Summer, Winter, Spring, Fall
So what are the majority macro views of our marriages or life? Here is what I found most experts list as the macro seasons of marriage: single or pre-married, newly married, young married without child(ren), young married with little child(ren), married with child(ren), empty nesters and grandparents. For the sake or our blog space, we will narrow these down to: single; newly/young married; married with kids; empty nesters and grandparent season.
Now for the micro views of our marriages or life. These spiritual life seasons are best seen when compared to the seasons of nature. There are both good and bad times within each season. Sit back and join me as I name some of the words I believe best illustrate each of these seasons in my marriage and life.
When I think of Winter the first words that come to mind are hibernation, feeling knee-deep, snow days, chilly, extreme, evergreens and their reminders of meaning, iceberg and present. Like I said in the first blog (Pushed to Acknowledge the Seasons of My Marriage) I loved winter and being out in the cold so much more when I was younger. I could be outside for hours and think nothing of it. Winter is much harder now,I have times of sensations that appear bleak and occasionally I can feel barren.
Spring brings in visions and words that flood my mind like: hopeful, awakening, sprouting, showers, rainbows, renewing and rejuvenating. I must be honest and say that I have mostly feelings of cheerfulness due to winter being over! I can even tolerate the rain showers because the temperature is warmer and they are needed for the new beginnings that are blooming.
This brings me to my favorite time of year Summer. The words that portray how I feel about summer are: fun, full of life, abundance of energy, enjoyable long days, being barefoot, dreaming of all the adventures to plan, sun-sational, the awe of fireworks and creating unforgettable memories. I have always enjoyed hanging out with my friends, loving long summer nights or purposefully creating memories with family on vacations. I love having activities outdoors, enjoying fresh food and fragrances that I want to last all year long.
Last is fall and fall to me is full of: cooler temperatures, Indian Summer days, life being full of changes, back to school, becoming busier in every area of life, taking in the colorful changes of the trees here in Ohio, listening to crackling while sitting fireside, taking in the harvest, an essence of gratitude and a thankful heart. I love the cooler nights to have walks, hot tub dips, watching football and soccer games especially when my son is playing. My heart floods with gratitude even when I am busy prepping for the upcoming holidays.
As you can see, there are quite a few seasons to our marriages and lives. We have the opportunity to see them each as a beautiful time filled with positives and negatives. Not one of us has the “perfect” or “hopeless" life or marriage. No, the good news is that we each can have a better life or marriage than we do now. How? We just need to keep our focus on the good news as it relates to our marriage or life and then choose to be content. This is much easier to say than to practice if we are not disciplined in our thoughts and practicing self-control.
No matter where you are in the macro view of seasons, your personal tendencies in how you would describe these four natural seasons may bring you insight. I would like to challenge you to reflect on the four natural seasons. Then identify and describe them for yourself. What words and tone do you see on this list? Do you notice a pattern with the word choices? Are your perceptions being swayed by the type of words you have listed. These will be important as we move forward.