GET ROCKED BY CHANGE.

ImageAll of us are constantly dealing with transition and change in our lives.

My life is practically built on change: moving out, college, marriage, death of friends, travel, different jobs… But moving from Oregon to South Carolina was definitely a big one.

Everyone is different in how they embrace it. Some seem to dread change and even become angry about it, while others thrive in it. Why is that?

Change can be good.

I’d love to share just a few things that have really been important parts of coping and adjusting to so many big changes at once.

Here are a few things that have helped me this year:

1. Pray Fervently–You’ll never feel such peace.

I know this seems super Christianese… and you’d think that working in a church, one would just pray automatically, all the time-but that is very untrue.

Entering a new community in a leadership position can be tricky. Working with people can be stressful as it is tempting to overanalyze the emotions of others.

This year, I’ve learned to be very intentional about prayer. Every night I go on a walk. I don’t exactly just walk down the street and back either, I usually walk for at least an hour. The exercise is great and time goes fast as I spend most of it processing, planning and praying.

I have found that prayer helps me to love others, gives me wisdom in tricky situations, and reminds me that I don’t have to be in control of everything. Prayer keeps me grounded even when life is unpredictable.

2. Be Great at Your Job–It takes the stress right off…

There are a ton of perks in my job at the church. I work my own hours, with great people, doing something I really believe in! There are also some unexciting parts of my job, too. Let’s be honest, budgeting, spreadsheets, emails and long planning meetings are not exactly my idea of a party. There are a few skills I have had to learn (and am still learning).

You know what is even worse than being someone who isn’t naturally detailed in the middle of an administrative position? Not getting any better at it.

When I worked in a church of 100 people, I could get away with being pretty last minute. Working in a church of 1,600 people is very different. I’ve actually had to plan, prepare, communicate, organize, and study.

I decided to grow in hard areas-and by doing so, I was relieved of so much stress. Be great at things that stress you out, it does wonders for your sleep life.

3. Accept Where You Are–You can’t change everything.

There were several moments of panic for both Anna and I during our first few months here in South Carolina-It would be those times where we realized something expensive was coming up or one of our friends got married back home and we couldn’t just “go.”

We are content partially as a conscious decision-maybe you could call it a step of faith. Around six months in, we realized it didn’t matter if we panicked and that we couldn’t control everything.

Life becomes much more simple when you learn to “roll with it.” Accepting your situation also brings a lot of unexpected joy-even in a difficult circumstance. What things in your life are simply out of your control? At some point, we all have to stop fighting life.

4. Find Things You Love–Why not have some fun?

The weather here is perfect like 85% of the year for riding around on my moped. It feels awesome outside to have the wind in your face at a speedy 35 miles an hour.

Seriously though, it saves me a ton on insurance and costs $4 per month in gas. I live a mile from my office, so I couldn’t get around cheaper unless I rode a bicycle. I do like bicycles, but down here those guys all get hit by cars. Virtually nobody in this town is brave enough to ride a bike.

I also love getting downtown because there is something really cool about walking around in a city that experienced the Civil War, and has been around for so long. Palmetto trees, history museums and the warm Atlantic Ocean have all been so fun.

I find new things down here I like all the time-though sometimes I have to look for them. We all have to look sometimes. Seek… you’ll find.

Those are a few of the things that have made the last year of my life so fulfilling. This year has absolutely rocked me. I hope some of the things I have learned this year can be an encouragement to you in whatever change or transition you’re going through this week!

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Differences in Living in the Pacific Northwest and the South.

