Season of Change

The season is changing, as summer heat fades and the days shorten. Autumn is my favorite season. I love the cooler weather, pumpkins, Fall leaves, chili, sweaters and boots. This year Fall is bringing even more change to our lives, and it’s a good thing for me to acknowledge that it brings some challenges.

A few weeks ago, our youngest son left for college. For the first time in 32 years, we have no boys at home. And we miss him.

We’re moving to a new city next week. For a pastor’s family, a move is more than changing locations, it’s a completely new life. We’ve lived here for twelve years, and that’s a lot of life lived. Our two youngest girls were born here, and our two teen girls don’t remember living anywhere else. We moved here with seven children, had two more, and now only four are left at home. There’s a mix of excitement and sadness as we say goodbye and pack up our household. And declutter stuff I didn’t know we had.

I’ve been caught off guard by the emotions of going through things. Actually, books have been the hardest so far. Somehow the homeschool materials and children’s books carry emotions with them, and acknowledging the passing of seasons has me feeling sentimental. Today I’ll finish going through picture books and I’ve put it off because I know it will give me a lump in my throat. Of course we’ll keep many of them for the visits of grandchildren, but even throwing away the ripped and stained ones will remind me that those toddlers have grown up and married and built lives of their own.

We raise our children to become adults, but sometimes we wish it hadn’t gone so fast.

Fortunately several of our grown children are coming home this weekend, to get first dibs on books and furniture we’re giving away. I’ll make chicken dumplings to celebrate the birthday of a certain fifth-grade teacher, and we’ll laugh and enjoy being together. Our daughter is bringing her baby to show people at church and say goodbye. Tonight our teen girls are having a big game night with their friends. They’ll enjoy pizza and snacks amongst the boxes, and reminisce about choir and drama productions. So passes the last weekend here in Stillwater.

I’ve changed—a lot—in the past twelve years. Our wonderful church here gave me the space and grace to grow and heal. I became a T-Tapp trainer and started a blog, and ended up with a Plexus business that has been an amazing experience. I’ve been mother of the bride twice and mother of the groom three times, and “Minky” to six grandchildren since we’ve lived here. Lots of memories in this house.

Good days are ahead. It’s fun to make plans for decorating the new parsonage, because making it homey is important to me. Our family is centered at home, and I always want it to be a pleasant refuge. One day last week the girls and I went to the empty new (to us) house and walked around and just sat in a room. It felt peaceful, and it felt like home. Moving in is more fun than moving out, so we’re looking forward to getting settled and getting acquainted with a new congregation. We don’t lose the old friends, we make new ones to add to our connections with people.

Big changes are coming with the change of seasons this year, but it’s all good. I can choose to get stressed out, or I can remember the words “Peace, be still.” I tend to naturally gravitate toward the fear and anxiety side, but staying aware of my physical reactions pulls me back to trusting and releasing. It’s my choice where I focus, and I can either stress about the details or pray about them.

Thanks for listening as I process the changes!


  1. The fact that you made time to blog while in the middle of moving says volumes about your peaceful mindset during the process! Good luck in your new endeavor! You’ve been an inspiration to so many & I know God has big plans for you!

    1. Charlotte Siems says:

      Hadn’t thought of that, Kathleen! Thank you for the encouragement!

  2. Best wishes on your move and God Bless your family for all the new things to come!

    1. Charlotte Siems says:

      Thanks, Candace! Appreciate it!

  3. I think it’s probably not an accident that you have “a lump in your throat” and an esophageal issue at the moment. There is a lot of emotion welling up inside which no doubt also means a lot of letting go to be able to receive the nourishment of what is coming. I love how our bodies always tell the story of our thoughts. Blessings on your move and health. You are always a bright spot in my inbox and newsfeed. Thank you for that.

    1. Charlotte Siems says:

      Bingo, Barbara! I really feel like the physical issues are related to emotions and that God is using this to bring forth healing at some deeper levels. I love your words: “There is a lot of emotion welling up inside which no doubt also means a lot of letting go to be able to receive the nourishment of what is coming. I love how our bodies always tell the story of our thoughts.” Great wisdom there, my friend.

  4. Thank you for this post. I am in tears reading this because I too am going through a season of big changes. After eight years of homeschooling my oldest four children all started public school this fall. The decision to put them in school has been so very hard for me. Even though I have complete peace that this is what God has for our family at this time, I am still grieving the loss of my homeschooling ideal, and I miss my children so very, very much. The house feels so quiet and empty with only the two littlest at home, and even though I remind myself of all the many benefits this move has brought to our family so far (including, ironically, MORE read aloud time and prayer with my children), accepting the changing of the seasons is still difficult. We are expecting our seventh child in the next few weeks, and so that will also begin another season. There is much to look forward to, and yet I am also mourning what is past. Bittersweet I guess.

    Anyhow, thank you for sharing this morning, it was an encouragement to hear someone put words to what I have been going through. All the best to you and your family as you begin the next season in your lives!

    1. Charlotte Siems says:

      Aww! BIG HUG, Candice! Yes, it is bittersweet, I get that. I love what Barbara said (above) about letting go to receive the nourishment of what is to come. Blessings to you and your family during this season of change, especially this special season of a new baby and babymoon!

  5. Jessica H. says:

    Although both of our lives are so busy we rarely had time to get to know each other intimately, you’ve always been a little piece of inspiration for me here on Earth during my own homeschooling journey. I hope you’re not moving TOO far away, our community will definitely feel a loss with your family gone. Seeing you or your husband anywhere always made my husband and I smile. I know you will continue to spread Gods love wherever you go. Blessings…

  6. What a great post!
    Last week we moved into our new house after having live with my wonderful mother in law for 2.5 years. Our new house feels like home already. We will also start homeschool next month and lately I’ve been reading about mothers who are exiting their homeschool journey. What Heros you all are!
    I alway look forward to your posts as they bring great encouragement to me!
    Best of wishes to you.

  7. I pray for you and your family! I too am going through transitiins; a year ago we began the process of putting our children into public school. Last Sunday my husband left to once again become an over the road truck driver! I too have peace in these new paths God is leading us down. Maybe I will find time and motivation for T-Tapp again soon! Blessings!!!!

  8. This past year has been one of change for us and your thoughts really resonate with me… Thanks for another timely post. And, don’t use too big of boxes for those books:) 🙂 I few of mine turned out a little heavy:)

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