Life

The Seasons of Tightness, Tensions, and Transitions

October 18, 2013

moving

Yesterday, my friend Johanna wrote an excellent post about “the reality of life lived in tension,” which really resonated with where I am right now. Daniel and I have had many similar discussions, and by tension, I’m not referring to marital tension! 🙂

I currently feel tightly squeezed by the many tensions and transitions of recent months, yet in a good place. January 2013 is still less than a year ago, but I would have been shocked then to see where October 2013 would have me.
A verse that has stuck with me since the beginning of the year was Ecclesiastes 11:1

“Cast your bread upon the waters,
for you will find it after many days.”

And so, I have flung myself into many endeavors and ventures. The year has been full:  A first birthday, our seventh anniversary, my thirtieth birthday, and many others. Our ventures have been many:  Our five-week trip to Ecuador, lots of freelance jobs, and new job for Daniel, and a transition to a new job and more full-time work for me. Renovating a house, selling it, buying another and moving, working on future investments, just to name a few, joined together with the many that can’t be shared.
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Meanwhile, I bear the tension of being committed to being a full-time parent to my three young children, still nurturing my baby through breastfeeding and cos-leeping. Although I have now come to see it takes a community of family to raise a child, I have no grandparents nearby, and lack the community support that I see as ideal. I feel the tension of desire and contentment, of accepting where I am, yet yearning to offer my children something different when they are in my shoes.
The tension of identifying as a renaissance soul, while still striving to make sure I pursue those which fit my season of life.
The tension of downsizing while our family is growing, working extra hours and jobs to move forward to our future desires, while still maintaining “the balance of living always.
I see the need for margin, and yet I am in a season of pushing myself to my limits some days and nights. Of loving the job I am able to do from home, while simultaneously feeling the stress that makes me question my sanity.

For now, I feel we are in a season of more transitions and greater tensions, yet regardless of what season of life we are in, there will always be tensions, and more of the kinds Johanna wrote about.

My mind bears the tension of being full with ideas and thoughts I need to get out, but can’t possibly record, here and elsewhere. (It is not for lack of topics, but lack of time that has left this little blog dry.) And yet, the need to invest myself elsewhere right now leaves weeks with scattered and “dry” posting.

The tension of daydreaming, dreaming and planning and the tension of pushing wholeheartedly toward those goals in a way that leaves us little time and mental space to dream as before.

run

And yet, not all tensions hold black and white opposites. Some are a long gray line. The balancing is easier than it looks, but harder than it once seemed. And the days can be held in place with anchor points and rhythms.

I love how Johanna closes her article:

While I usually find myself completely frustrated with my internal struggles with these tensions of life, I’ve also come to be grateful for them. They cause me to evaluate more often than I otherwise would. Sometimes I need to pull myself up and do, and other times I need to acknowledge that this is just not my season for that.

It’s in the meeting of these tensions that life is lived. Sometimes pushing ourselves, other times holding back. Sometimes saying ‘yes’, other times ‘no.’ Sometimes doing, sometimes resting.

Going to Ecuador was my season of slowing down. It was needed, and it energized me in ways I didn’t expect. Like in Biblical times of feasting then fasting, fasting then feasting, each is necessary for us to fully appreciate the other.

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  • Johanna Hanson October 18, 2013 at 5:11 am

    I happened to be online when this came up. What a great follow up to what I wrote. I am in that season of rest, and while it has been wonderful and I know its good for me, I have so many ideas of what I would like to try and do that sometimes it is frustrating as well. And I totally get what you mean about a community to raise a family…I think I’ll write about that at some point. The culture here is very enlightening on that topic… 😉