Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Changing Seasons

My favorite time of year is just starting to tease me. The cooler temperatures are coasting in, and I’m ready for the leaves to start changing. In contrast, my daughter is trying desperately to convince herself that it’s going to be okay and the cold weather won't be as bad as she anticipates. She's a warm-weather girl and is thoroughly dreading facing the days ahead that won't be filled with bare feet and warm walks on the beach. I understand; I know how it is to want to hang on to a season that is passing.

We’ve had a lot of changes in our lives in the last year and a half. My mom passed away, and we moved from the "Bible Belt" and the only home my children can remember to start again at the Jersey Shore, um . . . a little bit different than the Bible Belt, by the way. My husband started a new job that brings a good bit of pressure, and we both left ministry positions in a church we helped to start. We have written four offers on houses, considered living in a camping trailer (with a dog, two cats, and a turtle), found a last-minute rental above our budget, and weathered a historic hurricane followed by a snowstorm. We have purchased a house only to have it cost us thousands of dollars in unexpected repair expenses, and we still are looking for a church. In many ways, I want the warmth of the season that was before.

As I started writing this blog, I remembered that I had blogged several years back, while I was still in the ministry position in my church. I reread some of those posts and wondered who that person was. I had such excitement and hope for the future. I was passionate about the thoughts and ideas I wanted to communicate about the Lord, family, and ministry. I felt purpose in my life and could see God moving in such exciting ways. My life was full, and my days were busy . . . too busy, really. But, as I sat thinking about that season of life, I found myself wanting to cling to it, to go back there and walk again the sunny paths that inspired me.

Still, as I remember more clearly those days gone by, I am reminded that each season has its bright and dark moments. Summer is filled with days of fun and sunshine, but it also brings rain, humidity, sunburn, and storms. So, too, we often see only the happy parts of the seasons of our lives as we look back, afraid the good days are gone. We often fail to see the difficulties of those days or the faithfulness of God in growing us through them. And we fail to see the hope of the coming days, autumn’s colors, cool breezes, beautiful sunsets, and fresh smells.

As I reconsider this new season of my life, I can see that although my mom’s passing was harder than I could’ve imagined, I know she is with her Savior and is joyful and pain-free. My children and I have met wonderful friends we never would have met had we stayed in Georgia. We’ve also learned a lot about the world outside of the Bible Belt and the widespread need for the Gospel of Jesus Christ to go beyond our comfort zones. My husband’s job has given him new opportunities and has provided for all of our financial needs, even the unexpected ones. We’ve had more time to just be a family without fitting our lives around all of our ministry responsibilities. We have a house that has comfortably welcomed family and large groups of friends for a day and up to a week. We weathered our first hurricane and a snowstorm together and gained fond memories that we’ll have forever. We have grown spiritually as a family as we are united in seeking to find a church where we can each grow and serve again.

As I ponder the current season of my life, I’m persuaded that looking back and cherishing the joys of past seasons is good, but if we cling to those times, we will not see clearly to embrace the joys of the days ahead. Whatever season you’re in, I hope you’ll embrace it! Remember and cherish God's graces in the past, but don’t look back longing for those seasons. Let’s look forward to the colors changing, breathe in the cool air, and enjoy the graces God wants us to know in this coming season of our lives.

Remembering . . . and anticipating,

Monday, September 16, 2013

Meeting The Memorable Mundane

Well, here it is . . . another mom blog. You must be so excited! One more woman who decided it’s a good idea to log the random thoughts that pass through her brain. You should grab a cup of tea and enjoy this special time, because I’m sure to say many meaningful and profound things that will change your life.

To be honest, I can’t imagine who might want to read what I have to say, but perhaps someday, my kids will enjoy remembering what I was like before I became completely senile and made no sense. Or perhaps as I reread this in the distant future, it will reintroduce me to my family after my Diet Dr. Pepper-saturated brain short-circuits, and I have no recollection of who my lovely visitors are. I fear that day is closer than I expect, so I better start writing, before they think my thoughts have always been nonsensical. For now, I’m going to write and presume I still make a small bit of sense. For however long it lasts, here goes . . . .

The inspiration for my blog title is from Paul David Tripp. He’s an excellent teacher, pastor, counselor, author, etc. In one of his teaching DVDs, he discusses how we often think of life in terms of the big events . . . things like graduations, marriages, births, house purchases, etc. However, he points out that most of us experience very few really big events, and we often put too much weight on them as real life. He goes on to counter that real life is found not in the big events but in the mundane. I am guilty of living life not appreciating the mundane events like eating meals or enjoying games as a family, laughing at myself as I sound like I’m channeling my mother, crying with my children as they struggle with friendships, walking the dog on a beautiful afternoon, or praying with my husband for the hearts and futures of our children.

My plan is for this to be the place where I intentionally focus on the memorable mundane of this fabulous life God has so graced me with! If you happen across this site and decide to waste a moment perusing my ramblings, I hope it will be an opportunity for you to be reminded afresh of all the blessings you are surrounded by in your mundane life, as well.