Guest Post (and another fun giveaway!) ~ Seasons

Friends, I am so excited to share this guest post with you today. My dear friend, Erica Pelzel, owner of the Etsy shop The Lovely Hollow,  launched her own blog last night and it is simply stunning. She’s an exquisite writer and incredible mama, and I’m so so grateful she agreed to do a guest post for me this week since it’s been about two months since I’ve slept through the night and I’m not functioning very well! Without further ado, take it away, Erica:

 Seasons

We ran our air conditioner last night.
It’s November in the southwest and I’m like, “ok, Summer- we get it- you’ve overstayed your welcome and now you’re awkwardly still trying to be our friend.  But please! Just leave already!”
I’m more of a Fall girl, myself.  I yearn for it 365 days a year, but here in Las Cruces I’d say that Fall comes to visit for a max of maybe 3 weeks.  This year seems to be an extreme of this, so it’s had me thinking on season changes.
My oldest daughter started kindergarten in August and her school is clear across town.  I’ve been driving A LOT since then, going back and forth to pick her up everyday, and I’m seeing a lot more of our city because of it.  Grass is still super green here and just this week some of the trees started to change.  Vibrant reds and yellows are taking over their branches and it just makes me light up when I see it.  “Finally!” I think, “Maybe I can start to wear my winter clothes and boots!”
As a desert girl- I don’t see many seasons.  Well ok, maybe there are three around here: Eternal Summer, Kinda Coldish and Windy.  I’ve always wanted to live somewhere green with tons of precipitation, but here I am: living on THE SURFACE OF THE SUN.  If I liked Summer, I’d live in the perfect spot.  Summer and I would have a love affair for 9-10 months of the year and it’d be all butterflies and rainbows for us.  But when the cool days begin to shift into hot nights, I throw myself a little pity party and sleep a lot.  It’s pathetic, I know, but I promise I’m going somewhere with this.
I believe that God has written His story into every single thing on this earth- especially seasons.  One of my favorite things about Jesus is that He was and is a story teller.  He used stories and earthly comparisons to teach people about His heart for them.  And when I think of seasons, I can’t help but think of my walk with Jesus.  I can say this now when I’m in a clear headspace, mind you, but when I’m in the trenches of something difficult?  All bets are off.
Life is funny that way, isn’t it?  When things are good, it’s easy to feel content and not mind the season of life you’re in.  But when seasons are hard, I find myself longing for something else- ANYTHING ELSE but what I’m facing at the time.  And when I’m in said hard season, I am convinced that it’s no longer a season but a “forever”.  And you can’t really talk me out of it.  I start obsessing over how I can change my “forever” and shift it back into a season of joy and peace and ease.
Does that ever happen to you?  You get stuck in a rut that feels like it might end you?  Hopelessness and helplessness set in and I just start to feel overcome by my circumstances.  This past year was one of those ruts for us.  After nearly two years of secondary infertility, we were blessed with my second pregnancy and beautiful baby girl, Emmy.  Her birth was… yikes.  And she was an incredibly hard baby with several issues we had to overcome.  My husband hated his job, was super depressed and eventually became unemployed.  Our finances were a nightmare.  My dream job opened up and then fell apart in a matter of days and it’s safe to say that it was a roller coaster for our hearts.  When I was in the trenches of postpartum, it seemed like a “forever”.  When my husband was unemployed it seemed like “forever”.  When my job opportunity slipped away and I realized that I was going to be a messy-house-stay-at-home-mom “forever”, I just couldn’t handle it.
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I’m telling you all this because sometimes seasons are just the worst.  Right after my first daughter was born, my husband and I had a conversation about how awesome our life was.  We felt so solid in our marriage, we had just had a textbook, easy home birth and such an easy baby.  We were both in jobs we loved and everything just seemed perfect.  And then a week later everything started to unravel for us with some crazy health scares that almost took my life.  It took us years to work our way out of that mess, only to find ourselves in the midst of even more messes and I started to feel like I just couldn’t win.
These are the facts about seasons:
  1. You don’t get to choose what season you’re in.  I mean sure, if you choose to go back to school or you choose to take a new job you get a bit of control.  But friend, some elements of life will just always be out of your hands.
  2. You usually don’t know a season is coming until you’re smack dab in the middle of it.  And then you either love it or really, really hate it.
  3. You don’t always get to choose when/how a season ends.  Some seasons may feel like “forevers”.  Some seasons may pass so quickly you wonder how they even happened.
  4. A season is always fleeting.  Though the next season may feel distant, it’s not behind.  It’s not late.  It’s also guaranteed to end.  This is great news in hard seasons and sad news in easy seasons.
