Tag: worry


watching God do His thang… (& other random mind dumps)


Okay, so you guys know, if you know ME or if you’ve read here much at all, that I am a “retired” homeschool mom of two twenty-something sons.  Yeah, I’ve been “retired” for quite some time!

Homeschooling was the greatest, most best decision we ever made.  Yes, even though I had plenty of days when I was quite certain it was the WORST decision we ever made.  I think as a mom OR dad, wanting to do the very best for your children, we all have those doubts when trying to determine what’s best for our kids.  Even though we were happy having the boys at home and I loved being a stay-at-home mom teaching my boys, there were still days that it seemed like a really baaaad choice!  There are probably those moments in anything we pursue that is ultimately good.

I would never say I was a “great” homeschool mother.  I wouldn’t even say I was “good” at it most days.  But I tried my best to meet the needs of my children.  I know families with 8+ children who have a whole posse of little virtuoso in a variety of areas.  Music, mathematics, communication, entrepreneurship… you name it.  Many of those kids are now doing extremely well in their adult lives.  My boys are no exception to that.  I feel like, at least for me, this is the litmus test as to whether homeschooling was a success.

While my youngest son chose not to finish high school, he is still doing well.  He never attended any other type of school than at home.  My boys have quite different personalities and while our eldest enjoyed learning at home, our youngest had a different bent.  He wanted nothing to do with anything that came hard to him.  If it wasn’t easy or something he was extremely interested in, he just didn’t want to do it at all.  And he was several times more stubborn than his mother, so this made continuing his education at home very difficult.

I don’t want to rehash old problems or bring up too much from a really hard time in our family, but our baby became very rebellious, very hateful toward me specifically.  I’m not sure if that was just because I was the “authority” figure  for the large part of his life at that time (since I was also his ‘teacher’) or if it was more personally directed at me, but it was very obvious and it broke my heart.

By the time he was 14 or 15, he began to just refuse to do his lessons.  He had a car by this time, one he had bought himself and was working on to have ready by the time he got his license, so of course, he spent a ton of time doing that.  When he’d  refuse to read anything else, no matter how hard I’d tried to find literature that would interest him, he would devour anything about his car without hesitation.  And yes, I did try to allow as much as I could for the how-to car reading to count toward his school, but that wouldn’t fill all the requirements.  But no matter what we threatened or how hard we explained why he needed to do the other work, he would just refuse.  He wasn’t super-in-your-face with his refusal, but he’d sit for hours NOT doing the work you gave him.

Needless to say, I was frustrated beyond words and it became harder and harder to deal with.  It didn’t make it any easier that the boys’ father wasn’t really a disciplinarian in that area.  I’m trying NOT to sound disrespectful or like I am bashing Tommy, but he just wasn’t involved with schooling very much.  He felt that was my job, my territory, and when I would come to him with concerns or problems,  he just wasn’t very helpful in addressing them.  I think he felt like he and Casey were more alike and Corey and I were alike so he usually seemed to “side” with Casey.  I say “sided” because that’s how it felt.  In hindsight, I think Tommy just didn’t know what to do, he wasn’t fully aware of how bad things had become and that’s what informed his actions.  The way most things go in parenting, we always just do the best we know how at the time and I think that’s what happened here.

All these years later, we discovered that there were things happening in Casey’s life that we had absolutely no clue about.  He shut himself off from us and seeing how he rebelled even more if we tried to approach him, we just gave him space.  We had no clue he needed us to break through his walls, to be praying for him in specific ways, to help him navigate some horrible things.  When I was made aware of this stuff, just a few years ago, it broke my heart all over again.  What kind of mother am I to not know??  To not see how much my child needed his parents to intervene??  Even if he was pushing me away with all his might, how could I not know how much he was hurting?  Those thoughts bring the tears, even now.  Nothing is more heartbreaking as a mother than to realize you failed your child in such a huge way.

deep sigh

All of that to say, even with all this failure and heartbreak, I don’t regret homeschooling my boys.  And to see them today, both successful in their jobs, both contributing, functional adults in spite of their “lack of socialization” (pshh!) is a balm to my mama-soul!

