On Seasons and Transitions
When God prodded me to launch a blog, I didn’t know it was because I wouldn’t be singing for a while and would be writing for most of the time.
When He gave me so much work last February, I didn’t know it was because a little bean would come along and override my way of life. God probably gave me a huling hirit of the working life I’ve led for the past eighteen years, to remind me that it has all been good, and that now the time has come for my active, transient life to sit down, stay put and prepare for a whole new journey.
God’s timing - It has always been perfect, and He always has a purpose for why He allows things to happen at the time and manner that they do. It is up to us to glean what wisdom we can from each stage of life that we find ourselves in, respecting that challenges lead to maturity, that everyone was a first-timer at one point in their lives.
That life will always change, and we are bound to its transitions as we go further up in years.
We were at our nephew Zique’s birthday and dedication the other day. As we were catching up with friends, the conversation naturally turned to work. As I timidly admitted that the last time I sang was exactly a month ago, Joey, in his usual funny and witty way, chimed in:
“Single income family na kami ngayon.”
It was the first time our current reality was put into words and spoken out loud. I laughed at how Joey said it, but inwardly marvelled at this life change. It IS true! I AM a legit housewife now! I’ve been working nonstop since I was sixteen and I’ve always thought that I would continue working till I’m about 50 (or until people drag me off the stage lol). I’ve been so used to the financial independence that my career has afforded me, so this on-hold-for-now singing hiatus is something totally new for me, even if it would just be for a few months.
But Lilibubs and her health takes precedence over everything, especially in the first few delicate months. To be honest, I am not worried about the money, for time and again, even in the most gipit moments of my life, God has always pulled through and provided for what I need. Also, I have complete faith in my husband’s ability to provide.
No, it is the shift from being an independent career woman who earns her keep to a 100%-dependent-on-her-husband housewife that is slightly mortifying. It is the used to being on the go for more than half of one’s life and then all of a sudden being confined to the house. It is being thrust from one way of life into another that is new and foreign yet beautifully unique to you, your husband, and your precious little gift, which makes you wonder, “Am I emotionally ready for this?”
I remember a conversation I had with my good friend and fellow singer, baker extraordinaire and now mom-of-twins Nicole David-Yalong. What she randomly shared to me were gems of wisdom I believe the whole universe will benefit from, even for those who are not journeying into new parenthood.
Nicole had been singing for about eight years before she got pregnant with now one and a half-year old twins Leo and Nico, baking for about five. She and her husband Jake got married in October 2015 after ten years of being together. Do read on as she shares some very valuable insights on being a first-time mom and on handling transitions.
Think in Seasons, Not in Timelines
Nicole: “I super miss performing and just having time for music. I used to get frustrated, puro what if’s and looking back, but then I realised that if I thought in terms of ‘seasons’, then it’s not just bearable but actually a beautiful thing. Kaya I’m trying to be present in this particular season I’m in (child-rearing and building a life in the US). I think that’s how I’m able to not just manage but savor this life. God is amazing. :)”
I used to be in the season of working for myself and for my family, of singing here and there and enjoying its perks, generally just doing what I want whenever I wanted (singlehood). Then I got married, and that was the season of working alongside my husband, marrying our goals and ideals, and building a strong relational foundation for our future family (marriage). This new season of pregnancy I am in now requires for me to put our baby’s health at utmost priority, even if that means putting my career on hold and relying solely on my husband, situations I may not be used to. It is also the season of enjoying every baby kick, watching the belly grow big and the weighing scale numbers rocket up, looking at the mirror and seeing an oddly-shaped person, accepting all of these changes and rejoicing at the preciousness of it all, knowing that in the grand scheme of things it will only be for nine special months and may not be exactly the same the next time, if by God’s will there will be a next time.
It is important to note that in thinking in terms of seasons, the concept of time, or years, is not really essential. One cannot just apply a specific number of years per life stage, it varies per person. It may have taken you beyond your target year to pass that board exam or to get that dream job, so what? It may have taken your boyfriend years to propose to you, or you and your husband may have been trying for a baby for months or years. You may still be single right now, or separated.. what matters is that we learn to accept and embrace every lesson in every season, and that we are continually striving to be better versions of ourselves, trying our best to honour God with how we live, while respecting that the passage of time is necessary in the ripening of any given fruit, in this case, the fruit of maturity.
To acknowledge that there is wisdom to be gained in waiting.
Nicole: “I think no matter how beautiful and life-changing motherhood is, it’s inevitable to go through that.. yung hahanapin mo yung dati mong freedom, you’ll miss working, etc. The transition is so major kasi. :) That’s probably why a lot of new moms go through postpartum depression.
Oh, and thinking in terms of timelines puts too much pressure on anyone, and somehow parang God always finds a way to remind us that no matter how carefully we plan our lives and our future, we’re still not in complete control… coz He is. Seasons, on the other hand - easier to accept and embrace… parang it’s accepting that there’s a time for everything and we can never enjoy two seasons at once :)”
Such beautifully rich words Nicole has imparted. Well worth repeating, like a mantra for this current and the coming seasons:
“There’s a time for everything and we can never enjoy two seasons at once.”
Whatever season you may now be in, I pray that you will wholeheartedly accept and enjoy being in it, with all of its highs and lows.
Nicole ended our conversation with the following words:
“My dream talaga is to be a hands-on homemaker and take care of my family (Martha Stewart levels haha), still get to sing (special gigs/events) and create music, and bake for other people on occasion. I’m realising now that the first few years (three to be exact) of child-rearing are not only critical (personality development period and this is when they absorb everything talaga like a sponge) but also too precious to miss.
Kaya I’ll get back to the singing and baking in God’s perfect time. Universe na ang bahala… :)”
God bless and keep you, all new mommies and daddies! I leave you with the following encouraging words from the Book of Life:
“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 (ESV)
“There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:
A right time for birth and another for death,
A right time to plant and another to reap,
A right time to kill and another to heal,
A right time to destroy and another to construct,
A right time to cry and another to laugh,
A right time to lament and another to cheer,
A right time to make love and another to abstain,
A right time to embrace and another to part,
A right time to search and another to count your losses,
A right time to hold on and another to let go,
A right time to rip out and another to mend,
A right time to shut up and another to speak up,
A right time to love and another to hate,
A right time to wage war and another to make peace.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (Message)
Thanks for reading!
P.S. Follow Nicole on IG at @nikkidoodledo , and check out #shoogs for her wonderful creations :)