Changing Seasons

I have a short fuse these days, and it seems to only be getting shorter. I feel like I’m blowing up at too many things. And too often. I’m not stopping to think about the consequences of what I might be saying to others. I’m not stopping to think how this is going to impact them. Will I insult them? Or will I encourage them to be better? Or will they see my point of view? I don’t know. And I have to step back and figure out the purpose of my words. Why am I so short tempered these days? Do I know?

Actually. Yes. Yes, I do know. One phase of my life is coming to an end.

And I’m ready to move on to the next chapter. But I’ve been asked to extend this phase for another month. And it’s annoying me. Sure. I could have said no, but I didn’t. So I guess for one thing, I’m annoyed with myself. And the second thing. I’m annoyed with the ones who’ve asked me to continue on for another month, because they’re not planning ahead. They’re not making preparations to fill my role in a timely manner. And so it’s going to clog up the system and require others take over my work when their workload is already stretched. But I can’t do anything about any of this. Because my plans are made. I have agreed to the extension of time, so I will continue working.

Just last week, I had to voice my concern about a situation that was causing bottlenecks in our business. I expressed my thoughts privately and confidentially. And now I find that others are at odds with my opposition to their selfishness. But they don’t know I was the one who complained. They don’t know I was the one who voiced my concerns about their actions. But not only that, I find I’m just annoyed with a lot of things, and I can’t keep quiet. And I don’t feel comfortable about any of this. I also know that I’m not comfortable voicing all my concerns. I need to temper my words. I need to step back. I need to make sure that my words honor God. And I need to make sure that my words honor the image bearers of God I’m speaking to and the ones I’m speaking about. And sometimes I just don’t want to. I’m convicted about that, because that is a sin. And I need to be better than that. I can be better than that. I have to want to be better than that. It’s hard and, in my imperfections, I need to seek God more than I’ve ever sought him before.

My heart is detached from my work. It’s been detaching for months now. In the near future, the ties will be severed. It’s difficult to care when your work isn’t your passion.  But a paycheck shouldn’t be the only driver for contentment. For we only long for more. A raise. A bonus. A pat on the back. A promotion. The pay is never enough. We always want just a little bit more.  And over time, the more we’ve been given seems not to be enough. We’re never satisfied.

Basically, I have senioritis. That disease that high school and college seniors get when they’re close to graduation. They’re just done with all the requirements. All the demands. All the expectations. All the deadlines. It’s time for a new phase to begin.

Our work is our calling. Or perhaps it’s better said that our calling is our work. And too many of us miss that calling and settle for far less. For far too long. And we’re miserable.


 For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1


We had our first frost of the season this week, signaling the end of life for all annual flowers and plants. The flowers that just the day before had looked hopeful and promising met an untimely death. Their season was cut short. But really, it wasn’t. The annuals don’t have a long life. They’re grown to flower and spread cheer for one short summer season. And now their work is done. Their season of life is over. I knew this day would come, the day I planted them.

As I bent in the dirt this morning to remove the debris of the summer flowers, I realized I was making way for something new to take its place in the spring. Each summer evening, I would walk the marigold path and deadhead the spent flowers. Instead of removing those deadheads from the garden, I would toss them on the ground near the flowering plants. I didn’t want to be inconvenienced by removing them, so I left them discarded in the flowerbed. But, as the summer wore on, I realized those spent flowers were not dead as I tossed them aside. Although the outside was shriveled and battered, life still remained. Those ugly dried flower heads produced new plants. And those new plants bloomed. Unknowingly, I was adding new beauty to empty places in the garden that had been overlooked. It didn’t take much thought and effort. In fact, it was an unintentional act of tossing spent blooms that produced new beauty and life.

The flowers had spent their short life blooming every day. They stood tall during the hot, steamy summer days. They’ve endured rainstorms. They’ve been whipped around by the wind. And yet they never stopped blooming.

If marigolds could think and reason, they might see the futility of their short life. They’re planted only to bloom for one short season. And then their life is over. But oh. That short blooming season provides endless hours of beauty. The short season keeps the deer at bay from ruining other plants in the garden. And that short season allows for the spread of new growth, even if unintentional. Those spent flowers don’t realize they have the capability to spread new life. But they do. Their short blooming season isn’t the end of life for them. They can seed new growth if left to their natural environment.

And now that the frosted marigolds have been removed from the bed, I notice the carrots that had been planted a few weeks ago. The leaves on the carrots are very similar to the leaves on the marigolds. Those leaves were a reminder today that as some seasons end, a new season with similar interests and opportunities await. New life is ahead.

