Don’t Miss the Turn

I walk to the edge of the garage, smiling and raising both hands in a double wave as my husband drives my two precious girls off to school. It’s another morning in the days since I quit riding along so I could cup their sweet faces in my hands before they climbed out with their backpacks.

When the car is out of sight and the air falls silent, I turn and step quietly across the grey floor and inside the house.

My youngest began school for the first time this fall, and what was supposed to be a half day without her quickly turned into a full day when our school district made some last-minute schedule changes. Without warning, I was thrust into my role as mother of school-aged children, alone in my home for most of each week’s daylight hours.

I’m grieving a beautiful life of quiet mornings, children’s programming, coloring, and snuggling. Handing my youngest over to school feels like discarding her childhood – almost like it didn’t matter.

If you ask me how the school year is going, I’ll say she is really enjoying Kindergarten and share how surprised we are that she has adjusted to her new routine so easily. But selfishly, I’m sad for this part of life – this chapter of my life as a mom – to end.

As a parent, I have no choice but to help my children embrace new parts of life. I encourage them to look upon new activities and special days at school with excitement and not dread. I ask if everyone else dressed for Purple Day, what they learned in art class, and if they played with any new friends.

My forced smile is the only way I know to move them, and myself, forward. Because I know forward is the right way to go.

Autumn is the dying off of old to give birth to the new. And the cold of winter will be broken by buds of new life, new beauty and wonder. I trust that there is goodness ahead.

But goodness is not just way off in the distance – it’s right now. There is joy and sweetness even in these fleeting moments of transition. Can I embrace that?

God holds great things for us in each season and the time in between. With our heads turned back, remembering days sipping cocoa and watching Cinderella, we might miss the goodness He has laid at our feet this very day.

Yes, the leaves are dying, but look at the beauty the changing of seasons brings with its rich hues and curling leaves. We savor and celebrate the golden fall colors, but do we treasure the changing of colors in our own lives?

While my sweet baby sheds the leaves of the past, I look at the beautiful way God is turning her life! She is more capable than she knew. She is growing and she is blooming. And the turning itself is beautiful.

When a leaf drops in your life, I challenge you to look beyond its loss and to see what God is doing right there in that very moment. Don’t waste the gift – for He even makes change beautiful. Don’t miss the turn!

What leaves are falling around you now? What goodness is God providing through the colors?

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven…” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (KJV)