Life Stages and Changes

This week I’ve thought a lot about life stages and changes. My husband turned fifty yesterday. I tease him that he’s SO much older, but really, I’m only a few birthdays behind. We’ve been married for over half of our lives. That’s a lot of stages we’ve gone through. Dating, newlyweds, parents of toddlers, parents of teenagers, semi-empty nesters.

Picture of puppyOur newest stage feels like a reset to our toddler raising days. For his birthday, my husband got a puppy. Talia Rose is going to be an inside dog. Inside dogs need training. I’m home with the little tornado by myself for most of the day, every day. She’s cute, but she can wear me out. I just can’t let her wear me down. I really want her well-trained and obedient in the end.

Don’t let her fool you. She isn’t as cute and innocent as she looks in the pictures. She’s currently chasing the cat while I’m sitting on the porch trying to write. But I really didn’t want to get on here and talk about Talia today. I wrote about her last post. You can check it out at the link below  if you want to know more.

A Puppy Kind of Day Blog Post

Whether you want to call them stages or season or life changes, we all go through them. Some, like moving from engaged to married, we eagerly go into. Others, like maybe turning fifty, make us pause and evaluate all the stages up to this new point. In ten years, some of our stages we will look on as fond memories. Others may make us cringe and pray we never go through them again.  Eventually, we may be able to look back at these harder stages without the cringe. Over time, they may lose some of their sting.

We know it hurt, and we definitely don’t want to revisit that pain. But that pain is a little muted as time goes on. And, if we allow God to work in us through the pain, shaping our character through the circumstances, we may even be able to look back one day and see some blessings despite the difficulties. I know as I look back at the hardest times of my life, those things I thought might destroy me still weigh heavy at times. But they don’t hold me captive as they once did. The pain doesn’t take my breath away like it did when I was going through the stage or even shortly after leaving it. And I have the added blessing of being able to see some of the things God grew in me through those stages, ways He’s used my stage to help others.

Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.”

It doesn’t take away the pain of the unwanted stage. But it can bring a measure of peace as you work through it. Hope that one day this stage will be over and when it is, God will have grown His good in you as you’ve allowed Him to work in you through the circumstance.

An Exciting New Stage

This year, I’ve experienced a new, exciting stage in my writing life. In January, I released my first historical Christian romance book. Window of Opportunity is fiction full of romance and faith, but it is a departure from all the contemporary stories I’ve told. My first experience writing in the historical genre. As different as it was to write (so much research), I enjoyed it and love how the story turned out. If I have the opportunity, I wouldn’t mind writing another historical romance. That’s saying a lot, as I never enjoyed history classes in school.

Reflecting on Christmas Past coverBut as we head into the final stretch of 2023, I’m getting ready for another new experience as a writer. On October 10th, my first devotional releases. Reflecting on Christmas Past is a 31-day devotional that looks at the first Christmas and at our own treasured Christmas memories to renew our focus on the things that bring the most meaning into our holiday season.

The devotional is divided into sections that each focus on a different aspect of Christmas. The sections include questions and space for reflection to aid readers in determining what means most to them in these areas. Special journaling pages keep your treasured memories from each year’s celebration in one place to look back as the years pass.

Reflecting on Christmas Past is meant to be used each year to help create Christmases that truly reflect the things that are most important and impactful to each of us in the Christmas season. It’s a way for us to be like Mary who “treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19)

It’s fitting that my first devotional focuses on Christmas. Fall may be my favorite season in nature, but the Christmas season is my favorite time of the year. I love everything about it, from the spiritual significance to the traditions and decorations. But I want each Christmas to mean more to me than the last. I want how I spend each Christmas season to reflect what I find most important about the holiday and not simply add more to my to-do list. That’s what inspired Reflecting on Christmas Past, and I can’t wait for you to read it!

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1 Comment

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  1. Donna stearns says:

    It’s amazing how as we get older we can keep on growing and seeing our desires become more than we dreamed.