One lesson I keep learning over and over again is that God gives us different seasons to help us on our journey toward him.
Seasons are acutely visible to me as our family has a small, five-acre homestead in Indiana. Each spring brings new life with our farm animals and our new crops. As the summer wears on, the never-ending battle against weeds continues as the orchard blooms and begins growing delicious fruit, the dairy cow comes into full milk production, and our meat animals put on weight. Autumn brings on butchering and harvest time in order to prepare for the dormant winter. And the cycle continues.
Liturgically, the Church follows with the spiritual seasons, beginning with the anticipation during Advent, the joyful Christmas season, followed just weeks later by the penitential season of Lent and glorious Eastertide. The time of Pentecost gives all of us, as it did the apostles, the gift of the Holy Spirit to live out our own vocations during ordinary times before the cycle repeats itself once again.
As a woman, wife, and mother in these times, I am in the midst of different seasons of my life as well. After college, I had a successful career for a few years as a public relations professional before discovering my vocation to marriage. I always tell people that I was “promoted to mom” in 1998, which began the beautiful, yet often challenging, season of pregnancy, nursing, babies, toddlers, sleep deprivation, and noise.
Homeschooling began another season that introduced doubts, fears, and an amazing amount of time-management and organizational challenges. That was a season of growing in patience and learning to love unconditionally.
Today, my oldest three children are, respectively, planning a wedding, attending college, and looking for a car and house. I still have four at home with my youngest at seven years old. It’s a different season of building relationships with adult children where I no longer have any real control while, at the same time, raising those young souls still entrusted to me.
This season is gradually moving me toward the next one when all the children will be grown and gone. I’ve picked up freelance writing work again, squeezing it in between prayer, home school, cooking, cleaning, and fight negotiations. My husband, a clinical psychologist, and I are working with another friend on a website called Souls and Hearts, which is dedicated to providing faithful Catholics with guided, customized programs designed to remove psychological obstacles to giving and receiving love from God and neighbor.
In each season, on the farm, in our Church, and as a mother, I see his creation, our human weakness, and the ongoing opportunity to grow in virtue.
Pam Malinoski is a homeschooling, homesteading, homemaking mother of seven in Indianapolis. She loves motherhood because life and work are never boring! In her “free time,” she manages content for www.soulsandhearts.com (check it out!) and picks up freelance writing-gig work.