Throughout history, stories have been told, songs have been sung, and depictions in art have touched on the longing for home. Part of the human condition is a deep seeded longing for home. A place to belong. As an Army Chaplain spouse, I can say this longing is painfully evident in the military life. Military families have no physical home in which we stay long. And unlike most families outside the military community, the brevity of each home is something we deal with on a constant basis.
We long for a place to grow and root and thrive, not only for ourselves, but our children. Every time our spouse receives orders, we uproot. It is difficult to watch our kids breaking away from the home, school, and friends that they are attached to. Every time we move, I feel my children’s emotional and physical pain at doing so, and it hurts me more than my own pain of uprooting.
This is not a dieting success story. I’m not a weight-loss wiz-kid. I do have a “before” picture, but as of this writing I’m still 6.9 lbs. from a significant goal – and that one is probably far from “final.”
No, when it comes to weight loss, this is not the blog post I thought I’d write:
I’m slow. At age 55, I’ve been at this seriously for four and a half years. I get the Turtle Award.
I’m not here to promote a philosophy, method, author, or product. What worked for me may not work for you. No magic tricks here.
I’m not privy to The Bible’s Key to Your Weight Loss Secrets. Those were never revealed to me nor did the Lord lead me to write devotions on the beauty of Brussels sprouts.
In my version of my story I would be creating 4 star meals that are simple, healthy, and delicious. I would be the model of consistency and self-control. I would show up to the trendy exercise classes in neon-colored leggings with coordinated tank top and have defined upper arms that are the envy of, well, every woman who knows exactly what “flap” means. Since my version never happened, I guess God must have had something different in mind.
When God writes our story, it’s always far better than anything we could imagine.
As a writing teacher, this is a term I use all the time. I like to say that transitions are signposts or traffic signals we use to help our reader along the journey. While we may know where we are headed, the reader may not. Transitional words or phrases can be helpful in maintaining a sense of direction. “In addition…” “Accordingly…” “Therefore…” and “The first reason….” But what about when transitions leap off the page and become a reality? What does it look like when we move from one place or stage to the next?
Currently I’m in an empty-next stage. My husband will be retiring in a few years. Should we move? Should we be closer to the kids? We have 5 and they are spread out. Where do we go? These are scary changes for me! Transitioning to new adventures and maybe a new location are exciting prospects for my husband, but for change-averse me, the idea of a major move is daunting!
Then there are the transitions that are more personal. I will be ending a 30 year long teaching career that began with homeschooling my 5 year old and grew to include 4 more children and eventually classes of other homeschooled children, locally and online. Will I miss grading all those essays? Probably not. Will I miss connecting to my students, “my kids,” praying with and for them, seeing the light bulb moments, and rejoicing in their progress? Of course! Yet, even without a gradebook, I know the Lord has opportunities for me to teach. I look forward to transitioning to a different kind of teaching.
Any kind of change brings questions…
In honor of Sanctity of Human Life Sunday (January 20), I want to tell you a true story.
My friend Cassandra was pregnant—with twins. They were eagerly anticipated, and already named.
At three months along, Cassandra got a call at work. A nurse was informing her that it appeared that the babies were going to be born with Down syndrome.
My friend was stunned. Twins would be a challenge, Down syndrome would be a challenge—but all together? She called a cousin and they began to pray. Her cousin first thanked the Lord for the babies. “Lord, we are going to love these children, and we know you do too,” Cassandra remembers their saying to Him.
“What I needed was love,” she says now. “If I had love for these children, it didn’t matter what they had or didn’t have; I could face the future. My cousin’s prayer was just what I needed. I told Him, ‘Lord, we are here for your plan.’”