Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Times They Are A Changin! :)

Well today was the first day of school for my ninth grader! Wow, even as I type this I can't believe I am saying this. I was struck at how different the first day of school has become. I can remember in vivid detail his first day of Pre-K, Kindergarten, first grade and so on. It used to be that he would get all ready and then grab mine or his dad's hand and be ready for us to take him in to school. He would always be excited about going, but always wanted us to go with him :) As I woke him up this morning and heard him getting ready, I heard a "yes, the hair is perfect" and saw him come out ready to go! Into the car we went, but as we pulled up to the school it was "Mom, let me out here!". I found myself getting a little nostalgic. He doesn't so much "need" me anymore. He was up ready to go and face this challenge all on his own.

That spoke volumes to me. He is in a new Season of his life. I should be happy not sad. That's what I have been working and raising him to be able to do. Stand on his own two feet and take life by the horns! I mean how ridiculous would it look if I dressed him this morning, gave him his blues clues backpack and a juice box and walked him in to the hallway by his hand..kissed him on the cheek and said Mommy loves you! Hello, can we say social suicide? :) I'm pretty sure I could count out ever getting any affection from him ever again after that. I mean come on people, there is a reason we don't walk around in December with our swimsuits on and we don't put on our gloves and hats on in July, especially here in Arkansas!! Those things would make us look so out of place because they are out of season. Sadly, we have all been guilty of hanging on too long at different seasons in our lives. We humans, as a norm, do not like change. We like comfort and when we find a season in our lives where we excel and have happy memories we tend to want to hang on as long as we can.

But I am reminded of that great 80's song by Expose "Seasons Change!". The words went..Seasons change, people change! And we do. We all have to be aware of what season of life we are in. How awkward would it be for the young marrieds class of my church if I kept showing up every week! I mean at one time in my life I was young and at one time I was married. I am neither anymore. Well maybe, the young part.... :) People would be nice to me at first but pretty soon they would start to fill awkward around me. Then I would begin to sense some discomfort. No matter how much I tried to make it work, I would still keep walking in single and 45. Those are factors in my life that no matter how hard I try right now, I can't change! And I shouldn't want too!! Every different season in life brings with it it's own challenges and it's own rewards! If I froze CJ in 2nd grade, sure I wouldn't have to be dealing with a teenager right now, but I would also be missing out on the joys of watching him play Varsity Football, write his first song, lead worship at church, discover the joys and heartbreak of his first love and so much more!!

You can be so busy trying to hang on to where you have been that you completely miss the awesomeness of where you are going!! When you get stuck in the wrong season, things become awkward for you and for those around you. You can pray all you want for certain variables in your life to change but they won't. Trust me, I have tried. They weren't created to! You were created to have cycles in your life...different ages. If you don't take the opportunity, you will miss out on the memories and the joys that each different age brings with it. And the only thing worse than being stuck in a wrong season in life, is living with regret! We only have one chance at this thing called life. It's normal to get nostalgic about the good times and to "grieve" when things have to change. But then we get up, dust off our shoulders and walk into the next thing waiting for us. Seasons come and seasons go. Some have been greater than others and some have been down right awful if we are honest with ourselves. But through them all, we have learned and we have grown into the people that we are because of them. Thank God that not everything stays the same. When we keep moving with the seasons, we don't become stagnant. Appreciate where you have been but look forward to where you are going!! I am sure trying to! And on that note, is anyone else already listening to Christmas music like me? :) hahahaha
As always, your friend in this thing called life!!
April

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

"Trading Spaces"

Have you ever been part of a remodeling project? Or watched a home makeover show? I have. I have always been fascinated by watching people take a room and transform it into something so beautiful! I used to love watching Trading Spaces. I loved the whole concept of that show. They picked the perfect host in Paige :) And it sure didn't hurt that they had a good looking carpenter named Ty Pennington :) What always cracked me up was watching the homeowners really struggle with getting rid of the old stuff in their room. What was the point of signing up for the show if you weren't ready for a change? Well I got to thinking about that because we are currently in the middle of a remodel project at my church. And the receptionist's office that I work out of is a part of this project. Mind you...it is long overdue and necessary.

But as I was sitting at my desk today and the workers came and starting tearing out windows and walls around me :) I found myself getting sentimental and saying "ah...now people can't come and talk to me through the window", etc. And I felt God speak to my heart! :) I have told you before people, God has to work that way in me...plain and simple! hahahaha But as I watched them tearing out glass and busting down bookshelves, it made me think. So many people are like this in life. They cling to the familiar and have a hard time when change comes. We even like to complain about things but then when those things are gone we struggle because our chief source of complaint is gone!

Familiar is comfortable. The same old same old is boring and predictable but safe. We don't fear what we know. But all of the above things can bring stagnation also. We can find our selves in a rut and doing things by the motions instead of living a life driven by passion. A "one car garage" will never be able to hold two cars. Sometimes you have to let go of something in order for something new to come in. You may not understand it or be able to see what God is doing in your life during the "process" but He never disappoints with the final product!! That was always the favorite part of the shows for me...the Reveal! Watching the homeowners come in that had complained or expressed doubt and watching them be blown away by what their new rooms looked like.

That is the way we are with God. We are often dragged along in the process "kicking and screaming" most of the way :) We fight to hold on to the familiar because we have found our place or identity in them. While all of the time, God is trying to rebuild us and show us what our true identity in Him is! We may not always be the most cooperative of children, but then we have a God revelation and our eyes are opened to what God has and can do!

Funny how a simple thing like watching someone tear something apart can strike such a cord in me. I started thinking about my life over the last several months. Sometimes events happen to us in life that our out of our control. We get a Life Makeover whether we ask for one or not :) I had to ask myself, what have I been struggling to hold on to that God is gently trying to pry my fingers away from. What am I allowing to "take up space in my heart and spirit"? While God is patiently waiting with new and better things...waiting for me to clear it out so He can move in!

It's ok to get sentimental and to reflect on things that have brought joy and purpose. But when you dwell past the point of something being beneficial that is when you need to learn to let go and let God. I can honestly say that God has never taken away where He hasn't given something even greater! Trusting is tough! Exercising faith even tougher! All of this "believing without seeing" stuff :) But I am a firm believer that if God showed us too much ahead of time, we would interfere and start trying to work our own plans out. His ways are not our ways! Thank the Lord for that.

Is it about time for a change for you? Is moving day coming close? It's hard to say goodbye to things, but it's always exciting to embrace the new. I am learning to walk by faith more than ever before!! It can be scary and anxious but it can also be exhilarating and fulfilling. If I can do it, you can do it!! :) I am praying for you my friends and I know that God knows what he has in store for us all! Plans to prosper us and not to harm us. Plans to give us a great hope and a future!! :) Looking forward to a new day with you!!
Your Friend in this game called life-
April