I have always loved new things. I loved the thrill of the first day of school, the excitement of new relationships. I still like clean notebooks and sharp pencils. And I definitely have always loved my first-day-of-anything outfit.
But I’m older, and change usually means more now than just school supplies. Change is now always tinged with goodbyes, the realization that time can never be rewound. But to change is to live. To stall out, to stagnate, is to die. So I’m choosing life.
This summer I’ve experienced quite a bit of change. My children are older and that’s 100% good. My job has changed at Hope; I love what I do but it is change. I wrote a book and now Amazon.com is my frenemy. That’s change. Every time we change, or change comes to us, we have the opportunity to evaluate:
Who am I really?
What really matters?
How do I live this new reality?
And so I face the truth that change always brings new life and little deaths, and that change is usually bittersweet.
This summer has been tinged with that bittersweetness, and for the next few weeks, I’m slowing down and disconnecting so I can really soak up the only summer I’ll ever have full of milestone moments: I turn 35. We celebrate 15 years of marriage. My babies will only be 9, 7 and 5 this summer. We are taking a long vacation, but when I come back, I’m excited about some changes here too:
- I’m so pleased to be a Compassion Blogger, and glad to share the mission of Compassion with you. If you are a blogger, you can sign up too right here! I blog for Compassion because I believe in the power of a story. I know that the gift of every human is the story of their life: the joys, pains and challenges. And I want to be a voice that tells the story of those who cannot tell the story themselves. I believe that telling stories is what compels us to act, and that action is what changes the world.
- I am also pumped to be a regular contributor to the old Kyria, which is becoming Today’s Christian Woman, an actual magazine MADE WITH PAPER AND SENT TO YOUR HOUSE! How vintage! You can read more here.
- For the next few weeks, I’m sharing with you some of my favorite blogs from the last four years. I had a BLAST re-living these memories and I hope you’ll enjoy them too!
- When I get back, I am psyched for some changes here on the blog too! You all have been so kind to send me some of your issues. (Really). So I’m starting an “issues” feature on the blog, where I’ll do my best to help you out with your issues of all kinds. If you’ve got an issue you’d like to ask about (you know, all those thorny relationship questions, family life, work life, spiritual life–issues), email me at nicole(at)takeheartministry.com. I’ll protect your identity and do my best to lead you to some grace and truth.
- I’ll also continue blogging on daily life with God, relationship stuff, and leadership, while still sharing my favorite resources, books, and friends with you. So say hi on Twitter or connect with me on Facebook or sign up for blog updates right over in the little white box on the right.
“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” ~John Steinbeck
“When you’re young you prefer the vulgar months, the fullness of the seasons. As you grow older you learn to like the in-between times, the months that can’t make up their minds. Perhaps it’s a way of admitting that things can’t ever bear the same certainty again.” –Julian Barnes
“There is something deep within us that sobs at endings. Why, God, does everything have to end? Why does all nature grow old? Why do spring and summer have to go?” ~ Joe Wheeler