The tears most readily appear at bedtime. The nighttime routine of tickling backs and saying our prayers often opens up a safe place to voice the suppressed rumblings deep inside. This past year has been full of transition for our family, and the next month promises more of the same. After just less than a year in our home, we are uprooting and moving once more. Another new house, new school, and new friends. New things can be exciting, but sometimes our hearts ache for the old and the familiar. We are gearing up as a family to tackle this challenging adventure head on. We aim to put into practice the tools we discovered through trial and error this last round. Here are five tips we’ve found to be helpful in providing security in the midst of change.
1. Bring Them into the Discussion
GI Joe once said that “knowing is half the battle.” And I agree with him. As our family is on the cusp of change once again, bringing our kids into the conversation about what we do know has proven to be an opportunity for connection. We have found that including them in the discussion about the impending transition provides a place for them to voice their hopes, fears and questions. Although many of the specifics are still blurry, partnering with our kids in the process of finding a house and searching out neighborhoods has created a bond of security in the midst of change.
2. Dream and Plan
Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision the people perish.” Our family has taken hold of this truth. It is tucked it in our hearts and declared from our mouths. This new season of life is full of hope and new opportunities. My husband is excelling in a job that is literally the fulfillment of a dream, and I am going back to school to begin my masters degree. As our kids see their parents step out with vision and dream about a life of new possibilities, the voice of limitation gets quieter. Casting vision and dreaming as a family about the future provides security in the midst of change.
3. Look Back and Mark Progress
Just last week our family snuggled on the couch and watched the Wizard of Oz. This classic movie turned out to be full of timely life lessons for us. Dorothy, on her journey to get home, runs away from adversity and pain only to realize that home is comprised of those you love, not just a brick and mortar building. Her journey through the unknown provided both challenges and gifts on the path, and she returned home to her family with courage, a renewed mind, and a tender heart. This story started great conversations about what we have learned along our own family’s journey. My children are stronger and more courageous and empathetic due to the road they have traveled. Declaring the growth and progress of this past season provides security in the midst of change.
4. Speak Gratitude Out Loud Every Day
Uncertainty can feel like quicksand. The more that you wrestle and struggle with it, the worse off you become. When uncertainty and fear bait us and we begin to sink, our family has found gratitude to be a lifeline that puts our feet back on solid ground. When we fear what we don’t know, we speak out with gratitude what we do know. I’ve started using time in the car with my kids to declare out loud what we are thankful for. Without fail, the fog of discouragement lifts, and it isn’t long before we are giggling about the small joys of our day that we would have otherwise missed. Speaking gratitude out loud every day provides security in the midst of change.
5. Live in the Now
We aren’t promised tomorrow. There is a time and place to plan for the future, but it is also important to prioritize. Don’t sacrifice today on the alter of tomorrow. When the stress of impending decisions feels overwhelming, we do our best to shelve the conversations for a few hours. In this season of life, living presently looks like an impromptu evening swim in the river, or making pina colada cupcakes on a Tuesday morning. Enjoying the gift of today provides security in the midst of change.
Letting go is not easy. But, if our hands are full of what was, we are not able to fully grab hold of what is. Yesterday was good. Let’s believe that tomorrow will be even better!