Mr. Green, that’s what we call it. He lives in our flower pot on our back porch. When we water the plant, he scurries around and quickly jumps to a different surface. When on the plant, he is bright green. When he is on the deck or house, he changes to brown. My kids find it fascinating. My husband loves to catch him so the kids can take a closer look. I don’t particularly love reptiles, but I adore the excitement, smiles and happiness a simple little creature brings to our family.
Mr. Green got me thinking, though. Do I adapt well to the change in my life?
I grew up with a single mom working several jobs. She is an amazing person (and on a side note, I think single motherhood is one of the toughest jobs in the world). We struggled financially and moved a lot. Change was the norm. When I started my own family, my goal was stability. I wanted my kids to feel grounded. Six years ago, when my daughter was a little over one, my husband received a career opportunity … 1,200 miles away from where our life was, where we both grew up and graduated college and had “stability” – our comfort zone.
I was terrified. I put my foot down and said, “No way!” However, I wasn’t at peace about my stubborn and close-minded decision and was reminded, Don’t be afraid, for I am with you (Isaiah 41:10). As much as I didn’t want to, I felt that to truly live, I had to get out of the box and step out of my comfortable place. I had to change.
It was like jumping off a cliff with my eyes closed and not seeing the bottom, but we finally made the decision to relocate. A girl craving stability that grew up in a town of less than 5,000 moving to the seventh largest city in the U.S., it was an emotional and scary journey, to say the least. There were times when I doubted our decision and the first year was completely overwhelming, but you know what … it’s been one of the best choices we ever made for our family. For the first time in my life, I felt free from fear. All the experiences we’ve had in San Antonio and the amazing friendships we’ve made here – we never would’ve been exposed to any of these blessings, if I had let fear control my life.
The move taught me a lot about change that comes with the decisions I make. Now, in my daily life with two very busy kids, I’m learning more about change that comes unexpectedly, with no warning and the kind that I don’t have any control over. I have to admit, this is really difficult for me also. You can probably sense that I’m a scheduled-type person. I like to have a plan and be organized. I fear the unknown. I really don’t like to roll with the punches, even though it sounds good. Although this is my natural personality, it’s not always good for my marriage or my parenting.
I’ve adopted a saying around our house about the little things completely out of my control … IT IS WHAT IT IS. When we have a fun day planned at the park and one of the kids puke in the car, IT IS WHAT IT IS. By the way, mothering is obviously not for the weak! When the spilled milk is already on the floor and still dripping from the table, IT IS WHAT IT IS. When my son misses the toilet again, IT IS WHAT IT IS. I’m learning that in these daily moments of change, I can yell and act like a child myself or I can adapt quickly and move on. Then, I remember Mr. Green changing colors so rapidly … a little reptile with a life lesson for moms!
Change is inevitable — whether it comes from a decision we make or it’s completely out of our control. In this season, I’m trying not to be so scheduled, organized and fearful. I’m learning about adaptability and change … from Mr. Green.
Your story may help other moms struggling with the same thing! What are daily things you struggle with that require quick change? What are the bigger things in life – the more catastrophic events – that have caused you to change and adapt? How did you cope with this type of change?