For Everything There Is a Season
There is nothing better than summer in the Northwest. As I peer over my laptop out the window at the bluest skies you’ve ever seen and the hills the greenest green, I am so grateful for this place we call home. The long, warm days invite us outside to enjoy our beautiful little corner of the world.
For Team Hawkins, summer equals houseguests. We bought our house dreaming of backyard pool parties and BBQs, late night bonfires, and s’mores. We wanted our house to be the hub for our kid’s friends, a destination for out-of-town family, a place where there is always room for one more seat at the table on game night. When we walked through each room praying for the house that became our home, we prayed that the Hawkins Home would be a place of community. And the Lord has answered that prayer. . . abundantly.
A Full Summer
We currently have 12 people temporarily calling our house their home. My sister and her family have taken up residence in a borrowed camper on the side of our house while they visit from Saudi Arabia. Two of Joey’s sisters are living in the guest room. Already this summer we have witnessed over 100 guests cannonball in our pool, hailing from Oklahoma and Indonesia and around the corner.
Needless to say, it is a busy season. All you introverts reading this are probably having a panic attack. I will readily admit that even my extroverted self has needed a break here and there. Because the thing about having a house bursting at the seams with friends that are like family is that you sometimes don’t know who unloaded the dishwasher and where they put your favorite mug. And you wake up early to have a cup of coffee and quiet only to find the World Cup is already on for a room full of people. Or you’re having your LifeGroup over, but your living room has been transformed into the most epic blanket fort ever created by the Cousin Crew. And then your dog gets sick. And it’s 90 degrees outside and 97 degrees inside because you don’t have AC. These are all real-life stories from my summer. If you weren’t having a panic attack before, you are probably hyperventilating now.
Joy in Every Season
I came to work on Monday a little grumpy because we can’t keep bananas in stock at our house, and my kitchen floor needed to be swept, and I have to wait in line to do laundry or take a shower, and I hadn’t had my quiet time with the Lord because there is no such thing as quiet at my house. I used my lunch time to take a deep breath and continue a guided study I am doing on the concept of joy in scripture. The study starts with asking for a word to describe my current emotion. I wrote “tired and ticked.” The passage for the day was Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, a passage you might be familiar with if you have heard the song by the Byrds, Turn! Turn! Turn! It’s a passage that doesn’t mention joy once. Instead it talks about the passing of seasons, that there is a time for everything under the sun. As I read it, I thought about the late-night conversations I’ve had with my sister that I miss all year long when she’s away. I thought of the reality that Marguerite learned how to do a cartwheel at gymnastics camp, and she just won’t stop growing so fast. I thought about the nights I’ve gotten home to a tableful of friends eating the amazing tacos my husband cooks. And I suddenly went from grieving a missing coffee mug to dreading the end of summer. I found the joy that God had for me in the midst of the busyness.
There is a season for everything. I’m of the opinion that summer is the best season in the Northwest. But as the days inevitably get shorter and cooler, I will look for the joy that God has for me in that season. As my kids grow and start calling me “Mom” instead of “Mommy,” I’ll look for the joy in the stage of soccer carpools and book reports.
I pray the same for you. You might be in a season of launching your first kid to college, or feeling like you live out of suitcase while you travel for work, or spending every weekend watching your son play baseball. You might be in a season of sorrow, or loneliness, or longing. You might be in a season of abundance, or new life. There is a season for everything under the sun. The season you are in will pass whether you want it to or not. But no matter what season you are in, look for the joy and goodness that comes from our great God.
Right after the passage I read in my study are these verses: “I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil – this is God’s gift to man. I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it.” (Ecclesiastes 3:12-14). The Westminster Catechism says that the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. God has built us for joy. And while our seasons may be temporary, whatever God does endures forever.
Now get outside and enjoy this season!