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

A New Season

Not everything in life is as predictable as the seasons. Some mornings we wake up only to discover that everything has changed while we were sleeping.

I awoke last Wednesday morning to the realization that I may soon be back in the job market. Faced with an unexpected financial predicament (related to my current job) I am now making some difficult decisions. Sadly, this could mean leaving a career I love.

This sudden change of events has been quite daunting. Just when we were planning for our retirement, I now need to polish my résumé. And I haven’t had a job interview in eight years.

My head is swirling. Where do I begin?

Diversionary Tactics

Saturday morning my daughter and I went plant shopping for our front garden beds. In the afternoon I did some yard work. Then I took a nap. In the evening we had dinner with friends. Since my day was spent creating tactical diversions, I managed to avoid the inevitable job search.

I know I can do this. The problem is . . . I don’t want to.

This is not how spring was supposed to begin. Everything else is on schedule. Our peach tree is blossoming and the Redbuds are about to open. The Peonies have emerged and the Forsythia is blooming. There are weeds to pull and flowers to plant. The patio needs sealing and the grill needs cleaning. A job search was not part of the plan!

A Song in My Heart

Today our children’s choirs sang a song called God Is Here With Me by Christopher Hogan. One verse in particular struck a chord with me.

God is in my heart when I am sleeping,

God is in my heart, right here in my sleep.

God is here with me, Alleluia!

It reminded me of how many sleepless nights I have had lately. But as I tossed and turned, I kept hearing songs in my sleep. Each time I awoke, a song was playing in my mind. Every night was a different song, but always a hymn or anthem we were singing in choir. I am certain that the Lord placed these songs in my heart to comfort me.

I have no idea how my current situation is going to end. Right now I am staying focused on each new day and trying my best not to worry.

God is here with me, Alleluia!