You may not know, but Corey, our eldest, recently moved with his wife to the Cincinnati area for a new job.  The company found his profile on LinkedIn and sent a request for his application!  Out of the blue.  Realizing this, as a homeschool mom, was a real boost for me personally.  I mean, after all the naysayers either aloud or privately saying my children would suffer from our choosing to teach them at home?  I thank God for this affirmation that we did what we should have at the time.

Casey and Corey have always worked together in their grandpa’s business (my dad), which is a combination of various plumbing-related things.  They’ve sort of grown up in the trade, working summers from the time they were barely teenagers to the year Corey put off his graduation in order to help my dad when his only other employee at the time (my father-in-law) had suffered a heart attack and dad sorely needed the help.  Corey was not quite 17 when he made that decision and because we homeschooled, it was totally possible to do this.

When Corey left to take this job, it left Casey with a role he hadn’t ever filled before.  And let me say, this was a job too good for Corey to pass.  It was higher pay with commissions and bonuses, less stress of being responsible for both office work and keeping track of and working on jobs and less being resented because to others, it seemed Corey was doing less because of his time doing office work.  There’s also benefits like retirement and 401k plans that aren’t available with my dad’s business and room to advance.  There’s also a respect that Corey didn’t get here at home.  No one who knows the situation could possibly fault him for taking the job.  As much as it pained me to see him move, I can’t deny that in so many other areas, he’s a lot better off than he was here.

It really took him leaving for my dad and Casey to realize how much Corey was actually doing.  So as far as the resentment shown when Corey informed them he was leaving, there’s now a respect that had never been shown before.  It always hurt me so much to know that the boys, both of them, were dealing with so much stress and tension from my dad, who seemed to not understand or be willing to admit that doing things the same old way weren’t working.  Any new idea the boys came up with was met with scorn and most times, ridicule so they had to continue doing things a more difficult way while bearing the weight of their grandfather’s disapproval.

I love my dad, don’t get me wrong.  But he can be impossibly bullheaded sometimes.  Like most of us, I guess, only… well, more so!  I think now that these changes have been made, he’s beginning to see that there need to be new ways of doing things than he’s done all his adult life with his various businesses.  I just hope Casey can continue to urge him to make the changes.  Casey is much better at communicating or at least confronting my dad than Corey was.  Casey will get in his face and tell him when he’s being irrational  or stubborn where Corey would just bite his tongue and let Pap carry on his own path.  Overall, I think Corey’s leaving has been a positive thing all around.  I had been very worried that it would be only negative here at home, with the business. but it seems to have ushered in some new realizations so I’m hopeful things will be better here as well.

Casey is now having to step us as more of the salesman for the company, the “people-person”, which had been Corey’s role most of the time.  And granted, I think both the boys would agree that Corey has an easier time with that than Casey most of the time.  Although Casey is learning and he does very well most of the time anyway, it doesn’t come as naturally to him as it does Corey.  It’s been good to see Casey maturing in the way he sees the business now that he doesn’t have his brother to leave all that to.  Maybe I’m a little biased since I am the eldest in my family, but I think it’s just easy for the younger to leave things up to the elder.  It’s like a natural role so when there’s never an opportunity for the younger to take the lead, they will continue to let the older sibling tend to those things.  It’s not that Casey is unable, it’s just that he’d never really had to before, so in all, it’s a good thing, I believe.

In case you’re wondering about that title, it was intended to refer to how things just fell into place with Corey moving and getting this job.  He has all this time he never had before and he’s figuring out what to do with himself.  That’s a good problem to have.  Granted, some of that no-time-for-himself thing was because he was also serving as youth pastor at his church here.  Not only was he dealing with all the stuff from the business, he had kids calling on him at all hours with various issues plus all the activities that were most of the time scheduled by someone else without consulting Corey first.  It was just a lot on his plate.

