I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung on her blog Heading Home. Today’s prompt is “Season” Write for five minutes; unedited.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.”–Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
Growing up on the prairies of North Dakota, I have always loved living in an area of the world where we experience four distinct seasons. I love in the spring watching new animals and new life come to fruition. In the summer, it is my joy to watch farmers especially my family tend and care for the land. In later summer/early fall, I love watching the grain, sunflowers, corn fields come even more to life. Then as Fall gives way watching as those fields are harvested. Then in the winter months, everything is covered in white as the snow covers the ground. This year, it is unseasonably warm and there is like no snow on the ground. It was 40 degrees yesterday!
Each of these seasons has their role in caring and stewarding for the land just like our lives have different seasons too. Seasons of life and death; seasons of joy and sorrow, seasons of war and peace. This week has been a week of death; a season of death that came way too early. My seminary friend Laura lost her battle with cancer earlier this week. My heart breaks for her daughters who have now lost both parents to cancer. It just doesn’t seem fair. In fact, it rather sucks!
Laura was an incredible woman who always turned to Christ even in the last moments of her life. * She continued to teach even until those last moments. “Be gentle with yourselves while you are grieving and tell those that you love that you love them and know that you are loved.” Those words from her are a reminder of this season of waiting and trusting in Emmanuel who comes as the light in the midst of the darkness. “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it.”
So during this season of Advent, may we take time to dwell and wait for the birth of Emmanuel “God with us” who promises to never leave us or forsake us. May we tell those that we love that we love them and treasure the time we share together. May we simply remember the true reason for this season..”For God so loved the world that God gave God’s only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send God’s Son into the world to condemn the world, but to give eternal life.”
*This is where my five minutes stopped.
First off I wanted to let you know that I'm a brand new blogger still constructing my own site and adding to my blogs. I'm very impressed with how much you were able to blog on the word "season" in just five minutes. You also sound like you have a great relationship with God as I see you have lots memorized from the bible. I'm just getting back in touch myself and I hope to one day be as good as you. Any words of encouragement on my blog attempts would be greatly appreciated. 🙂
My words of encouragement? Keep up the amazing work with your blogs and your relationship with God. I'm sorry to hear about your friend Laura. I will pray for her daughters in hopes that they will seek God for comfort. God bless her, her family and you.
Thank You! I will have to check out your blog. You should join us at the Five Minute Friday community as well. There is a Twitter party every Thursday night and then the prompt word is released. Kate Motaung hosts at http://www.katemotaung.com. Thank you for the prayers for Laura's daughters. They are so greatly appreciated! Laura was a gem of a woman!
Those are very touching last words from Laura. We do need to let others know we love them and we are loved by God. I know this is a rough week for me. I'll be praying.
Samantha, yes they really are touching words. She was preaching up until that very last minute. Thanks for the prayers. They are so greatly appreciated!
Yes, it has been unseasonably warm here as well with no snow. I hope that we get some for Christmas but I'm not complaining now as I have to still spend a lot of time outside so I prefer this "warmer" weather in the 40's! 🙂 Thanks for sharing and Happy Friday to you!
Rachel, still no snow here either. I do hope we get some for Christmas though.
God with us. Emmanuel. What a wonderful name and image and so, SO appropriate for you and your friend and her family at this time and in this season. This post is bittersweet, Tara, and I pray comfort and peace for all of you. Hugs.
I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend. Holding you up in prayer! May you be a surrogate to Laura's daughters (not sure their ages), or at least a friend in deed. Hugs!
Thanks Anita! Laura's daughters are 22 and 25 (or so).
A season of death sounds so harsh and final when it's our loved ones departing rather than unyielding, wintry ground making way for the softness of Spring and new life to come forth. And yet.. we have hope of Christ appearing and of new life with Him here and in the hereafter. Tara, it's painful to lose a close friend and witness such sad family circumstances. Thanks for sharing. Thinking of you as you mourn her loss. May you be comforted by your remembrance of her, knowing she is no longer suffering as she was, and one day you will all be reunited with her again.
