This title has lingered in my mind for a long while. I know it is a theme for so many things this past year. I am not even ready to really process all that it entails. We lost Abigail Ann on May 26th, 2022. Time did not stand still but I have never been the same. In so many good and hard ways. Then as life does the season changed and we suddenly went from homeschooling to private school life with drop offs and volunteering and a new group of people. I didn’t know how much I would need this but so much inside me fought this change. But yet His thoughts are higher than our thoughts and His ways higher than my ways! So much higher. Then in almost the same breath we swung the hammers and began the long awaited DEMO!! Aka renovation on my Dad’s house. 

If you have watched any amount of Youtube or HGTV you have a thought that renovation means quick change. Nope. Not at all. Most things are much slower than you think and so much does not go as you hoped! Yeesh I was a newb and I learned so so much. Especially the hard way. Which is my speciality. Thank you Jesus that our marriage was still in tact after all that. I think if we could make it through 2019 we can make it through anything. Let the reader understand. So in October I began to box up our home for a hopeful move in around mid December so we could be living in the renovation while we sold our beloved first house! But nothing really lined up that way and the house was not ready to move into. So we prepped our house while living in it with three kiddos and a cat! Yikes! Not my favorite plan! 

Then at the end of December, Stephen had his planned shoulder surgery. I think this is like drowning and someone throwing you a baby.  So I dug in and kept pushing. Clean, declutter, care for all the people, support my husband. I am telling you it was not easy. And in the midst of it all life just kept going and going. Then praise God we sold the house just as my Dad’s house was ready enough for us to move in. It was a juggling act. But it worked out. We literally had one working toilet, a working sink, and a tub when we moved in. Thankfully by the second night we had a working shower. And all of our bedrooms were painted and ready minus closets! Still working on those closets. That was the beginning of February. What a crazy thing to just kind of look back and sit in the memory of it all! I am blown away that it all worked out! Our awesome construction team worked up until May and got all the inside of the house done minus a few things. Money wise we needed to take some time off and it just worked out that the time frame was the summer. 

So then I had all the kids home at once again. Just like old times but this time I was pregnant again. I will write more I believe about how hard the early months of this pregnancy were. It unearthed so much. But the summer was sweet. Pool time, popsicles, friends, and settling in a bit more into our new place. Then August hit like a freight train with school supplies and haircuts and memories of our first school drop offs from last year. The day after we took those “first day of school” pictures we began phase two of the Reno. I am so thankful to see the transformation happening again but it adds its own chaos. But for the first time I can see the end is in sight. Although we may have projects here and there to work on over time this part with workers in our home has an end. It almost took my breath away to realize that. This transitional feeling has been a part of my life for over a year now and I wasn’t really prepared to feel like it may have an end. 

Why am I sharing this? There are honestly so many details I am not sharing. I am mostly giving a broad stroke to the immense amount of change I have experienced this past year and I am still experiencing. I share to say. I am okay. God has taught me something this past year that honestly never knew I needed. I remember our pastor preaching a message called “The illusion of happiness.”  A couple weeks later he ended up preaching it again at a conference I attended. I had no idea how much I needed to hear this. My circumstances and emotions have pretty much kind of driven a lot of the undertone of my life. I am not sure I would have been able to tell you that cognitively. When you are a victim of your life, trying your best to make do with what you have for so long it becomes like breathing. You can ask most people that have walked through any amount of trauma. 

It really began two years ago with an invitation to “let not your heart be troubled.” And then a couple months later another layer, “Do not worry about your life.” And then these teachings last fall inviting me to break my agreement with living according to my circumstances. Then this past May “learn from me for I am gentle and humble of heart.” I can not even explain how these simple invitations from the words of Jesus have changed me from the inside out. But I have drawn that line in the sand and committed to trying. And I have been simply blessed with the outcome. Change. Transformational change bit by bit deep inside me in ways I could not have done on my own. Basically these principles are my new plumb line for life. Anxiety, fear of man, and the waves of life are not going to dictate to me how to live or respond to my life. 

I am basically just grateful. And believe me these changes have been tested. At every single turn. God knows! But here I am. Not sure if it’s turning 43 or just lack of energy from pregnancy but I am not going to beat myself up for not being perfect on these principles. I just keep hearing His voice calling me to come to Him and learn from Him. I can do that. I can be gentle with myself and with others. Even as a mom. I just have to take myself out of the rat race and comparison game. I am me. I am learning how to love. I am learning how to live in this new freedom. Letting it change me bit by bit.