In the past year, I’ve changed homes, I’ve changed states, I’ve changed cars, I’ve changed my diet, I’ve changed my daily routine. I’ve even changed careers–a little. About the only thing I haven’t changed is my hair color–and that might have to change soon since I think they discontinued my favorite shade.
I don’t mind change, I think. Change is good, right? Change for the sake of change–not so much. I’m not big on surprises, though. I tend to be a bit of a control freak (yeah, I know. Understatement.) so I’d like to pick the changes, but somehow it rarely works that way. I get to pick a few changes–like my hair color, but I have definitely learned that it’s not always my agenda here with the changes.
Change really is good. It’s not a good things to get too entrenched in our comfort zones. Safe & comfortable though it is, we don’t grow much in that cozy place.
I have definitely had some opportunities for growth here–and as much as I hate to admit, I have learned a lot and become better for it.
So, what have I learned?
Well, first I’ve learned to have more faith and to trust that the Lord knows way more than I do and knows what I need better than I do (I’m pretty sure it has something to do with that big picture thing. I’ve learned to trust that things will work out and the world won’t come to an end if I am
moved shoved out of my comfort zone.
When my husband left for Colorado, I believed everyone who told me my adorable house would sell in no time and we’d be enjoying the summer in Colorado. After all, I’d done all the right things to get it ready to sell. I think I studied every episode of Designed to Sell. My friends who put their homes on the market were making moving plans within days of listing so of course we’d be quickly moving, too.
We did enjoy summer in Colorado–but it was the summer of 2010, not the summer of 2009. Yes, it took a full 12 months (almost to the day) to sell our house. It also took two stints of for-sale-by-owner and two real estate agents in between. A whole year of quasi-single parenthood, seeing my husband one weekend a month, of waiting and hoping and praying and whining (quietly, but yes, I did whine–alright, I admit, it wasn’t always quietly) and being humbled before we ended up in the house, in the neighborhood in the right place for our family to be.
And, as I look back with that glorious 20-20 hindsight, I can see how I have grown and how all of these changes have helped to prepare me for the constant stream of changes that have come along since.
I’ve learned I can get by without a lot of things.
When we put our house on the market, we did a lot of decluttering and we packed up everything we could possibly live without: books, clothes, toys, even furniture. We kept out only the bare minimum so our house would look even more spacious and model-home-like, and moving would be simplified.
Now that I’m here and I’ve unpacked all that stuff and lived with it again, I’ve discovered that I’m ready to part with a whole lot of it and I’ve been in a decluttering mode that last couple of months. It’s not that we don’t have room for it–we have twice the house we had before. I’ve just learned how really unimportant stuff is and how nice it is to not be tied to it. Too bad I didn’t learn that one before I paid for a year’s worth of storage and the second moving truck.
I have learned the saying “the Lord will provide” is not just a platitude.
Each time over the past two years when I have exercised patience (no small stretch here–no one has ever accused me of having an abundance of patience) and faith, the things we have really needed in our lives have come along when we really needed them–and when we were ready to receive them with gratitude. Learning to recognize this has made me a mellower person and I am learning to not waste my time with worry when I could be doing better and more productive things.
I have learned gratitude is truly a blessing.
It’s not just saying thankful. It’s about developing an attitude of thankfulness, of learning to roll with the punches and be grateful, sometimes even when all I’m grateful for is that it wasn’t worse. When I remember to look for the silver lining and express gratitude for it, the silver lining becomes more than just a lining.
And I am learning to enjoy change and even look forward to it–which is a good thing because those changes just keep coming.
How about you? How are you dealing with the changes in your life and what have you learned?