When Faced With a New Season – What I Have Learned

It was so refreshing to get outside today in the late afternoon. The sun was setting as I walked my dog along the sidewalk littered with golden and red leaves.

This fall has been a season of change.

As many of you know, our oldest daughter Julia, headed off to college. This was a huge life shift for Stephen and myself as we adjusted to a different dynamic in our family. She is the first of the three children to leave our home. We have missed Julia, but we are so proud of how well she is doing.

Here is another change. We rid ourselves of the mini-van. Maybe this was some kind of mid life crisis decision from 16 years of driving a large boxy, vehicle.

A  Mini Van Story

Steve once took a group of boys from our youth group on a scavenger hunt in the mini-van. I remember one of the high school boys telling me how cool my husband was because he peeled out in the mini van with six young men piled in the back. If anyone could pull of “cool” in the mini-van and convince a half a dozen teenage boys of this, it is Steve…no doubt.  Well, the days of peeling out in a mini van, and hauling large groups around are gone.  The mini van era in the Jones family has now expired, so we traded it for a Subaru Forester with the excuse of better gas mileage and four-wheel drive.

My job changed. I still work for Compassion, but right in the middle of October, right in the middle of traveling to Africa, I had an opportunity presented to me for another position within my own department. I have to admit, the timing was crazy. Here is the interesting part. I almost let self-doubt keep me from going for it. One night, I found myself confronted with my own fear of self-doubt and what the future might hold. So, I knelt down in my hotel room and cried out to God because the self-doubt was overwhelming, and I had to surrender.  So, I said yes to God, and I walked through the door presented to me. I am so grateful today as I see how God wants me to use my gifts in this new position.

What a humbling experience it is to have God work through weakness.

I am walking on the other side of change.

I walked out today and saw all those gorgeous leaves barely hanging on the trees and smiled, because we are on the backend of a season change. The days of yellow are long over. Now, those leaves barely hang on the tree in their shriveled state of red. However, they are still beautiful.

What I have learned through this season.

God has amazed me because of His faithfulness.

He holds me close during my weakest moments.

He guides me when I feel lost. He leads me when I surrender.

However, the biggest lesson I have learned is this. He loves me through every season.

 Here is my photo journal through the season. These were all taken on my phone. I love these pictures. 

THE DRIVE TO COLLEGE.

photo  THE DORM ROOM

photo[1]FOOTBALL GAMES AND MY GRACE BECOMES DRUM MAJORphoto[12] KENYA, ETHIOPIA AND UGANDA.photo[7]SELFY WITH MY SPONSORED CHILD HANNAH AND HER AWESOME TUTOR     photo[22]FEARS OF MORE TERRORIST ATTACKS WHILE I AM IN UGANDA. TEXTING MY HUSBAND FOR PRAYER

photo[5]SAFELY HOME FOR AFRICA. ENJOYING A WALK WITH THE DOG. YELLOW LEAVES  photo[10]ON A TV SHOW SET WITH ISABEL. A LONG STORY… (IN JANUARY WE CAN SAY WHAT THIS IS)photo[11]VISITING JULIA AND SEEING HER AFTER 7 WEEKSphoto[13]photo[14] photo[16]CLEARLY LOOSING MY MIND AT THE SEATTLE GUM WALL WITH MY GIRLSphoto[20] CALIFORNIA TRIP TO SPEAK AT ONE OF MY FAVORITE CHURCHES EVER! (LETS GET SOME BURKINA FASO KIDS SPONSORED MONTEREY)photo[9]STEVE HEADS OFF HUNTING WITH SOME AMAZING FRIENDS.  (STEVE NOW HAS 30 DAYS TO COOK THE BIRDS)photo[8]BYE BYE MINI VANphoto[17]LEVI GETS A HAIR CUTphoto[18]SO THIS HAS BEEN MY LIFE FOR 8 WEEKS. WHAT A SEASON.

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6 Comments on “When Faced With a New Season – What I Have Learned

  1. Stephen, there is nothing about that car that gave it the “Man VAN” name. It was more like the Barbie Van.

  2. Thanks Patricia. It was amazing seeing you in Uganda! Let go and trust God. See you on another trip!

  3. Hi Mary,
    Yes I will probably travel a bit as usual, but my new job is to manage the team that I have been currently serving on. It’s an amazing team so I feel incredibly blessed at the opportunity.

    Yes, I haven’t had the time to blog as much. Trying to keep my life in balance.
    Blessings!
    Patricia

  4. Finally! Busy girl, so what is the new job and will you still travel so much? Thanks for all the pics, beautiful family! Mary in NY

  5. That was very inspirational Patricia. I really like your outlook on all that has changed for you. I too see God in everything I do everyday. It is so amazing to me what He shows me each day. He is and has guided me through so many things this year. 2013 has become the year of truly “Trusting God”. He has increased my faith so much it sort of scares me. I am learning to “let everything go” and “to just do it”. Thank u for sharing. Your family is great… God Bless each one of you..

  6. For the record, the guys renamed it the “Man Van.” You just never accepted it. 🙂

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