Monday, March 11, 2024

New Seasons


A month ago I had a phone call with a good friend of mine. He asked me "What does preparing look like?"

I, too, was also trying to figure out what it meant. This season of life is filled almost entirely with new things — and newness itself. In many ways, it is invigorating. In other ways, I can't imagine having a full-time job (50+ hours a week) and doing all this*. Here is just a smattering of new things to consider:

  • Moving to a new country (Sierra Leone)
  • Replacing and moving the fenceline (Wish we had done this before. SUCH a bigger backyard!)
  • Teaching the kids how to say goodbye well and that we'll be back
  • Learning to do "goodbyes" well (Jeff and Jackie)
  • Trying new foods to learn "that is so weird" vs. "that's different" (rave reviews on Ethiopian food, for the record)
  • Talking about our emotions: eager, overwhelmed, sad, mad, exuberant, wondering ...
  • Renting out the house
  • Preparing the house to be rented
  • Replacing appliances
  • Long-term storage of our material possessions
  • Nearly complete wardrobe change (weather: lows mid-70s, highs 80s-90s with 80-95% humidity year-round)
  • Learning about life on a ship
  • Learning about schooling on a ship
  • Requisite vaccines
Newness is also found in springtime as we see leaves shooting out, buds budding, and allergens — maybe we don't look forward to that part — as this part of the earth warms up to produce a new season. 

An encouragement for you: I don't share these to say "Look at us", but to share a really meaningful conversation. I encourage you that the next time a friend or family member has a big life-changing moment, to sit down and ask them "What does it look like to prepare for your next chapter?"

At the same time, the newness is invigorating and exciting. It's bringing the family closer as we realize we need each other much more than before. Because we haven't traveled this path before, it requires many more conversations, questions, working together, and supporting one another. That has been — and continues to be! — a beautiful bright spot, despite the never-ending to-do list.

This is just our journey — everyone has their own. We're grateful for each of you as you walk with us through these new seasons. As spring comes upon us, enjoy your new season. Find joy, rest, and, perhaps, look to learn or do something new.

*Thankfully, Jeff has a handful of consulting clients and Jackie continues working in physical therapy.