The Journey Through Change

The Journey Through Change

John Maxwell says, “Change is inevitable. Growth is Optional.”

So far, the past three years has brought about a lot of change in my life, and hopefully a lot of growth too. I wouldn’t say that I like or dislike change, it is what it is. However, sometimes too much can feel a tad overwhelming if you don’t have the right people standing by you.

I was at the hospital this afternoon to visit one of our church members who recently had surgery when I bumped into an acquaintance from long ago. We chatted for a few minutes asking all the “socially acceptable” questions. How are? What’s new? He went on to talk about all the change that has happened in his family’s life so far this year.

At the time I didn’t really think much about, until I started to think about change.

Change – to some, causes fear, to some it’s pure joy and excitement – to others, it just is what it is.

If our family had to have a word to describe the season we are in – CHANGE would be that word.

change

Our family has been through A LOT of major changes over the last 3-4 years, but for this list, I am only going back a little over a year. (You can thank me now)

I promise to not bore you with all the mundane details of our lives but here’s a short list:

  • My husband and I took on second jobs – We became Senior Pastors of a church.
    • All the while keeping our original jobs.
  • My husband switched roles at his primary job.
  • We MOVED!
    • Which entailed getting our house of 17 years packed up, fixed up, all pretty, and sold.
    • Then, we moved into our new house and began to unpack – which I am still dealing with almost a year later. Not to mention all the projects of things to do and change in the new place.
  • Several of my best friends moved far, far away.
  • Oldest child graduated college, got a job in his field, and moved away.
  • Youngest child graduated with her AA.
  • Mystery Health issues, prompting change in our physical activity and eating.
  • I started to blog.
    • Which meant new redesign website
    • Writing Consistently
    • Learning how to use new technology
    • Learning to use a camera
  • I finished the book I’ve been writing for 5 years.

I’ve heard people say some of the most stressful life situations, and even the hardest things on people’s marriage relationships are: A move, a new job, health issues, and loss of people close to you. Well, I guess we have those categories covered, and then some. I would like to say that I haven’t been stressed or overwhelmed in the midst of all this change, but the truth is, I have been, just ask my family. However, I feel like I am finally coming up to the surface and getting air. I don’t share all of this with you to get a pat on the back. I share this with you to hopefully encourage you and give you hope in the midst of whatever your “change” looks like. Change is inevitable, how we choose to deal with it is up to us.

Here are the top 5 things I have learned so far on this journey through change.

 1.  Spend Time with God – it’s a necessity!

Take the necessary time to be in the Word. Pray. Listen. Journal. In the midst of all the chaos, and all the change, the one constant is Jesus. There were many days when I would reason with myself that I didn’t have time to sit and read my Bible or Journal. I would justify it with having conversations with God and praying throughout the day, and telling myself I would do it later. I would “fit” it in later. However, later often didn’t come. In those times, I would often fall asleep, and wake up in the middle of the night, with this phrase in my mind: “Lead me to the Rock!”

Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I” (Psalm 61:2)

There is nothing that can take the place of Jesus. He brings refreshing in the midst of everything. He gives perspective like no one else can. On days when I don’t seem to make the time for Him, I find it hard to get things accomplished. Yet, on the days I do take the time to spend with Him, somehow the hours in my day are longer and I am able to get way more accomplished.

Lead me to the Rock

  1. Spend time with those who are important to you.

My husband and I are so busy with all the new added responsibilities and that probably won’t change. However, what can change is how we prioritize and make time for each other in the midst of the busy. We often would only see each other in the morning before heading out the door and the evening just before bed. We made a choice to be purposeful about spending time with each other. I sacrifice my sleep in the morning and go workout with him. He sacrifices some of his sleep in the evening and spends time with me.

I schedule time to talk on the phone with my son to catch up on all that is going on in his life. I spend time with my daughter doing little things, like finding a common TV show to watch together, or going shopping with her.

I make time for my girlfriends and I am intentional about building and cultivating those relationships.

Spend time with your family and friends. Make memories, be there for the important milestones in each others lives. When times are tough, they will rally around you and be there to support you when you need it.

