embracing this season

Thursday, August 30th, 2018

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


10 thoughts on “embracing this season

  1. Cara

    August 31, 2018  |  02:16 pm

    I’m in a season of grief.
    My marriage is over.
    I am clearing out and cleaning up my house
    not knowing if I’ll even get to enjoy finally having it the way I’ve always wanted
    or if another family will live here come Christmas.

    This season is hard.

    But- like all seasons-there is a beginning of one at the end of another.

    So I’m finding life among all this death and know that He will lead me
    into a land of restoration.

    • Shelley Martinkus

      August 31, 2018  |  02:31 pm

      Thank you Cara for sharing the season you find yourself in. Grief work is some of the hardest work we will ever do. Not to mention – it’s rarely if ever quick and easy. I love what you said – there is a time and a place for everything and when this one ends, it will signify the beginning of another one. Bless you. xo

  2. Tracy Binder

    August 31, 2018  |  05:44 pm

    Love this word. I have always defined this word as patient endurance. In fact I have it half tattooed, the endurance part, on my arm, and for more then a year now I have been wanting to add patient. I love that you named it and embraced it. God is working! I am in a season as well. A season of change and transition and finding new paths. I too am learning to sit and allow God to do the work, instead of plowing the field myself.

    • Shelley Martinkus

      September 9, 2018  |  05:18 pm

      I LOVE that you have endurance tattooed on your arm – that is so fitting Tracy!!! I also love how you said you are learning to sit versus plow the field myself. I SO BADLY want to just plow the field with you! xoxo – Shelley

  3. caroline

    September 1, 2018  |  02:32 am

    I’m in a season of longsuffering.
    It’s that crazy fruit in the list of fruits of the spirit, sometimes more politely translated as “patience”. I used to think longsuffering must surely mean something else, something nicer like “excellent manners” or “charm-under-pressure”, to my horror I found it actually means long suffering as in, suffering for a long time. The “patience” version actually means to have patience during the suffering.

    • Shelley Martinkus

      September 9, 2018  |  05:16 pm

      Oh Caroline – patience. It’s SO hard!!! The last two mornings as I have reached out to God – that is exactly what I have asked for – patience. And then – I get scared – what will God do today to cultivate that fruit of the spirit within me?! eeks!

  4. Jennifer Johnson

    September 1, 2018  |  08:16 am

    I think a big part of perseverance is acceptance. I’ve found in my own life and marital struggles (and beyond) – if I keep resisting the state of things, trying to white knuckle through the pain, I end up resentful, weary, and in a victim mentality. As I yield more to accepting the situation for what it is – i.e., the enemy trying to defeat me through an exchange with my husband, the struggle of being at different paces in our recovery, wondering if God will redeem because progress is so slow – it’s almost like God gives me the grace or margin (as you said, Shelley) to persevere and keep going. It’s like that story in the Bible where God kept filling the woman’s jar with enough each day to keep making loaves for Elijah and her family (I Kings 17). Sometimes depending daily is the hardest part because my need to resolve and see “markers” of progress kicks in. Thank you for this transparent blog, Shelley – it is so helpful. Blessings to every lady that reads this. So glad to know we’re in it together.

    • Shelley Martinkus

      September 9, 2018  |  05:14 pm

      Thank you Jennifer for what you shared here. Not sure how I missed it when you posted it a week + ago.

      I love your reminder of God filling the woman’s jar just enough each day – I’m not familiar with that story but will look it up (just made myself a note). It reminds me of something I read earlier this week – about how God gave the Israelites manna for the day. It was just enough to get them through THAT day – nothing more. It’s so real to me as I try my best to wake up early and connect with God – it seems to be that if I miss a day – I’m off. Waking up early and connecting with myself and God is just enough for that day only, but not much more… xoxo – Shelley

  5. Erika

    October 15, 2018  |  09:50 am


    Your post reminded me of 2 Corinthians 4:8-10: “we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.”
    I have to remember life is hard, heartbreaking, and challenging. However, the “but not’s” give me hope. In order to fully live out my purpose, I need to surrender to God the things I can’t control, which is difficult when my natural reaction is to reach out and try to grasp many areas in my life. So, in this season where God is calling me to surrender, I will daily (or hourly) lift the items up.

    • Shelley Martinkus

      October 15, 2018  |  12:10 pm

      the but not’s give you hope…. me too! Thank you Erika for your voice of wisdom! xoxo

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