But the whole thing with this new job just sort of happened all at once.  They contacted him, he sent a resume, then went up for an interview, the next week he went for another interview and then the offer letter came.  All that happened in less than a month beginning around the first week of November and then they wanted him to start in January!  They had to settle their house, pack it up and get rid of what they weren’t keeping, deal with settling Corey’s part of the business, find an apartment and figure out how to get moved up there all at once!  It was crazy times, let me tell ya!

And this poor mom had like ZERO time to adjust to all this.  I mean, like I’ve said, I never dreamed either of my boys would move out of town, let alone out of state!  And even if I thought one of them might move, I always figured that would be Casey, not Corey.  It was like total shock!

Thankfully, I got to spend time with them after Tommy and I helped the kids find an apartment, so we had first-hand knowledge of where they were and what kind of place they had, what type of area they lived in and all that.  I think they really appreciated our help.  It all went so smoothly, with only 4 of them (Melissa’s uncle and cousin came to help) unloading the UHaul and getting done right ahead of the snowy rain?  That was just God, y’all.  He was just working through the entire thing.

They went from a 1400 square foot home with a full finished basement to a 1000 square foot apartment with a small storage room about the size of a closet!  Needless to say, they got rid of a ton of stuff.  Their apartment is nice, cozy but roomy enough for them.  It’s also roomy enough to house a few guests for a few days (or a week.. I stayed with them almost a week at the end of January).  Ha.  Their dog, Timber the Australian Shepherd, has adjusted extremely well.  Even with the company changing start dates on Corey and having him start a couple days before he even had his work van organized, he’s done really well and has been noticed by the management and owners.

Casey seems to have adjusted to the new role he has and although he’s working a lot, he’s doing well, too.  I would honestly be tickled if he would move up there and take a job with this company too.  They recruited Corey because of his experience in plumbing and the fact that he has his Master Plumber license and they have just started expanding their business into plumbing and need licensed plumbers!  But Casey doesn’t seem interested and that may have more to do with his wife, I don’t know.  Shoot, if Tommy wasn’t less than five years from retirement, I would be pushing him to move up there and apply with this company.  It’s been voted one of the top businesses in Cincinnati several years in a row and anyone who knows about it says it is an awesome company.  They really have a stellar reputation and they do business in such a no-nonsense way that seeks to accommodate customers while also taking great care of their employees.  They have an open-door policy among management, which in this company means there are NO doors in their offices!  How cool is that?  You won’t find many companies that think this way!

Anyway, I guess all this is just to give God ALL the credit for working things out so well.  For helping me deal with my anxiety over the sudden move, for making things smooth out here at home as well as for Corey in his new home and job.  Now, if the boys would just allow God to move and work in repairing their relationship, I’d be super-thrilled!  Over the last few years, the boys have seemed to get this growing tension in their relationship.  I think it’s been partially due to dealing with dad and the stress of working with him and each other and the changes that came with their marriages and adding new family members.  Casey and Mel were almost like brother and sister when Corey first got married.  It was good to see him be so at ease with her and watch them have fun being around each other.

I think after Casey moved into the basement of my parents’ old house (where Corey and Mel lived–the three of them bought the house together for some reason I’ll never understand–my dad arranged the whole thing) things seemed to change and I don’t know why.  Maybe it was the dynamics or maybe the proximity?  I just don’t know.

Things just change over time, and I know that.  I just never dreamed they would drift so far apart or that one would push the other away.  Growing up, they were each other’s best friend.  As they began to get a little older, into double digits I guess, they spent more time with other people, had the chance to make other friends.  Corey, like I said, is just generally more outgoing and quick to extend himself to make a friend.  Not that he tried to leave Casey behind.  It wasn’t like that at all.  Most of the time, Casey was included in whatever Corey did, whoever Corey hung out with.  I guess maybe as time went on, Casey began to feel like he was in Corey’s shadow?  I don’t know why.  At least, I never saw Corey treat Casey with anything other than patience.  Maybe I didn’t see everything.  I don’t know.

