Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Change is OK

A while ago, I was talking with a friend.  During the conversation, she told me that over the past few years of trial and challenge, I had changed.  I have pondered this statement for a couple of months.  For a while, it bothered me.  I thought to myself, "I'm still Debbie-------even though my husband left, I'm still Debbie.  Even though my social life is almost non-existent, because of the demands of college and family, I'm still Debbie.  And, even though I have remarried and have a new husband and 6 new children to discover and love, I'm still Debbie!"  And, I stood by my answer!! "I have not changed!"  Until, I happened to stop by the local smoothie store, for a quick treat.  Just walking in the door, you are met with an overpowering aroma of sweet fruit and freshness.  I stood there with my daughter and pondered over the menu of slushy delights.  So many combinations and creative names, I felt healthy just reading about them.  Finally, we made our selections, and the magic began.  Fruit and veggies were gathered.  Yogurt and sherbet measured.  Juice and vitamins to top off each blender full of color and texture.  One flip of the switch and you await your treat with great anticipation.  We were talking as we waited and I just happen to glance over as the attendant opened the blender and filled the cups.  What filled our cups was nothing like what was in the blender.
 Everything came out smooth and completely blended.  Even the color had changed. That smoothie contained the answer to the question I had been pondering.  Had I changed?  Of course I had!!  How could I have survived what I survived, endured what I endured, experienced what I had experienced-------and come out unchanged?   I realized that day, that as Families Change, so do we.  And, that change is OK!  Change brings newness and freshness.  Change is healthy.  Change is inevitable!  And, change is part of our journey!  Today, I may no longer be PTA Parent Extraordinaire, but my circumstances pushed me to find a job.  And, because of my volunteer experience, the school hired me, and I have gone on to love and serve the children, as I had, though in a different capacity.   I just get compensated financially and emotionally.  And, I am expected to be there at a certain time each day.  So, that has changed.  And, that's OK.  Today, I am no longer able to just go shopping whenever, hit the yard sales, and hang out at the pool.  Life's experiences have forced me back to college, which takes a lot of time and energy.  And, I have found my financial resources are dedicated mostly to just the needs of our newly blended family.  So, I now shop out of necessity rather than enjoyment.  When I have a free minute or two, I can be found playing UNO or dancing in the kitchen with kids while making dinner, or in a quiet corner writing a research paper. Something I used to love, is no longer part of my everyday life.  My time and resources are now budgeted to the minute and penny.  My interests and habits have changed.  I have changed!!! And, that's OK!!! I went from double dating on the weekends with friends, to just finding solace and refuge at my home with my kids.  To now, blending our families, which requires time and energy.  I find myself just enjoying the newness and freshness of our family, and realizing that there is nowhere I would rather be, than home with them.  Sometimes, I have to pinch myself, as a reminder that this is really my life!!  Families Change.  And, have I changed?  The answer is a resounding YES!!!  I will never drink another smoothie or smell a freshly cut orange, without reminding myself that, yes, I have changed, and that's OK!  Life is definitely On The Job Training!!!  Through the ups and the downs, trial and error, the good and the bad and the happy and sad------ we learn to accommodate, appreciate and compensate for such change.  We accommodate by making changes, finding jobs, going to school, being willing to move, and do whatever it takes to hold our families and ourselves together, when the storms of life rage and create change.  We suddenly appreciate what we had and still have, when life robs us of our "normal."  And, we learn what it means to compensate.  Times of challenge and change, force us to compensate where others fall short and where life has short-changed us and our families.  And, most of all, we learn to rely on He who truly compensates us, He who makes up the difference where we fall short.  He who compensates us in blessings, a thousand fold, for our efforts to make the best we possibly can out of life's lemons of tragedy, trial and change.
Have I changed.  YES!!!  Will I continue to change?  YES!!  Am I the same person I was 5 years ago.  No!  I am not bitter, most of the time.  I am striving to be better!!  And, in a strange sort of way, I am grateful for life's lemons.  I would not be who I am today without them.  Change is hard!  Change brings tears!  Change happens! Change brings freshness and newness.  And, change is OK!

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