be sand-castles, and baby squeals; there won’t be sandy-wet baby footprints on the tile or a boy angel snuggled up next to me on my pillow—his breathing coming soft and steady as the waves.

All seasons are a gift. All are to be cherished. All we need to do is lift our eyes to the break of light we would have missed otherwise. All we need to do is open our ears to the sounds only this season can offer us. With eyes wide open and ears a-tune to the moment, we’re right where God wants us: present and thankful in the now.

Wherever you are today, embrace your season. Open wide your eyes, turn your head to hear the sounds of how God is loving you in the midst of your now. And give Him thanks, right where you are. You will never have this moment again to give to Him in praise.

 

Like what you’re reading? Consider ordering a copy of my new book Waiting in Wonder: Growing in Faith While You’re Expecting for yourself or a friend. It makes a perfect gift for an expectant mom you know.

Waiting in Wonder Book Launch Excerpt 3 and a Nikon Coolpix L810 Digital Camera Giveaway

Nikon Coolpix L810 Waiting in Wonder Release

So today my three year-old asked me a few different times if he could talk to the baby in my tummy and give the baby a kiss. My heart just melted. He’s so much more aware this pregnancy than last time when he was the size of my little guy (15 mos). And it’s really cool watching him be such a good big brother! Though I didn’t have a camera on me at the moment (I’m so bad at taking pictures, folks, really) I did snap that little moment in my mind and tuck it in my heart.

It’s always tempting in our lives to be so caught up in the future that we miss the present. I know I’m guilty of that. And that’s what today’s excerpt from Waiting in Wonder:Growing in Faith While You’re Expecting is about. I think no matter what stage of life we’re in, single, married, expecting, nearing retirement… that’s a lesson we all need to learn and relearn. Take a look:

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Did you catch that last part? So live this day as if God gave it to you for a purpose–because He did! (Click to tweet!) Think about that some today, okay?

Meanwhile, tying in today’s excerpt and that thing that mommy’s (besides me) do best–take pictures–I want to offer you a chance today to win a Nikon Coolpix L810 Digital Camera, (est. val $280). According to the reviews, this is a snap-and-shoot camera that let’s you take professional quality photos. It also has video recording capability which is perfect for that first smile, first roll, first bite of sweet potato, first steps–all those firsts of baby’s first year. Of course, like all these giveaways you don’t need to be an expectant mama to enter or win–and yep, you can even enter if you have a Y chromosome :-)! All I ask is that you help me spread the word about Waiting in Wonder in any way you can! And of course, while no purchase is necessary to enter or win, it really won’t break my heart if you buy a book, or two, or ten… (You are always going to know someone you could give one of these books to as a gift.)

And now, the giveaway!

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Thanks for helping me spread the word about Waiting in Wonder and reading along. If you haven’t yet entered the iPad giveaway and the $200 Spafinder.com gift card giveaway, it’s not too late. Don’t miss it. And don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss more great giveaways coming up next week.

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