It’s almost Spring! WOOHOO!!! And a LOT of transitions are happening, right? Your friend, who had been in that job for years suddenly gets a promotion, your single mom “suddenly” starts dating again, your roommate FINALLY lands his big break … and then there’s you. You want something to “happen,” right? You’ve been in that “season” of your life loooong enough, thank you, and you’re DESPERATE for your “thing” to happen, whether it’s a job, a relationship … a pet, money. SOMETHING! You “sense” the shift, because it’s the season of shifts. It’s almost spring! Warmer weather is “hinting” at arriving, it’s 70 one day, then 39 degrees the next. Everyone around you is “shifting” into their “70 degree spring” but you’re still dealing with those “39 degree” temps… you’re just ACHING for the next season to finally make up its mind and “be here.” Well guess what? The harder it is to deal with the “winter season” the closer you are to your SPRING!
<<<APPROACHING TRANSITION: GRACE SHIFT>>>
If you are DONE with your “now” GET EXCITED! You’re about to Transition! Why? Because the “grace” (i.e. the strength/energy/desire/ability to do whatever it is you do) has MOVED out of your now to your “NEXT.” What does this look like?
Say you’ve been working in a particular job position – it’s a lot of menial tasks, not particularly challenging and would drive anyone else nuts, but for you, it’s been “great!” Hey! It pays! You’ve been doing it a while, maybe months, maybe years. It’s “fine.” But suddenly, you start to notice you’re getting more and more “tired” the longer you do it. Nothing’s changed about the job, per se, but, it’s just not the SAME! Those menial tasks are not “easy money” anymore, but rather, more and more burdensome. 3 weeks ago, you were “ok” with your job, but today? “OMG. If I have to answer ONE MORE PHONE CALL!” Why? It’s a Transition. You’re transitioning. The “grace” is shifting so that you can continue GROWING.
Let’s talk relationships. Maybe you’ve been “single” A LOOONG time! And, by GOLLY, YOU LOVED IT!!! No stress! No LAUNDRY, no naggy lady going through your SOCK drawers! WOOHOO! Lots of freedom! “Hallelujah I got mah house to mahself!” Right? “Valentines? Psshhh. Give me a stag night ALL DAY LOOOONG!” But suddenly, “what? What in the world?!” You start to “notice” things … is that jealousy? Maybe you kinda wish someone was waiting for you at the door. Maybe you’d LIKE to go out on the town with one person. AND YOU COULD HAVE BEEN SINGLE FOR YEEEARS! Why? Transition. We’re not meant to stay in one place forever. We’re meant to continue growing, expanding, maturing.
Now let’s take it a little deeper to life “storms.” Maybe you’ve been fighting an illness, like cancer, diabetes, fibromyalgia, thyroid or blood pressure problems a looong time. And actually, as hard as it’s been, you’re amazing. You’ve been “ok.” It’s not easy, but hey! You get by! You tell your friends, “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” You get used to the fatigue, the meds, the “energy budgeting,” the insulin shots. It’s “what you do.”
Perhaps you’ve been living with debt … a LOT of debt. In fact, you don’t remember NOT owing someone SOMEthing EVER. It’s like you can NEVER get ahead. You are literally counting the days till Pay Day because that “PAST DUE” notice from the electric company is glaring at you, not to mention the second notice from the Water line. And let’s not talk about rent. The landlord has worn a place in the door from the weekly “rent due-reminder” knocks. Coupon Connoisseur anyone? Folders and note-card holders of neatly cut out, counted, and categorized coupons for every store, deal, and sale you can imagine? It’s how necessities are taken care of. As for food, maybe your version of tomato soup is McDonalds’ “Free” catchup” and boiled tap water. But, it’s “cool.” It’s life, right? Everyone has debt. You’re “making it.” Better than some.
Or maybe your kid has been landing in those not-so-good situations … all … the …. time. Everyone else’s kids behave, but you’re the parent that has to pick up your kid from the courthouse, rehab, or the police station. And you’ve handled the crisis again and again…. and again ….. It’s not easy, it’s downright hell at times, but you’ve had “grace” for it. You deal with it and you’re “at peace” with it.
BUT SUDDENLY, your storms, while maybe haven’t changed or perhaps they’ve even WORSENED, but you’re realizing that they are becoming heavier … and heavier… harder … and harder … and harder to deal with… and you’re saying to yourself,
“I … CAN’T….DO THIS!“
Well, GUESS WHAT! You’re probably right! In fact, you may even be LOSING your ability to do it because you might not HAVE to put up with THAT anymore for much longer! Think I’m crazy? What if I dared you to BE EXCITED? (gasp!) To tell you that YOU are coming OUT of this! And the harder it gets, the more excited you should be because it’s a SIGN that you are that much closer to being “DONE” with “THAT” for good! How do I know?
