A rose is still a rose, so what’s the point of changes?

“Action and reaction, ebb and flow, trial and error, change –
this is the rhythm of living.
Out of our over-confidence, fear;
out of our fear, clearer vision,
fresh hope. 
And out of hope, progress.”
Bruce Barton
 ~

On Monday I posted about upcoming changes here. The first  — this week’s blog renovation — may be the most visible. It’s less flowery, not so frivolous or cluttered as it was before. Hopefully you’ll still find it a friendly place to hang out.

I’m all for change when it comes to rearranging furniture and redecorating. But when Facebook unilaterally alters how my posts are treated, or Flickr decides my photos will be viewed differently, I find it frustrating. They believe the new features will be an improvement. They may be, but I see them as contributing to my stress level because I have to take time to learn new ways to do what had become conveniently automatic. One Flickr user complained the features had been working well, so why change them. “A rose by any other name is still a rose, but now we have to figure out new ways to enjoy the fragrance.”

Two-toned Rose

Recently Google announced they will be discontinuing their Google Reader application on July 1st. Since I’ve relied on it for years as an RSS service, hosting links to all the places online that I like to follow, the announcement caused a stab of concern. The change won’t affect those who subscribed to receive new blog post alerts via e-mail, but if, like mine, the blogs number well in excess of a hundred, a reader is invaluable. I had a moment of panic, fearing that with Google Reader’s demise I’d lose my connection to the blogs of all my favourite cyber friends.

Backup is the answer, of course. I should have realized other software developers would be jumping into the void. There are already several alternatives to Google Reader.  Google has provided a data takeaway option. I’ve downloaded mine and will move to Feedly.

Change on its own isn’t a problem, but how we react to it might be. We like the familiar — it’s comfortable. When a trusted agent or editor announces a move to a different agency, a hoped-for contract slips away, or when life clouds over with some other surprise, we perch at the edge of the unknown, frantically trying to retain our balance. That’s when it’s a relief to remember we have a backup. There’s a steadying hand to grasp if we’ll reach for it.

Do you like changes or dread them? Have you had to deal with anything requiring change lately, good or bad?

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“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.
Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed,
for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9  [ESV]
 
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Contemplating blog changes…

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Our marsh in the late evening is a quiet place. The birds are silent, geese and ducks have hidden away for the night, and the tree frogs haven’t begun their chirping. The stillness is only broken by the occasional buzz of a passing insect.

DSC03285

It’s changed a lot in the time we’ve lived here. Sixteen years ago it was a pond – it even has a name on municipal maps – but through the years wild grasses have filled in the shallow areas. Now in the summertime the only visible water is in the deeper parts where a stream runs through.

Life’s full of change; nothing is totally static. If it were, it would become stagnant.

As I flipped my calendar to another new month it occurred to me that later in June I’ll be marking this blog’s fifth birthday. Eight hundred posts in five years – a consistent average of over three posts a week – and nearing one hundred thousand views. Whew! I wonder if anything I’ve said has been of any real interest or value, or if I’ve simply been occupying myself with my “mental meanderings”.

Musings have a way of taking my thoughts on a journey. I start out with an innocuous seed of an idea and before long it’s shot up into a gawky plant that branches out all over the place!

That happens in my novel writing, too, and during revisions a lot of ruthless pruning has to take place. Pruning can be hard, but it clears away deadwood and makes for a healthier plant (or story) in the end. So I’m thinking it might be time to tackle some pruning here on the blog.

Watch for changes later this month. Let me know which ones you like… and yes, which ones you don’t. 🙂

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Five-Minute Challenge: Musing about CHANGE

Leaves twist and curl, flip their skirts in the breeze and tease with silver undersides. Photo-synthesis slows and autumn’s chill changes green to gold.  The season is edging away from what was, to what will be, tugging me with it.

Time slides into space, today melding into tomorrow, and I sort and decide: what belongs in which pile? Sandals and boots, stories and dreams. I yield to the slipping away with its unexpected abbreviations. Some things change while others never do. Shall I return to the familiar or venture into the new? Indecision buzzes with the view of changing options in life and writing while decision is wrapped in a cocoon of translucent fear, waiting to be released. Waiting for what?

~

Indulging myself in a five-minute free writing challenge on the topic of ‘change’. If you’d like to join me, post the results of your five minutes on your blog and let me know in the comment section. I’d love to hear what ‘change’ means to you.

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“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

Hebrews 13:8 (NIV)
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Changing the world, one heart at a time

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There’s so much unhappiness in the world today.  Unrest. Upheaval. Discontent. Reading a newspaper or watching the televised news is depressing because I am only one person and there doesn’t seem to be a way I can make everything better. Even group sit-ins and mob ‘occupations’ won’t help, because they don’t offer solutions, only complaints.

This is the beginning of autumn’s change for our Burning Bush. Eventually the colour will spread to every leaf, until the entire shrub will glow crimson.

Only God can change the world, and I believe he will do it one heart at a time, beginning with mine.

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“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handywork.” [
Psalm 19:1
]

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UPDATE

For those who wondered what a Burning Bush looks like in all it autumn glory, here’s a photo.
This isn’t my bush (which isn’t finished turning colour yet), but one I noticed recently on the way into town.

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