Every autumn, she groans when she tells me how much she dreads the start of school and its inevitable prickly mornings with her three kids. She says the same thing when school closes and summer begins. She mourns the loss of her daily routine when the kids are home day in and day out, when they must re-learn how to live together all over again.
After years of hearing her say this, she finally admitted it isn’t the long hours at home or the long hours of leaving she dreads, it’s the upending of her everyday life brought on by the turning of the seasons.
“I guess I just don’t like change,” she says, and I can see every summer and autumn, she means it.
When we think of change, our minds often turn to the big and the noteworthy. We think of the day we got married or the day we became a mother. We look back on the year we moved out of our parent’s house, or our first day on the job, or the night we accepted Jesus as our Savior. Our minds turn to the breakup, the job loss, the death, the move, or the divorce. Each experience leaves an indelible mark, an asterisk on the calendar of our life, which we refer to as the “before” and the “after”.
We often forget that our everyday lives are cyclical, peppered with changes small and the opposite of noteworthy.
And yet, these changes often have a profound impact on who we are becoming. They give us the opportunity to change over time as we put in the everyday effort necessary to cultivating a life of fullness, a life spent growing a bounty worth harvesting.
I find that when life starts to feel uncomfortable and everything within its borders squeezes too tight, it’s because I haven’t acknowledged the subtle shift of the seasons. I haven’t recognized the demands on my time, emotion, or effort has changed into something different.
When my mothering methods no longer seem to work, it’s often because my children moved into a new season of needs and requirements, and I forgot to move with them.
When my work no longer produces results in the same way, I resist it. I fuss and complain when it’s far more productive to look for new ways to breathe life into my writing.
When my prayers sound stale and my relationship with God feels stagnant, it’s a reminder that my faith must grow and evolve as it ages. New seasons call us to new expressions faith. The same is true of our parenting, our work, our friendships, and our ministry.
Sometimes change turns our world upside down. Sometimes it is necessary and we celebrate it. Other times, we white knuckle and pray our way through the unexpected. But most of the time, change floats in on the breeze of a new season. It allows us to grow into our lives over time, to grow more fully into our faith and more fully into ourselves.
We don’t need to fear or dread change. We are all in the process of becoming the spouse, parent, volunteer, employee, artist, leader, and believer God created us to be. With each big or small shift in your life, look with eyes of gratitude and patience.
You are changing. You are becoming. Look for new ways to embrace it.<<Click to Tweet
Kimberly Coyle is a writer, mother, and gypsy at heart. She tells stories of everyday life while raising a family, and shares her faith on her blog. She writes from the suburbs of New Jersey, where she is learning how to put down roots that stretch further than the nearest airport.