With much laughter, a Latter-day Saint mother and her grown daughter discuss the advantages of each other’s season of life. They call it “trading wishes.” The mother says, “At your age you’re so agile.” The daughter answers, “At your age you’re so wise.” “You have such opportunities,” continues the mother. “You have such knowledge,” says the daughter.
How wise these women are! Each helps the other to be grateful for the blessings of her time of life. They focus on the opportunities, not the limitations, of each season. They realize the truth of the Old Testament teaching: “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” (Eccl. 3:1.)
Each season of life has rewards. A young sister may feel heavily burdened supporting her family, finishing her schooling, or beginning employment, but she also has joys that no one else can know as she nurtures children, expands her knowledge, or creates an independent life. A middle-aged woman may face changes in her family, her work, and her physical health, but she profits from the wisdom of experience. An older woman may suffer misfortunes, from loss of mobility to loss of loved ones, but she may appreciate life as never before.
A joyful outlook can be part of any season. We invite each woman to value who she is and count the ways she can bless herself and others around her.
What are some of the blessings of your season of life?
Not all things are possible in all seasons. During a temple recommend interview, a mother of two small children told her stake president of her desire to attend the temple more often. But time demands, distance, and expense had prevented her from attending as often as she desired. The stake president told her, “Maria, I know you love the temple and look forward to a time when you can go often. For now, go when you can, but remember that you serve in many other important areas. The time will come when you can attend as often as you wish.”
Through prayerful communication, each woman has the responsibility to find and follow her personal timetable. She sets priorities and follows gospel principles in different ways through the varying seasons of her life. A faithful woman knows that the Lord’s hand will guide her: “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Prov. 3:6.)
What are some of the most important ways you can serve the Lord in your particular season of life?
Latter-day Saint poet Emma Lou Thayne notes that the seasons of her life have included marriage, education, the rearing of five daughters, service as a teacher and writer, Church callings, and then a serious automobile accident that left her unable to read or write for seven months. Whether a season has brought joy or sorrow, she has been “nurtured by all that comes along at any stage, in any time,” and she rejoices in “the absence of fear and the presence of faith.” She expresses this serenity in the following poem:
So Come, Tomorrow
Security is not in knowing
what will come
nor if it will be
bad or good.
It is a faith drawn taut
with having learned
and seen and done
that says, Tomorrow, come.
(“Learning Is Nurture,” in Women of Wisdom and Knowledge, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1990, p. 106.)
How do the challenges of life help develop our faith?