Things Change…It’s Hard

Time to make some changes?  How are you with change?  Do you go with the flow?  Do you have to be dragged along into the change?  Do you find change is easy for you, or is it hard?  Change can mean we have to make a U-Turn and go back, or it can be going in the direction you are going with changes, or forward with a possible detour to something new.  Sometimes its leaving something behind that needs to be left, and sometimes we are moved forward toward something new.

Here are a few definitions:

  • change is different from what is.
  • make or become different.
  • the act or instance of making a future course change.

We don’t usually ask for change, ever notice that?  So, I would assume from that, change is not so welcome to most of us.  We might think, what if we want change and it doesn’t come to us?  What if it does?  Ok.  Let’s say it doesn’t seem to come for us.  Are we willing then to do something else?  Are we willing to stay where we are and ask God to change us so we can be more content where we are?  The struggle is real!  No matter how we define our life, it will require us to take some type of action.  It can look like a big mountain before us, but God will make a way around or through.  Nothing is too big for Him!

Let me share some of my changes with you so you know that I know about changes.  Since 1992, there have been many changes.  That year I had the unexpected death of my mother.  Big changes there as I helped my dad navigate life after losing the love of his life.  I was a fill in driver for my dad as his eyesight became an issue.  Changes…  In 1996, I became a single parent with 3 boys, and in 1998, a divorce.  Later a remarriage.  A step-daughter added to the family.  So from 1996 to 2015, I have moved 13 times in 19 years.

  • A move to Missouri is one big change.
  • Another one of those changes was the loss of my dad from complications from a car accident so back to Washington.
  • Yet another one was a move to Idaho; both of these Idaho and Missouri moves were away from family and friends.
  • The move to Missouri meant moving two times while there.
  • Next, a move back to Washington; both of the above two moves were into houses sight unseen.  We only talked by phone and made arrangements. We depended on God to take care of us.

Changes…

Change isn’t just about location, although it is hard to break into new neighborhoods, churches, and make connections.  It can sometimes be about being set apart for a season from everything you know, so that, you can have more time for something you are called to do. I have found that because of so many changes, I have gotten better at it, and I am better at turning it over to God. I am feeling pretty good about it most of the time.  THEN, comes a BIG change that hits me sideways, and I have to remind myself again of what I need to do.  My head knows, but my heart?  Not so much.  However, the quicker I take it to God, the more clarity I have of His direction.  I’m not letting my feelings get involved first, but God’s direction.

So what’s the solution?  Maybe thanking God for placing us where we are is a good start.  Confession?  I like my house and all we have done with it.  I LOVE being close to the ocean!  But if I could, I would move back closer to my family and friends in a millisecond!  However, I’m not in that position.  God has a different idea for a different purpose.  And His different purpose just might be a smaller connection than what I thought it was when we moved here.  You see, He definitely answered my prayers for a quiet place to live!  I have a wonderfully scenic back yard with the deer to watch come and go at times.  Not much traffic and quiet enough to hear birds singing and watch them come and go in the trees.  I prayed for that.  He answered that.  But it looks different from what I thought it would be.  Change usually is.  I have to accept that God knows what is best and He will help me in these circumstances that He has brought me to.  He has called me away from the noise, but for a different purpose; to study, and to do a little excavating within myself.  I need to ask Him to help me see where I need to change and what I might need to do differently.  Or  bigger yet?  Where I might need to THINK differently.  Allow Him to do the work He wants to do in me and not be yanking at His arm trying to pull away from His grip like a child would do to a parent.  Because…He will allow me to pull away if I want to go my own way.  But that isn’t what is the better path for me.  In fact, that will just get me into trouble.  He reminds me that I don’t have to see where the path is going all the time.  He does.

What changes may God be telling you to get ready for?  What changes might you need to make within you so that you are content where you are right now?  Are you living for what Jesus has for you to do?  Or are you living out what YOU want to do in your life, as you convince yourself it is God’s calling?  It’s easy to do.  I have gotten stuck there a few times.  Ask the hard questions and God will give you answers.  But…be ready.  Here comes the truth!

The Bible says, “How a man/woman thinks in his/her heart, so is he/she.”  The decisions we make, makes the lives we live.  So, the bottom line for me is this question in the words of a well-known man, Chuck Colson, “How Now Shall We live?”  I, and only I, can decide.

Until next time…

~JoAnn

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A Different Road To Travel

Cropped RememberWow!  What do you do when you get hit with a situation you weren’t counting on having to deal with?

How do you react?  Where do you go?  Who do you turn to?  What?!?!???  Are you kidding me??  I had the opportunity to experience this yesterday.  I didn’t have to ask those questions because I knew who I needed to turn to!  But I can’t say that my reaction was without feeling.  However, I was rather numb after last night’s phone call.  Next, I was ticking off the points.   What does this mean for us?  Here is the dilemma:  our sale contract on our current house has defaulted.  No sale one day before closing.  My thoughts?  My word for the year came to mind…Remember.

There are so many thoughts that I ticked through in my mind over this situation.  What does this mean for our other house?  Can we pull this off?  We are starting this whole process over after working so hard to meet deadlines.  We are exhausted and we are going to start all over again?  Where’s the lawn mower?  Oh yes…it’s at the BACK of one of the storage units!  Laundry without a washer and dryer?  We better move the food and a few items back into the house.  How long will it take to have a secure offer?  At least we have a new air mattress!  Random thoughts as my mind races for answers.