Around a year ago, my wife and I moved from the Pacific Northwest (Oregon) to the Deep South (South Carolina). As you can imagine, it has been a pretty big transition and a really exciting adventure. People are often intrigued over what it is like to live in such extreme parts of the Country and constantly wondering how Anna and I are adjusting to it. In my experience, the contrasts are subtle but still significant. The contrasts have also really pointed out a lot about people to me. Oregon and South Carolina have one huge thing in common, they are filled with people. I am learning that these people have much more in common than they realize. But sometimes, even the most subtle differences can make us feel thousands of miles apart. Here are a few differences I have found interesting thus far:

1. Ma’am and sir. Especially children and teenagers automatically call Anna and I ma’am and sir. We laugh (not in a mean way) but we just don’t know how to respond to it! Even after a year, it is still super weird every time it happens! It is also the worst thing in the world to have someone who works a job that society deems lowly (like a janitor or fast food worker) call me “sir”  or “boss.” I mean, it’s polite and all but seriously, I’m 28 not 70. Nobody who is 60+ years in age should ever call me boss just because they work behind a counter. My name is Scott:)

Speaking of politeness, the South is so hospitable and polite that at first it is far more difficult to tell when people are insulting you-or talking down to you. Now that I’ve lived here for a little over a year I pick it up more when people say mean things in a nice way to others… like “Bless your heart” or “Oh, I must not have said that clear enough for you.” I’ve noticed that Southern hospitality is amazing and real, but it only goes so far. From what I’ve gathered (over this last year especially), it seems that great parenting, healthy community and personality result in a nice person-not being from a specific part of the country.

2. Weather. There is an old saying in South Carolina. It goes something along the lines of this: There is just a screen door between Columbia and Hell.  I believe it, too-haha. Humidity at 100% is nothing short of painful. It’s hard to breathe, stay dry, walk or even exist for that matter. They say you get used to it… false, you just learn to not go outside. Believe it or not, I get most of my reading done in the summer! That is one big thing I miss about summers in the Northwest, being outside enjoying the mild summers.

3. The difference between genuinely cool and trendy. Trends seem to change quickly and they are so fickle. I’ve learned that there is a big difference between having an attractive personality and being trendy. The Portland area is filled with such a “diverse people.” But they all seems to follow trends. Whether it’s organic food, nature, local art, or simply certain parts of town it can all be hard to keep up with because it keeps changing. The Hawthorne area was a rough part of town growing up, now it’s virtually a tourist attraction. One thing I noticed after not being there for over a full year, was that I had missed out on some of the fashion changes and new cool restaurants and coffee shops that are always popping up. Everyone had moved on from the old places it seemed. Its a great area, but its filled with people who are all at very pivotal points in their lives, as they all change and grow, so the town does too. It has really caused me to think more deeply about community. Adults and even senior citizens are needed because there is a certain consistency and stability that often comes with them.

The greatest thing about moving so far from home is how much you learn about the world and about yourself. If you want some perspective on life-leave everything you know behind and go adventure! I’ve learned not to identify myself by where I am from. Where I am from is a part of me, but nobody can be reduced to a geographical location.

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Ready? … GO!

Hi.

My name is Scott.

I am 28 years old and love music, photography, stories, and people. I’ve been married for three years already and have the coolest great dane in the world named Sadie. Occupationally, I’ve worked a ton of odd jobs over the years, but the Christian Church is where I’ve been every since I graduated college.

You might be able to guess this-but working in a church gives one a pretty unique perspective on life. Churches are full of people, people are full of stories, and stories teach us a lot about life.

Thats the great thing about my story and your story-we can learn from each other.  Most of us are a mix of deep thoughts, beliefs and emotions that rarely surface.

Why don’t our real thoughts and beliefs on things surface more often? Why is it so rare to have great conversation with other people? I’ve talked to so many people over the years who have a million friends yet still feel lonely.

One thing I’ve learned thus far is that life is super short. That fact has always stirred a deep burden within me: I want to make a difference in the world before I die and my story is over. I want to live well-and part of living well is being authentic. I created this blog mostly to share some honest and authentic thoughts. This blog is:

1. A place I can share what I’m learning in life, leadership and administration.

2. A place I can encourage others.

3. A place to share thoughts and reflections on everything that I spend so much time thinking about (life, religion, and people) in an un-churchy way.

I hope you read it. I hope you respond to it either on here or you can email me at spousche@gmail.com. Most of all, I hope reading my thoughts inspire your own thoughts. I hope you find the boldness to be real this week. I hope that you will authentically share your life with others-maybe you are needed by others more than you realize.

Scott