Bittersweet Changes

As I mentioned in my last post, the past year has been full of changes for me.  The most recent big change has been a remodeling of the outside of my home.  This was something that Greg and I had been planning to do and had been saving for, for many years.  We had faulty siding on our house and Greg had replaced many boards, including rebuilding the chimney chase, over the last several years.  We would spend time driving around looking at houses, trying to decide what we wanted to do with ours once we made the decision to replace the siding.  We had pretty much decided what we wanted and were about ready to get things rolling with it, when Greg was diagnosed with melanoma.  Needless to say, everything was put on hold at that point.  This past summer, I began to get anxious about being the one responsible for the upkeep of the house.  I knew that Greg had felt that the siding was in poor condition and needed to be replaced, and I knew that I could not replace boards like he had done in the past.  I was afraid if I didn’t do something soon, I would end up with more trouble down the road.

So, I very timidly began the process of getting estimates for having the job done.  I’ll just tell you that it’s difficult to get estimates for something that you know nothing about!  But God was very gracious and provided me with a friend that knows about this type thing and he really helped walk me through the whole process.  John and his wife Laurie have been dear friends to Greg and I since high school! They have been a huge support from the beginning to the end of the project and I know that Greg would be so thankful that John has been here to help me make good decisions!

After getting the estimates, I really prayed and ask the Lord to give me wisdom in making my choice, and He did just that! The contractor that I chose has been so very kind and patient with me, and he was very sensitive to my situation.  Not to mention the fact that he does quality work, and I am so very pleased with how everything turned out!  So, if you are looking to do some work on your house, I can give you a great recommendation!!

But, the whole process has been very emotional for me.  All of the decision-making was very stressful.  After being married for 27 years, I am used to having someone to discuss all of my decisions with.  Someone to share ideas with and get input from.  Someone that knows more about these things than I do!  I was so very thankful that Greg and I had talked so much about what we wanted to do…..thankful that I knew his preferences.  It was also very sad for me to see the house that Greg and I built 23 years ago being completely changed.  I never thought about it causing sadness for me, but it did….seeing pieces of my house…our house…torn down and carried away.  I did save a few pieces that I hope to repurpose.

The Lord continues to show me that He is with me and He is for me.  That He will lead me, He will provide for me, He will be my Protector and Defender.  I am so thankful for Him and His faithfulness to me!

The remodel is now complete.  My friend, John, came over the other day to take a look at the finished work and as he got ready to leave he said, “I have one more question for you.  Do you think Greg would like it?”  My answer was “Yes.”  I do think Greg would like it.  And that makes me happy.

Before:

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After:

IMG_6238  IMG_6240   IMG_6246  IMG_6248IMG_6241 IMG_6243IMG_6244IMG_6251

For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.  Isaiah 43:19

Trusting His Plan,                                                                                                                                                                       Sandra

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Happy 2015

I guess I’m a little late to the party, since the calendar is already making its way to the end of January. Oh, well. To tell you the truth, I haven’t felt much like partying. Seems like, of all the holidays, New Years has hit me the hardest. While everyone’s talking about a fresh start, a new beginning, a great new year….all I can think is, “I don’t want to start a new year, what I really want is a rewind.” It hurts my heart to think about beginning yet another year without Greg in my life. I just want to go back to the time before the word cancer invaded our vocabulary.

While everyone is looking forward to changes, my heart is screaming “I HATE CHANGE! NO MORE CHANGES!” You see, I don’t do well with change. I thrive on stability and consistency. I grew up in a very stable home…Mom and Dad are still married after 50+ years. My Dad retired from the same job that he had when I was born. My mom was basically a stay at home Mom all my life. Growing up, I lived in only three places….an apartment for my first three years, a new home for nine years, and then to my final home (where my parents still live), where I lived until I got married. When Greg and I married, we lived in an apartment for a short time, then moved to our first house where we lived for about three years, then to my current home where all of our children have been born. When I graduated from nursing school, I had the same job until I quit working after Jacob was born. Greg had a couple of jobs before he started with Delta, but then was with Delta for over 20 years. Our family has been homeschooling for 17 years now. I’ve been at the same church for almost 19 years, and was at my previous church for about 15 years. Like I said….I don’t like change! Unfortunately, my life has been nothing BUT change for the last several years; I’m ready for some consistency again.

While every one else is making resolutions and setting goals, I’m struggling to meet the goal of getting up and facing a new day every morning. I can’t think “big picture” or “long-term” right now, I’m just trying to get through the changes and new things that I have to deal with that come with each new day. I’m using all of my emotional energy trying to make wise decisions about things I know nothing about and have never had to deal with before.

As I’ve been praying through these feelings and asking the Lord for direction for the New Year, I’ve felt Him telling me that it’s okay not to have goals or resolutions this year. As a matter of fact, I believe He’s been telling me to just keep it simple…a long list of goals, or to-do’s, or changes is not what I need right now. He has led me to two things to focus on this year. One is a verse of Scripture and one is a statement made by a pastor.

So instead of resolutions, or goals, or lists, or even my “one word” for the year, I leave you with my two “points of focus” for 2015:

1. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. Isaiah 43:19

2. Don’t pray, “God use me”, instead pray, “God make me fit to be used by You.” ~ Charles Stanley

Trusting His Plan,
Sandra

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