Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Winds Of Change

I don't know why, I've been thinking about change lately. I've been flashing back and forward in my memory and the here to there is sometimes startling.

I remember when I was about 5 years old. My grandparents (dad's parents) lived in an old colonial home in Indiana. The property they were on even had an old slave quarters barn. The house had a major staircase going up to the rooms, but there was also a small winding one down to to the kitchen that would have been used by the slave girls. I loved that little staircase. I would sleep in the little room at the top (if it was a real room, I'm not sure, it was so small) and crawl quietly down those stairs early in the morning probably wrapped up in a blanket, to the smell of fresh pancakes made by my grandpa. No one was up yet except the two of us and he was very cheerful to slap some on my plate and smother it with butter and syrup. This was great for the kid who was not allowed to eat sugar normally.

******Today my grandpa is in an Alzheimer's unit close by after my dad moved his parents out to CA right before getting sick. He sang us "You Are My Sunshine" in such a sweet southern voice last time we were there. Where did the time go?

Next, my mind flashes to teen years. I am sitting in my dad's reloading room. Yes, he loved guns so much, he had his own reloading room. Here dad would make his own bullets. I remember helping pour the gunpowder into he machine that distributed it into the bullets, then it would press the metal down (I think he even melted that down from old bullets...can't remember) and you had a new shiny bullet. The brass casings were shined in a rock buffer machine. I would sit and talk to him and push the lever up and down to press the new powder filled brass casing up around the metal. The lever would finish with a bit of a snap and it was done. We talked about life, and politics, boys and Bill Clinton.
********The day came when I sat across the living room from him in the hospital bed now only able to say a few words and smile at me when he woke up which wasn't very often. I turned a corner and felt like I was in someone elses life. Where did the time go?

Then there was the little baby girl who would wake up in the morning and chat in her crib with her stuffed animals and we could hear her over the monitor. She would talk to Pooh bear and spank him if he disobeyed her. We could hear the little muffled pats. Poor Pooh:(! "Now you disobeyed and you have to get a spanking"....pat, pat, pat. She was about 18 months old.
*******Last night we sat on the bed and talked about behaving appropriately with a buddy who now has a crush on her. No more tickle fights, sitting too close, whispering in ears, and that pair of "shorts" that looks like a jean mini skirt is out the door. Where did the time go?

I was about to be a newly wed, and so excited. I went shopping at the good will for a couch (ugly brown and tan striped thing) a bed frame, and some end tables. I crammed them in my bedroom until we could get the apartment, Rick could move in, and we could put them there. Once we were married, and I was growing with honeymoon baby inside, I would get so bored cleaning because it took no time at all. I counted the rest of the hours till Rick got home.
*******Now I look around and am amazed at the life collected around me. All the things needed for a family of five that fill our 1500 square foot home. There is never an end to the pick up now, nor the laundry. And though I still sometimes count time till Rick gets home, most days I don't ever have enough time to keep up on life at all! Where did the time go? (and where they heck did all this stuff come from !!!!????)

It was thanksgiving 1995. I brought Rick home to meet my parents. We were friends. We sat up in the swing int he big oak tree on the back hill behind my parents house. He was talking. I looked over listening to him talk and was hit with an emotional brick. I was going to marry this man. That was that, I was home.
********Now, that swing sits on some cinder blocks in my yard, too old to swing and no where to hang it. Just a quiet respite under a baby oak, and a reminder of time long ago. Where did the time go?

That's when I pensively ponder. Some change in life is subtle, creeping up on you slowly yet from point a to point b, the difference is stunning. Other change takes you around a corner so suddenly that you think you are in a dream. Where did YOUR life go? Who stole it from you? When will they give it back? Some of the change is good, some of it is so hard to adjust to.
We were made to journey ever forward, without the option of going back whether the next thing is great, or it takes our breath away. Change is non-optional in life. The journey moves on and it has a goal and an end.
As I am about too embark on one of the biggest changes in my life, I seem to be reflecting this truth. This major change of putting the kids in school with re-define our lifestyle, our parenting issues, our schedule, our discussions. It's a huge corner but at least I see it coming and have time to think and pray.
So, I begin to think. What, for the christian, is the purpose of change. It really comes down to the fact that this life that I call "mine" is not mine at all. My life has one goal, a conforming to the image of Christ and the living out of my small purpose in the ultimate goal of His glory. Somehow, this big change is going to work His will to reach that purpose, not just for me, but for my husband, and for my kids.

2 Corinthians 3:18
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

Many times we all wish that life would just stay calm for a good long while. That we would stay on a roll, expect the next thing, be prepared for it, be organized, but life is not that way. Life is all a bunch of minute and massive changes. We can fight them, we can even grow bitter about them, or we can welcome them like brave travelers on a quest for one treasure....the glory of God through us! On that journey, EVERY change is a step in the RIGHT direction.

Psalm 91:4
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart

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