Getting the idea?  This is not just inconvenient.  It changes everything.  Everything.  I can’t even really process it.  All I could say today was, “You know God.  You are in control.  There has to be a reason.  There is, right?”  Let’s be honest here.  I want to trust with my whole heart.  Not give in to emotions.  But there is no doubt that it is hard.  As I put things back into the bathroom so we can use it, and items of food back in the pantry, I still have to tell myself that.  Minute by minute.  We were advised to put it back on the market right away with the market being even better than when we first listed the house.  We are looking around at our house that hadn’t been cleaned well since starting the hard part of moving out.  Show someone our house right now?  We said ok.  We are IN!  Then, just a few minutes after our house was listed again on the market, an offer came in, two calls for showings and away we go!  We will see what the weekend holds for us.  The blessing?  We can ask more for our house with this listing than the last because of the change in the market.  God knows…

IMG_2529So I approach the next few days with careful watch on my feelings because they can get me into trouble.  I heard Laura Story’s song today as she sang about all the hardships we go through and the tears we shed, being what draws us closer to Him.  Yep!  Ok God.  There is my answer.  I will do my best to wait on your intervention; whichever way that should go.  We aren’t new on the block of trials, so I press on toward the mark.  Face the “new” in our journey and ask God to give me grace.  Sound good?  It is our only answer.  The only one.

Walking the journey with you…

 

 

The Precipice of Change

10302697_683810818367171_6463270350335103447_n1.jpgFOR SALE:  Today, I am writing in response to many who are asking me questions based on a few of my posts about moving.  Some of the questions are:

  • Why move?
  • Where will we move?
  • Why do you want to leave your home after you just got it more the way you wanted it?
  • As I have shared where that move might take us, the question of why we would move so FAR comes up.

Understandable.  I asked some of those same questions as I prayed and talked with God about the whole situation.  Even though it is hard, there are many different reasons.  I thought maybe if I share some of my thoughts about this season of change and transition, maybe it will resonate with some of you.   When a big wind of change comes into your life in the future, maybe you can be more prepared to approach changes in your lives with an open heart.  Here we go with a few financial choices we have made:

  • First, I am looking for what God is doing.  It is like Dave Ramsey says, “Live like no one else SO THAT, you can live like no one else.” (emphasis are mine)  910153_13_resizeto_611x458x1
  • We have lived in places others would not want to live.
  • We have lived in houses others wouldn’t desire to live in.
  • We have made decisions such as moving to the midwest to work for a ministry.  Many thought we were kind of crazy to do that, especially since we were going to a home sight unseen.  But God…  He took care of us and all the details!
  • We drive used cars so we don’t have car payments.
  • We do the work on our home to save money on our future utilities.
  • We make the hard choices so that later, we can make the fun choices.

With that said, we are now entering into the next chapter.  A move.  We could make the decision and just stay here.  We could.  God gives us a free will.  We have enjoyed it here and have accomplished the above things in our current home.  However, as we have prayed about it, we have felt that God has something else He wants to do in us and for us.  Are we going to be obedient?  Yes.  We want to be in God’s will.  I have been praying for a long time about our future retirement years and what we want that to look like.  So, we began to ask ourselves:

  • What are our priorities?
  • What do we want our life to look like?
  • What makes us happy?
  • What is it that really feeds our souls?
  • What must we do to be able to live that way in our daily life?
  • What do we need to do to get from here, to there?”

What is our plan?  Why the move out of the area?  The answer is simple.  We will go where the housing is less expensive than here in current location.  It will not be too far away that a drive up north can’t fix.  Being debt free is what we desire.  By keeping the mortgage cost down, we can still continue to enjoy our life, enhance our home, and travel.  As we began to ponder these questions, there were some changes to make in order for our lives to be what we envision.  Doesn’t mean this location is wrong.  On the contrary.  God gave us this wonderful home and it will be wonderful now, for the next owner.  We are proud of leaving our home much better than we came into it.  We have enhanced its character.  I love that.  I am now praying about, and planning in my head for the next home He brings.  We will dedicate it just as we did this home.

Part of our discussion has been our life style.  We can easily become too busy, overextended, and have crazy schedules.  In the long run, it doesn’t help us to really have peace or joy because we are always running.  We get worn out.  I know many who later on in their lives, have regrets about their lives and how they wanted it to be, but it isn’t.  Personally, I view change as a way to start a new chapter with what I have learned in the last chapter.  If we will be open and willing to really hear, and not ignore, what God is telling us or leading us to do, we WILL reap the benefits of His guidance.  I don’t want to miss that.  But if we ignore what our hearts are telling us deep down, then we may have a life that works, but not as fulfilling as it could be.

Guardian Angel from Childhood
Guardian Angel from Childhood

I have been reading a great book by Michael Hyatt called, “Living Forward”.   The book discusses the idea of having a Life Plan.  A life plan is designed by you, and meant to give you direction with your whole life; whether at home with family, relationships, a career, or any other area.  It has been very insightful to me.  It is exactly what we have been praying about for our life, and was affirmation of what God may be leading us to do.  I would encourage you to get this book and read it.  Don’t be afraid to make the changes necessary.  Who knows how God will use the changes you make?  He knows what is important to us and will work out the details; even missing friends and family that will be further away.

My hubby and I are at the precipice looking over the edge.  We are choosing to step out in obedience.  We put our hands in His, and obediently walk this path out.  God asks us to step into the water before He parts it, so we step forward even though we can’t see exactly what is ahead.  We trust He will land us exactly where we need to be planted for this season.  It’s up to us how we react to it all.  I am very grateful for all God has done for us, and I am very excited to see where God will take us.  Watch for future posts of the journey!

Update:  We got the listing up with photos and one hour later we received a call for a showing.  Got favorable response with possible offer, and then another call for an appointment for 5:30p and the first day!  God is working!

Walking the journey with you…

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