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

In the Stillness

Are you feeling fearful today? You are not alone.

I know a lot of people are very anxious right now regarding the COVID-19, or Coronavirus. My daughter is on the other side of the country as I write this. She will be safely home again in ten days, but still, I worry about her return flight, the crowded airport, and a bunch of worst case scenarios playing out in my imagination. I also have several friends whose loved ones are traveling internationally, bringing their families a whole new level of concerns.

How do we remain calm amidst all the chaos — even as we try to go about our normal lives? And how do we discern fact from fiction? The disinformation being spread through rumors and social media only feeds our fears. The chatter has become overwhelming.

Let’s all take a breath.

Turn off the noise. Be still . . . and just . . . listen.

God’s Calming Voice

It’s time to quiet our hearts and seek the calming peace and stillness found only in the Lord’s presence.

I’d like to share some of my favorite Scripture verses that always help calm my fears when I am feeling frightened or anxious. You may wish to write them down and carry them with you as daily reminders of God’s ever-present love.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” — II Timothy‬ ‭1:7‬

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;” — Philippians‬ ‭4:6‬

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” — Joshua‬ ‭1:9‬

“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ — Isaiah‬ ‭41:10‬

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” — Matthew‬ ‭6:34‬

If your children are feeling anxious too, you may wish to share these simple verses with them. Let them know that God hears their prayers and is always nearby to offer His comfort, any time of the day or night.

“Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.” — Psalms‬ ‭56:3‬

“I sought the LORD, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears.” — Psalms‬ ‭34:4‬

Always remember: there is no problem too great for God to handle. Trust that He is in control through this challenging time. Remember often to stop and listen for His voice, and know that you rest in the palm of His hand.