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Originally posted in October of 2013, this post is an interesting look back in time, to see what my younger self was thinking and how things turned out. For what it is worth:
- we ended up with way too many beets that year, which lasted into the next, and the next …
- the stairway no longer turns that direction and my concern over the poor condition of the walls ended up being a moot point
- the wallpaper, well, lets just say I wanted to have words with the someone who decided to put up said wall paper. It took many, many, late nights and early mornings to get it down
- date nights never did get figured out
- my husband is now graduated with his Master’s degree
- and change still is not easy.
As we start the week of Thanksgiving, take some time to think back to changes which have happened either recently or in the past few years. Were there people there to help you through it? Drop them a note to share how you appreciate the effort they made.
Have you been able to help someone else through a season of change? Is there someone whom you could bless with a meal, child care, a cup of warm beverage, or even by simply visiting and letting them talk?
Knowing you are not alone when it feels like everything around you is swirling can be a great help to get you grounded and back on the rails.
Change is never an easy thing to face. Even more so when you know a change is in the future but aren’t quite sure what it will look like.
At the beginning of the year I felt like I really needed to replenish our pantry supplies at home. The need seemed unwarranted. There was no reason why I felt this need. Now, I think I knew that changes were coming and this was my way of having some control.
I focused on the pantry first, as that is something we use daily. To start, I compared recipes of common dishes to how often we used them. I then multiplied the amount of ingredients needed by the number of time we would eat that dish. For example, tangy black bean soup uses 1-15 oz can of diced tomatoes per batch. If I were to substitute crushed tomatoes for diced, then I would need 1 pint per batch. We make this recipe about once per month = 1 pint x 12 = 12 pints of crushed tomatoes needed.
Once that recipe was done, I worked through others. The point was not to obtain an exact number, but a rough estimate.
After having the list for set up, I turned to other areas. Clothing for example. One child went through three sizes in shoes within almost as many months last winter. I had to go buy new shoes because I couldn’t find them fast enough to cloth the kid. That is something I don’t want to do again.
Before the garage sale season started, I sorted through their clothes to see what was needed in which sizes. I made a list that looked something like this:
Good t-shirts __ __ __
Dress pants __
PJ set __
Shorts __ __ __ __ __
I did a list for each size. The “___” stands for the number I needed of that item. As I found something to fit that category in that size, I put a check mark on the blank. The list stayed in my wallet all summer and made garage sale shopping so much easier as I knew exactly what I was looking for. Several times it was tempting to leave the list for that really nice looking Size 7 pair of jeans. Then I would refer to the list, see that I had enough (otherwise it would have been on the list) and remind myself to move on..
My goal for clothing wasn’t to have extensive wardrobes for each size. It as to have enough so that if a growing spurt caught me by surprise again, there would be a few outfits to fit said child until I could go do more shopping.
While my life and house are by no means perfect in these areas, I feel we are on track. We are for sure in a better place than this time last year. I’ve also achieved or exceeded several of my yearly goals in this area and am on my way to achieving the rest. While this makes me feel better – we have a cushion – I still don’t know what it will look like.
As it turns out, preparing wasn’t such a bad idea. In the past few months I have finally started to see why it is that things needed to be in order.
So what are the changes ahead of us?
- Husband going back to school for a graduate degree (He will keep working and go to night classes.)
- Finalization of adoption of foster kids – this has been underway for a long time and I’m just ready for it to be over. It will still take a few months.
Only two changes? Yes, only two. However, they will both affect our lives in large ways. With my husband going to classes a few nights a week, and studying after bedtimes the other nights, the limited time during the day the kids have to see Dad will be decreased even more. Meaning that weekends will be more important. Date nights will also have to become routine, to help us stay connected and on the same page. It also means that I will play a larger role on those night when my husband isn’t home. I’m thinking of actually adding something to our schedules those nights to help them not notice his absence as much. At least at first as change can be hard for them.
The finalization of the adoption would actually give our schedule more room. We would no longer have visits with case workers or other required visits every month. There won’t be paperwork to fill our or additional rules to follow. We can just … be. Be a family. Be on our own schedule. Be able to travel without having to tell the world. Be _______. I want to be able to enjoy that time by not having as many responsibilities. If that is possible.
We are also planning on keeping our foster care license open after the adoption, though we aren’t sure if we will be ready to add more children to our home at that time. It takes a lot of energy and brings a lot of change. Not always bad things, but it is better not to be caught off guard if you do decide to say “Yes” to one of the calls. My husband will also be starting classes and studying in the evenings. We’ll have to see how life is going at that time.
I am also planning to remove wall paper and paint a room in our house, as well as a stairway. This will be my winter project – something you can do even if it is snowing outside. Last year it was the bathroom, this year the bedroom. Again, it would be nice to have suppers in the freezer rather than having to stop and make something every day/night.
Changes are a part of life. Some seasons have more than others. Some changes are harder to handle, while others are welcomed easily. In the end, none of us really know what the future holds. We can only do our best today and trust God to take care of the rest.
How do you handle change in life? Do you internalize it or find a way to let our the emotions connected to it?