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SEASONS: In-Between Seasons and Series Recap with Julie Lyles Carr

As we wrap up our series on Seasons, what about this; are you in an in-between season in your life? Join AllmMomDoes host Julie Lyles Carr, as she recaps some of the top moments from this series on Seasons and talks about navigating seasons where we have to wait or where we’re waiting for something to happen.

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Julie Lyles Carr: We are currently in a season of the year here, where I live in Austin, Texas where I’m getting faked out, every day. Do you know what I mean? I’m Julie Lyles Carr, this is the All Mom Does podcast, and today we’re gonna be recapping a series we’ve been in on the seasons of your life. And I have to say, this seems to be the perfect time for me to be recording this particular episode because we are in a week here in Austin, Texas where I live, where we are going to have summer, and I mean summer, summer kind of weather. And then we’re gonna wrap it up by having some really legit fall weather. And in all of it, I’m somehow trying to figure out how I’m supposed to get dressed every day. You know what I mean? Because if I dress for the cooler, I’m gonna be burning up by the afternoon. If I go ahead and plan for how hot it’s gonna get in the afternoon, then I might be a little chilly in the morning. So I feel like we’re in that strange season here where it’s like, Austin can’t commit. What are we doing? Are we actually gonna do you know, some beautiful kind of autumn weather? Or are we just going to sweat and suffer for a few weeks more?

That got me thinking about this; as much as I want to be able to take containers of the experiences in my life and say, wow this was a season of, fill in the blank, or that was a really good season, or that was a really hard season. When I look back and I get really honest with myself, every season is a bit of a mix, right? Do you know what I mean? We’ve had seasons that have been so incredibly sweet, but in those seasons, there have been some things that have been really hard. And I’ve had some seasons in my life that were really, really hard, and yet there were some great things that were happening during those seasons too. I think it’s one of the things that we kind of fake ourselves out a little bit when we talk about the seasons of our lives because we seem to want to make it very clean and let’s face it, sometimes we do get a season that is seems to be just purely one thing or the other. It’s either really, really good or everything is super, super hard. For me, a lot of the times it’s some kind of blend, and when I expect a season to stay coloring exactly between the lines, the way that I think would be the most convenient and would make the most sense, that’s sometimes where I can get myself really twisted up because I can’t seem to leave room for both some of the great stuff and the hard stuff that can happen all within the same season.

It’s like me trying to get ready for the day right now in Austin, Texas where the season just can’t seem to make its mind up, and it got me reflecting on the people of Israel. In the Old Testament, they were God’s chosen people and they had been in bondage for 400 years in Egypt, and they finally get into a season where God removes them, takes them out through the Exodus, takes them out of this season of slavery that they have known for so long and begins to put them on the path to go to the Promised Land. But here’s what’s really interesting to me, because the season of making that transition from a really hard season to what was promised to be a really great season in the Promised Land, because that season in between was something of a mix, the Israelites kind of missed it. Like they really didn’t get to live life as vibrantly as they could have because being in that season, that was a mix. What did they default to? Well, unfortunately, they defaulted to complaining. They actually even began to become homesick for Egypt where they had been in bondage. And that can sound really extreme to us. We can think, well how on earth could somebody wanna like revert back to a situation like that? But you know, we are the kind of people that, those things that have been familiar, even if they weren’t great, even if they were really hard, sometimes, those are the things that we weirdly seem to long for. Have you ever had a friend who was working a job that they really were struggling at? Like they just, they didn’t like their boss, they didn’t like their coworkers. Things were hard and they ultimately had the opportunity to resign or maybe they got laid off. I don’t know, something along those lines. And that season of working, that job ended. But did you ever find yourself at coffee with somebody who then started, man, I miss my old coworkers. Man, I wish, I wish I was still working there. Boy, I, if they ever had an opening, I’d go back. And you’d think, now wait a minute, we had a lot of times at coffee where you were talking to me about how miserable you were and now you wanna go back there? I mean, that’s just kind of our human nature, that those things which feel familiar, we tend to wanna go back to.

