Change: The Good in Change

Sun in leaves

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Everything is changing. Okay, maybe not everything. And certainly not everything all at once.

The leaves have almost spent all their color and  are falling to the ground for another Colorado winter. The temperatures are changing. In Colorado, that looks like 70 degrees one day and 42 degrees the next. We’re definitely moving deep into autumn.

I like the changes that come with fall, and winter. Trading out capris, flip flops and t-shirts for blue jeans, sweaters and boots is fun. It’s not always a gentle segue. I wore capris last week, but today it’s a definite blue jeans day.  The way the days cool and shadows shift . . . Change makes itself felt.

Leaf pile

Seasonal changes are the more obvious transitions this life offers. Some of the subtle adjustments are those I’m seeing in my sons. I can’t call them my “little guys” anymore. Neither is as tall as I am. Yet.

But they both measure themselves against my body to see how close they are to being as tall as me (I’ve got a couple years before one surpasses me in height). They’re eager to grow out of boyhood and into independence.

Frosty Silhouette

Their changes waffle back and forth too. Both still love to snuggle (what mom doesn’t love that?). But, they also strain against the family boundaries for more freedom. They’re content and happy one moment, and stormy with the very next breath.

Sometimes their storms roll in because things aren’t what they expected them to be. Some the storms blow in because mom or dad upholds certain boundaries. Parents stand firm. Boys chafe, Not always the equation for family peace. At least not in the moment.

Yellow leaves

Aspen and pine

They’re growing—each day—closer to manhood. The changes are inevitable. I love where they are now in terms of development and emotional connectedness. I’m thankful we have a close bond with our sons. But, if they stayed in this stage forever—if they never changed and grew? That would become not only boring, but stagnant. Relationships couldn’t deepen and mature if the boys never grew and matured.

Frosty Silhouette

Red Maple Leaf

As I age, my body is changing. My thoughts, emotions, perspectives change as I walk through each new situation life tosses into my path. I’m growing in wisdom (I hope!). I’m learning the importance of taking care of myself. Getting better at showing love to those around me, even when they are hard to love.

Change isn’t something I look forward to because it’s often uncomfortable. But, the lack of change indicates a static life. I never want to stagnate in the place I’m in right now. Foul water draws mosquitos and other bugs and death. Moving water gives life.

Sun Shimmers

My prayer is to embrace the changes as God allows them into my life. To encourage our boys to do the same. As difficult as this can be. This is an equation I’m beginning to see as one of life’s truths: change + receptive heart = fulfillment.

Maybe it’s a good thing that everything changes.

What about you? What’s your favorite thing about autumn? What lessons are you learning about change?

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9 thoughts on “Change: The Good in Change

  1. My favorite thing about fall is that spring and summer will come again. Fall and winter are uncomfortable, as I have to wear shorts most of the time because my legs were badly burned, and the skin’s still painful after lo these many years. I’m outside a lot, so I do feel it.

    Change…I’ve learned to treasure the times when things don’t seem to change, because in recent years change has not been for the better.

    I think a static situation only develops if we foster it. Consider a lake – apart from seasonal changes in level, most lakes look the same from year to year.

    But they’re always in flux, with water coming in, and flowing out.

    Also, consider Jesus…the same yesterday, today, forever.

    We may be made for consistency, and not for change; change may be an artifact arising from the world’s fall.

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    • Andrew, you’re always good about bringing out nuances. 🙂 I agree, some change is not for the better, it just is. Sometimes, for me, I resist change that is either inevitable or is necessary. I think it’s in these situations when I need to learn to see the good in it rather than fight it or try to ignore it. The changing of the seasons and watching our sons grow forces me to choose how I will respond to these inevitable changes.

      I love the fact that Jesus is outside of what constrains us. I love that He is the same yesterday, today and forever. I take great comfort in that reality.

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  2. I love autumn as a tangible reminder of the beauty of change. I’m always drawn to the idea of change and the new, but the process can be so uncomfortable and stressful! I’m learning (slowly) to embrace the beauty of the process of change.

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    • I love autumn too, Annie. The brilliant colors that come when the sun shines through changing leaves. The scents and tastes of autumn…LOVE them! Like you, I’m learning to embrace change, and to see beauty in it. I’m not always there, but I’m learning. 🙂

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  3. Jeanne, your photos with this post are magnificent. (I am hesitant about autumn; it is bittersweet because of its beauty and color-filled light, yet it is a reminder of the cold bleak winter to come.) I particularly like the close up of the leaf. Very beautiful!

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    • God intends for us to live lives dependent on Him. Sometimes that requires waiting, but rarely is it waiting passively. 🙂 I agree—change is not easy, but it is necessary for growth. Thanks for adding your thoughts, Lisa!

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  4. “Change makes itself felt” … and the treetops … give me goose bumps! 🙂

    And I love Andrew’s point on Jesus staying the same.

    We were never meant to understand it all, I suppose. But the journey to understanding is amazing.

    Beautiful, Jeanne.

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    • Yes, Shelli, Andrew’s point was spot on, wasn’t it? I so want to understand everything! But, God knows what I need to understand in a given moment, and what I need to learn so I can better understand in the future. Change is good for teaching us understanding, yes?

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