Though still lovely in the afternoon sun, a brief shadow creeps across my heart, fading the smile tickling my cheeks only a moment before while gazing upon the once colorful hyssop. Change: inescapable, uncertain, often unwelcome. Forboding at times, stealing the present and dimming the future, it taunts me. Yet, new beauty lurks on the other side of embracing change with gratitude.
Welcome to Mindfulness Monday! Where we learn some easy ways to be more present “in the moment” at our jobs, in our homes, with our families and friends.
Learning to recognize God and what He has for us in each divine moment He offers. We acknowledge the belief that God is with us always.
We confess His presence is available to us, lifting our spirit and helping us with power and grace. Learning the art of “stillness” so we can hear His voice and view ourselves, others and our surroundings through His eyes.
the constancy of change
Life itself teaches the impermanence of creation, relationship, situation, health, weather and seasons. God created our bodies in such a way that our very cellular structure is undergoing constant change.
Despite witnessing change all around on almost a daily basis, humans prefer routine and comfortability to flux and uncertainty.
The arrival of autumn captivates us with the beauty of change, yet many if not most of us resist change in any form, from the time we prefer our morning coffee to the shifting of responsibiltes. Instead, clinging to a rigid routine promising a measure of safety from the great unknown.
What if we viewed change from another perspective? Embracing change with gratitude offers us the opportunity of facing it on our terms.
embracing a change of heart
Confronting change often triggers anxiety, fear and apprehension, but when viewed from a altered perspective, it also promises refreshment, peace, growth and opportunity. Acceptance of the inevitability of change begins a shift from fearing the unknown to open curiosity about something new.
Acceptance of change involves trust. A trust rooted in the sovereignty of God. A God who cares for sparrows and numbers the hairs of your head, holds you in the midst of every change. Embracing change with gratitude not only transforms our attitude and emotions, it changes our heart.
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.Matthew 10:29-31
Change filtered through Gratitude
Glancing back at the faded blooms of the hyssop plant, regret at saying good-bye to its lavender beauty, hung for a brief moment before a movement in the trees just above it caught my eye. Shading my eyes and gazing upward, a cardinal flew through a tiny opening in the leaves of a nearby tree.
My joy in glimpsing a cardinal was eclipsed by the magnificence of the afternoon sun filtering through the vivid red leaves.
The stunning picture captured my gaze for no little while. The slight movement of the leaves created a bewitching illusion of dancing light, while luring my thoughts into the awe and beauty of change.
The regrettable change reflected in the hyssop portending the bleaker season of winter not long future, seemed gone as my mind turned towards gratitude the way my eyes followed the invitation of gazing upon autumn’s masterpiece.
Reflecting on recent entries of my gratitude journal, revealed many of the daily treasures listed there portrayed thankfulness for change in some form.
- Autumn’s artistry. My favorite season delights me each year with an artistry unequalled by any human hand’s efforts of portrayal. And while God determined the color each leaf displays in its last days, no two years offer the same hue twice.
- Cooler temperatures. The sun though still warm, loses its harsh heat as autumn arrives. Chilly mornings and evenings invite cozier revelings and renewed energy for time in nature. Even the wildlife in my yard seems perkier, friendlier and more inquisitive.
- My daughter’s new home. After a difficult period in her life, my daughter made the decision towards a fresh start in a new home. Her little townhouse is lovely, cozy and cheerful. She faces the opportunity of making new and positive memories and meeting new neighbors. Her two-year old daughter seems much happier, calmer and less anxious than in their old home.
When we focus on our gratitude, the tide of disappointment goes out and the tide of love rushes in.Kristen Armstrong
- New changes at work. The arrival of a new Chief Medical Officer caused anxiety, apprehension and timid hope. After a long search to fill a postion left vacant for two years, many in our department, while excited, feared the impending changes new leadership brings. Changes came, but all positive, life giving and hope-filled.
- Bible study and quiet time. The longer I live as a Christian, the more I tend towards a stale devotional routine. Not intentionally, but the dreaded rut of comfortable routine keeps me practical not present. Changing my daily approach, reading schedule, and prayer methods transformed my time with God.
- Fewer daylight hours. Always a hardship for me because sunlight energizes me, this year I eagerly embrace the change. The earlier evening darkness beckons me slow down, rest, reflect. The soft light of candles bathes my soul with calm and hope. Welcoming the moon as it rises and the stars winking their glory is a luxury long missed.
embracing change with gratitude
What started as a leisurely farewell tour of my garden tinged with sorrow and regret, turned into a realization that change holds beauty, promise, hope and healing. Moving from my initial remorse with the changes before me, which tied me to a past no longer visible; I grasped the present moment with gratitude.
Embracing change with gratitude gave me a front row seat for viewing the new beauty in life’s constant changes. Viewing recent changes through the eyes of gratitude infused my heart with hope, diminishing the hold of uncertainty for future change.
Thank you Father for embracing me in the beauty of autumn, opening my eyes to the beauty of change. For as nature moves through cycles of change, I, too, move through changes designed for making me more like Christ.