I love this quote: "Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them - that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like." - Lao Tzu
Change is never more so apparent, than on the eve of graduation.
On Saturday, I'll travel to Fayetteville to see three girls I've watched grow into amazing young women, walk across the stage to receive their diplomas.
The three were members of a middle school small group I led (or better yet, they led, I was the "adult" in charge) oh so long ago.
It's bittersweet and yet exciting to see Tanna, Biz and Connor on the brink of adulthood.
On Saturday I'll watch Siloam Springs (Arkansas) High School seniors Elizabeth "Biz" Reisbeck, Tanna Eiland and Connor Bedor (far right) graduate from high school. They are shown along with Tanna's younger sister, Tabitha (second from right).
Hard to imagine the obnoxious squirts who have brought so much joy and laughter to my life for so many years are old enough to be high school graduates.
I'm proud to have them in my life, and proud to be part of this milestone weekend.
If they are reading this, and thinking I'm getting to mushy, here's something to make them laugh - I might just hand you my phone on Saturday and say "have fun calling China."
(Tanna and Bizzy tried without success one day, while we were traveling back from a youth event - I was driving and had to just listen as they giggled in the back of the van.)
Speaking of changes, next week we'll be adding to the staff of The Grove Sun.
We will formally introduce him on Tuesday, but beginning Monday Christian Favalora will join the news team as our new Sports Editor.
Let the rejoicing among sports fans begin. I'm excited to have Christian join the team and to bring some new ideas from his time on the staff of the Oklahoma State University's newspaper the O'Colly.
Christian is just one new face you'll see around this summer. The Grove Sun will host an OSU intern thanks to the Oklahoma Press Association's foundation.
Taryn Sanderson, a journalism student from OSU, will be here during June and July learning the ropes of community journalism. We'll tell you more about her in her first week - but I'll tell you this, I'm quite excited to "pick" her brain for some new ideas.
In the meantime, we're still looking for a place for Taryn to live during her eight-week time in Grove. She's bring her car, clothes and cat. So if you have an idea - or know of somewhere we can house her for the eight weeks - let me know. I'd appreciate any housing leads you might have.
It's a season of change. To all of the graduates - high school and college - I'll leave you with two thoughts.
My favorite Bible verse to give to graduates is this "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take." - Prov. 3:5-6.
Or this quote from Kate Morton in The Forgotten Garden. "He had the vague sense of standing on a threshold, the crossing of which would change everything.”
Y'all are standing on the threshold of life. Enjoy the changes - the good and the bad - because all together, they make life quite sweet.
So here's the bits and pieces for this week. Have a great weekend, be safe and enjoy the sun!
Editor's Note: This column was originally published in the May 16, 2014 issue of The Grove Sun.