Friday, October 30, 2009

A journey of change...

We finally have an afternoon where the sun is peeking out behind wispy clouds, through the colorful leaves on the trees, and making its' way onto the sofa where I am curled up next to a paisley pillow. The aroma of a MacIntosh candle reminds me I can still enjoy autumn... even if I am only taking a break from laundry and dishes to watch Jacques & Julia on PBS. :)

Being a pondering kind of person, I found it interesting that getting away for awhile was just what I needed to refresh the spirit. I know part of it was spending time with the kids, grandchildren, and our friends (the Clarksons). I expect getting together with a few thousand likeminded (ie: Christian) women helped a lot.

But I think that which helped wake the senses was pulling books off the shelf and eating from the literary bread offered between their pages many evenings. How fortunate we are to live in an age where the experience and wisdom of men and women who have walked with God are available for the cost of a paperback book. (Not to mention the delicious fiction once in awhile.) :)

As I look back at other rather dry seasons of life, I find a few different reasons. First... fatigue has set in from illness, lack of rest and healthy food, or an extended time of trial. Second... I have let the technological things of this world take over my peace... TV, News, Radio, Internet (yikes!), mp3 players, etc. Third (and most likely what has happened now)... the change of seasons in my life.

I have had a child at home since I was twenty-three years old and either informally educating one at home or formally involved in homeschooling. With Christopher beginning University this year, the realization came that the child raising years are behind me. Don't get me wrong, the role of Mom as Counselor, Confessor, and Listener will always continue. But the clay has been formed into two amazing young adults and that season of life is behind me.

The post-homeschooling years are not what I planned. I had not anticipated at this time of life living on a very fixed income and dealing with a chronic illness. Let's face it, becoming a pastry chef as I'd desired would not be walking in wisdom for a Type 1 diabetic. :)

However, we all have such unexpected turns in life. I didn't plan to leave the corporate world in my early 30s, or to have another child later in life, or to become a homeschooling mom in my 40s. Such is life.

Change has never come easy for me. I could have been quite happy if born in another place and another time when the only change to take place was the usual cycles of life and death, springtime and harvest, and the occasional new family moving into the village every decade or two.

So... how am I embracing these changes? Well, I am definitely continuing the reading as I dusted off the amazing little book by John Piper titled Don't Waste Your Life. Yes, I did read this earlier in the year but as I'm going through the book again... everything seems new as I'm looking at it from a different perspective. I'm also reading the book my son-in-law loaned me by Gary Thomas called Seeking the Face of God. Thomas has put together an excellent book which makes it easy to absorb the wisdom of those who walked the path centuries ago.

Not all my reading has been quite so deep. Just before drifting off to sleep recently, I pulled out The Wind in the Willows to read a favorite section which I had discussed with Sarah last week. That part where Rat and Mole visit Mole's home is among the best literature has to offer (whether one is a child or a grandmother). How warm and cozy I felt as I sat with pillows propped behind my head and a quilt keeping me warm, imagining what it would be like listening to field mice singing Christmas carols.

I must now return to the tasks before me as sweaters are very carefully drying in a gentle heat and dishes must be put away behind cabinet doors. Ground beef is waiting to be turned into "something for dinner" while the butter and eggs have come to room temperature to make blond brownies (Stephanie called for the recipe this morning which brought about a craving). All coming together at a slow but steady pace with the usual pattern of work and rest and work and rest.

I must admit the sunshine helps all to be done with a good attitude.

Picture: Blue Stove;


Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Ah, change. And, most especially, that unexpected change! I can tell you that from my last two years, I have learned that we know NOTHING of what lies ahead! My life, too, has taken turns I never chose nor was I "ready" for them. But what else to do but roll with them? Thanks for sharing. I loved this post. C

freetobeme - Anita said...

Life...I'm so glad I have the Heavenly Father to guide me through the days and the changes and the joys and the disappointments...

Pen Pen said...

Change... I, too, am really feeling the empty nest and changes in my life. I would love to find those two books you mentioned: Don't Waste Your Life and Seeking the Face of God.

