Archives for posts with tag: Transitions

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So on this “Thankful Thursday” am thankful for a little ‘profile in courage’ of our own. This is Tala.  She does not like bridges.  Especially long bridges.  Even more so, very long swinging bridges where you can look under your four legs and see a stream flowing way down below. Nope, she doesn’t like bridges at all.

She made that clear in strong protest. I didn’t blame her.

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And once she belly-crawled to the steps, she did this again:

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So I called Hope and told her the situation because I was worried, way more worried than I let Hope know. With Tala’s strength and determination and the fact that there are dog-sized gaps between where the rope railing meets the wooden slats, well, I had this picture of us possibly making headline news on the Shelby Star for falling off the swinging bridge. Yes. Tala’s fearful reaction was making a literal ‘walk in the park’, so NOT….and frankly….dangerous!

But Hope gave good advice. It was this. “Mom, Tala doesn’t like to be left alone, so if you just go ahead, she’ll follow you.” So now we weren’t just talking about Tala’s courage, we were talking about my fear/courage.  Although I don’t have a fear of bridges, I do have a fear of a willful, scared dog flipping out on a bridge (figuratively AND literally) and me trying to come to its rescue.  So it took a step of courage for me to step ahead….but I did…and then….miracle of all miracles… (after a bit of wait time with me trying to act very nonchalant)…

 

…after I took a step.. so did she.  Phew.  Big exhale Phew.

So for the rest of the way, we walked really close, step by step, little by little until we made it to the end of the bridge. The bridge swayed a bit and there were moments of hesitation, but Tala persisted and walked close.

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It kind of felt like a long way, but long ways become shorter with each step and so pretty soon, we had gotten from point A to point B and had actually survived. I was so proud of little Tala’s courage.

Sometimes bridges are scary, not just for dogs. Bridges are transitions from one thing to another. To get from one side to the place where we want to go, well, sometimes it takes steps of faith on not-so-solid-ground where one must focus on that step and not set one’s sights on the other side of the bridge. Tala, this sweet and gentle natured dog, absolutely lost all composure and fought and laid down and refused to move forward when she looked at the L O N G bridge.  But the cool thing is, when she saw me go ahead, and looked at me, she was willing to take the first step onto that swinging bridge to follow me. Her fear of being left alone on the other side of the bridge was much greater than her fear of the bridge.

So it can be with transitions. Maybe sometimes we can do courageous things because of our fear of staying where we are and being left behind is greater than the fear of the challenge ahead. Better yet, we can trust the ones we’re with. Tala was fine as long as she stayed close. 

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After I crossed the bridge, I was thankful for the little venture and realized I want to be like Tala. I want to courageously move forward when the ground doesn’t look steady and feels scary. I know that I’m not alone…but I want to stay close to the One who is so worthy of my trust. Trust can look like a lot of things, but I think the deepest trust looks like courage to follow, step by step.

One of my favorite verses through the years has been Isaiah 52:12…It talks about how God goes before us and picks up the pieces behind… But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the Lord will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard.”  One of the beautiful things is that courage to walk through more difficult terrains often leads to amazing ventures, people, and experiences that would never happen had we let fear win. 

Just ask Tala :

 

So here’s to bridges and transitions. Here’s to having the courage to step on to them and the tenacity and trust to cross them. And here’s to choosing wisely Who we trust to go with us along the way.

Blessings~

Heather

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10

 

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5,6

 

 

Thankful Thursday

Hugs

Today…I’m thankful for…

…hugs and tears and sweet see-ya-later-love-you-so-much good byes to my not-so-little birds who are leaving the nest.

…suitcases that miraculously stretch and items that fit together like a puzzle when there is absolutely  no way that all of these things could fit in that space.

…sons and daughters who have personality through the roof but who will drive for hours to give one last hug, and make an effort to bowl one last game with their little brother even when it means giving up hours of a day that was jam-packed with ‘to-do” stuff.

…sleep…and more than that, for rest.

I’m thankful for…

…sunshine and new tomorrows and hopes and dreams of twenty-something ‘kids’ who are going for their dreams and taking risks and working hard to move forward.

…provision… God’s amazing Provision…that comes in unexpected packages but so point to Him…like…the perfect pair of Good Will shoes valued at over $100 that cost $4 and were a perfect fit and in mint condition (oh, and the humility of those willing to find their needs met at thrift stores, and the joy that comes when they see that Hand of provision with the perfect find), or the timing of the phone call of encouragement…or the devotion that so spoke to me right where I was.  Provision that comes in people who love well and bring just the right book for just the right person at just the right time.  Provision that helps me to gets my eyes off of my striving to meet the needs of my kids and refocuses  my eyes on an Amazing Provider who provides in fun and unexpected ways.  He can do whatever He wants. It all belongs to Him after all…

I’m thankful for….

…messes….Messes?  Yes,messes.  ….So many messes left behind by those who left in a flurry and  the healing and memories and smiles that comes as I go through the “stuff” that matters so little and am thankful for the ones (who matter so much) who left the “stuff” there.  (However, there do need to be some goals about not just packing but cleaning up the wake left behind in my house!)

