Change is difficult for me. You might never guess it if you looked at all the different menus I plan and how irregular my schedule is and how (un)often I wash the sheets and how much variety I like in my day to day living. You may think that because we (Luke & I) are ridiculously last minute and very go-with-the-flow about most anything (sometimes to a fault, I admit), that I must be able to handle change like nobody’s business.
But here’s the thing: when it comes to bigger decisions that aren’t so much about how often I want to eat broccoli cheese soup or when to do my laundry or clean the bathroom, I sort of morph into a state of, umm, I guess we can just call it *emotion.* And to be honest, sometimes even the little decisions make me crazy.
Sometimes I feel like I’m cursed with my thoughts–I think about everything, the pros and cons, the good and the bad, and usually for extended periods of time. It’s extremely difficult for me to make a final decision, and once I do, quite often I spend a lot of mental energy missing the way things used to be, or the way things could have been if we’d chosen an alternate path.
I wish I was one of those people who can easily make decisions and sort of never look back, assuming there are people who are actually like that, and I think there are.
But that’s just not me, it’s not the way I’m wired.
Tiny case in point–we recently got a new TV which now resides in the front room of the house. It’s become a den of sorts, and it’s very cozy and comfortable, and everyone tends to want to be in there.And while I do enjoy hanging out in there, I feel lonely for the times we used to spend in the other room on our big new(ish) grey couch, where I could be in on the action while I was cooking dinner. Sounds ridiculous, but I grieve even the little changes in life.
But somehow it seems like change sort of defines this little family of ours. I mean, if you look at the course of our life, we’ve dealt with a tremendous amount of change.
We’ve lived in three different cities; we’ve homeschooled; we’ve sent our kids to a university model school; and then (deep gigantic deep breath), we sent them off to public school.
We were members of a thriving church and then left it to help plant a church with a handful of friends and on a completely different side of town.
We’ve embraced the competitive gymnastics world only to be led to remove it from our life even while our daughters were still in love with it.
I mean, when I look at those things all at once I feel a little like a bouncy ball, and those are just a few examples of the changes in our life. And while I’ve been astounded at how my family adjusts and adapts to new things, and how God has poured on the grace in the midst of change, my heart always ends up being tender and shaky and quivery for periods of time after the change.
So why now all the talk about change? (and seriously, how many times can I say the word change in the same post…it’s getting redundant, I know).
Well, because my littlest guy is about to be done with the preschool age, and honestly is moving way too fast towards needing the structure of school and a schedule. And even though it’s only February, the Fall will come way too soon and before I know it, he will be a Kindergartner.
And thus I will be left with no more little babies, and in a way I feel like the first case of empty nest syndrome is about to hit, and I’m not sure I’m ready.
And of course, at this point all of my homeschool friends out there are probably saying, “Then just homeschool him!” which is actually an option that is still on the table, but it’s not the end all be all and doesn’t just instantly solve the matters of the heart (but that’s for a whole other conversation.)
It’s a huge change to have all my kids be school age. And some of you now may be saying, “Just have another baby.” And to that I’ll just say that more kids won’t solve the problem either, and eventually, all your kids grow up no matter how many you have, and so somewhere along the line you have to deal with this thing. (just ask my mother in law, who had 8 of them!)
And honestly, I don’t necessarily think I’m wishing for the time when I had tiny babies and I was up all night and the crawling and the teething, or even the cute chubby cheeks and the baby wrap and all the firsts and the new words and all that.
It’s more of a stage of life thing–
This childbearing, toddler raising stage was always way ahead of me, something I could look forward to or that I knew would be around for a while. And now, it’s behind me. I mean gosh people, it seems like just yesterday that I was writing posts about potty training and whiny toddlers in the library and stuff like that.
At some point we have to face the fact that certain things we always dreamed of and always looked forward to are now done and gone.
And yes, absolutely, more wonderful things are on the horizon, other things I can look forward to, new stages of life, deeper more heartfelt conversations with older children, getting to know their world and discovering new things about our kids as they grow up. Wonderful things are ahead (mostly), and it’s exciting.
But embracing what’s ahead means shutting a door to the past and being content with having only memories and pictures to hang on to. And there’s no denying that this is sad, we all have to walk through it, and then move on.
So that’s where I am. I’m enjoying these sweet preschool moments with Landis, planning ahead for the year to come, and trying not to tear up too often about how fast these children grow up.
And I see God helping me change my perspective, to think less about what’s behind and what I’m missing, and think more about the future and what He’s going to do in our lives. He’s using these sentimental times to cause my eyes and heart to be drawn to Him, because truly, He is the only thing that never changes. He is always the same, the ever present dependable God, and I am drawing near to Him.
I wonder if any of you are going through the same thing?
*pictures from a few years ago, a trip down memory lane.