I really appreciate expiration dates. When I was in the last, oh so uncomfortable, weeks of being pregnant with Mabel I would look at the expiration date (or “best before”, if you prefer) on chicken and think, “by the time this chicken goes bad (or needs to be put in the freezer) this baby will be out of my body”. It gave serious mental comfort to see a date when the current reality would be different. I confess that during particularly stressful seasons of my life I have glanced many times a day at the long-off expiration date on the container of lemon juice concentrate just to remind myself again and again that it will not be like this forever.
Some afternoons, days, or weeks that just needs to be the mantra; it will not be like this forever. This is of course both a promise and a threat. When things are wonderful, sweet, and easy, it is also true; it will not be like this forever. When things are hard, exhausting, and sad; it will not be like this forever.
I think this is why we all love seasons so much. I love summer as much as anyone, but the first time I need to put on a pair of jeans and a fleece jacket…..ahhhhh. That feels so good.
We have seasons in our faith that are not always so easy to name while we are in it. There are times when we seem to be stumbling over our joy and gratitude. Other times there might be so much shifting, changing and rearranging in our personal lives that it makes for real spiritual reconstruction on the inside too.
And of course, there are seasons of our body. Seasons we feel strong, productive, and smooth and then other times when everything takes so much stinking effort.
I always come back to the promise of “it will not be like this forever”. For better or for worse, change happens always. Forever.
I am in a season of dirty diapers, storytime at the library, and smelling a wee bit of sour milk. I know this is a season that will change and be over before I know it. I know that this will not be the most productive season in my personal life, or for all the house projects. This season requires me to slow down a lot to calmly explain to a two year old why I need her to stop yelling (which also requires me to stop yelling). This season requires me to plan for a little extra time in the morning because It just takes longer to get going and someone will inevitably have a stink-bomb diaper as soon as I put them in the car. And in this season I just do not have much time all to myself (there is a wonderful 5th grade girl, appropriately named Grace, playing with my 2 year old daughter while I write this & make dinner & rock a baby in the crook of my leg). It will not be like this forever.
That being said, the Daily Bread Yoga retreats will be seasonal. There will be one in the fall, on September 7th. So, of course there will be one the beginning Janaury, April, and in the summer. When I am in a different season of my life I hope to offer them more often.
I hope that if it’s seasonal it might be a little easier for you to get there too. Make it a weekend in central Illinois, get a babysitter long in advance, don’t make plans for a work weekend, whatever you need to do. Just come. It will again be in the beautiful little town of Philo, just a few minutes outside of Champaign-Urbana, at Philo Presbyterian Church. It is a really sweet morning. I think you should come. Saturday, September 7th, 9a.m.-noon.
Let me know if you have any questions, thoughts, good ideas, funny jokes, whatever. I hope you are having one of those great days when you are tripping over good things. And if not; it will not be like this forever. I swear.
peace on your head,