by Debbie Walker

Last Summer my brother and I had “the conversation” with our mom. She was getting older, was alone most days, and the household was a lot for her to manage on her own. The desire to care for Mom in her latter years was weighing on both of us. That care would require a move on her part; a move that meant leaving everything familiar.

We thought it would be a difficult decision for her to leave Pennsylvania—a place that has been her home state for more than 70+ years—but it wasn’t. I don’t know if it’s because of those early years as the wife of an Air Force Master Sergeant moving from place to place or her simple nature, but she seemed ready to make a change. After some time and thought, she decided to join our crazy life here in earthquake country.

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At the women’s retreat this spring, the speaker said something that stuck with me, “Don’t let past provisions dictate future decisions.” It was loud and clear, don’t allow what you have now prevent you from pursuing the more God has for you, even if that means putting behind those past provisions.

It reminds me of the encouragement God gave through Isaiah, “Forget all that – it is nothing compared to what I’m going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?” (43:18-19)

We all know change can be uncomfortable, even when we’re in control of it, but change can also be good. Change involves addition and subtraction. Things are added and things are taken away.

“Don’t let past provisions dictate future decisions.”

Some would say we were brave or even crazy for inviting Mom to come live with us, but I think she’s the hero in this story. She took a risk in coming here and I’m glad she did. (Although our small icemaker can’t keep up with our mutual love of ice… GRRR!)

I recently asked Mom how she is adjusting to life in California and what she appreciates about it. She said she’s happy to have company for much of the time. She enjoys coming to church and meeting lots of new people who have welcomed her. She also loves trying all kinds of different recipes and foods. She’s a master vegetable chopper, making her an awesome sous chef.

I think I get my appreciation for routines and the familiar from my mom. That being said, I hope some of her adventurous spirit rubs off on me too. I want to grow in my curiosity of things yet to be discovered. I want to have new experiences and consider that life could be different from what I currently know.

Without a doubt, God is doing something new in all our lives. A little addition and a little subtraction, but I for one am happy to be smack dab in the center of it.