As I write this, it's summer time and the temperatures in my area of the country have been consistently pretty high lately. I’m not typically a huge fan of hot weather in general, and my current state of being almost 9 months pregnant is not helping that! Not to mention that autumn is my favorite season and seems to be right around the corner, yet also so far away at the same time. Because of these reasons, I will admit that I am counting down the days until September when I will no longer be pregnant and summer will for the most part be over.

The problem is that I still have quite a few weeks until this happens, and while it is great to have something to look forward to, I know that I can’t just wish away the time and be miserable in the interim. I know that this season is short and especially with this being our last child, I know that I will never get this time back once it is gone. My husband is also currently in a similar situation as he has the responsibility of finishing the basement in our house to make room for our newest family member (in addition to working full time). I realized that in order to keep a good attitude and enjoy these last few weeks, that we really need to embrace our current seasons instead of stressing about it. Since I am a very practical person, I sat down to think about how we could really do this and came up with a few ideas.

Enjoy the Benefits

Every season we go through in life, no matter how difficult or uncomfortable, has some benefits, even if they are small ones that we really have to search for. Like I mentioned, I'm not a huge fan of summer because I generally prefer cooler weather, but one small benefit of summer for me is getting to wear flip flops every day and never having to find socks! It's a very little thing I know, but it is still a benefit that I can embrace! When my husband has to travel for work and I'm at home playing a single mom, it’s easy to get down about hard that is, a small benefit of that time is that I get to choose what TV show to watch and what to eat for dinner (which is often Thai food since my husband isn’t a fan). Again, it’s a small thing, and I’d much rather have my husband home, but finding the small things in the midst of tough situations really does help me through that time.

Be Thankful

Aside from the small benefits that come specifically with the difficult seasons we go through, we also have things in our lives we can be thankful for that aren’t affected by most circumstances. For instance, no matter what stressful situations my husband and I face, I am always thankful for the health of our family and the wonderful blessing we have in our son (even when his attitude is the difficult circumstance I face!).

I’m thankful for our church and our church family, as well as our extended family and the fact that we have a roof over our heads and that we serve an amazing God that will never leave us or forsake us. I realize that some people’s difficult circumstances do include a loss of some of these things, but there is always something to find to be thankful for. We simply have to look at Job who lost everything, but was still able to be thankful for God, whom he served.

Learn the Lesson

In the midst of pretty much every difficult season we go through, God wants to teach us a lesson of some sort. Even if he didn't cause our tough time (such as death of a family member or sickness) he can still use it for our good by helping us grown and learn through it. If we can really lean on God and learn the lesson from the situation, we will walk away stronger and find some meaning in it. For instance, if a relationship is strained or ends, you learn that God is really all you need, and you can be at peace with him at the center of your life, even if someone else is no longer there. I personally have learned to be content and not put so much value in material things when I have gone through financial shortages. I've learned I can be happy, despite not having all the things I want. There is something to be learned in every situation of life and if we submit to that and are open to learning and growing, we will walk out of those circumstances a better person than we were before.