A Last Time in Oregon

We just celebrated our last Christmas in Oregon. We’ve been doing a lot of that lately—not celebrating Christmas, but doing last time in Oregon things. I’ve always been a person who loved change. I thought of it as an adventure and had the attitude, “Why keep things the same when there are new things to see and do?” At this time of my life, however, changes have overwhelmed me as they’ve poured into my life until I feel like Highway 42 between here and the coast—overcome by a landslide and buckling and folding un12391130_10153993204502448_2673845915001310211_nder the pressure.

This morning, however, I woke with an excitement I haven’t felt in a long time. I remembered that over twenty years ago as I was trying to adjust my active, overly busy life to the fact that I had developed fibromyalgia and had to slow way down I came across a saying: “To get where you want to go, you have to let go of where you are.” I also remembered a conversation I had with God about twelve years ago when He asked me to let go of the invisible wagon I was pulling around with me. It was full of the things that I thought made me, me. He reminded me then that He is enough and as long as I held on to a wagon load of stuff I couldn’t approach Him with my hands open toward Him, ready to receive the gifts of life He wanted to give me. It hasn’t been bad things I’ve clung, to but my wagon lately has been full of things like justice, fairness, and security. I woke this morning realizing I have to let go of those things as well to lift my hands to Him and let Him fill them with the new adventures coming my way.

At the same time, I was filled with a huge sense of gratitude and thanksgiving for my life. It was amazing to me that the first song I heard coming from my husband’s computer as I joined him in the family room was one by Dennis Jernigan. The lyrics go like this:
“For all that You’ve done, I will thank You.
For all that You’re going to do.
For all that You promised and all that You are,
Is all that has carried me through
Thank You for loving and setting me free,
Thank You for giving Your life just for me.
How I thank You.
Jesus I thank You,
Gratefully thank You. Thank You.”

My life has overflowed with things for which I can say “Thank you.” We have incredible friends who we love dearly and who love us back. Some of the best people on earth have been part of our church family. We have been able to host hundreds of people in our home over the past twenty-one years here. In fact, this week we had two days when David and I were the only two people in our house and it has been about eight years since that has happened.

I have been able to share weekly with Douglas County in this newspaper for over eight years. How I have enjoyed the motivation to get to my computer and share my heart each week. It has been such a delight to get to know Becky Holm and have her as my editor. I’m sorry that not only my column, but the entire newspaper is coming to an end. (Another last for our time in Oregon.) I am so grateful for all the people who have encouraged me along the way.

So as I step out with empty hands to reach for whatever God has ahead of us, I feel grateful and have a growing sense of excitement to see what is next.

(As a commercial message, please check out my blog at: https://breathingbygraceblog.wordpress.com/ and keep in touch. I love the interaction.)

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