And time also has a way of making us think only potentially on some of the good things and not reflect on the totality of the story and what we experienced. I feel like that’s how the Israelites were. They get out there into the desert, they’re on their way to the promised land, but because that season is taking longer than they expected and because there are challenges that they didn’t expect in this season that’s in between, they end up making statements about wanting to go back to Egypt. In between seasons are really fascinating because when I look back on my life, and maybe it’s this way for you too, when I think about seasons, I have these little boxes in which I categorize some major events in my life, and I name them as good seasons or hard seasons or challenging seasons, or great seasons or simple seasons or whatever I wanted to call ’em. But there are also a lot of in between seasons, and maybe that’s where you’re at right now. Maybe you are in between in your parenting. You’ve left a season that’s been hard when the kids were little. You’re not necessarily in a season yet where you feel like you’ve got a little more freedom or wiggle room, but you are still in this in between season In your parenting where things are kind of this mix. Maybe you’re in a season like that in your marriage. Maybe you’ve come out of a really tough time, and so many marriages did during the course of the pandemic. Maybe that’s your story. You came out of a really tough time in your marriage. You know that there can be better days on the horizon. You’re looking forward to a season where your marriage is flourishing again. But right now, you’re just in the in between season where maybe y’all are civil, maybe things are functioning, but it’s not great and it’s not bad. You’re in an in between season. Here’s one of the things, as I was thinking about the Israelites and that time that they were in the desert. In this in between season, I realized that, you know, God’s word says there was an entire generation because they started complaining, they got to just stay in the desert. Like that season didn’t become an in between season, it became the season. That was what a whole generation of people only knew. They had only known the season of being in Egypt where it was really hard, and then they only knew the in between season that remained the end of their life, they were in this in between season before they got in the promise land. Now you’re probably thinking, wow, Jules, what an encouraging thing to say to me today. But what I wanna say is, you know? Yeah. They didn’t ultimately find the fulfillment that they had hoped. They ended up staying in what I’m sure felt like an in between season, but there was still a lot of good that was happening in that in between season that I’m afraid if I had been one of them in that time period, I, I would’ve missed. You know, their families were still growing. They were still adding to their numbers. They were in a situation where God was feeding them, so they really didn’t have to work super hard or farm the land. They were living in tents, they didn’t have to deal with construction. They got to experience new places in the incredible beauty of that terrain and that geography in that part of the world. And I’m not trying to be Pollyanna, I’m not trying to put a silver lining on something that I’m sure felt very strange to be in this in between season and to begin to realize that you weren’t gonna come into this promised land season, you were gonna spend your life in this in between season. I’m sure there was incredible challenge and a lot of confusion and a lot of questions about why God had brought them out there and why this was the experience that they were having.

But the lesson I wanna take from that generation of Israelites who remained in that in between season, I wanna remember that there’s just still a whole lot of life to be lived, even when you’re in an in between season. I’ve made the mistake many times, and maybe this’ll sound familiar to you, that I have felt like my life wasn’t gonna really start until I got to a season I was anticipating. My mom says that when I was little, I was just busy, busy, busy all the time. I would just move from one thing to the next, to the next, to the next. My internal dialogue as a kid, I can so clearly remember thinking, I cannot wait to be an adult. I am so tired of all these people telling me what to do and running my day. I’m tired of having to be at school from this time to this time. I’m tired of assignments being due, not when I feel like they should be due, but when this other arbitrary teacher is telling me things should be due. I can remember so clearly wishing away my childhood because I did not wanna be in this in between season. I wanted to be a grown up. And then I can remember as I was coming into those grown up years, I could not wait to get to college and then I couldn’t wait to get out of college, and then I couldn’t wait to find the guy, and then I couldn’t wait until we could get married, and then I couldn’t wait until we could have the first baby. I mean, it was just always anticipatory. I’m wired to be very, future casting, and sometimes that’s a strength. It certainly seems to be a strength and helpful in some of the consulting that I do for organizations and things like that. But within your own personal life, within your own clock, within your own cadence, I feel like it should come with a warning , because you can wish away so many in between seasons of your life when you are so strongly anticipating the next.

