Sojourner: temporary resident.
My life in a nutshell for the past few years.
However, this post will not be disheartening. It is a testimony to the power of positive...thinking, living and believing.
Ok, now that I have clarified, let me set the stage:
When I should have been spending the latter part of summer preparing for home school, instead I was packing for yet another move...another job transfer. #5 in seven years. No we are not Military, we are Oil & Gas Industry which is sometimes worse than military relocation. Yet surprisingly, finally, through this recent process, I have learned the art of embracing our life for the positive that it truly is. How? By actually listening to the Holy Spirit's guidance (since, well you know, He is our guide) and applying words of encouragement from very wise counsel (credits to follow). Huh, who'd have thought?
First let's go back to the beginning, no... not 5 moves-beginning. This PAST move.
Act 5, Scene whatever: Enter my arch-nemesis: ANXIETY. According to past experience, worry creeps in at the mention of transition to invade my thought processes, effect every aspect of my usually organized daily schedule, and in general just stick around out of shear annoyance.
Thus, the old checklist: packing, worry, 'Where are we going?' more packing, more worrying, 'Are we there yet?', did I mention worry? And don't forget the constant wondering of how the girls would ever live 'normal' lives as we uproot yet again and start over. More to follow on 'normal' lives after uprooting and starting over... for now, I also should interject that we have recently endured the somewhat unexpected passing of my precious Dad (hands up in a 'wait' status: not quite ready to put those thoughts on file). So, yeah. I really could have had the Pity-Party-of-the-Year!
Instead, I first embraced a thought I've upheld for years: There are plenty of other people who have it worse than my family. As I began to apply said thought, the UN-importance of my worries became clear. I could not change the inevitable. We were, in fact, moving. This decision and destination was not our decision, so why be concerned with the unneccesary? I had two choices: Focus on what we did not have or focus on what was right in front of me! I chose the latter, turning all my energy toward the positive. One, my husband was wise enough to be willing to move instead of the other option: Lay off. No job. End of financial securities for the Harris'. Yeah, he's a smart guy! And two, I can continue to home-make, homeschool, blog, DIY and everything else that Stay-At-Home's do... (made it sound all cheeky, didn't I? well, it is.) Oh, to follow up on uprooting and starting over: no. we are simply continuing life in a different city. simple geography. who needs normal?
This turned the table on the ole villian Anxiety! That and the counsel of wise believers. Mama T, one of the best examples of motherhood, advising me to "Focus on today". So elementary, yet so complex. At that moment, I realized that I had this head knowledge all along.... I knew all the cliche's and words of wisdom. But applying them to this sojourning life was what I was missing. Like a rebellious child on a path with its parent, I'd been walking but unwillingly causing grief to my environment by not rejoicing in the process. G.P., the crazy racer and my spiritual poppa, had many encouraging conversations on rejoicing with me through this process of mental transition... He would call and pray for us, laugh and cry with me; all the while holding me to the convictions of knowing that God would not forsake me. I began seeing the blessings in the midst of my grief and continued my exodus from a life of anxiety. And finally, my kindred spirit, Sunshine, challenged me to start a tradition that we now do together randomly through text: FIND ONE THING IN YOUR DAY THAT YOU ARE SARCASTICALLY THANKFUL FOR
*i.e. being thankful for a husband who leaves his shaven aftermath all over my freshly clean bathroom; or being grateful that people still believe fax machines to be dependable, as if they were EVER!.. oh, just one more: thankful for toddler color marks all over my new, kitchen cabinets!(I won't disclose which is hers or mine) Nothing brings laughter as quick as this tradition! So joye-ful and liberating!
Now (Act 5 Finale) I sit in our new home, new city, same duties, new joy. I have realized the importance of the old cliches and applied them as if they were hot off the press (I truly hope some of you know what that last phrase means without googling it).
No longer will my negative tendencies rule any process of our lives...will the villian return? of course. Worry will always try to dominate like it can add a single hour to your existence (see Matthew chapter 6 for that one). As I've mentioned in previous posts, life does not slow down or wait for any of us. However, there is something to be said for life itself...no matter the geography.