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Posts Tagged ‘Change’

School has begun for our household, and we are limping into the routine that comes with it.

The paperwork of a new school year accumulates on my counter, and in my inbox. The school photo days are on the calendar. The money for various activities, yearbooks and fees demand payment. The dinner calendar filled out for the next week. Bedtimes become earlier, to prevent fatigue, and because of it.

… and I am starting my day writing a blog post.

But, there is something different in the blog writing from the three previous years of September mornings.

This fall itsawonderfilledlife will not be published every day of the week, but twice a week, so as to avail time for other writing. My intent is that each Tuesday and Friday I will publish a new post.

So, stay tuned!

 

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IMG_1192.JPGIn our house, yesterday was the end of summer.

The summer of a mostly empty house, with our teen and twenty-something kids working, volunteering and traveling. The summer of cleaning, purging and refreshing our house. The summer of perfect weather, lazy mornings and unparalleled quiet.

With today’s dawning, the window to summer is closed and fall commences. Today school begins, with the courses, the activities, the schedules of autumn giving us need for the organizational skills which have lay dormant for the past two months.

Our autumn begins back in high school, for me … grade 10, for our ‘baby boy’ … grade 12, for our ‘baby girl’ … final year of university, for our first born girl … autumn number twelve for hubby, in his role as pastor.

There is change in the air of autumn, of this autumn.

Our international student graduated high school in June, and we being this autumn with no student, renter or boarder.

Our son has chosen to not play football, and hubby will not be coaching.

I have moved from middle to high school … from grade 8 to 12.

We moved our son’s bedroom from the cave to the penthouse.

This year I one I have been praying about for months. You see there is change in the air of this school year, with one daughter graduating from high school and the other completing her undergraduate program. We cannot know yet what our household will look like a year from now, with our first born looking at grad schools in the east, and our youngest daughter looking at L’Arche communities around the world.

Change will continue to be in the air as our autumn turns to winter, to spring and back to summer again.

Normally I love change, I live for change, new, unique, and doing things ‘out of the box’, but the unknown changes to come in the next year(s) make me a bit more uneasy.

With the changes of season, occupations, school years, residence, family and any other small or big alteration to our lives, we do have one thing that never changes.

Jesus Christ never changes!
He is the same
yesterday,
today,

FOREVER.
Hebrews 13:8

As we embrace the changes that life places in our hands, may we constantly remember that not everything changes, and that there is the One oft called our rock, our anchor, our cornerstone who is the forever the same, unchanging.

Welcome to another new season of life!

 

 

 

 

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*although I wrote this three years ago, and my house of adolescents has become a household of teens and young adults, the same realization of what has past can hit me hard, and out of nowhere. The same level of learning continues for this, sometimes longing to be needed, mom.

He walked through my bedroom door,

my once little boy.

But as I watched him just brush his hair,

in my bathroom mirror,

 it hit me,

my youngest child

is no longer a baby.

And my heart sunk,

As I realized, that part of my life, so far, is past.

There is a sense of longing that comes as I realize that I am no longer a mom to ‘babies’ or even ‘children’. Oh, I am still a mom to minors, but my minors have all reached the edge of the abyss known as adolescence. And this edge is where I say farewell to a part of my life, that has been all-consumingly present for over eighteen years. My adolescent kids have all reached the stage of not needing me.

There are times (many) over the past eighteen years, when I would have given anything for them to need me less. I can so easily remember those ‘touched out’ days, those sleepless nights (they do still happen, but just when they get ready for bed, and they slam the bathroom door), those stomach virus weeks, when ‘the bucket’ would be transported from one sick kid to the next, and then around again, and again, and again.

