It wasn't bad enough that I had wrapped myself in a blanket of self pity because Christmas was over and all the grandchildren had returned home -- and I had no one else to blame for the five pounds I gained from indulging in all that fudge and truffles and other delectable chocolate delights. No. I just had to open an email from Marsha Ward. Because I love Marsha Ward!
It began with the usual holiday salutations:
I hope you enjoyed a wonderful Christmas with your family. My daughter was
able to come up and spend Christmas with me in my new home. It was lovely!"
But Marsha gets to the point in the very next sentence:
"The ANWA Board of Directors has asked me to pass along to you the
authorization to split Wasatch Writers into two chapters at your next
NO! (dramatic fist shaking)
You can't do this to me! (heavy sigh, slumped shoulders, and hanging of my head) Yes, you can. But I don't have to like it.
Can you tell I have a difficult time with change?
Of course, I am thrilled that ANWA continues to change. (Have you read the new by-laws yet?) Because with change comes growth. Growth is a good thing! It's just that I get so attached to all of you phenomenal women. I learn from each and every one of you and I feel like I am just now getting to know you.
I laughed out loud when I opened my textbook (Families and Change: Coping With Stressful Events and Transitions) the very next day and read this:
"A stressor event is an occurrence that provokes a variable amount of change in the family system [ANWA]. Anything that changes some aspect of the system [ANWA], such as boundaries, structures, goals, processes, roles, or values, can produce stress. ...stress becomes problematic only when family members [me]experience dissatisfaction (or distress) as they [I] perceive change as being disruptive to the family system[ANWA]...Stress or crisis is not simply the direct result of the event itself but also a product of how a family defines demanding circumstances and the extent to which the family has resources available for coping."
"Various life transitions and events provide essential ingredients for normal psychosocial development...by evoking disturbances and pressures for change."
In other words, change is what you make of it. I can either curl up in a fetal position and pout and get left behind, or I can rejoice in the opportunity for growth, and jump in and enjoy the ride. The women of ANWA are like sisters to me. We share more than just how and what we are writing. We rejoice, whine, commiserate, console, eat chocolate, and work together.
I thought about how the world looks at the start of a new year as an opportunity for introspection and change. I'm grateful to know that I can do that every minute of the day -- thanks to the Savior and his redeeming sacrifice. I am grateful to know that God never changes. He is constant and perfect. I live in a world of change. The knowledge of men changes every day, shifting back and forth between what is popular and accepted at the time. By building my foundation on the unchanging truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I can weather the changing world.
A stressful event brings about change -- for the good or for the bad, depending on how I look at the situation, and what my resources are and how I use those resources. A testimony of who I am, why I am here, and where I am going -- based on a testimony of Jesus Christ and His redeeming love -- is the greatest resource I know of. It brings me hope, clarity of thought and peace of mind. I can view challenges for the opportunity for growth that they are. I can find hidden resources -- strengths I never knew I had -- and come to know that, through Christ, I can do hard things.
Splitting Wasatch Writers is going to be a tough change for me. It may be a little stressful, but it won't be a crisis. I love being a part of a growing group of women who believe in seeking out anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report, or praiseworthy and writing about it! We will always be connected by our love of Christ and our desire to make the world a better place -- one change at a time.
If you want more information on this exciting change, you'll have to attend our chapter meeting January 12th , 7:30 pm at my house in Highland, UT. I promise chocolate, tissues, and loads of fun!
May you have a happy and blessed New Year!!