<<When Grace Shifts; Your Next Season Awaits!>>
It’s called SEASON TRANSITION. When what was easy before becomes unbearable, from the minor day-to-day things, to the life situations, you can BET SOMETHING is about to change! We’re not meant to stay the same! That’s why our skin cells are always sloughing off the old and creating new! It’s why we lose hair and sometimes (hee hee) grow more back. We’re CREATED to change. We may stay the same for a while, but we’re not meant to stay there forever.
~THE HOURGLASS FLIP~
How do you know when your shift is coming? Let’s look at an hourglass.
Hourglasses are made with one side (SIDE A) filled with sand, and the other side (SIDE B) is empty. To begin the hour cycle, the hourglass is flipped over so that the sand in SIDE A gradually drips down to SIDE B until SIDE B becomes filled with SIDE A’s sand. Once SIDE B is full, the transition is complete and it’s time for the NEXT Flip. The hourglass is turned over again, and the process repeats where the sand gradually drips from side to side.
The Sand in the Hourglass is much like “Grace,” which is, again, the energy/ability/ease to do “your thing.” When you’re “doing your thing” with ease and contentment, you’re living in a full SIDE A. All the Grace Sand is in your side and you can “keep on keepin’ on” as long as you can because you can and life is “good” or “fine.” BUT, a “thought” comes and it sparks a desire in your heart for something “new.” Maybe you see an older couple walking hand in hand down the street; or maybe, you’re talking with someone, who started their own business, and something “drops” in you that you’d like to do that. Perhaps you’re watching a basketball game and this “desire” to pick up a ball and play like you USED to before that back injury, suddenly “drops” in you. What happened?
The Hourglass FLIPPED!
Now – the sand is still in SIDE A … at first. That’s why you can go back to the same job, the same relationship status, the same health situation and be ok with it … at first. But see, the Hourglass is facing down, and that’s when you start to notice … “this” is becoming more difficult. The “Sand of Grace” continues to drip … drip …. drip …. and the ease, contentment, satisfaction begins to SHIFT in order to prepare you for the new.
Years ago, when I still lived in West Texas, I had established in a very short time, a pretty solid living situation. During the week, I worked part time as an Admin Assistant for a local nonprofit while I also worked for a local television show as a co-host of a new episodic “reality” series that was picking up steam. On weekends, I was singing in a local choir and I was one of a quartet band group with prospects of recordings and solos. I was making pretty good money, I was participating in music and entertainment … and I was “fine.” But in January of that year, I looked out of the office window at my job, and this thought came, “I’m not supposed to stay in Midland.” It was a random thought that I quickly dismissed (so I thought). But it stuck. (shhh….hourglass flip!). For the next two months, while I showed up to my work, still singing, doing interviews, all smiles and always giving 100%, a growing nagging discomfort with my situation began to increase on the INside, where I’d go home more and more tired emotionally.
By the end of February, I was in AGONY! I wanted OUT of Midland, but didn’t know how! I had no prospects for moving, it wasn’t the “season” for moving, there wasn’t any logistical reason to move, considering what I was doing. But I just knew I needed OUT. The sand was on its final granules … the flip was coming.
March 1, my folks and I traveled to Nashville to check in with our close family friends, who had recently moved to the area that previous winter (the husband received a dramatic promotion to the top of the international organization). While discussing the transfer, the husband looks over at me out of the blue and asks, “Do you want a job?” “ok!” I said without hesitation. Then it hit me. I just said “Yes” to a complete uproot, transfer and move to a COMPLETELY new life, state, and community. But it was RIGHT! And I knew it was right. Why? The sand was there for me! It had shifted to Side B.
Within 3 weeks of that dinner, I was packed and driving to Tennessee. Within 5 weeks of that dinner, I had a job, fully furnished apartment, social and work community established, with singing and other entertainment prospects in the works. Within 5 weeks! AND It was EASY! Why? The Sand had shifted and all the GRACE, the EASE, for the NEXT was there! It wasn’t in Midland (SIDE A) any more. It was ready and waiting for my in Tennessee (SIDE B).
Now let’s look at you! If you are feeling that ache, that discouragement, that FATIGUE with your “now,” GET EXCITED! Your NOW is becoming Your NEXT! The sand is shifting. This doesn’t give you license to “stop” doing what your doing, in fact, you should keep doing your Now at 110%. FINISH STRONG. But you can do it with GREAT ANTICIPATION and Excitement, eyes up, ears alert, edge of your seat. The sand has shifted, and it’s about time for your Hourglass Flip.