Although Spring is usually full of change and new life is springing forth, this Spring wasn't near as full of change as Summer has been for Rick and me so far. WOW! Our home has grown overnight from 2 teenage daughters to include a beautiful 9 year old granddaughter, a 4 year old little fireball posing as our youngest granddaughter, and our 26 year old daughter Austin. As if that in itself isn't enough change, I changed jobs three months ago into a totally different field after 27 years in the hotel industry, and I have lost almost 50 pounds! There is a sense of pandemonium and absolute mayhem resounding throughout my life for sure! And then again, there is a sense that life is as it should be... but it is an adjustment when the house is stuffed to the brim with ribbons, bows, toys, hairbrushes, and let's not forget all those extra piles of laundry!
Life changes - boy, is that the understatement of the year! And we must flex and make adjustments. Adjustments...to new schedules, new routines, a much more hectic house, changes in sleeping arrangements, and the realization that my Dad has now been gone for 4 years and he is no longer here to phone.
They say change is the only constant in life. I have thought so much about all the changes that life brings. Some of them I like, others I don't care for at all. But all of them are simply part of this wondrous, God-given thing called life.
Our granddaughter Riley turned 9 this June we had the privilege of hosting an absolute blow-it-out birthday sleepover for her. She is such a precious child and doesn't ask for or expect a lot. A good friend who is very crafty (the Martha Stewart of Farragut!) came over to lead the girls in "craft time" which involved making a little scrap book for their favoriate photos, photos they were instructed to bring with them to the party. And we pulled out lots of family photos and old albums that I hadn't looked at or thought about in years. As I have gone through each book representing a certain period in the life of our family, I realized that life has been full of change. Home has been in varied places and change has not always been easy. But for the most part we have thrived on it and loved every moment that change has brought to our family. I realized that there were principles I put into practice that served me well and that I needed to dust off and remind myself of now in this period of new change...
Maximize the pros and minimize the cons.Every change in life has both positive and negative aspects to it. Sometimes the balance isn't equal. But in every situation of change, we choose where we will dwell... maximize the positive points and don't linger on the negative ones. Choose to smile.
Enjoy the moment.Change is inevitable and this particular space in time is a treasure, even if it is hard. Don't wait to enjoy life. Engage in this moment in life. Choose to laugh.
Appreciate people.Without people, life is empty. God created us as social creatures. We need each other. Dare to reach out.
Cultivate a thankful heart.Never doubt the goodness of God toward you. Find the little things to raise your heart in thankfulness. Gratitude puts a softness in your eyes and is tonic for the soul. Choose thankfulness.
Invite God into every change.Some changes are hard, and we struggle against them. Ask God to give you the strength and wisdom you need. He can be counted on when no one and nothing else can! Hunger after Him... He promises you will be filled. He is the sure source of a grateful heart and an outlook on life that finds the joy. Invite Jesus.
As I think back over the changes of my life and realize how these five conscious decisions have helped me in the past, I am determined to look to the future with eager anticipation. Stopping to ponder has confirmed the track record of God in my life as I called on Him to be my source when change was approaching and decisions were difficult.
You cannot always choose the changes that come your way. But you can always choose your response. And you always have access to a God who loves you and will carry you through. I know, for He has done it for me many times. And as sure as I am sitting here tonight, I know that God has blessed us with this opportunity to have a full-to-the-brim, house-busting-at-the-seams, oh-my-goodness life once again. And I, for one, want to enjoy it as long as it lasts.