I mean, obviously with the things that Casey got into when he hit the teens without me even having a clue, how would I know what was really happening?  Did I miss things between them, right under my nose too?  I tried so hard to do everything I could to help them learn and have fun and do the things they wanted.  How did I mess it up so bad?

How could I fail so bad?  So big?  Our one son barely acknowledges us most of the time and has many times brought his brother to tears the way he’s shut him out, shoved him away in the past 3-4 years.  Why did I not know he was struggling with something dark and evil?  He was a teenager.  He was surly and aloof.  We thought he needed his space.  We gave him his space and apparently the space for this evil to get an even tighter grip.  He grew more and more hateful toward me.  He seemed to just despise me and I didn’t know why.  I thought it had to do with school, but apparently the evil had given him more fuel to just add to his resentment toward me.  I have been so hurt, so heartbroken over the way he’s treated me.

My response to hurt, after it goes on for awhile, is to just shut down.  To just shut myself off from the hurt by avoiding it, the person causing it, to steel myself to it.  So I just tried to keep from losing it.  After trying to reach out to him, trying to show him how much I cared and having him push me away, I just quit trying.  I avoided him or shut my emotions off when it came to talking to him.  Maybe he saw that as proof that whatever horrible thing he thought of me was true?  I don’t know.   It was just the only way I knew to deal with it.   So yeah, I guess I just allowed my heart to harden, to turn to stone  a little bit.

If you read about The Dark Secret, the really depressing, maddening thing that was going on in our marriage for almost 20 years at the time all this was happening, you might realize, I was hardly hanging on to reality sometimes.  It was all I could do to keep from losing it most days.  Add to that the awful state our finance tend to stay in.. more so now than when the kids were at home.  I guess it’s because the both of us have so many stupid medical bills, take so much medicine now, but for some reason, we seem to never have enough money.  We really don’t splurge on anything, but still we always have to juggle the bills trying to keep from going under.

All of that is a lot for my brain.  I have a really hard time not being dismally depressed.  I have to constantly tell myself I am blessed.  I have a lot to be thankful for.  Then I get a notice that the bank balance is dismal, or a reminder that my youngest son doesn’t like me or a bad blood sugar or I run out of a medicine knowing I have to wait for the next paycheck to get my refill…  that’s all it takes for me to just slide down into the pit a little further.

Soooo…after explaining my title and now sorta obliterating it with my random bout of ‘the dumps’, let me say that I still cling to the fact that God loves me.  He has my best interests at heart in everything He leads me to and leads me through.  I don’t know why I tend so heavily toward depression.  I don’t know why my relationship with my youngest son is such a mess or why we didn’t know he needed us to rescue him from himself when he was a kid.  I don’t know why we have to constantly struggle to make ends meet.  Why we can’t ever rest because we can’t seem to keep our bills paid.  I don’t know why we had to endure all those years, those decades with our marriage in shambles.  I don’t know why He kept us together through all that other than to receive the healing we did.  To show us that it’s never too late.

So as I sit here, in tears, hurting and wishing I understood, wishing things weren’t the way they are but having no clue how to change it.  Worrying how we’ll pay for things, if I’ll ever not hurt when I’m with my baby son, if I’ll ever be able to have all my kids together, daughters-in-law included, and not have to worry that they’re trading barbs or if what they’re saying carries a double meaning, worrying that we will have spent our entire marriage scrapping, struggling to have enough money to pay bills and buy medicine.  Feeling SO tired of worrying.  So guilty that I worry when I am supposed to trust God.  Feeling like such a failure in so many, many ways….  just know that later, maybe not tomorrow, but later, soon… I will be better.  I’ll realize things aren’t as dismal as they seem, that God’s still got me.

God always has me.  This I know.  <3

 


you are not your past


Have you heard that before?  Maybe you heard something like this: “Don’t look back at your past, you’re not going that way” or “You can’t have a brighter future if you keep living in the past.”

