Life is full of changes...you hear that often, and some days when you are in the midst of mundane routine, life seems to move slowly, and you inwardly wish for change. Sometimes change is good; but I find that to be true when it is elective change. Being on the receiving end of others' decisions that not only involve change for them, but my life also affected in a cataclysmic way is not good. At least it doesn't feel that way to me.
In the past month or so life has felt like a slow-moving tailspin. The kind of sensation which I experienced recently, plunked into the passenger seat while my youngest daughter navigated my jeep down an icy road. Down an icy road, ice covering snow, that hydroplaning that happens when the wheels don't quite touch pavement and that little pocket of air is all that exists between your life as you know it or panic. The seconds of holding your breath as the car spins...assessing the situation in a millisecond, calmly telling your daughter what not to do...do not brake...stay calm, stay calm...
Let's see now...in the last few months...my husband quit his job. A big job. He retired for "long enough to rearrange his sock drawer," and then he started on as a President of a start-up tech company. Which everyone knows means nothing. The company could stay, it could go, and it all depends on too many things which I know nothing about. What I do know is that means any plans for a move or long trip are temporarily put on hold. Temporary meaning four years or tomorrow.
My Mom's health is changing. So is my Dad's. I get emergency calls from caregivers, quick trips over mountain passes sometimes covered in snow...decisions made and decisions reversed by others who do not know better. It is frustrating, and at times heartbreaking. But the thing is...you have to be there...so you realign your life and you set your priorities and you stop all that you were doing before, and you sit and wait for you do not know what...the call in the night, the update from the hospice nurse...a text that waits a week to reach you while you hold your breath once more.
Our youngest daughter finds her dream place in the city. She has lived in our town since fifth grade. Do not feel sorry for me...we have been blessed as parents. Yes, my nest has been empty. She elected to live in the dorms, then a condo with her older sister. But graduating college and starting off on her career path, living in the same college town was just not hip anymore. So she packed her belongings and we hauled. And I cleaned. And cleaned. And cleaned the condo that had not been empty for at least six years and had seen many room mates come and go. And as I scrubbed, I was able to let go of some of the sadness that she would not be living close by anymore.
Our oldest daughter announced she was going to move to New York. But that one is still a little ways out on the horizon.
Changes in friendships, group bonds formed over time and given a year or more to develop suddenly stopped because those leading them felt they could no longer. And there was no one to step up and take the place.
Change in church. A pastor let go because of a sin committed that left many of us reeling...the impact of sin leaving it's imprint on everyone and the question of how to move on in forgiveness and grace and yet to continue to trust.
So when life changes seem to be coming hard and fast and there does not feel adequate time to gain traction and equilibrium...what do you do?
For me, I stop. I slow down. I listen to His spirit, guiding me through his word, and to books that seem to be speaking to me and encouraging me. One I am reading and gaining so much insight from is "Dancing with my Father," by Sally Clarkson.
I give. I give my time away...doing for others because it is always a blessing to help when you know that you are making a tiny difference in a young mother's day by taking her child to the pet store and the car wash and out to eat.
I wait...to hear His voice directing me which way to go. Which also involves prayer and rest.
And I reassess what I am doing. My stamping is again on a leave of absence. I am not on any teams, so have no obligations...for now I will stamp when I need a card or am inspired to try something new.
This blog was initially named "Major Moments," because my life is busy and my interests are varied and I do not want to dedicate my blog solely to one thing.
I am taking a class tomorrow. I am stretching myself to try something new...this time with Annie Sloan's chalk paint. So tomorrow I will be surrounded by pretty colored paints rather than inks and my pallet will be wood rather than paper. I am ready for a change. And in this case, change is good!