A New Season

How it began:
Me: “I think I’ll take a short break in writing.”

How it’s going:
Also me: “This is too much information for one blog post!” (But I’ll give it my best shot.)

During my 3-month hiatus, a lot has happened. Here’s the CliffsNotes version:

Downsizing & New Year’s “Reno-lutions”

Shortly after Christmas, we decided it was time to sell our home. We are now in the midst of sorting-and-purging, in the hope of listing this spring. Every empty-nester will understand our pain. You build up a lot of memories (aka clutter) in 38 years of marriage. It’s mostly a process of letting go.

There have been lots of “lasts” in our home . . . our last Christmas, last New Year’s celebration and now our last Easter. And for the first time in many years, there will be no vegetable garden. I’m enjoying my spring flowers and the Redbud tree for the last time too. Sadly, we will probably be gone before my beloved yellow Knockout Roses bloom.

January ushered in some major redecorating. I’m glad we installed the hardwood floors last year, even though I expected we would be the ones enjoying them for years to come! Every room needed fresh paint and flooring (if not already done), along with new bathroom fixtures, new lighting and other “enhancements” to maximize our selling price. That’s particularly important now, because the DC market is expected to heat up in the next 30 days. (I just hope we beat the 17-year cicadas.)

In February, we were delighted to share the news of our daughter’s engagement. After all the challenges of the past year, it was a sign of hope and new beginnings for our family. They are planning a small wedding in the fall, so we will be very busy once we finish unpacking.

Empty Nest

In March, we helped our daughter move into her first apartment, and we continued moving our own boxes and some furniture to my brother’s home. That will be our temporary landing spot until we decide on our final retirement destination. After our house is sold, I will be commuting about 100 miles every day, 4 days a week. (I’ve been spoiled by my 1-mile commute for the past decade, so I guess it’s my turn.) At least it will be a scenic ride, along the hills and valleys of the Blue Ridge, crossing over the Shenandoah River twice each day. My husband is now a full-time telecommuter, so he is not complaining.

🌷🌷🌷

The Garden of Gethsemane

 

As we enter the holiest week on the Christian calendar, I am reminded once again that God always has a plan. We each have a purpose. He had a plan for His only son, and Jesus’ lived every day of his earthly life fulfilling that plan.

Sometimes I have no idea where I am headed, or what I am meant to do. And even though I normally feel the need to plan out every last detail in life, I’m leaning on the Lord for patience and guidance. He already has a plan for this new season in my life, so I will trust Him with the details too!

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, And whose hope is the LORD.”
‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭17:7‬

Eternal Hope


Post Christmas check-in.

How are you doing? Are you rested and recovered from the blur of last-minute preparations? 

December 24, 7:00 pm

There is excitement in the air! Lights are twinkling, carols are playing, gifts are waiting. All is merry and bright.

December 25, 7:00 pm

Christmas is over. I ate too much. Tomorrow we have to clean up the mess, return and exchange gifts, and put all the decorations away. And where on earth is that gift for Uncle Joe that never arrived in the mail?

🎄🎄🎄

Beyond the Manger

The week before Christmas, my husband and I began watching The Chosen. (If you have not discovered this new series about the life and ministry of Jesus, be sure to check it out.)

Two days after Christmas, we discovered a special episode about Jesus’ birth. After watching it, I began thinking about the day after Jesus was born. What happened that day? The Bible doesn’t say specifically, but most likely, Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus left the stable to pay their taxes. And the manger went back to being a feeding trough for the animals. Imagine that.

For one night, that manger became a humble bed for our Savior, yet over 2,000 years later, it still fills us with hope. So, as you begin packing away your decorations this week, and Christmas 2020 becomes a distant memory, remember that Immanuel — God with us — remains forever.