on change

FAMILY, LIFESTYLE, MINDFULNESS, MOTHERHOOD

morningI have always considered myself a lover of change. A new soap scent, a different routine, a fresh arrangement of furniture in a room. Those are the fun changes, the ones I initiate to give fresh experience to something that might otherwise be growing stale. But sometimes change happens to us without our consent, without our knowing. It sneaks up and swipes out our feet, forcing us to adapt and modify our lives to a new perspective (albeit sometimes on our face), to move on, to survive. And sometimes, even then, outside of our own comfort and realm of choice, we find beauty and goodness where we never expected, in an evening walk, a generous gift, or the words of a friend. We learn something new about ourselves, about one another, about God. We grow.

This last year has contained a domino effect of change for our family, beginning with an unexpected financial catastrophe a year or so prior. Last Spring, we sold our home (which we had almost entirely renovated), invested our profits in a rental property, moved in with my sister + brother-in-law sharing their mortgage and bills for the year, worked every extra freelance job the two of us could (including Mark’s full-time teaching job), saved every extra bit we could without starving, bought a hundred year-old home for a tad more than some might by a brand new luxury car, and now are slowly renovating it. All with our four kids.

As I’ve been thinking about this past year’s changes for our family, I’ve wondered what little nuggets I’ve learned and might pass to someone else face-planted by change. The list below is for me to remember and for you, just in case you ever find yourself needing it:

:: be honest :: Admit you’re hurting or disappointed about things not happening the way you anticipated. After I had each of my children, my body would convulse uncontrollably from shock and heat loss, naturally. Difficult changes can often cause the same response emotionally, or they did for me. Being honest about my hurt or fear always connects me to Jesus and to others. Honesty reminds me I’m not alone.

:: hope :: “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both secure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us” (Heb. 6:19-20). These words have been life for me. It’s good to feel anchored in change, to have a sense of your soul’s belonging , especially when your physical self feels so transient.

:: slow down :: It’s ok to put aside extra commitments, to allow a different pace for yourself and your family. If you have children, make time to hear from each of them. Each of our children has responded differently to all of this change, but all of them have needed extra affection, extra time to be with us.

:: dream together :: Dreaming aloud, reminds us we are in this together–as a couple, as a family. It helps us form goals and learn from one another in the process.

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    1. Author

      I’m so encouraged to hear this, Kate. I hope it was a comfort and indspiration for you. x

  1. Hi Sweetie
    Thank You for taking the time to bless others with your life. It has been a difficult season and one that will bring back memories of just how great He is. The grace with which you so easily pen, reminds me of our God who so easily provides us our manna each day, simply because it is in His character to do so. I know you touch so many lives and way beyond those that take the time to respond to how they were touched. So I just wanted to let you know that I am one of the many.
    Love You
    Dad

    1. Author

      Thank you, Dad. You and mom have always given me the courage of boldness, of transparency. I love you, too.

  2. I don’t know if I’ve ever commented on your blog before, but I’ve been following along for some time — I’m always inspired by the grace with which you seem to juggle work, renovations, and motherhood.

    This post particularly resonated for me because it was due to some health issues that I completely switched my career directions, and am still figuring things out. I just loved reading hear about how creative and strong you’ve been in the face of huge and unexpected hurdles — best of luck with all the changes and I look forward to reading about your coming adventures!

    1. Author

      Thank you so much for sharing, Diana. I’m laughing over here as I stand in wood dust with pieces of constrction littered throughout our home–I feel anything but graceful. But I do appreceiate your kind and strengthening words today. Really.

  3. bethany, i love this. i too am a big fan of change, but unexpected and surprise change can be overwhelming. you seem to be taking it all very well. i love your honesty.

    1. Author

      thank you, Bri. I really do hope to always lean toward honesty, to let people see there’s always a little dirt mixed in the beauty. ;)

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