Every year we travel to the States. It is a LONG journey from Southern Africa across the continents and across the seas and ocean. We usually have a layover in Europe before crossing the Atlantic Ocean. Once we land in Europe, I personally love to see familiar things in the airport. This translates to shopping, eating junk food and of course, ordering a Starbucks coffee! Being deprived of Starbucks all year long, it is something I really look forward to! In the past, whenever I traveled in the States or abroad, I always bought my Starbucks coffee in the airport. It was one of my traveling habits. I used to love to sip my cappuccino or treat myself to a sinfully delicious flavored coffee. I would take it on the flight with me and just relax and read and enjoy the journey.
As to what I am naturally accustomed to, one year, as we had a transit in London Heathrow airport, I decided to keep this same Starbucks tradition. But this time, things were different. I had a toddler child, a stroller, a diaper bag and an overstressed and tired brain. Having just landed from a ten-hour overnight flight (did I mention that I didn’t sleep!) and about to go on another flight across the Atlantic, I needed a pick-me-up coffee. I looked forward to sipping that coffee. To relax and unwind. I deserved it after coming so far and needing a treat to keep going!
But then tragedy struck. Before I even boarded the flight, I THREW AWAY MY COFFEE! I am not one of those moms that have it all together. You will likely see me a mess – a total MESS – with lots of bags, wearing sweats, and in panic mode. So, needless to say, I could not manage another thing. Something had to go. Time was ticking. The boarding call had been made. There was no time to finish the coffee.
After a few small sips, a choice had to be made. It was diapers or coffee. I chucked that beautiful white cup into the trash bin. I still remember throwing that cup away. May that Coffee Cup Rest in Peace.
In life, we go through different seasons. There is the season of single-hood when you can dream, be ambitious, and carry a cup of coffee onto a plane when traveling. There is marriage, which is full of its glorious ups and downs. Then there is the season of having young children. Where I am now. I always try to remember that this is a wonderful season, where my kids still “need” me and when I can teach and influence so much! However, there are times when it is frustrating. Where I feel I am missing out. Where ministry and attending spiritually fulfilling meetings are cut short or nonexistent. Where going out with friends is constantly interrupted by bathroom breaks, skinned up knees, demands, and whining. Where things are, what can I say, different…..
Earlier this year, I was complaining to my husband and asked him what I should learn from this season that I am in. I was frustrated and upset because I was missing out on yet another retreat. To be fulfilled and to serve others. I was captive to my thoughts and negativity. Trapped in self-pity.
That very night after I was complaining, during our New Year’s Eve service, servants were distributing Bible verses. The verse I received was: “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1
This became my theme verse for the year. That night God answered me in a very personal and real way. There is a purpose in every season we face. To teach and guide me. Our loving God never leaves us abandoned. He leads us out of our captivity and frees our mind and heart.
One day I will sit in the plane with a Starbucks coffee and a book to read. One day I will enjoy “freedom” from having young children. But, one thing I will do differently TODAY, is to enjoy this One Day, this Season I am in.
Let’s Chat: What season are you in currently and what encourages you through it?