Changes, God, and Finding Joy in the Small Things

Change is upon us. I should have seen it coming, since change is one of life’s great certainties, but a change of this magnitude comes along only a few times in a person’s life. At least that’s what my best friend assures me of. I’d like to think that my life doesn’t hold too many more of these giant uprootings within it.

I’m in Arizona again, for an uncertain amount of time, maybe until the day my Father calls me home. My husband is still back in Indiana. While I can’t (and won’t) get into details online, I can say that life got pretty ugly for a while. Change was necessary. My husband and I are in agreement about that. My kids have always been homeschooled, and they started at a charter school this last week. I have pick-ups, drop-offs, violin rental, tutoring, breaks, early release days, and homework to manage for the first time ever. I’m in the process of looking for a place to live and a job that I can do around my full-time college schedule and my kids’ school schedule.

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Change feels like a four letter word right now, but I know God is using this time in my life to remind me of what’s important. What I do next matters. It would be easy to fall into despair or give up my convictions, but the easy thing is seldom the right thing to do. Instead, I’m taking my life one day at a time and trusting God to provide for me, guide me, and keep me safe. I know that He’s bigger than my (very big) problems.

I’m doing my best to be content in the dead heat of summer. We spent a good month with no air conditioning in the car, which meant cooling off with Icees every time we drove and avoiding the car during the hottest part of the day whenever we could. Every time I got in the car, I looked up at the blue sky and the billowing, fluffy white clouds and counted them as joy. Maybe my insides were cooking, but I could see the Superstition mountains welcoming me home and the sky stretching upwards into infinity instead of hanging over me like a grey shroud. There’s joy in feeling safe, feeling like you’re home, feeling like you’re welcome.

I’m counting my blessings daily. We have air conditioning in the car as of this week. We are safe. My kids are excited to be here. I get to meet a professor that I really respect this week; she’s been awesome to me, and I never got to meet her face-to-face before because I was Indiana over the last year. We were blessed with some school uniforms for the kids and a few outfits for me. I wrote a story through the pain of leaving Indiana, and my creative writing teacher said, “People need to read this.” One of my students from my internship said that I encouraged them to keep writing, and that they were looking forward to sending me more of their work. My kids have the best smiles and giggles. I can wear flip-flops again without feeling weird about it. I’m living in my favorite sunglasses again. I’ve got a rockin’ foot tan going on. Phoenix is home to some of my favorite women who love Jesus and who support me in amazing ways.

There are more things that I’m grateful for, but I think the point is that even on the darkest days, there are bright spots. There are kind words, hugs, shafts of sunlight peeking through the darkness after a monsoon, hot cups of coffee, and beauty everywhere if you look for it. I hope that you find joy today, even if you have to look really hard for it. It’s there.




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