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Activated April 2016

Changes - April 2016

'Tis easy enough to be pleasant when life flows along like a song … but what do you do when upheavals come along?
 

01-04-2016
Facing the Unknown—Together
Facing the Unknown—Together

Like most people, I like predictability. Change can mean stepping into the unknown and losing my comfortable routine, and that’s frightening.

It also means I have to give up some control. That’s scary too. Even when you prepare as well as you can, there are so many factors involved that you just can’t control them all.

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01-04-2016
Changing Landscapes
Changing Landscapes

I was driving home today and missed my turn. I’m familiar with the neighborhood and have turned into that street thousands of times. But I was confused by the changing landscape.

An unused strip mall was being torn down, and bulldozers had been busy all week. Suddenly, the corner building was no longer there, and I went cruising past my turn. I hadn’t realized how accustomed I was to turning left at that building.

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01-04-2016
Starting Over
Starting Over

My husband and I moved to Canada a few years ago after 30 years abroad. During those years, I had lived, worked, and traveled throughout the Americas without ever returning to the place of my birth for any length of time.

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01-04-2016
The Road You Travel
The Road You Travel

About 13 years ago, my husband, Sam, and I had to make a trip from Calgary, Alberta, to Winnipeg, Manitoba, in Canada. We loaded up our old truck for the move and headed off. We had planned for this move pretty well. Everything was neatly packed and sorted. We had mapped our route and estimated our time. We had made a budget for gas, food, hotels, and all that. It was our first long trip with a baby, so we had made sure we had everything we needed for the journey. Our intention was most definitely to end up in...

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01-04-2016
Making Peace with Jo
Making Peace with Jo

One of my favorite books when I was growing up was Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott. The novel follows the lives of four sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March—detailing their passage from childhood to womanhood. There were analogies with my family since I also had sisters, and the youngest one, born premature, reminded me a lot of frail and sweet Beth. It took no time for me to identify with Jo and her strong, emotional personality, her boyish ways, her love for literature, her initial rejection of the idea of marriage, and so on. She was my secret role...

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01-04-2016
Dance According to the Music
Dance According to the Music

We can learn a lot about coping with change from the classic musical Fiddler on the Roof.1 The story takes place at the beginning of the 20th century and features a Jewish family suffering from poverty and religious persecution in the south of Russia. The father, Tevye, complains about having five daughters and no sons, not the ideal distribution on a farm. To make matters worse, his three older daughters picked husbands he didn’t approve of, one of them an Orthodox goy. Throughout the story, whenever there is trouble or change in the air, a man playing a fiddle on...

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01-04-2016
All Over Again?
All Over Again?

For the last 12 years, I worked as a freelance contractor for a project that I was passionate about. Due to some recent changes, though, this project shut down. I feel the emptiness, like a hole in my stomach, and I’ve been trying to figure out what’s next.

To tell you the truth, I don’t know yet.

But I do know a few things …

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01-04-2016
Shorter Strides, Faster Progress
Shorter Strides, Faster Progress

A couple of years ago, I started running for exercise, and I’ve tried to be consistent with it. I quickly built up to longer distances and durations than when I started, but then I hit a plateau and stayed there for a year or more. I found it difficult to increase my endurance beyond a certain point, and I found it particularly difficult to increase my speed.

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01-04-2016
Embracing Change
Embracing Change

When you’re experiencing a lot of movement or a lot of change, it can give rise to uncertainty, concern, even some fear, worry, or discouragement, wondering how you are going to make it and what the future holds.

Trusting in God doesn’t guarantee that the changes will be easy to go through, or that the hardship or difficult emotions will pass quickly, but it does mean that you are allowing Him to act in your life and circumstances and are putting yourself in the position where He can bring you to a new and fruitful future.

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01-04-2016
Bottoms Up!
Bottoms Up!

I recently became the mother of two. There are so many new emotions, joys, and lessons that come along with welcoming an additional child into the family. The newest challenge I face is getting ready to go back to work and preparing our three-month-old baby girl for this transition. My first daughter (now almost four years old) never took to feeding from a bottle, and my second seems to be no different. Time after time, I face the same disappointment and feel terribly wasteful as I dump out the unfinished milk.

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01-04-2016
The Secret to Daily Progress
The Secret to Daily Progress

The best way to ensure that you’re making progress is to make an effort each day to take a step forward. Take a step in the right direction in some area you’re working on. Refuse to vegetate or settle down. Stay stirred up by launching out into some new venture. Try something new, learn something new, do something new.

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