Tuesday, September 6, 2011

To Everything There is a Season

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven."
- Ecclesiastes 3:11

It is canning season in my neck of the woods and now that I've finished my pickles and peaches it is almost time to move onto the apples and the pears! I am feeling especially blessed to have pears this year because last year we had a late frost and our pear tree froze. We didn't get a single pear. Yet this year our pear tree is bursting at the seams with fruit. In about a week I am going to be up to my ears in more pears than I know what to do with.

Last year it was apples. Our neighbor's apple trees produced enough apples to feed half the neighborhood. By the time I was done canning applesauce (almost 40 jars!) I was quite literally sick of apples. This year though the trees are hardly producing and I think we will be lucky if we get a few jars of applesauce... if any.

I know it is such a simple thing but these fruit trees have really reminded me that I need to be grateful for what I have when I have it.

If I have a tree full of apples then I better enjoy them and put up as much applesauce as I can, because next year I might not have any. If my pear tree doesn't have a single pear on it, I shouldn't complain because next year I might have more than I know what to do with. If I have a house bursting at the seams with dirty laundry I should be grateful because it means I have a house full of dirty people to love. If I start wishing for more time to myself, I shouldn't complain because only a few years ago I had too much time for myself and yearned for someone to share it with.

Life is full of seasons and in every season God blesses us with abundance... it is just the type of abundance that varies. In some seasons God gives us an abundance of snow and moisture, while in others He gives us an abundance of fruit and labor. Similarly, in some seasons of our lives we are blessed with an abundance of noise, family, and work while in others we are blessed with an abundance of silence, solitude, and free time. It is all abundance and it is all a blessing. The challenge is learning how to recognize what abundance God has blessed you with at a particular season of life and then choosing to enjoy it.

I know that for me this season of my life brings an abundance of pears which I am going to enjoy and store up for next year, because I don't know if God will send them again. I am also blessed in this season to have an abundance of housework, children, noise, and laundry which I am going to to enjoy, because one day my house will be far too quiet.

Even though it is hard work, I know I will miss this season of my life when it is gone. It is just too bad I can't can it all and preserve it as easy as I can the pears.


  1. Thanks for this reminder. My favorite part was about having dirty people to love. ;) I'll probably be thinking about that the next time my kiddos need a bath and leave the bathroom looking like shamu was in my tub.

  2. Yes, you never know what tomorrow may bring so cherish your family today.

  3. I love how you point out every season is abundant. Very profound. Thank you!

  4. This is the part that hit me:
    "If I start wishing for more time to myself, I shouldn't complain because only a few years ago I had too much time for myself and yearned for someone to share it with."

    I needed to read those words this morning - an incredible connection. Thanks so much!

  5. That was a fabulous post. The concept of abundance in all seasons was insightful. A friend shared this poem with me which is applicable and I thought I'd pass it along:

    Lord, thank you for this sink of dirty dishes;
    We have plenty of food to eat.
    Thank you for this pile of dirty, stinky laundry;
    We have plenty of nice clothes to wear.
    And I would like to thank you, Lord, for those unmade beds;
    They were so warm and comfortable last night.
    I know that many have no bed.
    My thanks to you, Lord, for this bathroom,
    Complete with all the splattered mirrors, soggy, grimy towels and dirty lavatory;
    They are so convenient.
    Thank you for this finger-smudged refrigerator that needs defrosting so badly;
    It has served us faithfully for many years.
    It is full of cold drinks and enough leftovers for two or three meals.
    Thank you, Lord, for this oven that absolutely must be cleaned today.
    It has baked so many things over the years.
    The whole family is grateful for that tall grass that needs mowing,
    The lawn that needs raking;
    We all enjoy the yard.
    Thank you, Lord, even for that slamming screen door.
    My kids are healthy and able to run and play.
    Lord, the presence of all these chores awaiting me says
    You have richly blessed my family.
    I shall do them cheerfully and I shall do them gratefully.

  6. I too wish I could can this season of my life so I could open it up again later to enjoy once more.

    Lovely post, I especially liked your connection of seasons and their differing abundances.

  7. Wow! That was exactly what I needed tonight! Thank you.

  8. I needed this. Thank you for sharing your endless wisdom, my dear Heather. Love you.