Struggling to Change

Change is often forced upon us. Yet, we also can choose how to react to change and whether or not to resist it. And sometimes, we may feel the need for change and not be quite sure how or what to change. This is where I find myself today. With that thought, please allow me to take you on a journey through what’s going on in my mind of late.

3-4-13 Change aheadChange is in the Air

In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix after Delores Umbridge was announced as the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, she interrupted Dumbledore to make this speech.

Thank you, headmaster, for those kind words of welcome. […] The Ministry of Magic has always considered the education of young witches and wizards to be of a vital importance. Although each headmaster has brought something new to this… historic school, progress for the sake of progress must be discouraged. Let us preserve what must be preserved, perfect what can be perfected and prune practices that ought to be… prohibited!

Dumbledore’s response was simply, “Thank you Professor Umbridge. That really was most illuminating.” Most had no idea what Umbridge was saying, but Hermione provided some insight by saying “It means, the Ministry is interfering in Hogwarts.”

As anyone who has watched the movie or read the book knows, Umbridge’s motives were self-serving and out of a deep need for control at any cost. Yet, I can’t help but find some niggling of motivation in her words. Before you think me sadistic too, let me explain.

“Progress for the sake of progress must be discouraged.”

Progress often happens just because it can. We never have the most up-to-date electronics, and we clearly have way more information than we can ever digest. So, for me, I hold back on following trends and try to choose progress that fits the steps I feel directed to take (Proverbs 16:9).

“Preserve what must be preserved.”

As with all of these statements, this one should exist as a personal choice. In other words, what must be preserved often operates on an individual level instead of in a corporate mandate with a one-size-fits-all approach. For me, this means that some of what I do may seem outdated or even complicated to others, but they work for me. Regardless of what experts suggest as the best approach, sometimes we keep what works because it works.

“Perfect what can be perfected”

While I am a big proponent of doing what works for the individual based on personality and temperament, I also realize that one person doesn’t have all the answers. Much of my processes were created as I watched others and adapted what they did as my own.

“Prune practices that ought to be… prohibited!”

This statement can be interpreted in a lot of ways, but it has got me thinking about how detrimental going through the motions of life can be. For me, this needs prohibited. While I am not sure exactly where His steps are taking me, I do know that I need to move forward in a way that allows the negative thoughts and practices that have been holding me back lately to fall away.

In the past, a “funk” like this has sent me deep into a pit of depression. I am refusing to let that happen again. This practice must be prohibited.

What’s the point?

I realize that much of this may make little sense, and that’s okay. I also realize that this post deviates from my blog norm. I’m okay with that too.

The point is that I need to make some changes, to change up my routine and hopefully my thought processes at the same time. To do this, I am looking at my daily routine and making adjustments, as well as considering projects I’ve put off that perhaps need to come to the front of my attention.

In addition, I am going to change up my blog posting schedule a bit. For now, this means regular posts on Tuesdays and Thursdays. But going forward, this may mean trying a few different things before I discover what works, and I hope you’ll hang in with me through that process.

DISCUSSION: I encourage insight, input, etc. into how to implement change, especially when you don’t know exactly what that change should be.

Note: Thank you to Chris Patton at Christian Faith at Work for inspiring me to finally move forward and make changes. Specifically, check out these posts by Chris:

18 thoughts on “Struggling to Change

  1. First I like Tuesday Thursday post since a lot of bloggers seem to work the M, W, F schedule. You blogging on Tue, Thurs means your blog for me is not competing for the little time I have in my days and since I never want to miss your blog I like that. I like all of your ideas about things you are dealing with and all seem to be right on. Sometimes I do know that change is hard because it is change. We get into a routine and if it is decent we are satisfied even if we are missing out on a better routine. Sometimes it might be worth doing something for a short period of time and then evaluating if you want to continue it long term. I have done two 30 challenges for myself in January and February. In January it was drinking 4 bottles of water a day and in February it was drinking a cup of green tea a day to try to get a taste for it. I have continued both up to this point. I may not long term.
    I wish you well with what you are considering and will be right here to ride along. 🙂

    • Thank you so much for your support and encouragement, Mark. Truly means more to me than you probably realize. Your comment shows that you truly did get what I was trying to communicate in my post, and that is even more encouragement. I felt like I wanted to dive into making changes without making a big deal about it, but I also didn't want to have the pressure of making sure everything was perfect and ready to go before I made changes. I've seen both of those happen quite often, and it just didn't fit with how my ideas were coming. Anyway, I appreciate your comments and support. So glad to know you are with me in this.

