Monday, June 5, 2017

Times of Change

For Laura and I, now is a time of change. Our schedules are changing, my job has changed, and our kitchen is in the middle of a facelift. It’s like our little world has been turned upside down.

To be transparent, these times are a struggle for me. Keeping everything else straight while certain parts of our lives are in flux is beyond my natural ability, and I have to rely on the Lord for help with this. We’ve done this a few times now, and with experience does come some wisdom.

During times of change or new beginnings, it’s very important to manage expectations. This is something that I naturally struggle with, and I think, a lot of other people do too. I’m great at the classic, “This will take ten minutes…” when it actually takes an hour. It’s a matter of learning for me, but it’s very important to give your spouse realistic expectations of time, money, and effort that is going into or out of whatever project or effort you are conducting. Accuracy isn’t always possible, but it’s definitely better to under promise and over deliver.

Another thing that is helpful is a prepared heart. I talk about this a lot, but taking the time to slow down and have the conversations that keep connections between people going is vital. First, it’s a good idea to say to each other that this is likely to be a stressful time and pray together about it going in, if possible. Second, I believe it’s vital to check on each other as you go through. Lately, we haven’t had a kitchen available, and this is very inconvenient for both of us. It requires extra meal planning so both of us have asked each other how the other is feeling that day, and if they would like to eat out or have leftovers. These little conversations let the other person know that you see them and what they are going through too.

Most importantly, it’s vital to stay spiritually connected during times of change. Your metaphorical ship is being tossed by waves, and the only one who can truly right it is Christ. If I’m not in tune with what the Holy Spirit is trying to tell me about Laura, or I’m just in “survival mode,” trying to make it until tomorrow, then we are susceptible to any and all icebergs in the water. This is especially difficult for me, because I like routine. I master something, and I can function at a high level, but when I don’t have control, I’m using all my mental resources to keep going. If you’re like me, the only lifeline in times like this is the Holy Spirit. Thankfully though, He is there and helps me do what I cannot, under my own power.

How about you? Are you facing any changes or new beginnings? What lessons have you learned in times of transition?


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