 3. Take a little Time for yourself – it’s OK!

 Even if it’s only 5 minutes. Even if you have to lock yourself in the bathroom. Even if you have to turn your phone off. Take time for yourself. Do something for you. Take a walk, read a book, join a Bible study, go to the movies, call a friend. Whatever it is that will fill you up, refresh you, and will give you some joy. I promise, it’s not selfish to care for yourself. In fact if you don’t take care of you, how can you take care of others? I speak from experience on this one as a recovering people pleaser. I often sacrificed my time for the needs of others.

 You may be in a season in life where the only moments for yourself are when your head hits the pillow at night, that’s ok – this season is only just that – a season. Take your 5 minutes before you end the day or before your feet hit the ground running.

flowers

  4. Prioritize

There are things we all have to do, but we can prioritize in which and what order they get done. When I read Keep your Love On, by Danny Silk, it opened my eyes. Yes, I would have said I had boundaries, and priorities, but it wasn’t necessarily the truth. I am still learning that not everyone has the same access to me that my family has. I have learned I don’t always have to answer the phone at that moment, I can call the person back. I can schedule time to write, and not feel guilty about saying no to other things that come along at that time. Knowing what my priorities are has been incredibly freeing.

  1. Remember you can’t control everything!

 Maybe this should have been #2 on the list, but it is important to remember, that we can’t control everything. Nope, trust me I have tried. I’ve tried to control my husband, my kids, my schedule, the dog, and the list goes on. The only thing I can control is me and my reaction and attitude to what comes my way. When the dog decides to go to the bathroom right under the chair of your guest and they step in it – (yep, really happened – but in all fairness to the dog we were outside).  I can’t control the dog, but I can control how I handle it. When my kids are picked on at school, or work, I can’t always control their environment, I can only control my reaction to it and give them the tools to deal with it.

We must learn to Trust God with it all!

There are way more lessons I have learned along the way, and I know there are many that I still have to learn. Yet, through it all, I feel as if I have grown in many areas of my life for the better.

What lessons have you learned in the midst of the change in your life?

Feel free to comment and share something that has helped you in the midst of change.

GIVEAWAY

You also might want to check out my latest Book Review Monday – Empire’s End plus you can enter the giveaway to win a free copy of Empires End by Jerry B Jenkins

My Post: “Will You Sit with Me?” was featured here:

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26 Comments

  1. You just described my last year ?
    I am so thankful that you were a constant for me. Even when we had to coordinate schedules and download to each other in moments, it was healing. Even when our lunch gets interrupted I know you taught me the importance of living in the midst of the storm. Thank you

    Reply
    • Jenni – you are such a blessing in my life and I am honored to have you in my life. 🙂

      Reply
  2. I was trying to decide which one of your points I liked best, but came to the conclusion that really ALL of them are essential. You have to prioritize God, b/c He’s the one who will give clarity to everything else, but things and events never take the place of people and then you can’t devote your mind and heart to them when you neglect yourself. and who can really control anything in this life! haha! Thanks for your good thoughts!

    Reply
    • Karen – You are most welcome! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me as well. I love how came to your conclusion. It was indeed a blessing to have you stop by today!

      Reply
  3. Hi Debbie! What a year you’ve had…and that’s only the tip of the iceberg? The fact that you’re still married and able to stand up every day is a blessing! What stress you’ve had. But it sure looks like God watched over you, and brought you to many new seasons. A new blog, a new book, a new home. Wow!

    Not to mention all the lessons you’ve learned. Congratulations on being that listening ear and taking in all the wisdom. And for sharing it too 🙂
    From Blessing Counters,
    Ceil

    Reply
    • Ceil – yes, it has been quite the year – but I wouldn’t change it for anything 🙂 God’s watchful care and direction in my life is the only way I am able to press on. I appreciate you stopping by and taking the time to read and comment. Many Blessings to you.

      Reply
  4. Debbie what a beautifully written and honest post! Thank you for these amazing reminders as we going through change. It is so true that change will occur but the big thing is how we can come through it. I wrote a post just last month called How to adjust to the Seasons of Change in our lives because just like Spring,summer, Fall,and winter is a constant, so is change. I am so thankful that God is with us to guide, direct, and encourage us through the changes in our lives. Thank you again for sharing this on Grace and Truth. It was truly a blessing. May God continue blessing you and yours each day! Have a great weekend!

    Reply
    • Horace – Thank You! I will have to stop by and read your post, I always love when God speaks to many of us on the same topic, yet from different perspectives. I too am thankful for God being with us always. I’m glad this post was a blessing to you. I hope you will come back and visit again. Have a wonderful weekend yourself!

