Transitions never stop.
Chapters end and new ones begin. In each transition I find new opportunities to grow. I recently shared on Facebook about my graduation, the end of a chapter. I prefer to use the word “commencement.” A new beginning. I want to express a heartfelt thank you for your encouragement, and I especially thank God for the snowfall during my virtual commencement (and a few weeks ago on my birthday) that I believe were special tokens of encouragement from Him. Snow was always a cause for celebration for Wyndham and me. Ending this chapter of life was bittersweet but also opened new doors for finding and feeling the pleasure of God as I try to please Him. (I am discovering more each day the meaning of friendship and relationship with God…pleasing denotes relationship.) I describe this bittersweet ending in a paragraph from my very last assignment, a reflective one.
This paper is my last assignment before I graduate. As I write this sentence, tears stream from my eyes, remembering the journey I have traveled over these two years. I worked on my assignments each night after I got my husband settled in his hospital bed. I would turn on the television for him, usually sports, and work for four or five hours, beginning at about 9:00 pm, with him by my side. He was my greatest encourager and was so proud of me. The last year, when he could no longer talk, he graciously let me read him my papers while I asked him if he thought they were good or needed work. No matter how many more drafts I would write, he would always nod or blink with approval. How I miss those nights. I watched my husband transition from physical life to spiritual-only life. As he transformed throughout this process, so did I. As I finish this paper, my heart fills with emotion because this last assignment marks the beginning of a new chapter. I liked the old chapter, and it feels hard to turn the pages. Once again, I am called to live fully for “today.”
This class, my last class, was also held during a global pandemic, a time in history like none other I have known. It seems fitting that I end my coursework with a study of God’s new covenant. I deeply feel the “now, but not yet” paradox of the riches of God’s grace. As I complete this journey, I look forward to continuing to learn until my last breath. I cherish the comradery of community. Since my earthly journey is still in progress, I look with eager expectation to what lies ahead as I strive to finish well, all the way into the arms of my God.
New chapters: God puts things on our hearts when we listen and ask for His Spirit to reveal His desire as we move forward with Him. This past Monday morning and last night marked the end of a six-week workshop spawned by such an urging from His Spirit. Sometimes, moving forward feels like putting square pegs in round holes, but this past six weeks felt like putting square pegs in square holes. When that happens in our lives, we feel the pleasure of God. I love Eric Liddell’s fitting quote from Chariots of Fire, “When I run I feel His pleasure.”
I feel that way about both learning and teaching. My heart sings. I love continual learning, which I think is crucial for teaching. I love connecting when teaching, and I love watching God work in individual lives, including my own. In my previous post, I spoke of a workshop I wanted to begin called “Navigating Home: A Longing Fulfilled.” I had no idea if there would be interest, but there was. A lot. We had two workshops, one Monday morning and one Tuesday evening. These were filled with some truly amazing individuals who left me inspired, further taught, and moved in my heart—calling me higher for God. If felt we journeyed together through these classes by digging deeper into our lives, in the Bible, and with each other as we dove into the topics of our identity; rejection, shame and guilt; vulnerability, intimacy, and trust; loss, grief, and healthy, godly relationships. For all who contributed to these times, I thank you and look forward to another, different session in the not too far future.
I will be repeating this workshop again, starting within the next week or two, so please let me know if you are interested in joining. (There is no fee.)
I will also be sharing more things I have been learning through the journey over the past couple of years in upcoming posts, but for now, am thrilled to find ways to serve that make my heart sing.
What moves your heart? What makes your heart sing? Likely, it is something that springs from God’s gifts mentioned in Romans 12:5-8, all of which all are meant to help us love better. We all have God-given gifts, and when we find ways to use them to please God, we begin to feel His pleasure. I pray we all find our square pegs for the square holes and keep transforming to be further shaped for God’s pleasure. As a result, we also feel the pleasure.
Such an encouraging testimony, Jeanie! Thank you for sharing your heart so openly.
Thank you, Marilyn
I would love to join you in the Monday sessions! Sindy StrangeSent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone
It will be great to have you. Does any other night than Monday work for you? I may do another night, but if only Monday works let me know as I could probably arrange something for you. Love, Jeanie
Dear Jeannie, I am definitely interested in joining your next workshop! Love, Lyn Fulcher
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Lyn, It will be great to have you. I will send an email next week with more information. Looking forward to it. Love, Jeanie
I would be interested in the workshop. Thank you doing and sharing what you love Jeanie.
Sounds great, Sharon. I will send an email next week with more information. Love, Jeanie
I would like to join in the next workshop if possible.
It would be great to have you. I will send an email with more information next week. Love, Jeanie
Appreciate this beautiful post- I am also beginning a new chapter in life, and so this resonates.
May I know where I can sign up for the Navigating Homes workshop ?
Thank you so much. I will send you an email next week about signing up for the workshop. It will be great to have you. Love, Jeanie
Good morning Jeanie. I am very interested in you next class. Please let me know the time. If a weekday morning and alternate evening is offered I would prefer the evening FYI. Thanks. Excited to learn from and see you. Kim Walters
Great to hear from you. I will start the next session in two or three weeks and will send you the information. It will probably be Tuesday or Thursday night. However, if you want to get in on one I am doing with my family group and some friends I am starting one this Monday night at 7:30. Let me know. Love you. Jeanie
I tried to post a comment, but not sure it went through as I don’t see my comment listed.
Appreciate your posts so much over the last couple of years that I have been reading them! Your transparency is so refreshing, so relatable, and challenging as well to my heart.
Anyway, I am definitely interested in your next workshop and would love to participate. Please let me know when and how to sign up. Looking forward to learning from you and sharing my life and heart with you and others.
Thanks so much❣️
Phyllis Bray email@example.com
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Great to hear from you, Phyllis. Thank you for your kind words. I will send you the information for the next workshop which will begin in 2 or 3 weeks. Looking forward to it. Love, Jeanie
Hi Jeanie, would love to participate in your next session. A mutual friend of ours, Katherine Hearn, suggested i would find your classes beneficial.Blessings to you!
Great. I will send you the information in a few days. It will be 2 or 3 weeks from now. Love, Jeanie
Thank you for another great post. Your ability to touch and move my heart brings tears to my eyes every time. Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability, I love you!
I would be interested in being a part of your upcoming workshop(s)…
Jeanie I would love to be part of this workshop
That would be wonderful, Sue. It starts this coming Tuesday, May 26 at 7:30pm. I will just need your email address to send you the link. It will be so great to reconnect. 🙂