  5. You get to choose what you will get out of it.  You can choose to get bitter and angry or you can choose to get better and learn.
Do you know how absolutely ridiculous you’d look if you ran up to an oak tree in the winter and screamed, “Don’t you worry!  You WILL bloom again!  I know you’re scared, but you can do it!  You can survive this winter!”  An oak tree isn’t worried that it might not bloom again.  An oak tree knows that there are seasons of planting, seasons of growing, seasons of blooming and seasons of rest.  It’s not in control of its season and it doesn’t try to be in a different season either.  It bows to the ways of its Creator and accepts the season its in.
At the beginning of 2017, my husband and I felt strongly that this was “Our Year”.  He got discovered by Google in September of 2016 (Have you heard of that before?  I hadn’t.  Apparently, they track your searches and if you are searching for the right coding terms, your browser screen slides back, says, “Looks like you’re speaking our language, are you up for a challenge?” and if you complete the challenges correctly you score an interview.  At one of the leading tech companies in the world.  My husband is so freaking amazing.) but the funny thing is that he was just teaching himself how to code for fun. He really didn’t know much- hence the reason he was searching for so many coding terms.  Google does tons of interviews, and for us those spanned over 5 months. He made it to the last round of interviews where they fly you out to the Googleplex and everything.
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Pause.
As I mentioned earlier, we were in such a hard season at this time.  And this job opportunity with Google- it would throw us into such an exciting and promising new season.  We were stoked.  We looked at all the houses,  all the churches, read and read and read about the Google processes and ways to get in.  Our season was about to end! We could feel it!  My dream job was coming!  Emmy was finally starting to sleep!  2017 would be our year!!
And then it all fell apart.  All of it.
I’ll spare you the drama, but we found ourselves, a family of 4, without any income for over 3 months.  And it’s not like we had saved up for that- I’m telling you, people, it was yikes.  I started to feel so sad about calling this “Our Year”.  I felt embarrassed and like such a fool for hoping that a better season would come.  I hated that we went from a bad season to a terrifying season.  And I just felt so hopeless.
We lost a lot at the beginning of this year.  But I am so happy to tell you that our terrifying season was not a “forever”.  Nathan got his dream job.  It’s better than we could have hoped for- and he found the Nerd Tribe he always wanted.  Dreams started to awaken for us that I thought had been dead, dead, dead.  And best of all: I got my husband back.  Since he was coming alive at work (instead of being torn down for 40+ hours a week), our whole family dynamic changed.  We were a team again.
I hated our terrifying season.  Hated it.  But I’m not sorry it happened and I would do it again in a heartbeat.  I know that’s kind of cheesy to say but there it is.
Sometimes you have to lose in order to win.  Sometimes you have to fail to succeed.  And sometimes you have to walk through hard, ugly seasons to get real victories in your life.
Friend, your season of victory is coming.
If we were sitting together, you and I, I would hand you a cup of tea as we sat on my kid-stained couch.  I’d ask you what season you felt you were in right now.  I’d listen, most definitely cry with you, and then I would say, “Your season is coming.”  Your season of gain- it’s coming.  Your season of abundance- it’s coming.  Your season of growth and joy and harvest- it’s on its way.  God is a good, good Father, my friend.  His promises are true and real and He never quits loving on you.  He will absolutely lead you into seasons that feel like they might overtake you.  They won’t.  He is God and He is strong and He will lead you by still waters, too.
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If you’re in the middle of a “forever” season- don’t give up.  He IS coming and He IS near.  We really can hold unswervingly to the hope we profess because He who promised is faithful, friend.  And it’s ok to admit you don’t believe that sometimes- He’s not intimidated by your doubts or fears.  Instead He kneels down, wipes your tears, washes your feet and takes your hand.
Whatever season you’re in- He has a harvest is store for you, sweet Oak Tree.  You have been planted, you will grow, you will bloom and you will get to rest.
Your season is coming my sweet, dear friend.  Trust me- it’s on its way.
I am a wife to a hilarious nerd, mama bear to two sassy stars and lover of naps.  Ooh and coffee.  And all things crafty.  In this crazy season of dreams for my family, #teampelzel, I have started a blog of my own!!  And I’m doing a HUUUGE giveaway that I hope you win!!!  Head on over to http://www.ericapelzel.com/launch-giveaway/ to enter!!
Thanks for having me, Katie!  What an honor it is to call you friend!
xoxo Erica

2 thoughts on “Guest Post (and another fun giveaway!) ~ Seasons

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