Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Finding Joy in a Transition Stage of Life

You know the drill.  We’re all human, and 99% of the time, we’re looking forward to the next big event.  When you’re a kid you just want it to be your birthday, when you’re a teenager you want your license, when you’re dating you want to be married, when you’re married you want to have your first house, and on and on and on.  I think almost everyone struggles with this or else we wouldn’t hear so much about living in the moment and embracing today and finding contentment, etc. etc. 

August PA & CT 037

These last few months of transition in our lives have been really, really challenging for me.  In the middle of May we were pretty contentedly living our lives in our own house in Pennsylvania, and by August 15th, we were in a new state, Chris had a new job, our house was on the market, and we were living with my parents.  Live had totally, utterly flipped. 

And so here we are.  We’ve lived with my parents for two months and 19 days.  Our house is under contract, and barring something horrible with the inspections (please pray if you think of us), will be sold on November 29th, God willing.  We will start looking for a house after that, but the search could take months.  Even if and when we find a place, we’ll need to paint and clean and do who knows how many other repairs. 

chris b-day and big e 034

I didn’t get to decorate for the Fall or Thanksgiving (my favorite season and holiday).  I don’t get to hang up stockings this year or pick out my own tree or put up the Christmas decorations.  We don’t get to have a private Christmas morning with just the three of us.  I’ll have to wait another whole year for those moments to happen again.

To some people this might sound insignificant, but it is a huge deal to me.  Traditions and memories and all of that make me so happy, and when they don’t happen, I can get really depressed.  (Chris says this is because I’m firstborn and a teacher and I have high expectations.  He’s totally right.) 

But you know what?  Even though I’m missing out on decorating for the holidays and I’m smooshed in my sister’s old bedroom with everything the three of us own, and even though we have little privacy and even though we’re waiting with uncertainty and have no idea how long we’ll be here or where we’ll end up living, God has opened my eyes to see this time as the gift that it is. 

The gift of time with Luke. 

I definitely do my part to help around the house, and I cook dinner most nights for my family.  But at the end of the day, I’m living in a house with 4 other adults, and there just simply isn’t as much to do to maintain it. 

I’ve been given the gift of less to do, which in turn has made me appreciate the gift of my son so much more. 

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I have not been shy on here about how hard Luke’s first months were on me.  A number of you e-mailed me after that post and shared your own struggles with motherhood and expectations.   It was wonderful to share my heart and know that there were others of you out there like me. 

I am here to tell you – and encourage you - that I enjoy my son in a whole new way now.  Since I haven’t had as much to do, I have had the chance to just be with him. 

I sit on the floor and play with him now without thinking about all of the million other household tasks that have to be done.  I still get my work done, but with so much more open time I’m free just to play blocks or tickle or kiss his sweet toddler-face. 

lindsay visit 028

Part of this enjoyment is due to the fact that he’s growing up.  He’s a lot more interactive, which is incredibly fun.  But part of it is due to the fact that God has graciously opened my eyes to the moments that I might be missing out on otherwise. 

So yes, I’m typing this post on my sister’s bed, surrounded by all of her things that she didn’t bring to college, empty suitcases of ours, and three laundry hampers that have to stay in our small room since there’s no room downstairs.  I may not have a ton of privacy, and I may not be cutting down a Christmas tree in the next month.

But I am building priceless memories with my boy.  I have fallen in love with him all over again.

pumpkin patch 2010 045

I dream about moving to my new house all.the.time, but I can honestly and truly say that I am thankful for the way that God has opened my eyes to what could have been a missed opportunity.  I want this lesson to go on with me to our next house.  Time with Luke is precious and fleeting, and I want to make the most of every opportunity. 

I literally thank God for this transition. 


  1. I hear ya! 3 1/2 years ago, hubby had to move to Chicago for work. I stayed behind in our house in MI. We couldn't sell it due to the market value dropping over $100,000. Who has money like that to take to closing! I finally, moved here to Chicago in July 2010, our daughter is now married and they're living in our beautiful house. I am living in 635 sq.ft., no washer and dryer in this place, I have to go to the laundry building. It really stinks! Hopefully, hopefully, we can put our house back on the market next year. It's really hard! I am trying to remember that we are the lucky ones, we still have our house, it wasn't foreclosed, God has provided us the income to pay rent and a mortgage. It still just stinks to be in a noisy, stinky apartment!

    Good luck on your home passing inspection and finding a new home!


  2. I hope that everything works out with your house and you are able to find a new one quickly. Glad that you have been able to see this time as a blessing in disguise!

  3. awwwww, I LOVE this post! Thanks for sharing Jess! Might we ALL take the time to 'fall in love' with our kids no matter how busy our lives get. =)

  4. It's all about perspective, huh? And we all need to make sure we have the right perspective. Thanks for sharing and reminding me. :)

  5. What a great perspective! It must be a very tough transition, but what great news that your house is selling and you can move on to the fun part of looking at new ones. We came close to relocating and moving in with my parents last summer, but it didn't pan out. I had the same feelings as you about it though! A rough time in some respects, but ultimately a good thing.

  6. I'll be thinking of you guys! Definitely know how you feel, being stuck in a rut and all. Little guys make it all better! :)

  7. What a sweet post! It's all about perspective and I love yours :) I've had a similar situation with my accident. I have been given the gift of being able to do nothing but love on my children. I try to keep this perspective instead of dwelling on all of the things that I can't do. Just said a prayer about your house sale!

  8. What else really matters? They grow up way too fast! I just caught myself up with your blog, and wanted to tell you to hang in there, you'll get your new house soon and you'll be all the more grateful for it. Good luck to you!

  9. Sweet post --- you are one cute and happy mama!


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