Saturday, December 12, 2015

Life, flood musings pt. 2 The Lessons

There is so much to be grateful for during this blessed Advent and Christmas season.

There are people I've grown closer to since the flood, people I knew but may not have known well, or perhaps I knew them well once but had lost touch over the years. Then they showed up, and kept showing up, these people I've learned to see in a new light because of the seemingly unending bounds of their generosity of time, funds and/or spirit. People who made me realize I had a lot to learn about giving and service to others. I am so grateful for the lessons they taught without even realizing it.

And there are some people I was once close to who all but disappeared from our lives since the first weekend in October. This a little harder to understand; I'm tempted to believe maybe not knowing what to do or say or how to help kept them at bay, I don't know. But I'm grateful for their lessons, too, the ones they taught without even realizing it.

So much has changed in the past 10 weeks, and is still changing. Our home looks like someone else's place. We are still settling in to the newness of it all. The last phase - siding replacement - was begun yesterday. So by this time next week, our home will look completely different on the outside as well.

What is to come...
Upgrades, every one. From the new appliances...

This new dishwasher...probably my favorite of all! 
to the new flooring....

The day we came home to this was!
And yes, it's all very, very good.

It's just also very, very different.

The rest of life did not stand still during this time. During the mix of it all, I turned a year older. So did my son.

Search the blog for my hummingbird cake recipe; it's the boy's favorite!
Fall ebbed into winter. One of my closest friends in the world moved, something I'm still processing has happened. Another announced that she and her spouse are separating and that she is also moving. These changes tear at my heartstrings; both lived a stone's throw from me and were frequent guests for coffee and kitchen table talk.

But there is also joy. A family member married his long-distance love after a three year courtship that involved traveling to another country, a lot of technology, and a hell of a lot of patience. I've been there; I can relate to this and feel overwhelming happiness that these two were able to make it happen. I'm thrilled for them and welcome both her and her child into the family. But for my own reasons, their story tears a little at my heartstrings, too.

Still I am grateful for the lessons all of these occurrences have taught over the past few weeks. The season of Advent is one of my favorites, and it's the perfect time of year to reflect. The flood's aftermath changed my home, my environment, my bank account, my daily routines and my thought processes. As life went on around me during the reconstruction, I changed, too. What seemed like chaos for weeks has now become an opportunity to rebuild, not only our home but my goals for myself and my little family. I can't tell you why, but I can tell you many ideas and ambitions I had before October have fallen by the wayside; they just don't seem important anymore.

The menagerie of photos adds just the right touch of familiarity! 
I think it will take a few more rounds of coffee and hours of kitchen table talk with friends both new and old to close out 2015 and come to terms with all of it's lessons. I think it will take a lot of quiet prayer, meditation and reflection during this Advent season for me to really let go of the old and be ready to focus on the new. I can't sum up why it is that I still feel a little lost, a little stranded, a little alone and 'not myself', but these feelings fade more and more with each passing day.

Outside of my window, birds are singing and the sun is making a glorious December appearance.

There is so, so much to be grateful for.

I wish you all a Blessed Advent and holiday season.