I’m thankful for new beginnings for all of us.  For the ability to focus on the tasks at hand and the people here right here right now, and the joy that comes in all of the vicarious experiences that go on as I speak with each of my children who have transitioned out of our home in the past two weeks.

Yes, a flurry of activity has gone on, and now, there’s a lot of quiet.  I’m thankful for the music that will fill it (even when it is my 16 year old son “rapping” his own tune to whatever thought pops into his mind at the moment including asking me what’s for dinner and singing about missing his brother…yes, all in the form of ‘rap’.)  I’m thankful, in a way, for the fact that that same 16 year old son is currently grounded from the TV and  XBOX, and for the fact that our living room has been filled with reading books and listening to music and …get this….quiet.

I’m thankful.  And hopeful.

Blessings to You and Yours ~

Heather

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him…”

Romans 15:13

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So, these little feet that used to “pitter-patter” across the floor aren’t so little anymore. They are going places and on their own path, and every once in a while, they make it back home.  Their paths are so different, their walks are unique.  Their gaits are all their own.  Some run quite a bit.  Some mosey.  Some walk with purpose and determination.  Some are often barefoot.  Some wear boots on a daily basis. Some wear orange and bright blue sneakers.  Some have enough shoes to fill a closet and wear multiple pairs a day.  But all…all are finding their way, and for that, I’m so thankful.

So, today, as some transition to new places they’ve never been and have new paths before them, I’m thankful that they know the way home, and that there were so many precious years of having these running, jumping, slipping,climbing, sliding, tickling, twirling, jogging feet in my world.  Am thinking that these feet of mine that have tried to stand steady and stable and mommy-mode strong are going to find their way to new places as well as our worlds get bigger and our feet take us places we’ve never been.  There are times when I miss that ‘pitter patter’ of little feet, but am so aware that to grow is to keep moving, and I pray that my kids keep growing and leaping and jumping  and climbing and moving their feet, and that the footprints they leave on their world will be beautiful.

They’ve sure left their marks…their beautiful, memorable, life changing marks, on me. Yep. Prayers that we all keep moving our feet, and appreciate the moments when the feet of those we love find their way back home.

Blessings to you and yours~

Heather

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings and proclaim that ‘Our God reigns’.”  Isaiah 52:7

On this Thankful Thursday, my heart is so full.  We’ve had a full day…a last hurrah of sorts before the exodus of my children begins… Up early, turkey in the oven because even with this full day of family time white water rafting and kayaking and traveling, we have a surprise Christmas dinner (slash birthday dinner, slash Easter dinner, slash every holiday that my son will be missing in the next year as he is overseas and we are here…) So after the extreme fun and workouts at the National Whitewater rafting center in Charlotte, we came home to a house decorated for Christmas, with a turkey that was very well done, and mashed potatoes and ‘fixins’ prepared by my daughter and her friend and my oldest son.  All hands were helping to get things ready.  Even though the dinner wasn’t hot, it was delicious, and we had precious people around the table to enjoy it and then watch as Austin opened “Christmas gifts” from his family.  So thankful for little things that are big things.  So aware of how precious each little hug or laughter or tears are when you’re aware that transitions are just around the corner and you won’t have that time at the table or in the car or on the couch.  So, today, here’s my list of some of the many things I’m thankful for…

For Family.

For answered prayer.

For the God who answers prayer and is in the little and the big.

For interventions with good intentions and humbled responses.

For breakthroughs that come through listening and hearing, and speaking and sharing.

For adult “children” who are willing to get in there to laugh, hug, love, speak, share, and encourage one another to move towards the best rather than to settle with the status quo.

For little things that become the big things we remember when we’re not together.

For strong bodies and tenacious, determined minds that will the bodies to move when it’s not easy.

For the willingness to take huge leaps of faith.

For courage and the determination to “do it afraid”.

For second chances, forgiveness, and the truth that we are all in this together and need each other.

Thankful for a God who truly hears, answers, and so knows what He is doing.  He goes before us and behind.

For rest and soft pillows and the ability to slow down and just stop after pushing and working and dealing with details.

For the fact that for a few short days, I can have all of my children under one roof and look them in the eyes, hug them, and know that for right here, right now, everyone is safe and sound.

For the many worlds that my children are seeing and for how we get to vicariously see and experience them as they share about them.

For seven layer bars with chocolate chips and nuts and coconut and for the Grammie that prepared them.

For grandparents that love well.

For people getting in there with details like moving and packing and sharing trailers, and cleaning and the fact that we need each other…we really need each other.

For good byes that hurt so bad that dams burst that we didn’t even know were there and allow tears to fall that need to cleanse the heart of the vain attempts to not feel so daggone bad when we need to say good byes.

For siblings that truly do love each other and are still so who they were from the get go in their lives.

For feet that are about to go so many different places, but that know their way home.