I think that’s why the Israelites being in the desert for that period of time really speaks to me because I’ve gotta confess, I easily could have been one of those people bugging Moses all the time. I don’t know that I’m one who would’ve said, I just wanna go back to Egypt. I’m probably one who would’ve been saying we could make this whole thing go a whole lot faster. Like if we put more of the fast people up at the front and then we built some better carts. I mean, I feel like we could go on and haul into the promise land. Let, let’s get this knocked out. What are we doing wandering around here in this, in between season? Is it summer or is it autumn? What are we doing? Let’s get this thing over the line. And I could have missed, just like a lot of those folks did, what was right in front of me. So I wanna just give you that encouragement. If you’re an an in between season, It’s still a season. There’s still a lot of good, there’s still a lot of things to be learned. There’s not a lot of benefit to wishing it away. Don’t miss it. Stop and look around. Even in this simple way, I’m trying as these hot days are up upon us again here in Austin, and I’m looking toward when things are supposed to cool down, I’m reminding myself, you know what? Let’s enjoy it. It’s still a beautiful day. Yeah, it’s hot. It’s really hot, but let’s, hey Jules, let’s just enjoy it. It’s a gorgeous day, and when the cooler weather comes, maybe that’ll make me even all the more grateful for it, that I just fully embraced this in between season. 

So what is it for you? What’s an in between season for you right now, and is that in between season, possibly at the bottom of why you may be feeling some discontent, some restlessness, some challenge in just sitting still in this day and in this moment and soaking it in. Because if that’s you, you’re not alone. That’s me. But I wanna learn to love the in between seasons of life. One of the things that I’ve loved about this series is that I’ve had the opportunity to introduce you to several of my real life friends who I do life alongside here, and they are people who have walked with me through all kinds of seasons. And I’ve seen their seasons of life change and the things that they are contributing to the world and the things that they are becoming specialists in and helping other people with. It’s been a really powerful thing to see them move through the seasons of their life as I’m moving through the seasons of mine. I wanted to highlight just a couple because when we talk about this situation of feeling like being in between seasons, those in betweeny seasons, I had a couple of people I wanted to highlight because I felt like some of the things they had to say were so powerful. So if you haven’t had a a chance yet to go and listen to the full series on this seasons of your life,. I want to bring you back and remind you of a couple of things. I had my incredible friend Cricket Berlin on. She has become a grief counselor. She’s just finished up her training and has opened her practice, and I always have a pause when we talk about grief on the show and not because I am being weird or you know, think that we should only talk about positive, happy things. I just know for me and because of the season that I’ve been through in losing my in-laws, my parents, my grandmother, and all of them in very short order, there are times I just need a break from a season of grief, because that’s where we’ve been for a little while. But I also know that sometimes you’re having a great day driving along and you might turn on an episode and go, Oh, what are we, What are we talking about, Jules? But if you didn’t get through that episode, or maybe you avoided it because it was just not the day for it, I really wanna encourage you to go back and listen because Cricket does such a beautiful job. Opening up and expanding the ways in which we can experience a season of grief and what that can look like going forward. To lay down some of the conventions or the rules, it seems sometimes that we have around grieving something, whether it’s something extremely traumatic or it’s just a change of season. Those times where we realize that change is afoot, significant change and we have to lean into it. And the ways to do that, you know. 

