Starting Fresh

What are you doing this weekend? Visiting with family and friends? some of us are preparing for a new school year, anticipating fresh start fresh faces, eager learners.

Whatever it is you’re doing, whatever it is you may be, I’m right there with you. Eagerly anticipating Fresh Starts. Fresh Starts as the season changes from the warm simmer of summer to the crisp stinging Autumn Breeze filling my lungs in the early morning air.

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Throughout our lives we have Milestone moments. Those pivotal, sometimes instantaneous minutes of space where we look back, look ahead-knowing in this very moment; this very instance nothing will ever be the same.  Myself? Yes, there’ve  been more than just several of those.

In the reflective mirrors of Our Lives those moments are easy to recognize. In the day-to-day details those moments could so easily be overlooked.


Three years ago, give or take, my adventuresome spirit sought change. As a life-long Oregonian and avid follower of all things travel, I’ve naturally assumed living elsewhere at some point would be the progression. Oregon is a very lovely, very liberal state; plenty of green natural places. Fresh air and fresh water. A beautiful place to live and visit. A place I’ve lived, worked, raised families, toasted weddings, graduations, buried friends, family &enemies, lived life transitions; including crises, mishaps, and Trauma. At certain points in one’s life one desperately wishes to separate themselves from the latter.

That point of separation seemed to arrive in 2013-2014. Traveling through numerous southern states for other business, the perfect jobs simply arose. At my feet. Dropped into my lap. Twice! I do know that even you must recognize what a miraculous non-coincidental instance that would be.  Twice within the space of months. Perfect.

Hooray! In my Mind’s Eye this was the perfect progression. The previous two years  had seen the sale of my family home in Oregon and the sale of my own family’s home once my children left the nest, a town-house rental on a month-by-month basis (unheard of in the housing market crunch by the way! another non-coincidental miraculous event).  As I traveled the familiar southern states of North Carolina, Louisiana, Texas and Arizona with these all too perfect opportunities front and center, in my mind I’d already packed a U-Haul with the few remaining personal possessions not sold or given away; was setting up house, and a new life, in the sunny, warm arms of southern hospitality.

As I praised God for His wisdom in asking me to “Go”  and explore, the open road whizzed by. I love this season when choosing a cross roads is the next adventure. Sleeping under star light in my car or an intimate B&B. When the only question is North, South, East or West?

Then, just as clearly as I’d heard “GO”,  He said, “Well done, daughter.  Now. GO. Home.


Wait! i stammered.  Wait!  These are a perfect fit, you said so yourself! You sent me here.

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Dipping my road-weary toes into the cool refreshing water of Lake Havasu that simmering summer, I knew that I was, For-Better-or-Worse, a lifelong Oregonian.  Returning home to faces and places that I knew. That knew me.  Returning home to labels I’d love to throw off or exchange.

Returning home, what does that say to you? 

 But, you see, for me; there is no ‘home’. None. No where.

In those defining open road moments. Looking out on the passing landscape of my life, that summer I accepted that there are far worse things than having spent 50 years; your entire life & professional time teaching, working and (and attempting to change) one system, in one state.  I accepted my life, as beautiful and as adventuresome as it had been to this point, was not going to be as I expected it, if and here’s the big IF, dear readers, if, IF I choose to trust & obey.


The aches & pains the following season, were more than from that 3000 + mile Journey.  The aches and pains, that season Friends, came from the growing & great stretching of standing. 

Standing silent. Knowing there are questions unanswered. Questions that should have been asked but weren’t. All of for which I have a ready reply. But- no one asked.

Standing Tall with head up in the face of what? What are you standing tall in the face of? Opposition? Demotion? Hostility? Pity or perhaps admiration? Advancement?  Promotion?

In the midst of standing. Staying. Right. Where. God. places. you. Wait, What’s this!?  Jubilation?



How can that be?

Trust & Obey. For there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to Trust and Obey.

What you may not be ready to see is, that Yes, I make my own choices. Yes, I could hammer through life, yelling “charge” to make my way, where ever I WANT. Paris? Oui. Italy? Si. Tropical Islands? YES. All of these will happen. The World IS my wide open space. Teaching in other states? Certainly, possible. Travel? Definitely so.

You’ll find me here

There’s business here first. Life. Joy. Learning. Jubilation. My fresh start. Right. Where. I. Choose to be.



What is it that you are dreaming of starting afresh? What is it that you hope to change this season?

What is it that you’re looking back fondly, or with regret, you haven’t been able to let go?

Perhaps this will be Your Fresh Start season. It’s possible. Just trust & obey.

3. Follow Him! For I know the plans I have for You, says The Lord. Jeremiah 29:11

Until Next time,

Staring Fresh. It’s as simple as that.



  1. Home is where the heart is. Moving to another State can be an adventure, and even a home can be established there. One of these days, we will be called “HOME,” and until then Live each day as unto the Lord. Where He leads I will follow. Thank you Shandra, for sharing with us here at Tell me a True Story.


  2. Hi Shandra! It was so great to see you visiting at #MomentsofHope today! I love reconnecting! What an adventure you have been on, my friend! Praying your fresh start is full of God’s beauty!
    Blessings and smiles,


  3. It sounds like you’ve been on quite an adventure! Amen to “trust and obey.” There’s no better way to live. The road may be hard at times but it will get us where we are supposed to be.


  4. I often think that the joy of being human is that we have the ability to start afresh each and every single day, I restarted my life in sept 2014 after my husband left and it’s a continuing journey but I am so happy with my lot! #weekendblogshare


  5. Well, your post made me think. About my life, where I was, where I’m heading. Mostly where I am right now. And I love this place, right now, I love the people, my family that I share my life with. If they stay with me, everywhere is home and I can bear anything life gives me.. Great post!


  6. Lovely post Shandra. Fresh starts are great, but they can be scary too, which for me is where your trust and obey comes in. Thank you so much for sharing #weekendblogshare x


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