| from Melissa Hannigan |

I don’t know about you but I am ready for a new season. I have already pulled out all things pumpkin and spice. I started burning cinnamon scented candles and promised the kids a batch of apple cider this weekend. It’s a little earlier than I usually start these traditions, but I am ready for a change. Maybe it’s the hope that a new season means taking off of the old with the anticipation of a something new. The new school year promises a new chance to do things differently or to restart some habits that got forgotten by the end of last year. Or finally a change in weather, even if it’s only a slight change because you live in a southern state, which perhaps brings a change in wardrobe. Maybe we get to put away our worn-out summer clothes and pull out our cozy sweaters and comfy jeans. But there is something comforting in change, in the ebb and flow of one season into the next. The end of something old and the beginning of something new.  

This ordered and systematic way that God ordains seasons reminds me of the verse in Ecclesiastes 3:1 that says, “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for everything under the sun.” And this is not just true about actual seasons but about life itself. I’m sure many of us have felt the weight of a season in life that seems to go on forever, this past season of quarantine perhaps. Or I remember the season as a new mom, the middle of the night feeding season felt like it would never end but suddenly one day there was a change in the wind and that baby began sleeping through the night. Without warning that season was over. Or how about the season of potty-training a toddler. That season of accidents and constantly changing bed sheets felt like an eternity at the time but looking it back it was merely a brief season in sweet time of toddlerhood. And one of the things I have learned in my fifteen years of motherhood is not to wish a season away, as difficult as some may be but to enjoy them instead, messes and all, because before I know it the season changes. 

How are you cherishing this season? Whether it’s enjoying the literal season of fall as a family with bonfires, campouts, smores, or pumpkin patches, making memories, continuing family traditions or starting new ones? How are you enjoying the season of life that your family is in, maybe with a newborn baby, or a teenager about to leave the home? Whatever the season, I pray that you cherish it, with all the struggles and triumphs, because each season only lasts for a limited time and then it’s gone. 

So, as I pack away our summer clothes, although not too far away because we live in Florida and summer sometimes makes a second appearance, I will thank God for the lessons and memories we made over the past several months’ season of quarantine. I will thank Him for the extra family time that we enjoyed being together which allowed us to teach our eight-year-old how to ride a bike without training wheels or gave my twelve-year-old daughter more time to hone her baking skills. This was a season we will never forget but I will look expectantly to the new season because I know the One who appointed this season, I know that He has good things in store for us. I will strive to enjoy the season I am in with my family and not jump ahead to the next season, because we all know Christmas will be here before we know it!

– What season do you find yourself/your family in right now?

– Do you have any fall traditions that you are looking forward to as a family? 

– What blessings have you found in the season of quarantine? 

No matter what season you find yourself in, remember that “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God” (Romans 8:28) so find the joy, seek the good, and trust that God placed your family in this season for a good purpose!

As a homeschool mom of four kids, Melissa uses her background in child development and counseling to keep her family from going completely off the rails.  Melissa discovered her passion for helping kids meet their fullest potential over 15 years ago. As a therapist, she has worked with children in head start, foster care and in detention facilities to provide them the tools they need for success.  Melissa has also served hundreds of young people through her local church.  Her unique sense of humor, paired with a desire to make tough topics easy to talk about, makes her relatable to most parents struggling to keep their head above water in today’s cultural climate.  Whether she’s serving the “Happy Hannigan’s” or the “Hot Mess Hannigan’s”(it depends on the day!) she does it alongside her best friend and partner in life, John.  Melissa is an Associate with Celebrate Kids where she writes and speaks about a variety of topics.