Fall seems to be a built in time of year for noticing transitions. (Enjoy these recent photos from around my neighborhood) Aside from the changing colors outside, and the noticeable difference in weather patterns, I start paying more attention to life transitions as well. Instead of wanting to spend all of my freetime outside, I start looking forward to things like baking, and crafting. I start getting the "itch" to study, and read. My menus begin to reflect more fall flavors, and soups and stews start coming back to the party. I even start to brainstorm ideas for Christmas gifts!
For whatever reason, lately I've been reflecting on life transitions as well. We've been going through several as a family. There are the more obvious transitions like going from a couple to being a family, or being a woman in the workforce, to being a stay at home Mom.. Then there are more subtle transitions - like my spiritual growth.
Some of these transitions have felt natural, and came easily to me. Others have required a bit more effort on my part. For instance, Nate and I can no longer just go out to dinner on a whim (or eat dinner together, for that matter!). Our time together has to be planned, and intentional. Even with careful planning, sometimes our best efforts are thwarted by a baby girl with an early appointment with her crib. While I was working, I was used to getting up in the morning before dawn (my position at a local coffee shop required early rising!). Now I'm usually up several times a night, so waking up around 7 am seems ridiculously early to my sleep deprived body. While before even if my house was a mess, if I'd had a busy day at work I felt productive, now I need to have visible reminders around me to satisfy that need. "Look, Honey! I washed and folded six loads of laundry today!"
Then there have been the spiritual transitions. When I was single, I had an awesome routine in place of spending time with God daily before bed. I tend to be more of a night owl anyway, so this worked perfectly for me. I remember having sweet times of prayer, and revelation in God's Word at 1 or 2 in the morning. I could close the door, and I didn't have to worry about disturbing anyone else in the house with my late night devotions. After I got married, I had to learn to do things a little differently. Now there was the challenge of finding time to spend with God alone, as well as a time of devotions as a couple.
Then the process of shifting my time around began again - as I'm sure it will continue to do for the next several years! On the positive side, these more recent life transitions have driven me to a point of utter dependency on God. All those moments in the middle of the night with a screaming baby led me to cry out more than once "God, I need your grace and wisdom right now!" And while it may sound trite, Scripture became my food. I couldn't have gotten through the first few months of sleep deprivation, total cluelessness on what to do for my tiny, helpless baby, total lack of any alone time with my husband, an attention deprived dog, and a house that hadn't seen a good cleaning in weeks without constant meditation on God's Word.
Before Olivia was born, I took on the challenge of reading through the Bible in 90 days. The entire Bible. Cover to cover. About 3 days in, I was thinking to myself how crazy I was to accept said challenge. However, though it actually took me about 120 days, I was completely changed on the other side of that process. If nothing else, I developed such a love for the Word of God! It was and is living, breathing, and active in my life. No other book could possible have that effect on me. It was humbling, to know that God created me with the capacity to think His thoughts after Him. To know that thousands of years after the words were penned, He still speaks to me through them. Not a new concept - but so eye opening!
What about you? Have you gone through any transitions lately? What kinds of things have helped you adjust? I'd love to know your thoughts. Leave a comment below! The time in transition may seem interminable now, but be encouraged! They can be a time of blessing, and growth, if we have the right attitude about them. If you're in the midst of one, hang in there! Know that I'll be praying for you.