It reminds me that recently I was at one of my favorite places in the world, which is my brother’s lake house. And I love to sneak off there when I have a writing deadline, a book due, things of that nature, because it’s just a place where I can really tap in and get quiet and be really inspired. And as I was there one evening after having worked on a lot of words, one day, I really weirdly opened up a season of grief again for myself. I took some pictures of my mom and dad and of my in-laws, and I went and sat down on the dock close to sunset and just had some time reflecting on them, on their lives, you know, kind of talking to them. Have you ever done that? And on the one hand I was laughing at like, well Jules, you know, you’ve come through an intense season of grieving these people, why are you opening this door again? But I was reminded that, you know, that season of missing them is not gonna change. It may not be as intense, but this is a season that I’m gonna carry for the rest of my life. And there are moments that it can be good to go back and reflect, to celebrate, to smile, to shed some more tears. Not in a way that is morose or keeps me fixated, but in a way that acknowledges, you know, when it makes me sad afresh, when I’m missing them afresh. In a way, it’s also a reigniting of the love that I have for all of them. It’s okay to carry that as part of a season of life that is now a new season that I grapple with, which is the missing of them and the eternal perspective that it brings to my life in missing them. 

Also, be sure and go back and check out the episode with Leslie Bly. Leslie is, oh man, she is just a powerhouse and she is a therapist here in the Austin area. She spoke to us about when you are not loving motherhood. You love your kids, but you’re not loving motherhood and I so appreciate her transparency, her honesty, the work she has done, because that’s something for me. There are times I’m in a season where other people who seem to be having a similar season, seem to be loving it. And then I feel bad that I’m struggling. And there are other times that I seem to be enjoying a season where other people seem to be sad, and I think, well, am I just a jerk? Because I’m actually kind of liking this, but it seems like the status quo is I’m supposed to be upset during this time. Leslie gives us a lot of permission with her wisdom and with her long track record of helping people and guiding people. She gives a lot of permission to just own how a season is feeling to us and to not beat ourselves up about it. I mean, maybe you are that mom that all of your friends were super upset as they were putting their kindergartners on the bus to start school this year, and you are just like, bye bye. Then he started thinking, am I a bad mom? I feel bad. You know what? There is no prescription for how we’re supposed to experience every season, and we certainly don’t have to experience it just like the person next to us. So be sure and go check out that episode again. That is one that honestly, I have listened to. Not only did I record it with Leslie, I went, I’ve gone back. I think I’ve listened to it twice again since. And I’m the one that did the interview, . So there was just so much power, so much application across many seasons of our lives and what Leslie had to say. So be sure and check that one out because I thought it was just incredible.

I also loved having my friend Kathleen Estes on, and the conversation that we had about aging, ageism in the church and in businesses. All of those issues that have to do with as we move from being known as one generation or one age into the next, and some of the odd ways in which we sometimes go along with the narrative. And the ways that we wanna make sure that we interrupt that and we base that biblically. And you’ve heard me say this before, but I am such a fan of Caleb. You know, at the top of this episode, we were talking about the Israelites going and moving toward the promised land and all of the challenge and the group dynamics and the overall attitude. Joshua and Caleb were two spies who were sent out to go peek into the promised land and to see what it was like. And of the 12 spies who went, they were the only two who came back going, we can do it. Everybody else was completely freaked out, and so they were 40 at the time in which they gave that report. Fast forward, 40 more years, 40 more! Caleb’s now 80, and at that point then there’s the green light to go into the promised land. And God says of Caleb, Caleb has a different spirit. Caleb was telling the people in his immediate sphere of influence, look I am just as vigorous and vibrant as I was 40 years ago, the first time I got to take a peek into here, and I’m telling you we can do this. Caleb was always about building up and taking that next generation into knowing how to do battle in life. So, Biblically what we do, the way we only listen to people who are young and hip and all of the things, that is not what we’re supposed to be doing. Should we also have those people in our world? Absolutely. Paul reminds Timothy, Don’t let anybody look down on you because of your young age, of course. But are we seeking those who have lived some life, who have walked through some seasons? Are we making sure to include them in the conversations we’re having about our spiritual lives, our spiritual disciplines, the things that we’re looking toward? So incredibly important. So be sure and check out that episode with Kathleen Estes. Just jam packed with all kinds of good stuff. 

