Growth Spurts: Spring Is Coming
March has always been one of my favorite months. It’s my birthday month; we get a week off of school; the weather gets warmer; and things start to bloom!
I have discovered throughout my 42 years of life that my mood is somewhat affected by my environment. The weather, the colors of a room, windows (or lack thereof), temperature, the color of the sky, dead grass/plants/trees vs. living ones… All of these things can affect how I feel. So I sometimes struggle through the dead of Winter (and am oh-so-thankful that I live in Mississippi, where the Winters are short and fairly warm), and I find myself breathing more deeply and happily as the buds begin appearing on the trees, giving me the hope of green and warmth returning with the coming of Spring!
There have been seasons of parenthood that have sometimes felt like Winter to me, and it wasn’t always easy to remain hopeful and positive for “Spring” to come. A particularly hard season was when my first three children were one, three, and five, and my husband was working long hours away from home. Being at home all day with three kids that young can be physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting. Some days felt like a downward spiral, and I struggled to find my hope and purpose–my Spring. I quickly recognized this about myself, however, and I took note of the people and things that helped me find my Spring on those days.
Music has always been very important to me. I have almost always listened to Christian music, because it helps direct my mind and focus on what I believe it needs to be. I am reminded of who and what I am and why my family and I live the way that we do. Also, I just enjoy this genre of music. So multiple times every day, I give my heart and brain a dose of musical tonic to help lift my spirit. It helps me so much.
In addition to music, there are other elements found in my personal Spring. My family, my friends, knitting, watching a good movie, taking a bubble bath, gazing at a blue sky, eating chocolate, laughing… When I feel like I am in the dead of Winter, each of these things can make me feel like I am coming back to life again, like the flowers are pushing their way back up through the earth.
What does “Winter” look like for you? Maybe it’s a serious lack of sleep, brought on by a newborn or a sick child. Maybe it’s a particular behavioral issue you’re having with one of your children. Maybe it’s a toddler that refuses to be potty trained. Maybe it’s the feeling of having no personal time (or space). Maybe it’s being a single parent. Or maybe it’s just been one of those days. No matter what the circumstances are, look for those elements that will help you. Seek out encouragement. Ask for it! We all need the hope of Spring, whether it’s just around the corner or a very long way off.
Your season of Winter may not even involve anything about parenthood; it may involve other sources. No matter the source, though, be proactive in looking for signs of Spring. And when you find them, breathe deeply. Lift your head. Bask in the warmth of the sun and take time to observe the colors and life around you. Welcome your Spring! It is the reward for enduring the Winter.
Carrie Bevell Partridge realizes that not everyone dislikes winter as she does. Feel free to adjust the names of the seasons in this article to suit your needs.