Change: what was is now something different.
Let’s see . . . When you spend $9.58 and you give the clerk a ten-dollar bill, what you get back is called “change.” I guess that means that your ten-dollar bill has been changed into two pennies, one quarter, one nickel and one dime. When you change your mind, your previous way of thinking has morphed into a different mindset. Changing one’s clothes means that you have transformed from what you slept in to what you’ll wear for the day at the office or whatever your job or career is.
And then there’s a change in the weather, say from rainy to sunny, or from what used to be feet of snow when the beautiful white precipitation arrived, to just an inch or two now. That’s how is seems to have changed here in New Mexico. As we age, we think that’s a good thing, because our energy and strength for shoveling has changed.
We look back to fifty-five plus years ago, when we (Ron and I) met for the first time. As I recall, my heart did flip-flops and I think that bells rang and birds sang. Is that always the case now when we see each other? Yes and no. It’s a bit different now, but when I get home from town, I am always thrilled and comforted that Ron is okay and sitting in his chair where I hoped he would be. We have many years of history – the good times and the bad times – and we have scads of memories of how God pulled us (sometimes kicking and screaming) through those times. We recall years of schooling while raising our two wonderful “miracle daughters.” We even remember times of sickness, when we wondered if we’d pull through, but God still had a plan, a purpose for our lives. We fondly remember our ministry, both pastoral and teaching in different parts of the world, our GMC 4106 Buffalo Bus, which was modified from pea green, to blue and silver and finally to champagne with a couple of burgundy stripes. We remember faces (not always names) of people who influenced us, who sat in our audiences, who asked life-changing questions, whose lives we were able to impact positively, we hope. And places we have traveled to teach: England, Scotland, the Caribbean Islands, Czech Republic, Russia, Singapore, Canada, Guam (3 times), all over the U.S., and even other places I haven’t listed. Most of the time we reminisce and wish we could return and teach.
But . . . God’s calling on our lives has changed to a degree. We are still called upon to help others toward emotional health when we can, but the location has changed! Now we do so from our little house in the mountains, or from the recovery programs or the books we have written. Our focus has been altered by our health – or lack thereof. We have had to adjust the way we conduct business and our priority has transformed into taking care of each other. It is a revolution to us, one that we never anticipated or expected! We have, of necessity, had to modify the way we live, simplify. No more elaborate meals and frequent baking of extravagant goodies (except perhaps at Christmas). No more traveling (except to Roswell or Albuquerque for doctor’s appointments.) Do we miss it? YES! But we have to adjust with the times, age and physical well-being.
I keep wondering, “Do I REALLY need this or that?” and then take action to simplify. It would be easier on me if I would get rid of or give away to someone in need. Just the other day, ladies from one of our classes visited, and with the help of Karan (who came here from Denver) we sorted through some items and had some on the table to give away. Believe it or not, by the time the ladies left, the table was empty! YEA!
I have also discovered what I can and cannot do around the house. I used to vacuum several times a week, and now I am blessed to do so once a week – it’s a killer on my back. About once a month, I can get the cleaning ladies in (with the financial help of dear Donna) and that’s quite a blessing. It’s basically a waste to go to the doctor about my back, because what they have offered does not supply pain relief.
So now, cleaning time has morphed into writing time, with the computer on my lap – or knitting time. And is that OK with me? To a degree it is, and when dust or bits on the floor aggravate me, I say, “Thank you Lord, that I can still see them.” And when I can, I get up from my writing chair and dust a bit or even vacuum in the family room – that’s where we live most of the time and where “stuff” accumulates on the 9×12 rug.
My father used to say, when my mother wasn’t well enough to work around the house, “They’ll never see it from an airplane.” So once in a while I recall his statements, laugh a little, and then thank God that Ron and I still have each other – older and less agile than we used to be – but together, nonetheless. We still can cuddle and love on each other, reminisce about our “good old days together,” enjoy meals of things we like, visit with our Sara and Wade who live just down the street, watch church at Loma Linda on TV, enjoy friends when they visit, and still thank the Good Lord that we still have our love for each other.
Gratefulness warms the heart of those who are grateful and the hearts of others with whom they share their gratitude. We are so blessed with the kindnesses of others and the watch care and blessings of our Heavenly Father. Why don’t you consider your blessings and thank those for whom you are grateful?