I do love the parent-pre-teen/teen relationships. Truly that is what I was looking for when hubby and I decided that we wanted to have children. I feel so bad for our kids … as neither hubby or I are ‘baby people’. One would thinkg that our kids would have had one ‘nurturer’-parent. Honestly, when I see someone holding a newborn I just feel sorry for them (did I just say that out loud?), I mean, I am happy for them, but I know they are in the midst of a stressful time of life … and man, I’m glad it’s not me! To me, going through all of the stresses of babies and toddlers is worth it, if I get to, finally, live in a house with pre-teens and teens (and really, they are just like toddlers … they are just too heavy to pick up, place in their bed, and shut the door … same ‘hissy fits’, same growth spurts, same level of curiosity, and a beautiful sense of wonder … you just need to look harder for it). But, I digress …

Our youngest is almost twelve, and, although in private he will still hug me, and give and receive ‘I love you’s’, he is ‘moving on’ through the doorway to his teens, to be followed by adulthood. And, I have to say, it makes me feel a little sad, a little lonely, a lot … unneeded (and I need to feel needed).

For in this regard, his moving through that doorway signals the end of that, very defining, very demanding, very all-consuming part of MY life (and really, it is all about me). And I think I am needing to get my head wrapped around it!

The process of this ‘end’, of course began when mothering began … but it seemed so very  f a r  away. Then last summer, about half of our dinners together consisted of only hubby, the boy and me (as our daughters both have ‘gotten a life’). This was shocking to me! And, much of the time, one or two, or three of the kids were gone away overnight! My goodness … my nest is beginning to empty!

But, there is a flip side to all of this. This past year our family ‘adopted’ a local university student, who we fed, watched hockey games with and fed again (it is so gratifying to feed a ‘starving’ university student … they eat anything! And talk like you can cook like Jamie Oliver). And then we rented our suite to a delightful young lady, who we encouraged to join us for many mealtimes, for rides to church, for laughter and chats. And, last summer, our pool was frequently filled with the laughter of not just our kids, but many of our neighbors and friends. And dinners, well … truly it is feast or famine for numbers sitting at the table. Sometimes three, sometimes thirteen.

So, the dynamics of our life are changing. And, so I too need to learn to change … my expectations (and, frequently, my meal plans … at the last minute). I now have the privilege of ‘mothering’ others … who need a hug, a home-cooked meal … a house with a pool, on a hot day. It’s a new kind of being needed.

And, one day, that too will cause change, and adjustment, and introspection. And, if I am ever going to be wise, I will lean to accept the change, and seek within it a new kind of being needed … a new kind of wonder.

“Cause babies don’t keep, we’ve learned to our sorrow.”

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Oh, I so love to wonder! (like you didn’t know that by now)

But, once in a while, I come across a thing (like snakes ... well, most of the time), or a place (like the dentist’s office), or an event that really steals the wonder from my day.

One day, while walking in the beautiful sun, with my beast, Shiloh, I walked by two women. One woman was pushing an infant (I peeked, and ‘it’ was definitely an infant) in a stroller, and the other walking along side of them.

They looked to be mid-late twenties, attractive, and nicely dressed (I noticed all of this because I am a female, and WE notice EVERYTHING about people). But, they didn’t notice my beast (everyone notices my beast, she is a beauty. When we walk, she makes eye contact with everyone, looking for positive attention … she hears, “oh, pretty puppy” so often, I have had to push her into the van after the walk, due to the swelling of her head … but I digress). I do not think they noticed me either, but that is not uncommon, as I walk with a beast who gets all the attention.

Just as my beast and I were passing the trio, the lady (?) pushing the stroller, says to her friend, ” … and I said, that was F#@$ing rude …”

Ouch! My ears were hurting. Then I thought of the the infant in the stroller, and my heart was aching for him/her (no color definition in the child’s clothing to indicate the gender). I may be a purist, but a new little bundle should not start life hearing such cold language. Man, what will that child hear (at home) when the ‘newness’ of infant becomes the ‘awkwardness’ of adolescence, or the independence of teenage?

Sadly, I expect more of the same. And as I walked by, feeling the sense of wonder of nature, and of life ebb from my being, I also predict that the child, sleeping peacefully in his/her stroller, may grow up hearing such caustic-ness directed ‘towards’ him/her.

