Thursday, February 19, 2004


“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
~ II Timothy 1:7 (KJV)

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
~ The Serenity Prayer

When we moved to Singapore back in 1973, one of the biggest adjustments was the weather. Due to Singapore’s close proximity to the Equator, the climate is always hot and the humidity is very high – about 75% (on the average). As a result, there are only two seasons – sunny or rainy.

As much as I enjoyed the experience of living in Singapore (not to mention meeting Keen), I really missed the changing of the seasons. Everything was so predictable – not like Kansas where we are blessed to be able to enjoy all four seasons. I love the way a new season comes along just about the time I’ve grown weary of the last one.

Change is good. It keeps life interesting and fresh. But sometimes change is painful. Sometimes it barges into our lives rudely, like an uninvited visitor who arrives at a bad time. But we don’t have any say about the events in our lives that occur unexpectedly – like a death in the family or the loss of a job.

Other times change is something we choose for ourselves. When my sister Mary made the agonizing decision to end her abusive marriage after 25 years, she knew it was what she had to do for her own survival – but that didn’t make it any easier.

This is a something I wrote for Mary during that difficult time.

A Sister’s Sorrow
By Eileen Umbehr

She never wanted it to be this way
This wasn’t the dream she had so long ago,
when she walked down the isle with the man
she wanted to grow old with

No, this doesn’t even come close.

The dream is shattered by reality
Hope has vanished -
Her heart is broken

With every painful step toward the end, she cries.
Grieving for what might have been
Realizing she’s been holding on to what she wanted -
not what she had.

A fantasy.

Even still, this is the hardest thing she’s ever had to do.
The death of a family.
The death of a dream.

She fights on. She struggles in her mind.
Is there anything worth saving here?

Then…. she remembers….

Mary, Mimi, Jess, Chloe & Gus


Yet, no matter how painful the process, change is a necessary and natural part of life - like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. Mary and her children have never regretted their decision to strive for a better life – a life of freedom, joy and serenity.

A friend of mine sent me this interesting piece titled Changes Come.

Changes Come
By Ralph Marston

To be alive is to change, from moment to moment, from day to day. You take what comes to you and you make of it what you will, changing all the while. Some people see themselves as cursed by those changes that come their way. Others see themselves as blessed by the opportunities that those same changes present. And the fact is, how you see change, how you live it, how you choose to deal with life as it changes, makes all the difference. For change is an engine that can take you as high as you dare to dream.

Changes come continuously and relentlessly. Indeed, they are what keep you alive and what keeps life interesting. So grab those changes and make them your friends. For it is through change that you arrive at precisely where you desire to go.

In closing, I’d like to share a poem I wrote recently.

By Eileen Umbehr

Have you ever felt like you’re growing
(not upward or outward, thank the Lord)
But in a new direction
That you’ve never gone before?

Well, that’s how I feel right now
A change is coming over me
I’m beginning to find the courage
To make my dreams a reality

Now you’re probably wondering -
What dreams, you might ask
I guess you could say that I’m learning
To be real and remove my mask.

I don’t want to live my life
Trying to please everyone else
Because they all have a different opinion
And I have to be true to myself

Change isn’t always easy
You have to leave your comfort zone
But you’ll never regret your decision,
Once you see how much you’ve grown

And if anybody doesn’t like
The changes they see in you
Don’t let them get you down,
Just invite them to try changing, too

Because life is just too short
To let it pass you by
So look in your heart - discover yourself
Then spread your wings and fly!

If you always do
What you’ve always done
You’ll always be
What you’ve always been
~ Josh McDowell