For home…and the reality of the fact that home is more about the who than the what.

Thankful for the ‘whos” in my world, and the ‘whats’ that brings us together and help us to make memories that no one can take away.

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It was another beautiful Carolina sunset last night.  I was in the car with four of my children traveling back home after we had spent a fun time with their grandparents.  As the summer winds down, I’m so aware that there are very few days left of the long anticipated break that we’ve so enjoyed.  It’s the first time that almost all of my kids have been together in our home in over 4 years, and it’s been really sweet.  But in a few weeks, I know that this time will be coming to an end.  Three will be moving out to ‘do their thing’, and I’ll be going back to school to teach.

So, knowing that the time is limited, each day is precious. I find myself getting up earlier and earlier…as if I just don’t want to miss a minute of the day.  There are always a million details, and yet, I find myself resting a bit, observing, and enjoying the time with these ones here at our house.  If they ask me to do something, I do my best to go.  The to do list will get done.  But the time together won’t always be here, so time together is time well spent.  Even when it’s not easy…conversations that need to be had or discussions or working through things,…that’s movement toward the right thing cause it’s movement toward each other.  Thankful for relationships that are real. Not perfect.  Real, and full of hope and promise.

The sunset reminds me that the ending is coming.  I love the visual of knowing that after the sunsets, it will rise again.  With endings come beginnings.  Each one looks different, but each sunrise is a reminder that we get fresh starts and even if it’s not the same, it’s a gift, and we need to enjoy the time we have while we have it…whether it’s on the journey together, or apart….that sun is going to rise in the morning and set in the evening wherever we are, and pretty soon, ‘where we are’ will be in Wilmington, NC, Boone, NC, Myrtle Beach, NC, and ….Sweden.   But as I said, the sun will always rise in the morning and set in the evening except…except… for maybe in Alaska or….Sweden.  In Sweden, the sun might just set at 3:00 in the afternoon, but thank goodness for lights and candles and the fact that it will rise in the morning! (even if it does rise at 4 in the morning!)  Here’s to sunrises and sunsets wherever our paths may lead…and the letting go in wherever our children’s paths may lead.

Blessings~

Heather

Note*  This was written a few short weeks ago, and since that time, the kids have all transitioned out….one to Boone, one to Wilmington, and one, now…today…is en route to …Sweden. My house is a bit emptier…(but trust me, they’ve left behind plenty of clean up projects created in the flurry of packing and moving out!) Praying for joy in the journeys of these new beginnings and so very thankful for tearful endings, because it’s never easy to say goodbye to those we love… Trusting  God that He goes before them, and will pick up the pieces (and dry the tears) of those left behind.

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Well, I cropped half of this photo because yours truly is so not photogenic at times and my girl Hope is.  But when I looked at the picture, I just smiled, cause, even though I’m not in the photo, I am. See that hand right there that’s on my girl’s shoulder?  Well, whether I’m in the photo or not, I’m there.  She knows it.   You see, my babies are all leaving the nest.  Three will be leaving in about a month…one to the coast, one to the mountains, and one to… Sweden.  I won’t be in those photos that they send from their little new corner of the world, but then again, I will be.  Because half of my heart belongs to them.  Half of my heart divided six ways.  No, it’s not perfect math, but it is so perfectly true.  A mom’s heart can be divided in many, many “halves”.

To further the analogy a bit…I love that just as a mom’s heart goes with her children, or a husband’s with his wife, a friend’s with a friend, etc, God is so the unseen presence in the photos of our lives.  He is so much more than omnipresent.  He loves in a way that moms could only hope to love.  He knows us in a way that is deeper than we know ourselves. He has great plans for us that could exceed what we think or imagine.  It is but ours to recognize that unseen yet so very seen Presence in our lives. And in the same way that math concepts don’t transfer over into the divisions of the heart, I have a feeling that the infinite and unmeasurable love of God divides and multiplies at the same time.  That’s kind of how love is…the more it is divided, the more it is multiplied.  Love that.

Oh, and love kind of throws science out the window as well because it goes wherever our hearts are, whether we are there or not. Yep, even for we moms that stay home as our children venture out, our hearts and love can travel to countless places…such as the coast, the mountains, or even…Sweden.  Thankful for that, because as moms know, more and more of the photos are merely of our ‘better halves”…who are now living their lives wholly on their own. May they sense their loved ones’ hands on their shoulders, and the presence of the “Everlasting Arms’ wherever they may be.

Blessings~
Heather

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed,

for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:8

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The Readiness Factor

The Readiness Factor

Transitions…moving from one stage to another
Mulberries in transition …most are not quite ripe.
The readiness factor involves lots of variables including sunlight, water, and ………………………………..time.
So here’s the thing. No matter what we do, or attempt to do, sometimes things just take time to transition from one state or stage to another.
The actual passing of time cannot be rushed, managed, or controlled. And that’s the beauty of transitions and changes and growth. Some things we can control, but other things, well, the beauty comes with the passing of time. Yep, some things just take time.

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