Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Change And Contentment

Photo Credit

One loves fresh strawberries with homemade whip cream and from-scratch angel food cake. Never mind that she fell in love with it when we actually had chickens and fresh eggs stacked deep in the refrigerator. Another wants orange pineapple salad with cool whip,  and the other would be content with only steamy homemade butter rolls fresh from the oven. Holidays are a grand celebration of food and chaos in our home.

The youngest drops her bags on the floor upon arrival and leaves a trail from two bathrooms that even a poor detective could follow. Her dog is wild with excitement at her return and races up and down the hallway trying to act like the puppy that was rescued years ago from the pound. For fleeting hours our home swells with the clanging of dishes and five conversations going at once, little people squealing, fussing and playing as if the time is too short so they must rush to fit it all in.

Ultimately they all arrive to leave again.


So many changes.

The silence is noticeable when the last messy kiss has been given and the cars pull out of  the driveway. Sinking my overfed flesh into an overstuffed chair, I involuntarily began to replay some of the memories.

And each beautiful frame that my mind tries to press forever into the grey matter for a few seconds is about sweet, messy life. The imperfect dinner rolls, pie crust and cupcake crumbs in every. room. of. the. house. Beautiful little runny nose faces. Giggles and coos and giant smiles from baby boy Max. Dads, that kissed wounds and distracted offenses. 

Then my mind wanders back to when I could choose the fluffy matching dresses that the girls would wear and how we only arrived late to my moms for this Celebration Sunday. We rolled in wearing our beautiful best, with our green bean casserole in hand and nothing really mattered but being together and looking for hand wrapped candy around my parents acreage.

My mom had the gift of hospitality.
She loved us all.
But she had one glitch in her beautiful personality that was laughable.


She hated it. 

My mom resisted change like a child resists taking unpleasant medicine.
She reassured us all, that she would n-e-v-e-r move from her home of fifty plus years.
In fact she exclaimed we would have to drag her out by her feet. 

Oh my.

Thankfully she wasn't a prophet.
But she could not control that change is a part of life.
Even her best efforts didn't stop time, seasons or aging.

She died unexpectedly two years ago today.
Even the doctors marveled that the breath was taken from her lungs.

The Lord was gracious to me in her death. I had prayed for her salvation. She and my dad both. And even in heavy mourning of her loss I could celebrate knowing that God's hand was so obvious in the details of the last weeks of her life.

The Lord even allowed me to be sitting beside her as she lay in ICU. I heard her final words. My husband and I watched as her final moments played out like a surreal slow motion movie and saw her life leave in a final heightened moment of anguish and pain. And as the code red sirens rang throughout the hospital we both knew she was gone. That her spirit had departed from her body. And no effort of man would retrieve it.

More change. 

The season that has followed has been a roller coaster of change.
With moms passing the spokes came off the proverbial wheel of our family. Family structure was shredded and traditions waxed cold. As hard as some of those things have been, some of the most precious times have happened these two years as well.

Seeing our own children thriving and more grandchildren arriving.
My husband and I have grown in faith and love and maturity.
Life is full and our hearts are full from the blessings of this season of life. 

I can see the baton was dropped and I've spent a few years scrambling to pick it up and run forward with it. And the pressing desperate need to pass the baton to my children in a better fashion.

Photo Credit

Photo Credit

Photo Credit

Photo Credit

Too much time I have wasted searching for meaning, clarity, and acceptance. 

We spent too many years quoting blocks of scriptures to our children instead of living it out like Jesus.
I just think how amazing it was that mostly He only quoted scripture to rule-keeping-Pharisees.

The woman caught in adultery.
No scripture was quoted.

The tax collector in the tree?
No scripture was quoted.

The woman at the well?
Nope. No scripture quoted. 

Jesus drew people to Himself thorough love, acceptance and relationship. 

In this new season of change I just want to love people.
I want to rest in this sagging wrinkled body and imperfect messy relationships and embrace it all like a big sloppy wet kiss.
Not striving and fussing. 

Finding contentment in the crazy.

Oh I want people to see Jesus in how I live life, like there is no tomorrow. 

Because quite honestly there are no guarantees of our tomorrow.
Except that if there is one, it will probably involve some changes we didn't plan on.

Change is constant and guaranteed.

No one stays the same.

We are either moving closer to Christ or farther away.

There is no neutral position.

The only sure thing is that Jesus defeated death and sin.
The tomb is empty.
In Him is where all true life happens.

Through seasons of sorrow and the adventures of change, there has been some hard-won joy and contentment in my life.

I pray this may be true of your life as well. 

But godliness with contentment is great gain.
1 Timothy 6:6

Love and more joy for your journey,


  1. blessings dear miss Rhonda - thank you for sharing your heart

  2. Well said ... thank you for sharing Rhonda ... "I want to rest in this sagging wrinkled body and imperfect messy relationships and embrace it all like a big sloppy wet kiss.
    Not striving and fussing" ~ I too want the same things. God Bless!!! Sharon

    1. Thanks Sharon! That sloppy wet kiss thing is a picture isn't it? Wish I could just give you a sweet Christian kiss and hug. Thanks for reading and leaving a note.

  3. You've gone and done it again dear friend. I could read your writings all day long. You have a heart for sharing and caring. How truly pleased God must be with you, His daughter. Oh if we could all gather to hear you speak how wonderful that would be. Your/our heartaches are being used to bring others to Christ. May our kind heavenly Father continue giving us His mercy and grace. You are loved by the King!

    1. Yes! God doesn't waste our pain and He blesses our desire to live fully for His Kingdom. I wish we could get together and share what we hear Him speaking to us. Over coffee or hot chocolate. Blessing friend!