The seasons have sure changed quickly this year, more than I remember in the past. It's probably because it stayed warmer longer than usual into Fall, or that Thanksgiving and Christmas were only three weeks apart this year, but I'm realizing that time moves a lot quicker the older you get.
Time moved a lot slower when I was younger. I don't remember how many times I sat with my friends wishing for time to speed up. I spent countless hours daydreaming about what life would be like when I was on my own, who I would marry, how many kids we would have, where we would live and what I would do for a living. It's funny that what I thought I wanted as a kid is not exactly what I wanted when I actually grew up. And even if it was a little bit, it's definitely not as fairy tale as I thought it would be. Maybe that's just me.
Change has become a word that has weaved itself into my life. It's just
become part of who I am. I've always been resilient to change, almost
welcomed it into my life like an old friend coming over for a visit.
Both Dan and I have a hard time with things staying the same. We're
always trying out new ways to rearrange our furniture or coming up with
new projects that we can do on the house with an affordable price tag. We've always embraced most of the changes that have happened in our lives, even if it took a little longer to recognize the beauty in the change.
I'm finding that change is a constant as you get older. Some of it is welcome and some of it is not so much, but through all of the changes, I find that I grow in ways I don't expect. I'm not even talking about time. I know I've said over and over again that time moves too quickly. My babies are growing up too fast, and as much as I hate that, I'm enjoying what each new season of life brings us. However, time is not the only thing that changes.
Change has come to me in many forms like my daughter being born, and in the form of meeting Dan when I already thought I had life figured out, in both of us changing jobs, in having more children, in losing grandparents, in making new friends, and in so many other things I can't seem to recall.
One of the biggest ones has been happening over the past few years, I've begun to reflect on my life, in particular, my faith. I've asked myself questions like "Why do I believe what I believe" and the only answer I can come up with is "because that's the way I was brought up". Well that's not good enough for me. At some point, I have to know why I believe the things on my own terms and not just because someone told me to. That's not at all to say that my parents or the church didn't know what they were talking about because they gave me a foundation, and that is so invaluable, but truth can be relative to each individual person, whether we are okay with that or not.
So I've begun breaking down what I've grown up believing in, and that's a scary process. My foundation is grounded. I love Jesus, and I know that He is my Savior and my rock, but there are a lot of things I'm not sold on, and that's hard because a lot of it is against the grain of this small little NW Iowa area. And I'm okay with that. I'm okay with believing in things that are different from the majority. I believe that God gave us more than just the Bible to help guide us. He gave us our hearts and our experiences too, and I believe that we are supposed to use all three to make the best choices we can. I'm okay with not having all the right answers, and I'm even okay with dying never having found them.
I'm learning to be okay with everyone having their own opinions and beliefs. I recognize that you need to find your own truth, and that mine will never be exactly the same as yours. Politics and religion are two places in social media that drive wedges between people, and it doesn't make it easier to have a civil conversation when people can say whatever they want to say behind the confines of computer screen. Even if they know who they are talking to, somehow typing things makes people braver. In any case, I'm consciously trying not to engage in every conversation that I feel needs my voice. I sure hope that people who want to know what I believe or why I believe it will give me enough respect to sit down with me over coffee or lunch and ask me. And I hope I will show the same respect to them.
I've decided to make 2014 a year where I focus on fixing my own spiritual demons and not worrying so much about everybody else's. God's got that under control. He doesn't need me defending Him or fighting his battles. Nobody has EVER in the history of ever been shamed or criticized into becoming a Christian, and I'd hate to see someone turn away from Jesus because of the way I acted or the hurtful words I said. Sometimes it's not what you say, it's how you say it. I tell my kids that constantly. I need to take my own advice.
2014 will be a year of change for me. Good change.
I will work on changing my outlook about others and their beliefs. I will work on changing myself for the better and taking care of my own demons. I will change my exercise habits and the way I spend my money. I will change how my mornings go at home. I will not be an angry mother, and I will stop yelling. I have a long ways to go, but I will get there.
T-2 days until Christmas. Let the countdown begin!!
May your week be merry and bright. Merry Christmas!