New Year/Different Year

Most of you that know me, know that 2011 was a year of transition for both E and I. He started a new job and, subsequently, I started a new life. Well, sort of. His new job is very challenging and takes alot of his time and energy so, while he was getting settled and accustomed to his new surroundings, so was I. We moved into a new house – well, it’s new to us – and I have new neighbors, a new car…yada, yada, yada.  I have been reminded time and time again to “wait” on the Lord. It just keeps coming up in my Bible study and quiet times. “Be still and wait”, even in the midst of all this newness.

Which started the wheels turning. Is it new or is it just different? Good question. So, like the writer that I am, I reach for the dictionary and look up the word NEW. Webster says new is “for the first time, different from the past, strange or unfamiliar”. Hmmm. Then I turn a few pages and look up the word DIFFERENT. (Ready?) “Not alike or the same, unusual, various”.

So I begin to analyze things a bit.

My life is not NEW in the sense that it is ‘for the first time’ but it certainly is ‘different from the past’ right now but it is not DIFFERENT in the sense of being ‘unusual or varied’ from what I’ve known. Crazy, huh? All I can think to do is to write it out and you can decide. (Be sure and let me know what you land on, will ya?)

I moved from the house I’ve lived in for the last thirty-two years of my life. Chris was eight when we moved in, Casey was one and CeCe was a twinkle in her daddy’s eye. Through those years, we changed from orange shag carpet and heating with LP gas to brown carpet and a wood stove. We “textured” the kitchen floor ourselves and remodeled the laundry room. Oh my, how many remodels we did!

Room assignments changed as well. When CeCe was a baby, she shared a room with her sister and Chris had his own room. For a short time, a relative came to stay with us but, after they left, Casey decided she needed her privacy so the girls each had their own room. Time for another remodel and this time, Chris gets Mom and Dad’s old room (completely redone, of course) and both girls get new room decor. Mom and Dad get a “master suite” (SWEET!). We built on again in 1997 to make room for E’s grandparents, then still another re-do (after they both went to Heaven) for the living room (which became a den/theater room) and the old kitchen, which became the game room.

I was thinking about all the parties we had in that crazy house. Super Bowl parties, birthday parties (LOTS of those!), graduation parties, coming-back-from-boot-camp parties. It served us well for wedding receptions, baby showers, pool parties (what a luau!), Halloween parties, women’s Bible studies, Christmas ornament exchanges, cook-outs and it was just a great place for our friends and family to “hang”. Sadly, it was also the scene of several funeral gatherings.

When Chris and Greta were deciding whether to build or buy another home, they actually came and lived with us for a while, which allowed E and I to spend a lot of extra time with Hunter – which I am so thankful for now. CeCe and Dustin stayed with us for a time after they moved from Centerton and again when each of their boys were born. I wouldn’t trade that for anything! Casey made a short stop back to her old bedroom during an important transition in her life and, even though it was a rough time for her, I know it caused us to form a bond stronger to this day than most mothers and daughters will ever have.

I have to admit, I have been a little hard on my new house. I didn’t like it, I didn’t like the yard, I didn’t even like the driveway. I have held a grudge against it for having to be my new house because I never wanted to leave the old one. Now, I sit here in my home office and look around at my new “digs” and wonder what memories will be made here. Suddenly, I realize that it has had a Thanksgiving and a Christmas – with five kids all opening presents at the same time in a storm of wrapping paper! We have had a baby shower, a birthday party, watched fireworks on the 4th from our back porch, and ladies have come here to join me in praying for our city and our country.

I think about those times now and see that it was the people that helped make those wonderful memories and not the place. Oh yeah, the surroundings can be memorable but that’s not what made it special, exciting, or even fun. The people in my life: my E, my kids, my grandbabies, friends and family are the memory-makers. Always have been, always will be. THEY were and are the ones that make this place special, fun and exciting. THEY are the ones that bless my heart and make me cry.

Casey and I stenciled a scripture above the fireplace mantel in my new house.  It’s Psalm 46:10. You will recognize it, I’m sure. It reads, “Be still and know that I am God.”  That’s not new but it certainly is different. All I can say is, “LET’S GET READY TO MAKE SOME MEMORIES!”

Trust in the Yord, ya’ll!

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