For me, watching the leaves change and fall has reminded me how far we've come in the last year. Last year at this time we were in deep mourning for so many things we'd said goodbye to.... Mom, many friends, the Philippines, life overseas, and a field flight program. Life on this side of the ocean was totally foreign, we ourselves totally displaced.
Things are different now. We still miss the things we've left behind. We still have our moments of culture shock, but there are many things we've learned to deal with and do. We've built new friendships and created new routines. We've moved again. We've changed jobs again. But still, there are more constants from 6 months ago than there were last year at this time. And as things begin to feel more comfortable, we are more able to invest in what we see God doing around us. New friends, new opportunties, and new possibilities are becoming exciting instead of overwhelming.
On our trip south we bought some mugs to decorate, and last week I filled mine with reminders of our time in the Philippines. Words that bring joy and comfort in the memories. Words that remind me of investment instead of loss. It's not a work of art, but I love my new mug.... and I realize with a certain degree of surprise that I may one day be making a mug to remind me of these days, this life that I'm now living.
Yes, times change. God heals and gives grace to help us adapt and change.