  2. Kari, it is a God thing that you recognize the need for a change. So often we get into a routine that works and refuse to change even though we desperately need it. So often you hear "we've always done it that way", especially from older people who are stuck in their routine. As you know, I count on you to keep me up to date with the most effecient way of handling things (especially new technical opportunities).
    So often change is forced upon us and we fight to keep our routine when we would be so much happier adjusting to a new routine. You know I support you in any endeavor you undertake, you've never disappointmented me.
    MOM

    • You don't have to look far to see people who are stuck in their routines and are unwilling to change. Why? Comfort? Fear? There's a definite balance between change and keeping some semblance of routine too. We need others to bounce ideas off of and to help us see what we can't see because the sides of our ruts are too high. Handling change certainly isn't about doing everything perfectly. It's about diving in and taking the next step, and it's about picking yourself up when you mess up. We're all in this together! That's for sure.

  3. First of routine for the sake of routine is not necessarily good. Deviation from the norm breeds spontaneity as the inspiration for writing and posting – at least from my experience. God is the ultimate change agent, and He often changes our life up to spur us to new opportunities, and to get us out of the rut we often place ourselves into. Oh yeah, John 15 reminds us that God is in the "pruning" business in our lives for our good. Enjoy the change.

    • I am discovering that being comfortable in order to experience discomfort is okay. In the same way, having routine is important in order to be spontaneous and to undergo positive change. In other words, we need areas of comfort and routine and habit to serve as a solid base for us to better handle change. Yet, having them because we are afraid to do something different is entirely different. God is absolutely the ultimate change agent, and learning to trust that He knows how much and when better than we do is a huge key. Believe it or not, He has used me having the flu for the past week as an agent of change. The problem at this point is that I can't quite think too clearly yet. But, maybe that's part of His plan. I just have a peace knowing He is orchestrating something big, and that's exciting. Going to read John 15 again with this discussion in mind. Once again, thanks for the advice Coach.

  4. Wow – are we thinking alike lately. I, too have been feeling the need for change. Some things I know that I cannot change, but I need to learn to work within God's plan for those things that I cannot change instead of always trying to push the boundaries. I also feel a bit restless in my spirit. I have been feeling this for awhile, but your blog just reminded me that it is still there – something that I just need to DO – if that makes sense. As always, your words hit home for me. It is amazing that Umbridge's words can actually lead to deeper thought than "Evil woman" – which is what I always think about that part of the movie. 🙂
    I will get back into my routine of reading your blogs. I have been missing them terribly, but had not taken the time to read. Thank you for still writing them!

    • One lesson I have learned about change recently is the truth that we truly are not in control. Control on our parts is an illusion. So, the question then becomes, "What do we base our trust in to control our lives?" With God in control, we are safe, and we can know peace. Pushing the boundaries has backfired on me often enough that I need to learn to wait. Some reading I've done lately brought up David's Psalms where he says to wait on the Lord. When we learn to do that, we don't push for change that isn't right, and we let God's timing perfect us. He will do this and often in unexpected ways. Good to have you reading again, Angie. Look forward to the interaction with you.

  5. Hi Kari, hope you are feeling better. You know I always look forward to your posts, whatever day they show up on my computer! They always seem to find a way to make me see something different, and this one is that way. I have never watched or read Harry Potter books or movies, not into things with wizards and such. So thanks for explaining when you use something about them! My favorite is the serenity prayer. God grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Sometimes its knowing you cannot change something or someone that causes us the most frustration, if we are controlers, which I am. So I usd this prayer a lot! May God guide you in your growing and changing.

    • Thanks, Mary. Getting there but not 100% yet. I just love how God can use and speak through anything. That\’s exciting to me. The Serenity Prayer is a great application when struggling with change. Thanks for pointing it out. I hadn\’t thought of it! Yes, being controlling adds to a person\’s struggle with change. I definitely struggle there too.

  6. It really seems that, for you, the first step of change is figuring out why you want to change – and then just launching from there. Your process seems to be thinking deeply about which changes will align with your goals, and that's a good thing!

    • You nailed it Loren! So often, I am frozen because I don't know exactly what I want to change or why I need the change. Sometimes, it's just the feeling of needing change, and I am wary of trusting my feelings. I have rushed into change too often and gotten ahead of God's timing, and that has never worked out well. My goal with deciding and implementing change is to be lined up with God's timing. Often, that means just waiting and listening.

  7. Wow – I'll be interested to see what you learn, Kari. I also cut my blogging schedule so I can focus more on writing other things. I'll check out those posts you suggested – thanks!

    • I changed up my schedule mainly just because I needrd a change. Just needing to change up my schedule. The most interesting part is that I don\’t know where this change is taking me, though I feel God directing my steps. He\’s working on something, that\’s for sure.

  8. Change…wrote my dissertation on the subject and God has me continuing to research it with just one subject. 🙂 I think you're on the brink of something exciting. Just take the steps that are illuminated now and worry about the rest later.

    • Thanks for the encouragement. Your words remind me of Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” I needed that reminder today.

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