Sunday, May 6, 2012

Changes ...

Changes can sometimes be challenges.  Some are small and can be easily sorted out.  I logged in this week to find that Blogger (the hosting site for this blog) has changed things.  Nothing looks the same.  Now to a reader, I would imagine that it doesn't look any different, but as I'm here writing, I find that all of it has been redesigned  to make it "better and easier".  We'll see.  While I wish it were still the same, (I'm happy with the familiar) I recognize that this is small and I will adjust.

Other changes are dramatic and can hit you upside the head.  These can often be painful and unexpected.  Times when our faith is challenged and we must cling tightly to God.  Hearing the news of a close relative with cancer is one of those.  Thankfully, further testing shows that it has not spread and treatment options look very promising!

Still other changes come slowly and are a part of just moving through life.  It doesn't mean that it isn't sometimes hard, but at least it is something that you can try to prepare for.  One of those was having Eliana move in to share a room with Rebecca.  Can I just say that I think it is so sweet that Rebecca wants to share a room with her sister?!

The girls went out shopping for new bedding.

It was fun seeing her look at things.  So many fun things to choose from.  Love this little girl pointing out her selection.  

She wanted to carry her bedding in the front of the cart.  LOL  She picked out Tangled sheets in case you can't tell.  She likes the "princess".

 This is our little cutie napping the next day.  Yes, she is asleep with her leg crossed like that.

This change has mostly been easy.  I will say that I miss having her in our room.  (She has a bed in there.)  I liked checking on her while she was sleeping and hearing her get up in the morning.  This is a good change, though I'm not always ready for my little ones to grow up.

The transition of Christopher going to college was another one of those that was planned.  To be honest, the anticipation of it was very hard for me.  This was a huge change for our family.  The reality though has been mostly sweet.  I've watched him grow and learn in so many neat ways.  I've delighted as I've seen him grow in his faith!  I've enjoyed getting to know his friends.  I'm thankful that we are able to spend time with him more often than we might have had he chosen a different college.

This week, Christopher came home with 13 of his friends for dinner.  It was a house full and it was so much fun!!!  All of us enjoyed having them here!

Some were so sweet to help me in the kitchen (I had not planned well and could not  have done it without their help!).
I love seeing others able to relax and enjoy being in our home.

Outside for volleyball, walking on the slack line, basketball, tag and more.

Later in the evening we played games ... King Mau, Sequence and Egyptian Rat.  (Not sure if I spelled or got all of those right.)

I also had the pleasure of spending a few hours with Christopher's girlfriend talking about her upcoming missions trip to Argentina and many other things.  We talked and laughed and prayed together.  It was very sweet.  I'm so thankful that we had this time together.  I'm excited to be praying for her as she leaves soon on a missions trip.  I took this trip to Argentina 25 years ago.  (I wish I had gotten a picture.  I forgot my camera!)

As I spent time with these wonderful young people, it really hit me that I'm in the midst of another change.  I'm not even sure if I can explain this well, but I'll try.  I have friends of many ages and stages of life.  Most are adults who call me Leslie and many of the others are my friend's children or children that I work with at church to whom I am "Miss Leslie".  (Southern tradition that I'm very comfortable with.)  Spending time with these students though is different in some ways - they are adults, but also the age of my child.  To many of them I am Mrs. Nelsen.  That has always seemed to be a title for an older person that I'm not, kwim?  Its always been my MIL.  And now, its me.

So though I don't yet feel "old", I am moving into a different stage of life now.  Having an adult child.  Or maybe it just feels different because I'm still in several different stages of life.  Having a broad age range of children does that.  My relationships with these wonderful young people will be different from those I've known.  As I talk with them, I wonder at times what my role is.  I want God to use me to encourage them and love on them.  Its not been hard at all because I just enjoy being with them.  I love spending time with them, learning about their lives and hopefully encouraging them.

I've been working on this post for several days and even as I write this, there have been changes.

Change in our lives can bring up so many emotions - ranging from excitement to despair.

At times, I'm not sure why change is so hard.  Sometimes, change can mean that something that I am comfortable with - or love - is gone.  It leaves a hole.  Its an opportunity to look to God to fill that hole.  I'm not always good at turning to Him first.  There is always more to learn.

Sometimes it is abundantly obvious why change is hard.  Some change just hurts.  It is in those times that I know God is the only one who can bring healing.  He often uses these times to draw me closer to Him and teach me more about Him.  Things that may not seem good at first can often end up being blessings.

There are also times that change is sweet from the start.  A blessing.  A new adventure.  Is it all in how we face things?  Can I seek to change my perspective by looking more to Him and less at my circumstances?  I don't know the answers.  I'm thankful that I know the one that does.