Oh. How I’ve learned a new lesson on contentment in my current workspace. One season of my life is ending, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still have life within. There are new paths to climb. There is still worth in a body and mind that have spent many years doing meaningless work. This season is closing, but the new one brings hope and fulfillment. My momentary discontentment and frustration will soon end. But I must do the work now of planting new seed for the next season. And I must continue my current work with an improved attitude, knowing that new days await.

And that next season holds hope and promise for new adventures. But I must bide my time doing the daily work that I am entrusted with until that appointed hour. Oh. I am planning for the days ahead. I’m dreaming of new projects to fill my time. I’m also planning for more hours of intentional rest and relaxation.

Not all flowers and plants that bloom and thrive need full sun.

A Season for Everything

It was the springtime. We were house hunting. We knew our budget, the type of house and location we were looking for. We walked into the house one Sunday afternoon. It was outdated. The house had a tired kitchen, ugly wallpaper, faded carpet, and outdated bathrooms. In fact, the entire house reeked of the 80’s.

But we fell in love with the house. The location was private and beautiful. The neighborhood was quiet and small. We made an offer. A lowball offer. After all, we would have to update the entire house unless we wanted the vintage look. We didn’t.

The offer was rejected. Our realtor suggested we wait three weeks. If no offer was received by then, the owner would reduce the price. Low and behold, that is what happened. We made another offer. They countered. Finally, we agreed upon a price. The house was ours.

The previous owner must have loved bearded irises. The south side of the house was planted with multiple colors of the flower. The iris is a flower I’ve never been fond of. I knew she had to love irises, because she had a huge bouquet of them sitting on the dining room table when we toured the house. It was iris season. I’m sure she was very proud of her iris bed. What she didn’t know was that I had plans to get rid of every last iris.

I imagine the former owner had most likely spent many hours in her iris bed. Planting. Weeding. Pruning. Deadheading. Cutting the fresh blooms to enjoy indoors.

But once she sold the house, all bets were off for that iris bed. I had plans, and they didn’t include irises. What she didn’t know was that I loved peonies, roses and zinnias. Instead of having all purple flowers, I wanted to see some pinks and reds and oranges. Even yellow.

I waited a couple of years before I decided it was time to make some changes. The flower bed was bigger than I realized, so I only managed to dig up one third of the bulbs the first fall. The next year, I removed another third of the bulbs. Finally, this year I’ve dug out the remaining third of the flowerbed.

Now I can begin the real work of making the flowerbed mine.


We don’t remember what happened in the past, and in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now. Ecclesiastes 1:11


It’s easy to be offended when someone comes along and makes changes to what you once held dear. Times change. Interests are updated. People grow.  What was once new is now old, and what was old is now new again.  

Change can be liberating or exhausting.  Depending on what side of the equation you’re on, someone else’s decision to change may just be the motivation to get you out of your comfort zone.  It may be the nudge to actually move on when moving on wasn’t on your mind.

Letting go of old and beloved flowers or habits or traditions or jobs can take your breath away, or it can bring new life. It all depends on the attitude of
adjustment.  It doesn’t have to be offensive.

I came to hate all my hard work here on earth, for I must leave to others everything I have earned. And who can tell whether my successors will be wise or foolish? Yet they will control everything I have gained by my skill and hard work under the sun. How meaningless!  So I gave up in despair, questioning the value of all my hard work in this world.  Some people work wisely with knowledge and skill, then must leave the fruit of their efforts to someone who hasn’t worked for it. This, too, is meaningless, a great tragedy.  Ecclesiastes 2:18-21 

The flowerbed that once held colorful bearded irises will produce something different in the spring.  White peonies.  Pink roses.  Orange Chinese lanterns.  The possibilities are endless.  Each season, the flowerbed that only held irises will now shine with new colors and blooms.  It will have a new look.  A future owner will never know irises once grew in the space.  But then again, they may remove all my hard work and start a fresh new space.  It is expected.  It is accepted.  There are times when change needs to occur in order for stagnation to be replaced by fresh newness.

There is a time and a season for everything.  Adjusting to change is hard, especially when it isn’t an expected or desired change.  Newness can bring new life and new opportunities that one would never have experienced if the change hadn’t occurred.  

It isn’t easy to embrace change, but moving on to new pastures can be refreshing and invigorating.  Otherwise, change can cause an inner death and allow a root of bitterness to grow.  Accept change.  Allow the newness of discomfort to challenge and renew your spirit.  New life blooms ahead in the new season.

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1 

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