That’s not just an inspirational thought some dude had to use in motivational speeches.  It’s biblical.  Isaiah wrote this jewel that God said to Jacob, the father of the nation of Israel:

Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?  
~Isaiah 43:18-19 ESV
Don't answer when your past comes calling.  It has nothing new to say.
I’m thinking about this because of a young friend I have.  He’s been “around” our family for years now, since he was in grade school.  He’s in his 20’s now and doing pretty good with a steady job.  He lives in the next town over, and he works full time, so he’s not here often.  Not nearly as much as he used to be, but occasionally, he’ll send me a message that often begins with Hey mama.  That’s what he calls me.  I love that he can feel that I’m here for him whenever.  I have fretted about and prayed over this boy for years.  Sometimes he gets way off track and worries me to death, but all I can do is pray.  And the Lord has pulled him back every time.  If I was actually his mom, I’d be a lot more proactive in trying to help him.  But with the distance and of course, his own family, it’s hard for me to do that…but I often wish I could really “mother” him, ya know?
I have this whole don’t-let-your-past-dictate-your-future thing on my mind because as best I can tell, my boy really has an issue with this.  I’ve known it for years.  He seems to feel he doesn’t measure up.  Even though he’s made a profession of faith and at one time was very faithful to be in church, he’s long since fallen away from that.  When things get really hairy in his life, that seems to be when he remembers that and I’ll get that inevitable hey mama message from him.
He’s a very closed individual, too, which makes it even harder to help him.  He often won’t tell me exactly what’s going on or he won’t tell me the whole story.  I have to guess or assume and just pray the best I know how.  He knows I will be here and I think he knows I’m not going to scold him or whatever.  I don’t understand why he won’t open up to me other than he just finds it extremely hard.
You can't read the next chapter if you keep re-reading the last one.
I can understand that, actually.  I used to be that way.  Now, most of the time, I feel as if I over-share.  Ha.  Or as if I have entrusted the wrong person with my very private, inner struggles.  Actually, I’m quite certain I’ve done that on more occasions that I care to think about, but once it’s done, you can’t undo it, so I try not to fret about that.
I’ve come to understand the value of unloading stuff by talking it out.  I’ve had professional folk to do that with a couple times, but end up feeling as if I’m wasting my money after awhile.  I mean, there’s only so much they can do unless you have like, major traumas that you’ve buried or something.  As a kid, I used to write.  I had NO close friends and no family that I could share with, so I wrote all that was on my heart.  I didn’t really know how to pray and unload all that stuff and somehow, it helped to transfer it from my head to paper.  At one time, I had several notebooks full of my thoughts.  Like a diary, but not very chronological.   Once my mother found them, and read them, when I was in high school, I stopped doing that completely and promptly burned all the notebooks I had.  For too many years after that, I had no real outlet for my feelings.  It’s just not good for a person to keep all those things bottled up inside, just as it’s not good to continuously talk about them if there is no positive feedback or forward-moving results.
And so, that’s where I am with my boy.  He’s worried about a health issue now and beginning to see that he hasn’t been really leading the best life he could or the kind of life he knows that he should.  But he insists on keeping everything close to the vest and won’t let anyone in completely.  It’s just frustrating to know someone needs to confide but just can’t bring themselves to do it.  *sigh*
If we hold onto the past, we are essentially building tall walls around ourselves.  We limit where we can go and what we can do within the confines of our past selves, our past way of life.
I know a lot of people, most are good friends, who were addicts in the past.  They do such a great work in sharing their testimony with others so they can see there is hope for change.  That they can break the chains of the addiction and become the person they want to be.  So these people do talk about their pasts.  Often, actually!  But they merely relate them so others can see how far they’ve come.
I guess that’s the difference between ‘living in the past’ and ‘growing out of it’.   In most cases, you would be hard-pressed to pick these people out as former addicts.  They neither look nor act anything at all like they did in their pasts.  It’s as if they are talking about another person entirely instead of themselves.  You look at them, healthy and happy and working for the good of others and think, “How could you be the same person you are describing to me?!”  But they are.  And that’s the power of recovery, especially recovery that comes through Jesus.  A recovery that comes through finding a true relationship with Christ heals more than your addictions.  It heals your mind and your spirit as well.  It’s a more complete healing instead of just taking away your drug or alcohol abuse.
You can't have a better tomorrow if you're still thinking about yesterday.
All this rambling and pondering to say this to anyone who might be struggling to leave the past behind them…it is a biblical principle!  I’ll leave you with a few more examples:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.  
~2 Corinthians 5:17
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.  
~Colossians 1:13-14
…But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
~Philippians 3:13-14
How do you let go of the past?  How do  you help others to let go?  What is your best advice for someone who struggles to let go or who is helping someone who can’t let go?
Blessings!
G~


