Thursday, August 3, 2017

New Beginnings

Today is Spiritual Journey First Thursday and is hosted by Julianne at To Read To Write To Be.  The topic is New Beginnings.

I am a little bit unfocused on this topic, as I begin to write.  I have been ready for a new beginning that was to have happened this summer, and had it "called off" or at least "delayed for an undetermined length of time"...

Because the move was supposed to be happening on May 1, we packed most everything we thought we'd need at the new house; and made piles for Goodwill, for a yard sale, to give to our kids, to give to church, of trash, to keep, and of "I don't know about this stuff yet".
We started attending our new church just over an hour away from our present home, but closer to our new one...if we were there, that would make it convenient...but we aren't, so it isn't.
Kitchen in a Box... an ending or a beginning?
Then the hold-up occurred on the house.  Kitchen cabinets were kind of massacred and needed to be torn out and reordered from scratch.  When we were told the delay would be at least 8 weeks, we stopped treading water and kind of started drowning in stuff.  All our delays prior to this one had been for the ultimate good.  And so we must believe that this one was for some unknown, maybe never known, reason, though a good one.

But we'd never really seen a finish line before.  We'd never really started preparing for a move.  This time it seemed it would really happen, so we had begun the process - a process that has now essentially stopped mid-stride.  We are living in piles of stuff.  We stopped sorting.  Stopped throwing away.  Stopped caring.  Caring seemed to be too emotional, and we wanted to make it less stressful.  We wouldn't make it that important; it wasn't that important. 

However, instead of getting down to business and sorting at a more leisurely pace, we stopped that, too.  Beach trips, motorcycle jaunts, Starbucks, grand kids have all taken priority.  And now it is August with nothing more done.  I'm sitting in a mess, with few clothes to choose from each day.  I spend precious minutes searching for the paper towels or other items we've bought, but didn't want to put them "away - away".  Filling cabinets with stuff again seems so counterproductive!

New beginnings.  Sigh.  It seems that there is something wrong with the way we handled this delay in our new beginning.  Every morning I started with the thought that it would be different today.  Today I would surely pack more for the move or even unpack a small box of things I know we could use.
But which to do?  And then we'd go on a motorcycle ride to the beach.
We should really have a yard sale on Saturday.  But wouldn't a picnic be more fun?
The sun is shining.  It's hot in the house.  Let's go to the Flea Market.

Forget the new beginnings.  Each day is a new beginning for us.  And it doesn't matter where we are.  I have determined to stop feeling guilty for living in limbo and not attending to the day to day as well as I should.  I have determined - not quite succeeded yet - to just be content.

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.  Philippians 4:11

I can't tell you how much I like to repeat this verse to myself!  It isn't permission to be stagnant, but it is a commission to be satisfied in what I have been given, and I have been given a lot.

New Beginnings

Beginnings and endings,
so closely aligned:
When one thing begins
an ending's resigned!
And though we might like
to hold on to the past,
Each new beginning is
better than last.
Reach for beginnings,
release what's been spent,
Rejoice in the chance
to enjoy what's been sent.
Begin each beginning
with smile and with grace;
And know that its ending's
just a lap in the race.

by Donna JT Smith, Aug. 1, 2017

Side Note: I'm thankful for receiving this poem - wherever in my brain it came from.  I was having a minor (which is always major for me) meltdown immediately after writing this post.  Then this poem suddenly emerged, and I am better now.  Breathing again.  Reaching.
Amazing how much that poem helped remind me of all the wonderful beginnings I've had in my life.  And that there are more to come.

14 comments:

  1. Dear Donna - I love this post. Limbo is hard for me, too. I prefer order in my environment because it seems to help me have order in my mind. But what if what I really need is not order at all, but a motorcycle ride, Starbucks, a trip to the flea market? I touched on this in my comment on Margaret's blog, but so often it seems to me that we spend an inordinate amount of time STRIVING, when what we need to do is just BE. All this other stuff, the piles, the sorting, the boxes? They will be there. You haven't wasted anything. You're living your life. And writing! I love how putting the words down provided some of the order/forward motion you're craving. Keep going! And can't wait to see those new kitchen cabinets. xo

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    1. Just got a call that the new cabinets have arrived! Delivery next week! Grandkids are here this whole week, so I have much busy-ness to keep my mind occupied. Yes, I do like order. Sometimes it is hard to tell with the clutter around me! I'll be posting more pictures of the house soon hopefully.

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  2. Love your poem and especially these lines:
    "Rejoice in the chance
    to enjoy what's been sent."
    You've been doing just that and I'm sure that soon you'll be back to working on the day to day as you prepare for your move. Thanks for this wise reminder: "...in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."

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    1. Thanks, Ramona. I'm usually content, but this verse is definitely one I rely on when the discontent or upheavals of life surprise me!

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  3. Donna,
    I shared the link with my friend who recently moved and has her own new begginings. What an incredible post. Thank you.

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    1. Oh, how nice! I hope her new beginnings are going smoothly! Thank YOU!

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  4. Your post is so full of your voice. You try so hard to take what life offers you, but I can hear that little snark. The poem certainly made me feel better, too. Such wisdom! I'm putting my smile on.

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    1. I do try to take things in stride, but this summer has been moving too fast and our move moving too slow. Some days I just think, why not just stay put? But the poem made me realize that it is time to try that new beginning, and just not fret about it. It will happen when it happens...and not a moment sooner!

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  5. Donna, reading your post had me right there with you, experiencing that inertia of disappointment, confusion, and feeling overwhelmed. A big blessing is having your hubby to enjoy those motorcycle jaunts, trips to Starbucks, the beach, and the flea market, time with the grandkids. It's like you're two kids playing hooky from life for a bit.

    I too love the wise poem that came to you, especially its last lines:

    "Begin each beginning
    with smile and with grace;
    And know that its ending's
    just a lap in the race."

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    1. It's fun when a thought comes to you. That part you quoted was written a couple of different ways, and wasn't doing it for me. I agonized over it for a bit; then with the simple and sudden reversal of "smile" and "grace", what it wanted to say suddenly became clear.
      I am blessed to have a husband who wants to head off on the motorcycle and get a latte at SB with me. I think you are right... it does feel like we are playing hooky!

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  6. You are in a difficult situation for the get-it-done part of you personality. But, this has given the side that wishes to feast in the moment ample room to grow. I love, love the last lines of your poem,
    "And know that its ending's
    just a lap in the race."
    Wise words.

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  7. I know this isn't your THIS week's Poetry Friday, but since we were in just the same situation with a delayed move, I'm feeling your pain! Happy settling.

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  8. Wow, Donna. What a summer you have had. You captured all the feelings of that difficult limbo spot with so much clarity. I can feel the frustration, but also sense the joy of letting things go, being in the moment, and allowing yourself permission to enjoy the crazy spot you're in for now. Good job in writing and in life, my friend.

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  9. Donna, despite the irreversible things that happened in your life, you brought joy to mine. That counts because savoring the moments that make us happy are the ones that last. I love this quote and will hold on to it: Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. Philippians 4:11 Your poem speaks volumes so great job in having it blossom.

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