Debbie in CA : ) said...

Another sweet and cozy read . . . and it has nourished me. Thank you. I, too, would have been happy in another time or place with a gentler cadence to life -- but this is the life God blessed me with and I intend to keep making the most of it. Thanks for the reminder to reread Wind in the Willows for another shot of cozy. ; D

Brenda Leyland said...

Thanks for sharing your journey with us........ and being so positive even in spite of the hard things that come........ your confidence in Our Heavenly Father comes through.

Oh...... thanks for sharing the books you're reading. And I'm going to have to pull out the Wind in the Willows and look for that cozy spot. I love that part in the movie too! There's a comfort and home feeling, isn't there.

So..... do you share recipes.... that blond brownie sounds interesting.

Blessings for a pleasant and joy-filled day.

scrappy quilter said...

I don't handle change well at all. I needed to read this post. You are such an encouragement to others. I really loved this post.

Anonymous said...

Exactly what I needed to read today...thanks for sharing!! I still have a daughter at home, but only because she is not making enough to get out on her own...but she is breaking ties, bit by bit. There is change ahead yet. There was a time of adjustment and yes, grief, when each of my older 2 left home. But life is full of change, the whole way along I think.

Blessings on your journey.

Anonymous said...

Praying your new journey is greatly blessed.
Thank you for sharing. Your are such an encouragement.

Kelly Lynn in Texas

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries said...

Beautifully put, as always, Brenda. You seem to always touch on what so many of us are feeling. While I still have Rosie at home and in high school, it won't be long 'til I'm all the way inside your shoes. I am so glad you reminded us of Piper's book, "Don't Waste Your Life". It's been on my "Books to Look Into" list and I believe it's time to actually look into it ;) LOL. So glad you're experience a bit of sunshine. I'd send some of ours if it were possible (perhaps bottle it for you in a Mason jar, and tie a pretty piece of lace and ribbon at the top...).

Good thoughts and prayers to you.

Connie said...

I too, am a empty nester and also retired from office work just last year. Many changes but I find it hard sometime but also freeing because I have done my job and now I can watch my grow children put to life what they learned under my care. They are responsble people who love the Lord. I've so much to thankful for. But I am having problem finding my niche in the world as it is today.

cheri said...

I hear you. I, too, am a empty nester home schooler (there must be a better way to put that).

We are now care-givers for my elderly parents. They don't need a lot of help just yet, thankfully.

So, life has changed and we are in a waiting mode. I think I need to read Piper's book.

Abounding Treasures said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Brenda, as always in such a gentle and encouraging way :o)

At the beginning of this month, my husband and I became *empty nesters* and after having children to care for in some way or other for the past 29 years, it has been something of an adjustment ...

I have read John Piper's *Don't Waste Your Life* and really found it helpful.

Blessings to you and yours and hope you're feeling better :o)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing so beautifully what so many of us experience from time to time.
Oh, to cherish the moments!
Blessings to you, Brenda!

Simply Heart And Home said...

I do love that book. Change can often leave us with an uneasy feeling. If we look to each day as brand new and an adventure of sorts, change isn't so frightening.



DarcyLee said...

My blog, Brenda, is all about this season of life where I'm not really "needed" for my children's everyday life like I once was when we were homeschooling, so I'm learning all about that feeling, too. It's a big change but one where I can branch out and indulge a little in the interests I didn't have time for before, although I don't have the energy I did before, either! It isn't what I pictured for my life exactly but it is good with God at the head. Thank you for sharing this post with us. Very encouraging.

Sarah said...

Brenda, I'm here from Sarah and Sally's blogs, and so thankful to have found you this morning! My oldest is only 8, but already I wonder how life will feel after my nest is empty of my three, and homeschooling is over. I too, dislike change, and would cling to these sweet years of little ones forever, but I know God's grace will follow me through each season.

Thank you for your honesty in these posts I've read this morning, and for the encouragement I've found in them. I pray your day today is full of grace and joy!