I learned an important lesson from a tired mama moose, of all things.
For everything there is a season,Ecclesiastes 3:1 NLT
a time for every activity under heaven.
What Season Are You In?
“I just saw a mama moose with triplets!” my daughter exclaimed.
“In the woods next to the road.”
“Aargh! I don’t have my camera!” I said. “I’m running back to camp to grab it. Hopefully, she’ll stick around.”
“Be careful,” my daughter cautioned, “you don’t want an overprotective, thousand-pound, mama moose charging you.”
I kept to the other side of the road and sprinted as fast as I could back to our campsite. By the time I returned and took up position across the wide parking lot, the tired mama moose and three babies had meandered closer to the road.
I focused on the adorable triplets with their soft brown fur and giant black eyes. Their long ears swiveled as they took in everything. Occasionally they would grasp a nearby bush or branch in their teeth and pull—mimicking their mother.
I took a few shots of the mother, too. But her gaunt figure and rough coat didn’t have the same photogenic appeal as her babies. She looked frazzled, frayed at the edges, and just plain worn out. A typical tired mama.
Hope for a Tired Mama
I thought back to my time as a tired mama. Two daughters, born 17 months apart, and I struggled with motherhood. Late nights, mountains of laundry, meal prep, working full time, daycare, colds, coughs, fevers, and uncertainty in my ability to handle it all.
I could relate to the poor mama moose. She deserved to have her photo taken, too. I focused on her again and remembered how much I craved affirmation during those difficult baby and toddler years. Was I doing it right? This mystery called motherhood? Would I inadvertently ruin our daughters’ lives by some mistake I made? Was I the only tired mama who felt as if I couldn’t get anything right?
I appreciated every sympathetic smile from an older woman as I cradled a cranky, colicky baby in public. When my toddler repeatedly kicked the pew in front of us and an older parishioner turned to smile and ask a distracting question, I would sigh with relief. Other people understood.
The tired mama moose reminded me we each have seasons in our lives. My season of caring for toddlers passed, and new seasons took its place. Every season presents new challenges, but more importantly, each season should leave us with compassion for those who come behind us.
I don’t want to turn into a curmudgeon who scowls at toddlers in church or gives teens the stink eye. Unless the teen is one of my students misbehaving in class. I want to accept each of my new seasons, and accept the seasons others pass through, too. Wouldn’t the world seem kinder if we all remembered the seasons?
How could you reach out to someone going through a season you’ve passed through?
The End of a Season
If you’ve dropped by every day in February for a new Nature Lover’s Devo, thank you! I’ve enjoyed the Write 28 Days Challenge this year, the friends I’ve made, and the blogs I’ve discovered. If you’re a book lover, I post book reviews each Tuesday on new and upcoming releases. On Sundays, I host a link-up for bloggers (Inspire Me Monday) and a short, actionable podcast episode on self-care. Occasionally I write a devotional or inspirational piece on Thursdays or Fridays, too, as part of the Five Minute Friday challenge.
Once again, thank you, and I hope you’ve enjoyed this devotional series.