SPLIT PERSONALITY: Seasons of Life

I have a split personality.  No, not clinically, but practically.  If you’ve ever taken the Myers-Briggs personality test (or something like it), you know that one thing it measures is how much of an introvert or extrovert a person is.  Well, I’ve taken the test twice — 20 years apart — and both times my introvert/extrovert measurement falls smack dab down the middle of the two.  Most people think I’m an extrovert, but they just don’t know how nervous I get when I have to “make conversation” with someone I just met but know nothing about … or how much I need my “all alone” time.

 

 Really, though, I think I have the best of both worlds because I can usually manage to fit into different settings fairly easily, even if not particularly comfortably.

 

This week as I admired a dogwood tree in our yard, I remembered that just a few short months ago, it looked entirely different.  In fact, then I was admiring it for its lacy-white Spring flowers rather than its cinnamon-orange Autumn leaves. 

 

Same tree … two personalities

 

Same tree … four personalities

 

As I thought about each of the tree’s personalities, I realized just how much I crave seeing each one … at the proper time.  The stark, architectural beauty in Winter, blossoming new life in Spring, dependable shade in Summer, and vibrant burst of color in Autumn.  What fun God must have had creating the dogwood and all of its personalities!

 

And what love and care He must have taken to create the many parts of me … and you!  That particular combination of “personalities” that makes each of us unique.  That mix of interests and talents and quirks that we received as a gift (even if occasionally we’re tempted to view one or two of them as a curse).

 

I’ve noticed that as changes occur in the seasons of my own life, the gifts called upon to “take the lead” often change, too.  Some of you know exactly what I mean.  If you are (or ever have been) a young wife or mother, you use different talents and energies than you’ll need during the years your children are teenagers.  And those are different from the ones you’ll need when the proverbial nest empties or the ones I personally still have yet to discover.

 

You may be in a season where you’re wondering “Who am I?”  or “What now?”  Rest assured, the season in which you find yourself isn’t bad … it may just be different from what you expected — or hoped.  Some seasons seem to be longer and harder than others, but like the dogwood, I truly believe that each season of life has a beauty all its own.  Sometimes we just have to look until we find it …  We all do.

 

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens … 
He has made everything beautiful in its time.
Ecclesiastes 3: 1 and 11

I’m curious …

What season are you in today? What gifts or talents are you using/needing most at this season of your life? What’s the best/hardest part of this season?

 

I’m linking to Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch.

Comments

  1. Wonderful, wonderful post. I feel the same way about our pear trees that you do about your dogwoods. They are just so lovely in every season. Even in the winter, when they are bare, they have a stark loveliness.

    I am in my autumn season. I don’t know if I’m technically there. “They” say I’m more of a late summer. Since I don’t want to be in the dog days, I choose early autumn instead.

    I’m checking the field for harvest. I’m observing and evaluating and seeing if it’s time for some fruit to come off the vine and be used in a manner somewhat different than it has been used in the past.

    As I approached my autumn, my call has been less to children and more to adults, particularly other women.

    I spent the first twenty years or so of my adulthood working with kids and teaching them. I still love them, but my heart doesn’t long to teach them the way it used to.

    Still, my greatest passion is teaching. I am just teaching a different group in a different way.

  2. Oh good grief. I just wrote a blog post. Funny… I can’t seem to put two words together on my own blog these days but keep writing tomes on everyone else’s. UGH.

  3. Love it, Susan. I’m going to give it some thought and get back to you with my answer. Honestly, I don’t know up from down these days, and I’m sure you know why from visiting the diary.

    LOVE that you stirred Debbie to write. 😉
    Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.

  4. LOL Debbie, I’m so glad you were able to find your words tonight! God’s blessings as you go in a new direction.

  5. I’m in a very odd season of life, Susan. I have had four close friends die in a little over a year, and I’m very close with the children of three of them. One of my friends has kids my age who live away. Anyhow, I find myself being a mother at this stage of my life. I don’t have children, but I’ve always loved my friends’ children like family, sort of as an Auntie Mame.

    But now, I’m finding that I am stepping in and trying to protect and love them as a mother would. I had one of them say the sweetest thing to me the other day, stating that we were like another set of parents to all of our friends’ kids. It was so very touchy, but it’s also a little scary. Oh, how I miss my friends! I need them for advice! The shoe is now on the other foot! I was so quick to give advice and listen when their parents asked as the kids were growing up… I have a thing for teenagers and can handle them… or could! But now, that the kids are all grown up, I hope I have the right advice to give them now that their mothers are gone. Thank goodness I have help from the Lord! But I guess love does cover a multitude of mistakes. I just don’t want to let them down!

    XO,

    Sheila

    P.S. I told a friend about Restoration and how to get to your blog. So if you get a visitor from Florida, it’s likely my buddy!

  6. It was so very “touching” not touchy! LOL! I need new glasses!!!

  7. Susan, I couldn’t agree more… I love to see trees in different stages at the appropriate times. We still have plenty of trees in our area with green leaves on them yet I’m ready to see all of their leaves change! I love how you connected this to God and His creation of us.

  8. Rachnarai says:

    Hi Susan how have you been ? It’s always wonderful to read your articles. I enjoyed reading this one particularly because I love trees and l have also felt that each season in a trees life tells us about our circle of life too. What inspires me most is how a tree reinvents itself every time and reminds me that with my life too, I need to do that , as I grow older , I too need to reinvent myself. A tree gives away everything it has to others without getting anything in return , that is what we all need to do , live selflessly. Take care.

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