As my boys slowly return to school and I find myself getting a little more margin in my life – I am grateful to have some space to breathe.
I love summer. I love the warmth. I love the slowing down of life. I love being with my boys.
I also love it when they go back to school.
And I always look back at the summer and wonder – How did I get by? How did I DO it?
(And for those of you that home school – all I can say is – you, my dear ones, are the HEROES during this time of year. I have always thought that home schooling would be SO cool, SO amazing, SO the thing for me.
Until I drop off my kids that first day and limp home, licking my wounds from the summer, and I realize – I almost didn’t make it, once again.)
Picking up where I left off earlier this month – I am in a season girls. I have been fighting it and resisting it. Doing anything and everything in my power to deny that it’s a rough one.
All up until last week, the first week of school, when I took that breath, sat down and then realized – this isn’t going away anytime soon.
Maybe that is the first step in surrendering these ugly seasons – agreeing that they are indeed right in front of us and not magically disappearing.
As for what to do next – well – I decided I need to name it. If I was going to get comfortable in this season of wading through some tough parenting and some tough fighting with Jason – I needed a word (or several) for it.
(As a side note – recognize that there is power in naming things. Whether we are naming our children when they are born, Adam naming all the living creatures that God created, or God renaming people in the Bible – there is power and authority when we call it what it is.)
So, last Thursday – Norman and I went on a bike ride/run (Norms doesn’t start preschool until next week. Can you guys guess who was riding the bike and who was running?!) and I was asking God – what shall we call this season you have me in?
I started thinking through the best words to describe where I’m at – sh%# show would work but I just didn’t feel like that was the most godly of descriptions to use. So I thought longer and deeper as Norman started to complain about his legs getting tired while he was biking (Y’all – did you really think I would make my five year old run while I rode the bike?!).
I don’t like those words. I mostly don’t like perseverance. And it was perseverance that I kept circling back to as I asked God – is this the word you have for me?
Aaaaaaaaand – it was just about then that I look down and Norman has a flat tire and is crying to go home.
I start crying, too.
I want to go home, too.
Why is everything SO hard?! For crying out loud (literally) – why can’t I just go on a run to try to get grounded and feel good without it turning into a sh%# show?!
I walked in circles, took some deep breaths, and then told myself – oh, and Norman (since he was standing right there with his bike) – we’d make it home. One way or another, we would. It might take some serious perseverance (for the love!), but we would get there.
And isn’t this exactly what God is saying to us? While we lose hope, feel despair and depression, wonder what in the world is going on – God is right there beside us telling us we will make it home. One way or another we will get there and He’s not going to leave us until we do.
Some of you might be in a winter season of your soul like me. If you are – I encourage you to name it. Start by simply asking God – what in the world are we going to name this season? You might be surprised with what comes to mind as you present that question to Him.
Then – look up the word in your concordance in the back of your Bible. You can use this website to help you look up verses and start to pick apart the meanings of the Greek and Hebrew words used.
That’s what I’m working on this week before the boys wake up in the morning and here is a little of what I have learned:
- perseverance means to bear up courageously under suffering (Matthew 24:13).
- it also means hopeful endurance (Romans 2:6-7) and is the opposite of cowardice or despondency
- there is a connotation of steadfastness (1 Cor 15:58) and refers to someone that is fixed in purpose
- another Greek word for perseverance refers to being patient and brave in enduring misfortunes and troubles; to have long patience (Hebrews 6:15)
- and last – when we persevere – the result is completeness and wholeness (James 1:2-4)
Maybe I’m starting to grow fond of the word perseverance. If the end result is wholeness and completeness – I think I’m game to sit in this a little longer.
Would love to hear your heart on this. What season are you in? What has it looked like to let go and allow it to be rather than fighting it and denying it? xo – Shelley