Change, growth and transition. All things that are inevitable in life, usually healthy and normal.
As a parent, change happens often - your baby starts to sleep through the night, your toddler learns to walk, you move from feeding milk to solids etc. Then as they get older the changes seem to happen faster. Suddenly you are waving goodbye to your child as they head off to school, or their first camp or like me recently, their first full time job!
Our eldest is officially on study leave, and apart from a few exams coming up and a final end of year event, he has finished his schooling, started a great full time job and bought his first car all in the last week.
It feels like this 'first day of school pic' was just taken a few years ago...
Then we find ourselves taking his last day of school pic a few years later...
I don't feel down or too sad at the recent changes, as I realise that this is normal and healthy (and I also know I'll probably be a blubbering mess when our last child finishes school) and exciting progress. But I am aware of us all being in a time of transition, and trying to take it slow and learn from it as we go.
Currently life feels rather crazy with some big health issues hitting quite a few of our family members, along with the fun ups and downs that come with being pastors, parents and renovating in the midst of it all.
In fact, the world feels rather crazy when you look at the turmoil after the results of the recent US elections, the war and fighting going on in many countries - it's easy to be overwhelmed by it all.
Rather than riding along this roller coaster of life, allowing my emotions to mirror the ups and downs of the ride, I'm reminding myself to draw my roots down deep into the soil, like a large tree that no matter what season it's in, it stands tall, stays stable and flourishes.
The Bible talks a lot about being careful where we put our faith and trust - not in people or things, for they all can let us down at times, but in someone far more reliable... God.
Whether it's the busyness of life, stress or sickness or the chaos of the world around me, it's imperative that I make sure I'm drawing my strength from something that is sure.
I need to stay connected to Him, keep my ears open, my heart right and draw down deep.
Trees with deep roots can survive the storms of life - I want my life to be like that, not built on my feelings, emotions or circumstances, but on something stable and sure.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers. Psalm 1:3
Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD And whose trust is the LORD. "For he will be like a tree planted by the water, That extends its roots by a stream And will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought Nor cease to yield fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8
So I'm embracing change, digging deep during the storms, pressing in when life seems chaotic and eagerly awaiting the fruit. I'm thankful for growth, new seasons and change.
And along with this pondering style of post, I'll leave you with a sneak peak of our kitchen progress... one of my favourite places to sit at the moment in our kitchen. I promise a post with pics as soon as we've finished!