Have you ever “people watched” before? Just sat and stared at frazzled people going from one thing to another, too busy to even look at you? Have you ever been that person? I know I have been guilty of it. Who can withstand the demands to overbook the planner? Sometimes I just want to climb to the top of the highest mountain and yell, “Everybody, STOP!” I want to urge you to stop the busyness. Stop it dead in its tracks. There is an undeniable pressure everywhere you turn to guilt you, pull you and convince you to do just one more “thing.” In Ecclesiastes it says, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.” I think that this verse may very well be my life verse. There is something about seasons that reminds me to not rush things along, to not take things for granted, and to be content knowing that whatever the situation, it’s not going to be forever.
I remember when I was pregnant with my first son, Silas. My mother gave me a piece of advice that so affected me and still does to this day. The advice was to just enjoy that baby and dedicate that first year to him. I immediately thought, “Well, what about church? What about going on date nights with Brandon? What about all the groups I was involved in? The list just went on and on. Then it hit me: seasons. “There is a time for everything.” I decided to take that piece of advice and I don’t regret one day of that first year I said, “no” to feeling obligated. I simply let it go. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for enjoying the season that you’re in and don’t make excuses for it. For that first year of Silas’s life I completely dedicated it to him. I don’t think I can even begin to express the freedom I had to just be content. I so enjoyed my baby. If I felt like going to church or a meeting, I would go. If the baby (or his Mama) needed a nap, I didn’t go. If I needed some Mommy time, I would take it. If I wanted to snuggle my angel longer than the clock and appointments would allow, I always chose my baby. Always choose the baby over “stuff”. Believe me, you won’t regret it. This is not to say it’s okay to neglect the husband either. My point is to not let priority number 27 take precedence over priority number 3.
Babies are the most inconvenient creatures on earth. Know this and expect it everyday. I had to learn this the hard way. I was in Pittsburgh for my brother-in-law’s wedding enjoying the ceremony and reminiscing my own wedding vows when my little 2 month old decided he wanted to nurse an hour before he was “scheduled to.” I was the kind of upset that really made me want to run away, scream, or just throw my hands up in the air and yell, “Serenity now!” My blood started to boil at the fact that I now had to leave the ceremony and find a place to nurse; all while trying to quiet the screams of a hungry baby. The fact that my choice of dress was not conducive to nursing didn’t make things easier either. Just when I was excusing myself from the ceremony, jolting to the bathroom and trying to juggle baby, burp clothes and breasts, I suddenly felt this peace wash over me. It hit me so hard that tears welled up in my eyes and ran down my cheeks before I even knew why. It literally came out of nowhere. It was so obvious and profound since just a second ago I had had a really bad attitude to say the least. God truly spoke to me that day. He stopped me in my tracks and wrapped me in His love while I sat on a stool in some random bathroom in Pittsburgh. He showed me that this precious baby boy was worth it. This miracle I was privileged to mother needed me. He needed a mother that understood that inconvenience was in the job description. This infant/nursing stage was a season. I felt my body relax, and as I gazed into the eyes of my son I knew that I was no longer the center of my universe. This mothering season wasn’t going to be easy. I was actually going to have to sacrifice my life. What a blow to the ego. God knew that that was exactly what I needed to learn the lesson of sacrifice. He wants us to not only go through the season of life we’re in, but embrace it with all it’s inconveniences, troubles and set backs.
I have talked to so many ladies that are riddled with guilt. It’s like they don’t know why or where it comes from, but it’s always there, eating away at their life one day at a time. Since when did feeling guilty get to be so holy? I believe this is one of the greatest deceptions the enemy uses to bind us. We don’t even realize we’re not supposed to have it. Jesus came to take the guilt away, don’t keep trying to take it back! Listen, if you need to watch TV for hours at a time every night because you’re nursing like crazy, I’m here to tell you that it’s a season, let go of the guilt. If you find yourself jamming to a fun song and wonder if you should feel guilty because Jesus isn’t mentioned in the lyrics, give yourself a pass. If you skip a church meeting/function, a school activity or some other self-imposed “obligation”, it’s okay. Value what’s right in front of you everyday. Treasure those moments that you can’t ever get back. For once in your life, enjoy the season- good, bad or indifferent. Don’t hurry it off or lament that another one in on the way. Just remember that “For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.” Don’t get caught up in legalism because, to be honest, legalism is a bitch. The sooner you rid yourself of it, the sooner you’ll see that having a judgmental spirit goes hand in hand with guilt. When you judge others, you judge yourself. When you judge yourself, you have loads of guilt. (Are you judging me right now because I wrote “bitch?”) LOL. In order to embrace the season, I believe we must get off the guilt/judging cycle. We simply need a big dose of Jesus reminding us that He already did all the judging necessary.