As I shoved the last winter sweater in my bag, I looked up to realize I still had to make room for my toiletries that were sitting in the bathroom. Somehow I always seem to underestimate the amount of baggage space I need when we go home for the holidays. The long sleeve shirts, pants and jackets try to jockey for the most comfortable position in my check-on luggage before I mash the fabric together around the bag zipper to get it shut. Like a seatbelt on a fat person, my bag zipper groans as it clenches its teeth around my precious contents.

I look forward to my trips back home for the holidays. Colorado is a beautiful state, and the opportunity to change things up for some cooler weather in December is always welcome. I get excited to grab my jackets out of the closet and wear the gloves that sit dormant 11.5 months out of the year.

I have lived in Southern California for 12 years now, and while it is one of the best places to live, the lack of seasons is still hard for me to get used to. Every day runs into the next like water colors dripping from a painting. It is the same day in and day out. Our winters consist of shorter days and a little rain. The summers consist of longer days and a warmer ocean. Even the Facebook posts of people who live here are the most predictable posts on the planet. “Enjoying another morning bike ride before work” and “San Diego is awesome” posts only outnumber the “I can’t believe I’m stuck here at work while my friends are surfing” posts by a small margin.

Granted I can’t complain to live in San Diego. I love it here, but sometimes I miss the seasons.

Just like the Colorado weather, life is full of seasons. As I look back on the hard times, the good times, life-changing times, warm times and cold times I am reminded of periods in my life that define me as a person. I know that there are definitely times I long for a life-long forecast of ‘65 degrees and sunny’, but deep down I know that the seasons are what I look back on and make me understand what life is really all about. Sometimes I have to wear a winter coat and get snowed on to appreciate the warm summer days even more.

No matter what the weather is like where I live, embracing the seasons in my everyday life is an art I must continue to work on. I need to look forward to the winters, soak up the summers, and appreciate everything in between. Trust that no matter what the weather looks like, God is painting a picture, and He will keep his children close.

As I am slowly stepping into my next season of life, I am excited to step outside. I am once again packing up a suitcase to prepare, but this will be a trip that lasts a lifetime. Like the Colorado seasons, I am ready for the change. How about you?

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Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
There is a time for everything,and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace

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