Acts of Bravery Guest Post: Kicking Up Change

img_6245Once a month, I convince someone close to my heart to guest blog. Because these amazing people are all super interesting, intelligent, and amazing, I’ve given them free rein. I don’t mind whether they blog about something brave, what’s on their mind, or whatever. I can’t wait for you to meet them. 

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Meet the beautiful Nola Cole! Nola and I met at a home church years ago. She’s one of those people you gravitate towards because she’s so grounded and wise. Plus, we have the writer thing in common so we understand each other. As an empty nester, with two out of her three boys married and a grand baby on the way, I love hearing her brave process of change in parenting and midlife and marriage. I know you will too!

“Constant change is here to stay,” an oft quoted and long displayed sign in my life.

But I prefer the ​stay and not the change. The ​tried and true versus the new. The carefully calm as opposed to adventurous.

And I contemplate this as I careen headlong, and far too fast, into the intersection of Grandparent Ave. and Hot Flash Blvd. Ai yi yi.

Funny that our intrepid author friend and Acts of Bravery blogger Rachelle wrote on the very same topic of change recently. Perhaps it’s hitting many of us in unique and perplexing ways.

It seems like only yesterday I was yelling at one son to close the door after himself, driving another to a function, and figuring out dinner to satisfy the never-ending appetite of the third son and my dear hubs. I’m sure I was thinking, “Can I get away with takeout pizza twice in one week?” Yesterday. Back when everyone knew the real color of my hair, not just my hairdresser. And my boys still smelled like wet puppies.

Today, my three sons are spread across this great country and our eldest and his wife are expecting baby #1. WOO HOO!! First Grand!

But how do I do this? How will I navigate the proper etiquette of being a Grammy? Like the lessons learned in kindergarten, will I share well and with kindness? How do I make the change from ‘Mom’ to ‘not-my-decision’?

How do I say “see ya later” to my baby, who just got out of the Marine Corps, who took his bride and moved to the east coast? (REALLY?! That feels like switching allegiances in the middle of a world series game. Sigh. Too darned far away.)

How do I look in the mirror and like what has become ‘me’ with the wrinkled waddle of flesh worthy of the next Thanksgiving gobbler? And didn’t I used to have longer lashes?

All this change and still more. Middle aged. Embracing a new career. Hunka hubs dialing in on retirement. About to publish my first—and likely my only—book. Finally getting the grain and sugar out of my diet during a three-month detox and learning new swear words for the addictions I’m craving.

But the progress! Whew!

One day at a time. Or that day pulled apart into bits and tackled one thing at a time. Okay, maybe not tackled—perhaps ignored while I have a lovely nap with my ever-faithful dog, Cali.

That’s how.

And some days being brave enough to look forward, beyond the unwanted change—I mean adventure—at hand.

Change is defined as this: To give a different position, course, or direction to; the act, process, or result of altering or modifying. (Hubs says change is the five pounds of metal found in the bottom of my purse . . . yeah, he’s right on that score!)

Want more verbs to embrace?

Modify: Like that favorite family recipe that now bears scanty resemblance to the original but suits me so much more.

Pliable: So, I bend and not break.

Altered: Like a favorite pair of pants that now fit better because I’ve made some adjustments.

And I breathe. And cry when I need to. And remember to be thankful, because it’s all such a wonderful ride, this first-world journey of mine. For such a time as this, I get to live a life of veritable comfort and provision. I trust in you, ​LORD​; I say, You are my God. ​My times are in your hands. Psalm 31.

If you hop a ride in my cute little Jeep, you’ll find country as my default radio station. “Road Less Traveled” by Lauren Alaina is currently a popular tune, with plenty of air time. I love this part: “Wear out your boots and kick up the gravel. Don’t be afraid of the road less traveled on.”

So, I’m gearing up in my Grammy hot-flashing boots and plan to wear out the soles before the next change in life. Care to come along?

Bravely on, dear ones.

If you want to read more from Nola, her book will be published in December, just in time for Christmas! God, Guns, and Little Boys runs the gamut of joy in life, God’s faithfulness in loss, loneliness in the long nights of marriage to a cop, and flat-out funny stories from the patrol car and her very industrious boys. Her insight into family identity is invaluable for young families—especially when one of them wears a badge. She and her husband, Larry, are passionate about loving well and preserving marraige. 


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