It has been one year. One year ago today, I took one last look around my home and my yard, got in my car, and cried as I pulled out of the driveway. "Why are you crying?" my 4 1/2 year old asked. "I'm sad. I'm going to miss this town and my friends. I know I'll make new friends (I said this to reassure him), but I'll still miss my friends here." "You need a book," he told me. His preschool class had made him a book of pictures of them and drawings they had done so that he could remember them after he moved. I smiled. I have Facebook, I realized.
To say it was hard to leave that place is an understatement. It was my home for five and a half years. My children were born while we lived there, the older one started school there, we had friends, a church, we played golf in the backyard. I loved my job. We had great neighbors.
It had slowly changed, of course. In the two years prior to moving, two of my best friends had also moved away. The place where we worked had changed, some for the better, some for the worse.
It wasn't the same. It never stays the same.
And I love where I am now. It is a new chapter in my life, that, although I didn't write it, has been wonderful. It is a chapter in my life that I have seen, felt, experienced (pick which word you relate to best!) God's leading more than any other time in my life. Even before it was certain we would move here, I somehow knew that this was the place we would go. It was strange too, because there was the potential of another place, closer to where I had grown up, that was becoming an option. I would have preferred that place, but I knew it wasn't the time yet.
Here, it is becoming my home. My older son goes to school here, we have made friends, we have found a church, we play golf in the backyard. We have great neighbors.
I am becoming the writer I have always been inside. I have blogged more in the past year than in the six previous years combined. I am writing a study guide on women in leadership that I hope to get published, and I have an idea for another study guide to start writing after I finish that one. I have connected with so many great people on blogs, Twitter, and Facebook.
And yet, I know that it won't last. I know that at some point in the future, we will likely move again, and another new chapter in my life will be opened up. Knowing that can make it difficult at times, to really invest in a place and in people, because, I think "I'm just going to end up leaving." But at the same time, I dive in anyway, to experience all that I can before the time here is up.
I suppose that's how we should be living life all the time, really. A long time ago, in a church bulletin, there were five questions about life that we should ask ourselves, and one of them was "If I knew tomorrow would be the last full day of my life, how would I spend my day?" I think a question like that can help us to understand the kind of life we are living, and can help us live that abundant life that Jesus offers.
It's not a do-everything-you-can-cram-into-twenty-four-hours kind of abundance, but a willingness to live following His call, listening for the teaching of the Spirit, and doing it all wherever one happens to be in the present.
In a few years, this place won't be the same. It never stays the same.
And that is why we should be more conscious of appreciating the days and experiences that we have, why we should sometimes slow down and savor the moments that so quietly and quickly slip through our fingers. It is why we should strive to use the full potential given to us by our Creator and not waste who we were created to be.