      Reply
  5. This is great post for me and my family today. My little boys and I talked about Peter walking on water on the way to school this morning. We had an in-depth (as in depth as it gets at 4 and 6 years old) conversation about always keeping our eyes on Jesus. I’m so thankful He never changes…because this world is crazy and stressful, and thankfully, temporary;) Have a wonderful weekend!!

    Reply
    • Meg – It is so good that we can count God to be consistent in the craziness of it all. I love that you were having a conversation with your boys today about keep our eyes on Jesus and Peter is my favorite disciple because he was often impulsive and acted before he had a change to think… kinda like me 😉 I pray your weekend is refreshing and fun with your family! Blessings

      Reply
  6. Thank you for making the time to share your life with me. I love your blog and look forward to reading it. It’s like everyone of them was written just for me! Love the dog poop story it made me laugh out loud it’s like I was there!

    Reply
    • You are most welcome and Thank YOU for the same. I am glad you are enjoying the blog, but more that they are ministering to you too. 🙂 oh and the dog – what can I say – you are a very gracious lady! hahaha Much love to you my friend.

      Reply
  7. great post.

    Reply
    • thank you Denise

      Reply
  8. You have shared wonderful wisdom in navigating through change. Each was necessary in order to work through change successfully. I am learning that change is not easy but often brings a beauty to my life I would not have had otherwise. Grateful to be here this morning. I think this is my first time so may I say, “Nice to meet you!”. Blessings!

    Reply
    • Joanne –
      So nice to meet you and please come back for a visit again soon 🙂 You are so correct, change is often not easy, but when you stand on the other side looking back, you often will find it was worth it all. Many blessings to you and enjoy your weekend.

      Reply
  9. How we approach change is definitely a matter of perspective. The five things you have learned along the way are perfect. You would not be where you are right now if you had not embraced the change and asked God to walk with you along the way. Blessed you shared this at The Weekend Brew.

    Reply
    • Mary – You are so right! It definitely is a matter of perspective and I definitely would not be where I am right now had I not embraced the change. 🙂 At times it wasn’t easy, but I can say, it was so worth it. Thank you for stopping by for a visit. Blessings

      Reply
  10. Thanks for sharing this practical, uplifting advice. I’m stopping by from the Monday’s Musings Link Up. Blessings!

    Reply
  11. My husband and I can so relate to this…in the last two years we’ve moved three times, switched jobs several times, and experienced so many kinds of changes! I love your first three reminders to spend time with Jesus, each other, and the people we love in the midst of the craziness. The times when it feels like we have no time to slow down and choose relationships are the most important times to do so! I’m so glad you’re finally getting your head above water and getting some air. Enjoy it! 🙂

    Reply
    • Lauren – You’ve moved 3 times!!! WOW that alone is enough to make me stand and applaud you not to mention the other changes you have experienced. I am still unpacking, sorting and discarding things from our move over a year ago since it was so quick I didn’t have the time to purge stuff then.. and thank you! It does feel great to get my head above water and breathe! I sure hope you are in the same place and able to breathe and enjoy the first three yourself, with the busy few years you have had too. 🙂 Blessings, thanks for stopping by and please come back again 🙂

      Reply
  12. Such great encouragement that spoke to my heart right now, Debbie. We are literally days away from moving out of our home of 15 years. I’m learning that God and time for the things that matter are truly what are keeping me sane. And I’m taking time for me right now before I pack my pantry. 🙂 Thanks for giving me some tools to cling to in the chaos ahead. Your neighbor at #coffeeforyourheart

    Reply
  13. What a great post. I can’t believe how much change you’ve experienced in this season! All that you’ve learned from it is remarkable. It is so true that our attitude and how we choose to spend our time during times of change impacts how much we grow.
    I have been experiencing a season of rest for the last year, but I am about to start a new job and experience some changes, especially with how much free time I have. This was a great reminder to prioritize and spend my time in ways that count. Thank you!

    Reply
  14. Thanks so much for sharing this encouraging and uplifting post. Change can bring about stress but I enjoyed how you made many good points on how to stay calm and relaxed during this. Thanks for sharing with #SocialButterflySunday (and for sharing a link above 🙂
    Hope to see you link up again this week!

    Reply
    • Jenny, you are so welcome – thank you for hosting and stopping by 🙂 Blessings

      Reply

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