Joy, yes, we do have hope of Christ appearing and of new life with Him here and in the hereafter. Yes, no more suffering and indeed we will be reunited some day.
Awwww sweet Tara, may God comfort you as your mourn your dear friend. Wrapping my arms around you from Missouri. Love Laura's words, just beautiful…lots of mourning going around it seems. Different mourning for certain, but mourning nonetheless. So thankful for Jesus who redeems the mourning with His joy!
I am AMAZED at how often you and I are on the same page 🙂
Thanks Christy! Laura's words are indeed beautiful. Yes all kinds of mourning. I keep returning to Psalm 30:5 "Weeping may come for the night, but joy comes with the morning." And I too am always AMAZED at how often we are on the same page.
Tara, I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend Laura. Praying that you know God close beside you in this season of mourning. Thankful that God came to be with us as a light in the midst of the darkness.
Thanks Carly! The prayers are so greatly appreciated!
Sweet friend, I wish I could hug you and sit next to you while you tell stories of Laura. Reading is, I suppose, the next best thing. Thank you for writing, even in your grief. Thank you for reminding us that the presence of the Lord transcends every time, place and season. He is always with us.
Marie, oh how I would love to sit next to you and tell you stories of sweet Laura. I do appreciate you all reading my words in the midst of this grief. He is indeed always with us!
Oh, Tara, I'm so sorry you've lost the physical presence of your friend. It's so hard. What a beautiful post you've written with gentle words on the turning of seasons. May God be ever close to you in this season of waiting and preparing.
Thank You, Debby!
tara, the idea that there are seasons for all these events in life is so true! many of thee events, dying, weeping, etc. are not always pleasant. but they come in seasons.
sad to hear of the loss of your friend. it's another time when the coming of Christ is especially meaningful isn't it? GOD with us. Emmanuel. it is especially comforting during the hard seasons.
Martha, thank you! And yes it is very comforting.
I love you, friend! Cancer DOES suck… he makes me want to say bad words and kick him in the face! (Hey… let's!) I love how even in her last days, Laura was pouring out love and grace and wisdom! What a testimony in life and in death of where her heart remained. Praying for those girlies of hers… may they feel the Father's love and know that He is near… and that He can be trusted, even if/when their feels tell them otherwise!
I love you too, friend! Cancer DOES indeed suck! It makes me want to say bad words and kick him in the face too. I know I love that Laura was pouring out grace, love and wisdom to the very end too. So much of who she is. Thanks for the prayers for her girlies. They are so appreciated.
This was such a timely word for you, and from you. You are loved. – Wen
Aww thanks Wendy!
I ache for your loss and I rejoice for Laura's freedom. I am certain you will be a friend and constant comfort for her children in this season. How fitting to have Ecclesiastes this time. We too, have four seasons. I was a SD native for a while, and am back in the same elevation but far West. And, we too are receiving rain rather than snow right now.
Thank you for taking the time to be a friend, not only to me, but to all those teens who cannot see beyond their five minute window. You are life and joy to come and love them in the midst of their self-focused minutes. Their perspective will grow as ours has and what is significant will change as well. They will not forget your love.
Love on, sweet, sweet daughter of worth!
(#6 on FMF this week)
Me too! I ache for our loss and rejoice too for Laura's freedom. Thank You!
Tara, what beautiful thoughts from your friend, Laura. I pray God will give you comfort during this very hard time. Blessings to you!
Thank You, Gayl! Those words are so greatly appreciated!
Beautiful, Tara. I immediately thought of Christ and how He encouraged others (even more) as His time to depart drew nearer. This is what we all strive for… living grace in the midst of it all. Sending thoughts and prayers to you from Southern California (where 40 degrees actually sounds C… CO… COLD!)
Thank You! Coming from California, 40 would indeed be C…CO…COLD for you! But for us it is a heat wave! 🙂