Friday, October 9, 2015

Flourishing During a Season of Change

By: Joy Ahlman

Fall is my favorite season, no doubt. I love watching the trees change colors and the weather turn cooler. I love the sound of leaves crunching as we walk outside and the color of pumpkins all around. I love the anticipation of all the holidays that are just around the corner. I love how this time of year just seems so different than any other time of the year.  So many things change during the fall - colors, sounds, smells, and temps!

This fall, I am experiencing change like never before. School is getting more intense as my big kids get older; Having a (nearly) toddler in the house after several years of only dealing with very independent older kids; And the biggest change of all right now - we just did a major move. It wasn't very far away from our previous house and I am SO grateful for that!! As much change as this move has been for me, I am so glad to not have to be figuring out things like, "Where is the closest Target?!?" But while location didn't really change, many other things did. 

We have lived in various townhouses since we got married. We've moved seven times in the past eleven years. We are now working on settling into life here - in an area that we have no plans to move from and have moved into a house that we plan to live in for many years to come. We have land for our kids to explore and enough room in our house for our guests to no longer have to sleep on the sofa! All of this is wonderful and we're so excited for it, but change is difficult, often even when it's good. 

As I'm trying to unpack and settle in, I've been thinking a lot about what it means to flourish here. I don't have all the answers yet, but here's what I've come up with. 

I love watching my kids and noticing how they can explain the world to me so much better than I can to them. My oldest son has helped me learn to Embrace Rest. One day he informed me that the color red makes people angry.  (Red is his favorite color.) He said that blue calms people down and yellow makes us happy.  I asked him how green makes people feel. (Green is my favorite color.)  He told me that green is the easiest color for our eyes to look at, therefore it's restful to our bodies. One of his favorite things to do right now is to be outside in our green yard, whether he is biking, reading, or raking leaves. And one of my favorite things to do is to stop what I'm doing and sit outside and watch him, resting for a moment surrounded by the beautiful green. 

My daughter helps me Notice Goodness. She is such an amazing helper...sometimes! She will either help with anything and everything - or absolutely nothing!! But those times that she chooses to serve, she is so selfless, so precious, so good! She makes me want to try even harder to notice the good all the time!

And my sweet little baby - He has reminded me what it feels like to Celebrate Lavishly! He is one of the happiest babies that I have ever known. Even when he is SO sleepy, he can still flash a smile or give a giggle that can fire up a room. And how can you not want to celebrate when a baby says his first word, takes his first steps, or even simply smiles just because you walked into the room?!?

I want to create a home where my family can fiercely flourish. I want a space where our friends and family can come and embrace rest. I want a home where God's goodness can be noticed and celebrated lavishly. 

Right now, amidst all the boxes and chaos, that almost seems impossible. But change is happening. Change is hard. But I have confidence that God will make this good.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for getting us thinking about this year's theme - inspiring post! Happy that your family is putting down some roots.