“To everything there is a season.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8) What season is it for me? It’s change the mantel decor time. My home décor changes like clockwork. The beach pictures, antique sand pail, lightweight throws, and patio décor all go back into storage. I pull out the vintage quilts, autumn tree paintings, and little faux pumpkins. Some people can leave their home furnishings the same all year. But not me, I fiddle, rearrange, spruce up, declutter. I embrace change.
STOP! REWIND! Gotta be honest. I love some kinds of change. As much as I love autumn, the days get darker and my schedule more chaotic. The dreaded Seasonal Affective Disorder rears its head. Come to think of it, that’s why I embraced seasonal décor in the first place, to celebrate and prepare for, rather than hide from, a potentially depressing time.
Some good changes I’m in total denial about. My youngest grandkidlet started preschool. Dear daughter got engaged to a wonderful guy. After several non-starts on remodeling, our financial planner encouraged us to envision our dream retirement home instead. All good changes, first world problems, but there’s an element of loss involved. That brick on the head didn’t slow Miss M’s growth down one bit. Dear Daughter might move after the wedding. Relocating from our home of decades means saying good-bye to a great neighborhood, deciding what family heirlooms to take or sell, leaving the place where we marked the kids’ height as they grew. And this is all with time to plan. I don’t know how people do estate or moving sales with emotions swirling around immediately after a death, job loss or medical event.
Change, even good change, and all the feelings it invokes can be a bit overwhelming. At least for me. I decided to break down my feelings about changes in my life with the help of The Serenity Prayer. I’m a big fan Reinhold Niebuhr, credited with writing these famous words,
“God help me to change the things I can, accept the things I cannot and the wisdom to know the difference.”
But folks may not know the Serenity Prayer has more verses:
Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next.
I can’t change the fact the grandkidlets are growing up or the kids may have new opportunities far from home. I can’t change the fact health events made us look at downsizing sooner than we planned. But I can enjoy one moment at a time with the grandkidlets, the wedding planning, and sending our newlywed furniture off with young folks starting their own lives together.
Change is a part of this life God has given us. Hardships, even first world ones, make us stronger. Most importantly, trusting our unchanging and steadfast God helps us when the life unpredictable gets the best of us. Niebuhr wrote I should be “reasonably happy in this life.” That line always makes me laugh. So human and so true. I still struggle with change but I know I don’t have to feel guilty about not being thrilled or 100% happy. God’s helping me handle it.
What changes are you going through? How are you handling them? How can you let God handle them?