Are You Ready for Change?

On Friday, September 16, 2011, my family experienced devastating change.  I received a phone call that my brother and only sibling had passed away.  He was 5 days shy of his 46th birthday. I hesitated to state this in a public forum this large, not because of pride; but rather because things tend to immediately become awkward. Tense. No one knows what to say or do. It is my sincere hope that you will move past that and read on.  I know that you are deeply sorry, just as I would be for you, upon hearing of such sudden change in your mostly normal life.

The looming question, is what are we going to do with it?

Change, whether welcomed or not, is an often uninvited guest in the life of every human being to ever walk this earth.  What you do with it, honestly determines the course and quality of that life.

There is an innate desire within every human being for love, validation, and acceptance.  Couple that with decisions to live an out-of-the-box life, and you have a recipe for passion that at times can be unbridled or misunderstood.  Welcome to the home educating movement!

I love reading both the contributions as well as the comments here on Hip Homeschool Moms.  I find it inspiring that the posts that tend to receive the most comments are those that confess vulnerability and even weakness.  I believe it is because we can all relate.

Today, I’m asking you to stop and evaluate a few things, in hopes that this exercise makes all of us more effective at what we have committed ourselves to do; both within our own homes as well as in our circles of influence.

As I said, change is inevitable.  Whether it is the loss of a job, the pronouncement of an illness, a huge geographical move, or even sudden death; it is something that none of us can escape.  Yet, I now ask you what I have asked myself hundreds of times in these past few weeks…Are we modeling the presence of it effectively both within our own homes as well as to others?

Without question, we are a performance and results-driven society.  Glitz, glamour, and having a confident, “I’m-all-together” presence are revered qualities, constantly scrutinized and measured.  I submit today, there is a great need for change.

I follow the teachings and example of Jesus Christ.  Perhaps you don’t.  Know that I love and value you as an individual anyway.  However, it is foolish to deny, no matter what you think of him, that his presence and example on this earth became the greatest leadership example of all time. The world has never been the same.

It is interesting that what he did consistently defies human logic, and leaves the most learned as well as ignorant individuals scratching their heads.  I know that regardless of how long I follow, I scratch a lot!

He didn’t choose individuals as disciples that had it all together. Harvard did not yet exist, curriculum packages were at best basic, and the SATs took an entirely different form, I’m sure!

For me, touting those things as some form of standard of acceptance or validation is a trap; but it’s one I’ve fallen into many times over the years.

The disciples were broken, fault-filled, seemingly lacking in potential.  Quite frankly, they were a lot like you, like me, and like our kids.

Rather than relentlessly concentrating on performance and structure while plowing through at all costs; perhaps we should consider devoting some serious time to strong, deep, unwavering character and its culture within our lives and homes.  I realize that suggesting this, is suggesting a lifestyle and practice that is also fast becoming way outside of the box.  After all, how does one measure these things or see the immediate results that we all desire in order to be able to prove what we do is “working” or “right?”  And yet, history clearly shows how effective this model is.  There are many writings available to show you this focus on the part of Jesus and how it changed those same, seemingly sorry individuals he called disciples.  They went on to move and shake the world.

I won’t deny the fact that change is scary.  Hand in hand with it, comes the challenge of facing many unknowns.  We are forced to adjust, adapt, and confront.

Comfortable isn’t necessarily present in all of this, but potential, personal expansion, and effective long term results definitely are!

While change is often forced upon us, if and when we choose to force it on others with a selfish motive, it can be both destructive and dangerous. Seeds of bitterness and resentment are wildly sown when we sacrifice relationship and exchange it for performance so that we can look better and “all-together” to those that are watching.

And in the end…it all begins with you.  It was Mahatma Gandhi that stated, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”  Regardless of how large or small your world is by definition, this statement bears truth.  Do you need to change some things?  Are there perhaps priorities or relationships that are out of balance, fractured, or staggering under the weight of expectation and performance?

Everything in this life bears the price of a trade off.  We exchange goods for services, effort for desired results, time for money.  I want my exchanges to count.  To be life changing.  To validate and invest in people.  To matter for eternity.

More than ever, I realize that pretense is a costly exchange when perhaps vulnerability and sincerity would allow for more impact; both in the lives of others as well as my own.

I consider it a tremendous privilege to be a part of not only the Hip Homeschool Moms team, but the community. Here, you have permission to be yourself; whether at this time that involves complete brokenness or a “totally-together-moment.”  Know that the women on this team desire a community of authenticity, acceptance and change; with growth and expansion of the mind and soul as the ultimate goal.

From me to you…regardless of where you stand, or possibly even crawl today, you are loved.  You matter.  You are unique.

And like me, in some area of your life, you are also in need of change.

Are you ready?  I am.

Teri is a believer in God, family, community, and lover of leadership education the Thomas Jefferson way.  Teri writes and also speaks about lessons learned on her educational journey with 5 rambunctious sons, ages 22 down to 9, one hero Hubby, and celebrating day to day life with lots of humor, within the human race. You can find Teri blogging at Tommy Mom.



Similar Posts


  1. What a powerful message and one that I really needed to hear tonight. Thank you. This actually really helped me to put things in perspective.

    I have been thinking a lot lately about life today versus life when we were kids or when our parents were kids. In the past, it seemed to me anyway that people were more able to admit to their shortcomings or to admit that they could afford something or didn’t have something or whatever, sometimes I feel that our generation just has such a hard time with that and it’s unfortunate because really, none of that is all that important and we should not judge someone based on what they can do or what they have or what they can afford. Life is hard and we all need to be there for each other. This post is a wonderful illustration of that.