I felt deflated! I felt angry! I felt violated!

What I felt most was a desire to turn around, catch up with the classy-looking ‘ladies’ and give them a piece of my mind!

But, instead, shoulders hanging low, I prayed. I prayed that God would inject, as only He can, himself into the life of that child, and the lives of those two women. I prayed that the child would never hear such nastiness, at home, when he/she is old enough to mimic what is heard.

Then, I prayed for forgiveness. I may not use the same word I heard from that lady on the path (I tell my kids that only people who have no creativity of language use such words, so loosely, and that I know they are creative people, so I expect more from them). But, my kids have surely heard the same cold, hard, unrighteous anger from me.

That day on the path reminded me that if wonder is so important to me, then I need to be more conscious to not steal it from those around me with my words … and my attitude.

“Watch the way you talk.

Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth.

Say only what helps, each word a gift.

Don’t grieve God.

Don’t break his heart.

His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you,

is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself.

Don’t take such a gift for granted.

Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk.

Be gentle with one another, sensitive.”

Ephesians 4:29-31 (Message)

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20140608-144703-53223590.jpgI love music. I love Bach, Johnny Cash, U2, Ella Fitzgerald, Starfield, Elton John, Louis Armstrong, Taylor Swift, Casting Crowns, Ennio Marricone, Coldplay, ABBA, Paolo Nutini, Michael Buble,  TobyMac, Adele, and this list is truly just a tip of my music loves iceberg!

Music speaks to me, it challenges, moves, and teaches me. I love the visuals that can be created in it’s combination of lyrics and music. I love the emotions that a song can bring out. I love how, out of nowhere a song can ‘pop’ into my mind, and be mulled over for hours, as though it was ‘placed’ there, just for me, like a lovingly wrapped gift. I hate songs that speak lies, I love songs that speak truth.

This morning I have had a song in my mind, ‘placed’ there, I am certain.

It is a song called “This is your Life”, by Switchfoot. Some of the lyrics are:

yesterday is a wrinkle on your forehead
yesterday is a promise that you’ve broken
don’t close your eyes, don’t close your eyes
this is your life and today is all you’ve got now
yeah, and today is all you’ll ever have
don’t close your eyes
don’t close your eyes

this is your life, are you who you want to be
this is your life, are you who you want to be
this is your life, is it everything you dreamed that it would be
when the world was younger and you had everything to lose

yesterday is a kid in the corner
yesterday is dead and over

don’t close your eyes

Now, maybe I awoke with it in my head because I slept miserably last night (‘don’t close your eyes‘).

Or, maybe it is because I recently celebrated a birthday … like three months ago (‘this is your life, are you who you want to be, this is your life, is it everything you dreamed that it would be‘).

Maybe it is because this weekend I was chatting with my eldest daughter about my memories of childhood (‘yesterday is a kid in the corner’ … pretty much sums up my entire childhood, so now you know what I was like as a kid!).

Maybe it’s because today is my last day of classes with students (‘today is all you’ve got now’).

Or maybe it is playing in my mind because I awoke in a rather melancholy mood (this is your life and today is all you’ve got now yeah, and today is all you’ll ever have).

I expect it’s a combination of all of the above, but, today, it might be more of the last. Now today is not all that bad, but with the combination of lack of sleep, end of the school year, thinking of years past, a kind of recent birthday AND melancholy I’m really not excited that today (more this present season of life, than this ‘day’) is all I’ve got, and all I’ll ever have. This season is one of realizing that there are parts of my life that just simply are so far from where I want them to be.

As an obsessive compulsive person when it comes to planning into the future, today my future looks far more fuzzy than I would like. To use more song lyrics, I prefer an outlook where ‘the future’s so bright I gotta wear shades’. And it’s not that it’s an all doom and gloom forecast of the future, it is simply that I cannot see anything. And I’m an ‘inquiring mind, and inquiring minds need to know’ (more indicators of my age).

Maybe the real reason this song is in my mind is that, despite my melancholy mood, despite the lack of sleep, despite my aging body, despite the end of Spring Break, despite the fact that not all childhood memories are sweetness and light, and even despite the fact the promises get broken, and the future is unknown, I’ve been given this day, and if I don’t close my eyes, I might find a bit of wonder laying in my path.

AND, by the way, there are NO wrinkles on this forehead! See, at my age, that is something to wonder about 😉

 

 

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The final chapel for the school year reminded me that it was my final chapel at high school.

In September I will enter the doors of the Middle campus, rather than the high school campus. I will be working in grade 8, helping students prepare to enter high school, rather than helping them prepare to leave high school. I will be looking at students in-the-eye, rather than looking up to them … well, at least in September … by January, I will be looking up at them!

That final chapel seemed so … final. Each face on the screen (it was an awards chapel) reminded me that these students would not be in and out of my every day next school year. Each student in the row I sat … the homeroom of students who I have delighted in … reminded me of the great efforts (and vast amounts of candy) it took to get to know each … in those rare homeroom blocks, in the halls, in the classrooms, to earn their trust. Each memory of this past year refreshed as though I could almost reach out and touch them, as they had touched me.

I was feeling rather melancholy.

Had I made the right decision?

Had I thought this through?

Had I opted to give up too much?

Was I running away?

What would my students do without me?

And it was that last question to myself that was the head shake, the face palm that I needed.

I am SO not indispensable, SO not the only one able to meet the needs in the lives of the students.

I am the hands and feet of learning, of processing, of developing, of advancing and … of God. I am His instrument, His tool, and I work best with students when I acknowledge that I am in His control, and that I am fulfilling His plans … not my own.

I know with certainty that God loves these students, whether ones I work within on my schedule, ones I’ve gotten to know about in my home room, or just ones who I said hi to in the halls. And He loves them more than I do. His good will for them is not dependent on me sticking with them throughout their school years, it is dependent only on Him, and His plan for their life, for their days.

I was also reminded that He has a plan for me too. And that His plan is not dependent on what decisions I make, His plan is only dependent on His will … and I can rest in the assurance that He has the final word on my future.

“Change is in the air.
This change reminds us that we are made and beautifully sculpted
by the same power that orchestrates the change of season.
Let this be the season you embrace and align yourself with this change.”
Steve Maraboli

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2bc3abe82665c398b6122684f92840b1As I was writing this post, I was reminded that I had written something similar about the way I was feeling once before, and when I searched through my posts what I found was a post called https://itsawonderfilledlife.net/2012/04/12/the-day-i-wanted-to-run-away/. What I thought that was interesting was that it was written almost exactly one year ago … to the day. Maybe this ‘feeling’ is a new form of Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Another spring day, and another restless heart.11bd7c4a29807b4148a15098f7b39665

This time, though, I was not so much desiring to run away as I was desiring something fresh, something new, something … more.

It is a restless heart that reminds me I am not easily satisfied, or content, with life as it is … a condition that makes being married to me, or living with me, no easy thing!

It is when I am restless that I most desire change on a big scale.

I desire to quit my job, change my job, change my career, go back to school …

I desire to renovate our home, or sell our home and move to a much cheaper condo, a fixer-upper, a rental …

I desire to diet, run, start an exercise program, eat more chocolate …758ba8d2ec6f00e890924954018323ee

I desire to spend more time with hubby, with friends, with my kids, alone …

I desire to move to a new house, a new city, a new life …

I desire … more.

It is when I am experiencing this restless heart that status quo is more boring, annoying, depressing …

I echo the words of Vivien Leigh, who said, “I cannot let well enough alone. I get restless. I have to be doing different things. I am a very impatient person and headstrong.” Especially headstrong …

Then I remember … this restlessness is not all bad.

Because I am restless I am not going to be content with things as they are, I am restless because I have been created for …

MORE than this!

And in this … more … my restless heart finds … rest.

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