March 8, 2023
A Note from Pastor April
This week, my younger child turned 13.
I remember people telling me that the time would fly by. Most days it didn’t feel like that.
So much of parenting is the little moments, the daily routines, the consistent showing up to the needs that are happening in the present moment. It’s slow and steady and repetitive kind of work.
So many days I felt like a broken record repeating the same phrases…
“Hands to ourselves.”
“Use your words.”
“Tell the truth.”
“You can do it.”
“I’ll be right here.”
Today I know what people mean about time moving fast.
At some point, our role as parent shifts. Not only are our children becoming more independent (and sometimes taller than us!), but they are discovering who they are apart from us. They still need us, but in a different, less hands-on way.
They are ready for a new season. Are we?
I have a love/hate relationship with seasons of change.
A part of me loves the new energy that they bring, along with the excitement of experiencing something for the very first time. This is especially great when I am in the driver’s seat and choosing the change… whether through a new job or a trip to a new place.
It’s harder when the change happens without your consent.
When suddenly, the way things were is different.
A Little More Space
It has taken me a long time to give myself a little more space during these seasons of change to allow myself to feel what I feel.
To notice how my body feels unsettled and anxious, as I try to learn how to be a supportive parent in new kinds of ways.
There’s some grief there, a sense of the loss of the previous season and my “little boys.”
There’s some joy in there, too… look at who they are becoming!
These past few years have asked a lot of us in terms of change.
We’ve been taken into places where we must learn how to BE in new ways, where we have to adjust to new normals, and where we rarely get much of a say in the matter.
You are loved and seen
Wherever you find yourself in the midst of this season of change, I just want you to know that you are loved and seen.
Offer yourself some compassion and grace.
Maybe give yourself some space to move slowly and not do everything you were once doing.
When I can offer myself some compassion and room to breathe, one of the things I usually find is that this season of change is offering me an invitation to grow.
I’m being invited to listen to the discomfort and allow it to open me up in new ways. (I’ve learned the disappointing truth that I don’t grow much as a human when I’m completely in my comfort zone.)
I wonder how God will speak to you during this Season of Lent.
Is there somewhere you need to create more space to breathe?
Is there somewhere you are being invited to grow?
Whatever season you are in, know that God is right there with you. It’s OK to stop and breathe. It’s OK to be uncomfortable in all kinds of ways. It’s also OK to not feel like you know what’s next.
May this Season of Lent be a time of opening up, learning, growing, and lots and lots of compassion for all of us.
The Rev. April Blaine