  2. Change that is a big word for not having very many letters. Change can be as great as a raise or as awful as a death. It makes you look at yourself in a startling light sometimes, warts and all!

  3. Teri, first or course, my sympathies for the loss of your brother. It is true that it does leave many not knowing what to say. I struggle with that a lot, when someone loses someone they love, or receives difficult news. I DO always love to see the awakenings, BLESSINGS, (as I like to call them), from the most difficult circumstances in people’s lives. Your post here really reflects the awareness of that. What a beautiful, and powerful, post, that speaks so directly to my heart today.
    CHANGE has been heavy on my heart and mind lately. I have felt a big one coming for some time now. The funny thing is, I am not sure if it’s about to happen on it’s own, or if it’s one I am supposed to make. There are areas in my life I would like to change. But I am not sure exactly what changes I want to make, or how to go about changing them. Literally, knowing HOW. I’m torn in a few areas, and ignorant in others, at best. But I feel it all brewing, and I am both scared and excited and unsure, all at once.
    Thank you for this heartfelt post, and for sharing with us. I think it did help bring some areas of my contemplations, into a brighter light. In all things, I want to be more like Jesus. This I know. May God bless you, and the changes you are attempting to embrace today as well.

  4. I’m almost never ready for change. I guess that’s what makes it something that is a challenge. It’s always barging in and rearranging my neatly ordered plans.

    and *hug* to you.

  5. Wonderfully said Terri! We are at a crossroads right now. It seems that a change is needed, but will take somewhat more effort towards that change on my part then I would like. It would be so much easier if God would just make the changes for us. The consequences of change are risky…just knowing that we have such a discontentment for what we are in…job…even ministry. A huge move to an unknown country possibly awaits us, taking our ministry to a whole new level. But something has to be done and the change can only begin with me. So, thanks for what you said. I hope your family has found continual peace through the loss of your brother. I am so sorry.

  6. Teri, Thank you for your words and insights. God has truly shown you his grace in this difficult time and take pride in knowing that He is so proud of you for sharing that grace with all of us. I will keep you and your family in my prayers in the days ahead and will accept your challenge to embrace the changes God puts in our path! Your Sister in Christ, Carrie.

  7. Great read! Change is definitely hard, but I loved what you said about, ” Comfortable isn’t necessarily present in all of this, but potential, personal expansion, and effective long term results definitely are!” Some change does give us great opportunities for growth and personal development. Thanks for that reminder! That’s why I’m here….to grow and to learn in order to improve myself. I appreciate that. I need to understand that discomfort is often times positive as it is helping me become better. 🙂

  8. You guys are great. Thank you, not only for commenting, but for being vulnerable yourselves. It’s something that takes courage, for sure. XO, Teri ;0)

  9. Change is inevitable in our lives. We can see it sometimes daily when we look in a mirror. I love change. It brings about newness, adventure and opportunity.
    On the flip side, unwanted change can break some people. I have had alot of diificult changes in my life that brought about anxiety and heartache which I was not prepared to face. It took some time to learn from these experiences and grow in self acceptance but now that I have been through the trials, I know I am stronger. This morning, I read news from my village that an elder had passed. We say, “walked in the woods”. It seems more gentle to share the sad news. From the people in the village’ perspective, change in family structure is a process we all must face and be strong. There has been so much loss this year that I wonder if they are fully walking through the stages of grief to full acceptance. It seems the same for many who face trail after trial. Can we face so much change that we loose a little of who we are each time, or do we change because of the trials? What I know for me is, I have grown through each experience and look for the value in the lesson.
    I offer my condolences for the loss of your brother. From what I read from your page, he was an amazing leader. Find comfort and hope that his leadership has taught another to be like he was and stand admirably among the leaders in the lives of our youth. Never easy to say good bye, but always hope that we will be united someday. Keep the hope, enjoy the changes.

  10. Change is hard, but I believe it is in the hard times God molds us into who He wants us to be. It is always easier looking back seeing how God has worked. Thank you for sharing this post!

  11. That is such a beautiful post. We had some major unexpected changes a couple of years ago. They started off as extremely negative, but I make a conscious effort to use those unexpecteds and negatives to effect real, positive change in our lives. As a result, my son and I managed to move out of my mom’s house. I got into the graduate program of my dreams. We moved cross-country and are living just outside New York City. And, I am applying for a job at an Ivy League school. As horrible as the unexpecteds were, they propelled us forward into better lives.

    I’m so sorry for your loss, but also so very thankfully for your openness and willingness to share.

  12. Teri, thank you for sharing this post with us! I feel very challenged by your suggestion that we devote serious time to character deveopment in homeschooling our children. It’s so easy to focus on the acedemics and forget that more important than their grades, is who our children are and the values that they hold, that will affect every decision that they make throughout life.
    There are many changes and uncertainties in our own lives right now, but God IS certain and He is at work moulding us through these difficult times.

  13. Teri,
    Thanks for taking the time to write about change. It’s amazing how God uses a message from weeks ago to impact someone later.
    I just went through a family crisis. My spirit was disturbed, but I felt a stirring that it was bound to happen. I pray that the crisis brings a positive outcome.
    My deepest condolences to you and your family. Thanks again for sharing about an intimate situation with us.
    God bless,
    Rebecca G.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *