Gail Rodgers Sharing the Journey

Life Issues Five Steps to Managing Change

I dashed into Superstore to pick up a few things and it hit me. As I saw the shelves, newly stocked with school supplies, I realized with a start that this was the first fall in 20 years that I would not be buying school supplies! What a great thought! I should have done cartwheels right there in the isle! But the thoughts that tumbled around that realization were mixed…and I pondered it over the next days.

My summer has been filled with change. Graduation excitement for one son and busy wedding preparations for another son have all melted away now. There is a sense that life is as it should be…we raise them to give them wings…but it is an adjustment when the house is quiet and the groceries in the fridge last.

Life changes…in the past 6 months my job has changed, my husband’s job has taken him out of town more than ever, we have had the graduation and the wedding, a couple of funerals and to top it off, I have periods of feeling very hot when I am used to being a “cold” person. Ummm…......

Adjustments…to new schedules, new routines, a much quieter house, changes in relationships, a birthday passing with the person no longer there to phone.

They say change is the only constant in life. I pondered all my changes. Some of them I like, others I don’t care for, but all of them are simply part of life.

This summer my daughter took my boxes of photos that were waiting to get into albums “sometime” and she scrap booked them all. A true labor of love! As I have gone through each book representing a certain period in the life of our family, I realized that life has been full of change. Home has been in varied places and change has not always been easy. But for the most part we have thrived on it and loved it.

I realized that there were principles I put into practice that served me well and that I needed to dust off and remind myself of now in this period of new change…

1. Maximize the pros and minimize the cons

Every change in life has both positive and negative aspects to it. Sometimes the balance isn’t equal. But in every situation of change we choose where we will dwell…maximize the positive points and don’t linger on the negative ones. Choose to smile.

2. Enjoy the moment

Change is inevitable and this particular space in time is a treasure, even if it is hard. Don’t wait to enjoy life. Engage in this moment in life. Choose to laugh.

3. Appreciate people

Without people life is empty. God created us as social creatures. We need each other. Dare to reach out.

4. Cultivate a thankful heart

Never doubt the goodness of God toward you. Find the little things to raise your heart in thankfulness. Gratitude puts a softness in your eyes and is tonic for the soul. Choose thankfulness.

5. Invite God into every change and circumstance

Some changes are hard and we struggle against them. Ask God to give you the strength and wisdom you need. He can be counted on when no one and nothing else can! Hunger after Him…He promises you will be filled. He is the sure source of a grateful heart and an outlook on life that finds the joy. Invite Jesus.

As I think back over the changes of my life and realize how these five conscious decisions have helped me in the past, I am determined to look to the future with eager anticipation. Stopping to ponder has confirmed the track record of God in my life as I called on Him to be my source when these decisions were difficult.

You cannot always choose the changes that come your way. But you can always choose your response. And you always have access to a God who loves you and will carry you through to help you live well where you walk. I know, for He has done it for me many times.