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Tiptoeing toward Change

Updated: Mar 28

family smiling

As we sat on the deck of my dear friend’s home on Whidbey Island, over-looking the Sound, we talked about “tiptoeing toward retirement.”  It was my friend’s phrase, she initiated it, but I adopted it. Sounded nice and slow, change at a pace I could manage. The next chapter was approaching, whether I was ready to admit it or not.

My husband and I talked about this journey—what did we want for our future? I only wanted one thing, or so I thought, to be near the ocean. But the more we talked the more we realized we had a fairly long list of things we value.

We want to be:

  • Near a major airport so family (our adult kids) and friends could come and go easily.

  • Near research medical center(s) so we could get good care without driving 3-4 hours (like we would have to from where we live now).

  • Access to high quality theatre, museums, and music venues (I’m a snob).

  • Single story dwelling so we can “age in place” (ugh).

My husband had locations in mind. His company has an office in Ventura, he could transfer there. I can work anywhere, but I do a lot of work in the SWCA, so Ventura worked for me too. I started to make inquiries. Zillow became my friend. I fell for a couple of places with ocean views--then came the reality check. The price point we needed to stay under didn’t buy a view of the water (unless it was the neighbors swimming pool). We might find something on the harbor side, but it would be a stretch.

Still, I was hopeful.

Then we heard from our daughter. We hadn’t thought to ask her about where she thought we should go. She asked, soulfully, “How come you’re not looking near me?” Our snappy comeback was that the bay area (where she lives) is even more expensive than Ventura. She didn’t buy it and sent some links to cities (nowhere near the water) that were in our range.

We realized we’d overlooked one of our BIGGEST core values: family. Not just that they could fly in and out, but proximity. So, I added some of the towns my daughter mentioned to my Zillow list.

Yep – you’re getting ahead of me. We found an ocean view condominium in Pacifica (see picture above, and look it up – it’s adorable). It’s 25 minutes from our daughter. 25 minutes from Stanford Medical Center. 25 minutes from San Francisco International Airport, and about 40 minutes from fantastic museums, theatre, and music venues. We weren't ready to make an offer, none of our ducks were in any kind of a row. My husband's company DOES NOT have an office in the bay area. Our house is NOT ready to sell! This does NOT feel like tiptoeing! How was any of this going to work? Yet, so far, it seems to be. Our offer was accepted, that's as far as we've gotten.

Anyway...I feel a bit like Paul in Acts 16 when the Holy Spirit sends him out to look for a man from Macedonia, only to discover that he was really supposed to find a woman from Thyatira. According to the story, Paul didn’t bat an eye – he recognized the Holy Spirit in Lydia and went with it.

Change can be like that. We think we’re tip-toeing and suddenly we’re taking a leap. We think we’re headed for Ventura, and suddenly we’re going in the opposite direction. However, for Paul and for us – we never strayed from our core values. For Paul, his core value was to spread the Grace of the Gospel. For us, slightly less noble, a new home for our next chapter. But we don't know how it will turn out -- we aren't yet where we will be in this change journey. Next month: Part 2!

What about you? What change are you tiptoeing toward? Your congregation? It’s a bit more complex to discern the core values of a congregation than for an individual or a couple. But – it’s very possible. If you want to know more about the Appreciative Inquiry change strategy that frames the work we do at Living the Resurrection, click the button below

If you want to know how to change can work in your congregation, click the button below and download two of our Free Resources: Leading Change: Theory and Strategy, and How to Motivate Change: Theory and Strategy.

If you want to put the theory into practice, join us for a FREE Inspiring Constructive Change workshop, curtesy of our partners at California Lutheran Homes. There are several options for your participation. In-person in either Glendale, or Santa Ana California, and On-line via Zoom. The in-person options are on Saturdays go from 9:00am to 12:30 pm. The Zoom version is the same workshop, but split into two 90 minutes parts. The Zoom options are offered twice on Thursdays -- choose either morning or afternoon sessions. To register click on the button below.


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