And then of course, my neighbor and good friend and resident comedian, Allison Armstrong. I have been thinking so much on that episode where we talked about how our stuff, and the stuff that we gather during various seasons of our lives is such an indicator of how well we are moving into the next season. And the next, and the next, our material stuff. Allison owns an estate sale company. And you know, there’s just the functional piece of that. Her ability and her knowledge surrounding antiques and certain kinds of china, and all kinds of stuff. I mean, she’s just encyclopedic in what she knows. But what you probably also realized when you listen to that episode, and if you haven’t, you must, it is a must listen, Allison absolutely is doing ministry through this very functional and helpful service of helping people get through estate sales. Unpack their parents’ houses, move on to the next season of life. Because the way that we interact, our connection to our stuff is this incredible barometer of our willingness to move into future seasons, or to be shackled to our pasts. I have been considering it over and over and over. You know, we’re moving into a season that’s very exciting for me. Rebecca has been begging for us to start talking about this. We are expecting our first grandbaby, and Mike and I are so excited. And it is also mind bending. It really is. I, I mean, we are super excited about this baby, please hear that. And it’s just so hard to think of yourself as a grandparent. I mean, I feel like I’m, you know, just newly married, which sounds ridiculous with eight kids. But I’m telling you, this is really how it feels. And when I was thinking about the episode with Allison, I had to laugh because, oh, friend, I still have, and we have set them up for this new baby, so I had the baby beds from the, when the twins were born, I still have a whole bunch of baby gear from when the twins were little. And I pulled all of that stuff out and I’m so glad that I still have it. And I’m so glad that we’re able to use it with this new grandbaby coming in just a couple of months. But it was so funny because I thought, wow. I just really, not sure I ever completely moved on from the baby and toddler’s stage. I have friends who are just floored that I still have all this baby equipment, even though the twins are now teenagers. Yeah, they are. And so that episode just got me thinking again about how interesting it is, what we hang onto, why we hang onto it. To not feel guilt for hanging onto things that really have a lot of value for us, but to also not short circuit ourselves and allow ourselves to get stuck in this process of just taking care of more and more and more stuff, when there’s so much life to be lived out there, outside of these warehouses we call homes, with all these things that we’ve kept. 

I hope that this series on seasons has encouraged you. I hope it’s challenged you. I hope there is some things that you’re thinking, huh? I might wanna make some changes and think through some things. And as always, I’m just so thankful that you’ve been along for over five seasons now. We, I just cannot believe we are hitting some major mile markers when it comes to the length of time that this podcast has been a community, that we have been sharing with each other and investing in each other’s lives. And I’m just so grateful and thankful that you have been here as a listener, that you are willing to share your heart, you’re willing to share your questions, and that we are continuing through the seasons of life. Whether you are at the very beginning of your parenting journey, or your marriage, or your career, or whether you’re seeing kids launch, whether you’re in a big season of transition or something that you didn’t think would end has ended, I just want you to know that we’re here for you, and we love you. We’re so thankful that you take the time to be with us every week.

Well, we’ve got a new series coming up that I can’t wait for you to be part of, and that’s gonna be launching here soon. And we’re also gonna do some listener questions, so be sure and check that out. I want you to go to the show notes. Rebecca is so great to put the links and resources for everything you hear on each episode there in the show notes. There’s also a whole online community that I want you to check out. There’s There’s All Mom Does on the socials. It’s just such a great place to interact with other people and get encouragement, find some funny memes, all kinds of stuff. So, be sure and check that out.

I’m Julie Lyles Carr on all the socials I love hearing from you. I would just love if you would pop over in my DMs, ask some questions, let me know what episodes have meant the most to you. That is so powerful and it’s just great juice to keep going and to continue to have this time with you. So, I’m excited for things we have coming up. I can’t wait for you to hear and I’ll see you next time on the AllMomDoes Podcast.

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