Friday, July 20, 2012

Times and Seasons ...

Given that Indiana's two seasons are winter and road construction, of course I was in a "cone zone" on the way home from work. As I waited, the radio station played an old song by The Byrds, "Turn! Turn! Turn!" which is surprisingly based on Ecclesiastes: A time for every purpose under Heaven.

(Hoping that the linkie works!)

I had not heard that song in years. I remember listening to it as I drove down to Huntington years ago on assignment to take livestock photos for The Farmer's Exchange newspaper. At the time I was single and figured it was statistically improbable that I would ever marry and have a family of my own.

Some of my newspaper assignments made me feel like I was on the outside looking in as others lived more meaningful lives. People my age were married, had families and some of their older children were showing their animals in 4-H. "Lonesome me" took their pictures, then returned home to my little apartment and whatever the cat had fixed for supper.

Those years at the newspaper were one season of my life.

Seasons change as the Lord works in our lives. Along came my husband, and children of our own, cows, calves, a horse and a pony. Any and all of them could be at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair this week. Along with me -- the tired mom dealing out sandwiches, washing cow tails and keeping track of kids' show clothes and entry numbers.

Seasons can change over a long period of time, or in a day. Although we are in a drought, today the farm was blessed with almost three inches of rain. The season changed from certain disaster to hope that the hay and soybeans at least will make a crop. We're not sure what will happen to the corn.

And so it is with writing. For me there have been seasons of doodling and writing stories in long hand on legal pads. Then came college classes in English and news writing. After a brief season of unemployment I began working at the newspapers and thinking "All grist to this mill"as journalism took me way outside my comfort zone. Later I was a stay-at-home mom and farmer's wife starting on an epic 400-page romance about a farmer and a news reporter. That story is under the bed somewhere. But somehow I blundered onto the Internet, discovered ACFW and writing friends including Lisa Lickel and Mary Allen. So now I'm in a season of writing fiction.

You might be in a season that looks like a long drought, or worse yet, a permanent late February and early March mud season.

But seasons change, and the Lord guides us on our writing journey as in everything else. Sometimes it seems to take years for a season to change but other times just a day.


  1. Sorry about the link, everybody. It WAS so cool. There is a Byrds video of "Turn! Turn! Turn" on YouTube.

  2. So true about seasons. There are seasons of sowing and reaping. The seeds don't grow overnight. The waiting season is just as important so that the fruit is plentiful! Write on, Ann!

  3. Amen! This past year has been a wonderfully busy one for me, but then there were several (in a row) when publishers, if they noticed me at all, said, "Rachael Phillips--isn't she dead or something?"
    Here's to hoping your writing season and your farm both produce, over time, rich harvests. Blessings!

  4. At first I was like the little kid who kept digging up the seed to see if it was going to finally get on with it and grow. Now that I've discovered it takes awhile, I'm content to enjoy this season. Even more so as I see what's involved in the harvesting!

  5. Very good column. Thanks for sharing.

    And actually, I discover that every ten years a Christian artist covers that Byrds song. Shiela Walsh and Pam Thum are the two I remember from the '80's and the '90's.