Seasons Come, Seasons Go: Starbucks Remains Forever!

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?

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Lesson from My Own Mom

My Mother’s Day started off as a normal Sunday morning. My 5-year-old asking “Where is Daddy?” My 2-year-old waking up with a poopy diaper and screaming about wanting something to eat.

We finally make it to Church. We finally make it to the end of Church.

We do end up having a blessed day.

In addition to my family, I was blessed to spend time mothering a group of broken teenager girls who need more positive role models. It was special.

I was also blessed to spend time with other Moms who are serving here in a wonderful Bible Study studying the Song of Songs.

I am surrounded by love.

As I lay my head down on my pillow, feeling full, I remember my own mother. My mother who is many thousands of miles away. Praying for me. Supporting me. Never wavering in her love for me. No matter the distance.

I have many memories of my Mom when I was a child. There is one fond memory I cannot forget. When it is rainy season here in Zambia, I remember it and I laugh.

On one of our many road trips, it was raining hard as we were getting out of the car to eat at our favorite fast-food stop, Wendy’s. She carried all of our jackets. As she was so worried to give us our jackets, she was practically running after us. We ran off. We all left her behind. Carrying everything. She didn’t notice.

She was just concerned for us. Watching us. Her eyes on us.

In the midst of that, she tripped on a sidewalk (Sorry Mom!). She fell hard. She was so busy watching us that she never even saw the sidewalk. She was so busy with concern for us that she never was for a moment concerned for herself.

She truly only cared about us. She only wanted to look out for us. She wanted to serve us. Not to be served.

“just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28

Can I have that same love? I often feel like a failure as a mother. Not good enough. Not gentle enough. Not loving enough.

My mom is so patient. So sacrificial. So gentle. So humble. Everything I desire. Everything I am not.

So this post is for you, Mom. You are truly a wonderful example. And I pray that I can learn the same. With your prayers, I have hope that I can be that way one day.

We are not perfect. Our own mothers were not perfect. But, we do not have to be perfect. We just have to Love. Sacrificially. Through His Grace.

That is a lesson I can learn from my Mother. One of many lessons!

 Let’s Chat: What lesson can you learn about your mother this Mother’s Day season?