I remember learning about patterns in grade school up through high school- they were important for every subject, I just couldn’t escape patterns!
In Math class we learned about patterns in counting and numbers. I think of the big multiplication chart that was posted on the back wall of Miss Jenkins’ classroom in third grade. We were “forced” to study math and figure out the patterns in our head. I would get frustrated and use my fingers to count, even when I was told not to and had to repeat the problem till I did with without help from my fingers. This pattern never fully went away and I still use my fingers to count when my phone isn’t accessible in the moment. Oops!
Patterns showed up in Art class relating to shadows and color. If you could spot the pattern that the still art created in the bowl of fruit on the sketch pad you were handed, with a pencil and nothing else, it made the self portrait drawing (a complicated work of art for some middle-schoolers) that much simpler. The shadows on the bowl of fruit would be similar to the shadows on a person’s face and skin with the same lighting. And viola, you’d have a face with depth!
In reading and literature one could not escape finding patterns during the poetry section that I swear showed up every year in English class, which could be another pattern on its own. Why all the poetry, teachers? Ugh. But, I didn’t mind finding the pattern in styles of poetry. It grounded the poem and helped the poem make sense to me. A couplet, a limerick, a haiku… Who knows the differences of these unless you study the patterns within?
Science is a whole different subject that I don’t remember much of and never cared for except when my 7th and 10th grade teachers, Mr. Stout and Mrs. Seeland, taught me. But I know there are patterns in geology, showing what the earth and rocks look like in layers to make beautiful patterns in nature. So too the patterns of spring turning to summer, turning to fall, turning to winter, and repeating the pattern of temperature changes, colors of leaves, and which plants “die” for winter and revive themselves in the warmer weather that spring and summer bring.
I’ve learned how to recognize and see patterns my whole life in a plethora of ways. And I am just now recognizing another pattern as I “grow up”.
Life is full of change. That’s no secret. But there is a pattern that I myself take on when life changes in how I relate to God. He is always there. He is a constant. But what do I do when my life is morphing from a grey, stormy season into one of daily joys, smiles, and happiness?
I notice that I don’t communicate so much. I journal less. I do life without seeking Him as often.
There had been a long “season” lasting about two years from when I graduated college till about two months ago where I felt lonely, blocked, and like I couldn’t get a break. I sought and fought. I filled up innumerable journal pages with tears, Bible verses, and sermons to help me keep going. And I pinned more Pinterest quotes then any girl should about inspiration that I am capable.
It’s been a slow walk from one phase of life to another- one that tried to keep me down in depression, oppression, and self-pity.
A vulnerable time where the city I grew up in only seemed to bring pain when I visited.
To NOW, after living here for a year again, where I’ve learned from my Mother’s strength and can call this place “home” without tears stinging my eyes.
It’s been a slow walk to a place of peace and joy.
As I trust God more with my future… As I stop striving to do life on my own… As I give into Him… As I smile… As I take in sunsets and captivating starry nights appreciating and thanking Him for life… As I breathe and literally dance by myself in the acres of woods that are behind my house…
I don’t want to fall into the pattern of thinking “I’ve got this. Thanks God for getting me to this spot, I’ll take it from here. Life is good now and You can go.”
I’ve already noticed myself journaling and writing less as the “good” things pick up.
And really, that’s not what I want.
I want to be as devoted, seeking, and pleading with Him in the good times as well as the hard. Because as change happens and life moves on, I know this phase of sappy, happy, warm and fuzzy feelings won’t last forever. And I want to feel as connected with Him now as I do when seeking Him in the hard times.
A heart devoted to God through all life’s ups and downs is one pattern I want to keep. And as I write this, I almost see it as a form of accountability. Putting my heart and habits on the line for all to read.
This pattern isn’t natural, like some of the others I’ve learned to recognize while growing up. I’ll have to work at this pattern to make it happen. But it will be worth it. Because He is worth it.
They say the eyes are the windows to the soul. And as your eyes take in these words, as you peek into the little window of my soul that my writings make manifest, I hope you look into the patterns of your own life and habits.
That these words will illuminate a window for yourself.
And that the window won’t stay shut with an empty reflection staring back, but will open wide to a world of possibilities for your soul to live and soar. Now is a time to open up, dream, and live out a pattern of life that only you can work to create.
I think they’re kinda important.