Tuesday, July 7, 2015

A New Stage of Life

New things are exciting. New friendships, new homes, new clothes. Starting something can be exciting and fun, with a challenging aspect to it that raises your adrenaline and makes you wonder what might this lead to, and how will this change me, or how will I change things because of it. A new school, a new job, a new girlfriend or boyfriend, a new responsibility in your community. It can be daunting, and overwhelming, and still underneath fresh and wonderful in its promise and its hope. A turn in the road is like a Monday morning, or the beginning of the school year; anything might happen, and you know there will be moments ahead like you have never seen before.

New things can be scary to some of us. Alright, they can be scary for me. I like to know I am safe, what to expect and what is expected of me; I like knowing the schedule, having a rhythm to my days, and being able to rely on people and things to carry on as I have grown accustomed to them. I might like a bit of challenge, a bit of danger, a taste of the startling or unexpected once in a while, but I lean on the usual to keep me steady. 

I like that quiet slow undertow of peace and solidity. When I can't quite feel it under the shifting of time and current events and stressful decisions and uncertain tomorrows, I weaken and I falter. Again and again I reach out and take the word of a God who never changes, who says to be still and know that He is there. He says to trust Him, for His love is everlasting. He speaks of everlasting joy with Him. He says that He knows the plans He has for me, and that it's ok if I don't. He says to be courageous and strong, and that He is with me wherever I go. He tells His flock to have no fear, and that it is His pleasure to give me good things. He says that all things are for His glory, and for my good. He is like a rock, a mountain, a protective mother hen, a strong tower. He is my peace.

We are in and coming into a new stage in our life. Our little daughter is changing and stretching and making us into something new, and she has been working at it since she started growing in me, has been gradually making us think and live and plan differently, and when she is here in our arms will make everything even more new and strange and exciting and challenging. 

Everything is shifting. Two become three, and our focus is not now just horizontally toward the other but now pointed down as we focus together on something between us, something we made together, love together, and will nurture together. We're no longer newlyweds, but coming up on our second anniversary, and have become and learned much together and about each other. We're no longer in our first home; we moved over a month ago from the place that everything started. This little person pushed us toward a new home, a place we'd have room for her and her things, and I am so grateful to need a new place. But I do want to hold on to the memories of that first little home - the sweet and the new, the tears and the laughter and the quiet existing together, the arrangement and rearrangement of furniture and words, the cooking for one another, the canning together, the evenings on the porch and the the silly tv shows and disasters spilled on the carpet and late dinner parties where we accidentally turned the oven off when it should have been on. I got comfortable there, and I want to grasp a little at the good of that peaceful, stable, known life. Instead I have a new neighborhood to get used to and feel safe in, and a new home to arrange and make work and that beautifully. A new person to apply my attention and love to. A new era where I'm not doing the same work every day with people who need the same help, but with a fresh soul who will rely on us for everything and whose development and personality and spiritual health will largely come from how we treat her. 

But here I am, sitting on the porch of our new home, feeling my daughter move inside me, relishing the quiet freedom of this week at home after years of working full time, and I taste God's goodness in this new. My soul is grateful, my heart is happy. He has provided fresh challenges and gifts for us to find and prepare for and open and delight in, and He always makes the way for us to learn what we need to know to handle them. We might hesitate a little at the door of a new adventure, uncertain, needing guidance, praying for wisdom, not feeling big enough for this task, and He will give what we lack. He is infinity. He is love. He has more beautiful things in store for us than we can see, and He fills us even as we empty ourselves for the world around us, so that we will never come up short. I am tasting and seeing, and He is good indeed.

35 weeks pregnant (a few weeks ago)
in our wonderfully-windowed bedroom

(one of 2 entrances to our home, which feel elegant to have)


part of the kitchen

herb garden

our own private porch. we almost live there.

one of many rose bushes flourishing here

view from a kitchen window: the patio and raspberries

more living room. 
sometimes I forget we have a green-carpeted living room, which we obviously would not have chosen, but is working just fine.

from the living room, view of our porch 
(and our new car, another beginning and blessing!)

some of the vegetables. they have taken off like crazy since this pic. 

Rose's corner of our room. There's also a changing table 
(where the guitar stand is here) with bins of her clothes and things.

raspberry patch. 
I have been putting some in the freezer almost daily, and eating them to my heart's content.