Changes

Change is difficult; at least it is for me.  I have a hard time choosing a new hair color at CVS much less releasing things that have defined me for much of the past 5 years.  But as each year passes, I feel a new urgency, an urgency to invest in what will make the most impact in this world.  As a follower of Jesus, this might look different for me than it does for someone who isn’t, but I still believe we all have a desire to make the greatest impact we can before we leave this place.

The reality is we all have the same amount of time in a day – 24 hours.  In those 24 hours there are “have to dos” that can eat up much of the day.  Work, sleep, etc.   What do I do with the remaining hours?  What is most important to me and does my life live that out? After much soul searching and prayer, this is what I’ve decided:

I will be more intentional about connecting with God each day.  If my soul is thirsty, I will never be satisfied.  I am jumping off that hamster wheel.

I will allow Him to continue to refine me so I have new stories of what He’s doing in my life NOW.  Not just what He did 15 years ago.

I will schedule non-negotiable appointments on my calendar to work out.  Investing in my physical health is not selfish.  If I’m not healthy, everything else suffers.

My husband will know that he is my best friend, my biggest supporter, defender and encourager. I will give him my best time, not my leftovers.

My children will know how much I love them.  How proud I am of them.  How delighted I am by their differences, their uniqueness.  I will make sure they never ever doubt that they were loved with everything I am.

Realizing I have a limited amount of emotional energy, I will only invest in the friendships that are most important in my life.  (Jesus surrounded Himself with 12 but He only had 3 in His inner circle.)

I will use any wisdom that I’ve gotten through the circumstances of my life to help train up the next generation.  To serve, to lead, to love, to take the torch from our hands and do better than we’ve done.  I will encourage them and help them see that they are capable and that God has a plan for their lives.

I will cultivate my passion to learn new things.

I will stop comparing my life to others.

I will be nicer to myself.

I will live with unqualified Joy.

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Paint

The paint was purchased, a bright, cheery yellow.  Covering the dark teal walls with yellow was going to be a feat but I was ready.  Or at least I thought I was.  I was okay disassembling the bed and storing it in the basement.  Packing up the last remnants of boyhood was tough.  Bike locks, sock monkeys, endless Lego pieces, books, drawings of SWAT guys and police cars.  And guitar picks, so many guitar picks.  But I barreled through, trying not to think about the Christmas morning that we built the coolest Lego train on the planet.  Or how, at bedtime, I’d crawl up in his bunkbed and we would read Grover’s Bad Awful Day together.  I managed to throw away most things but boxed up some memories to keep.  And plugged away.  As I began to paint, covering the scuff marks from skateboards and gouges from guitar amps, more memories surfaced but I was okay.  I was handling it.  I really was.

Then it hit me.  As excited as I was to finally have a home office, this was no longer going to be his bedroom.  That boy “smell” that always seemed to fill his room was fading.  This season of my life was complete.  My youngest has left to start his adult life in another state.  This is the longest I’ve gone without seeing him in his entire life.  Washing the paint brushes, the tears finally came.  I get it, I really do.  We raise our children to leave us.  That’s life.  I’ll be fine.  But right now, I just need a few moments to be sad.  To just miss my boy.