push


Cycling. I really do like it. I probably don’t love it like many people. I sometimes have to make myself ‘just do it’… I have to overcome the mind games that make me hesitate when I’m scared because of the pain from falling or whatever. When I am tired or sore, when I don’t wanna deal with the sweat and aching muscles.

Right now, I am just proud that I can make myself get on the trainer at least a few times a week. I mean, that’s a huge step forward for me. I want to get healthier and smaller. I want to get stronger and more focused.

I’m not a “pusher” though. I am not big on doing ‘the hard thing’. I’m the first one to quit when it gets hard or difficult or ugly. Well, at least physically. Although I guess there are things about me, parts of me that are always doing the hard things. I mean, living life with a chronic disease, one that never gives you a day off, never a moment to forget about it… that’s a hard thing if ever there was one. So … I dunno… maybe I’m a little stronger than I give myself credit for, but I could definitely be stronger than I am.

I am almost a total opposite of my crazy hubby, though. He never backs down from something he wants to accomplish. Like cycling. He has been committed to doing this century challenge this year. After his wreck, the crutches and all, he was still saying he’d give it a try. Then, he’d move wrong and get that muscle aching really bad and say that he couldn’t.

With this trip coming up this weekend, his work conference in Nashville, we have a LOT to get done before Sunday when we plan to leave right from church. Last weekend was planned to be the first leg of the century challenge with our local Redbud Ride, but he wasn’t at all ready to attempt that. About a week before this, we learned that they were making changes so that if you volunteered to work the ride, then you would be permitted to do your century ride either the weekend before or after the Redbud and still have it count toward the challenge.

He was so excited about that and started making plans to do that. We DID have a fun day working at one of the rest stops and driving SAG
Volunteers for Redbud Ride 2015
And earlier this week is when he’d told some other riders that he didn’t think he was going to try doing a century this weekend.

Then he rode about 20 miles. And didn’t feel all that bad. He told me the muscle that was injured and has been giving him so much pain felt better. So now he wants to attempt to do this 100-mile bicycle ride. Tomorrow. The day before we leave for him to attend a 3-day conference for work.

*sigh* I’m just not sure about the wisdom of this, especially when he’s not been training for that long a ride at all. Not one bit! He says he’ll just start it and see how much of it he can do. He had said before that even if he had to walk the worst hills in the ride that he’d rather do that so he could still have this first century done with.

This wouldn’t be such a big deal except that if he does this ride, it will mean I must be his “SAG Wagon”…I’ll have to follow him in the truck all day. And understand, a ride this long will take at least 7 hours for a very fit athlete. I’m thinking, even if he didn’t have to walk any hills it will take him around 9 hours to finish.

Now, I’ve never driven SAG before for more than 10 miles for him. That is enough to know it’s not fun. The very most you can run is about 20 mph, and that’s only in certain areas, ya know? So it’s a long, slow exercise in patience. And we’ve already established that I am NOT a patient person.

Yes, I’m also worried that at the very least, he’s going to feel miserable for an almost-4-hour drive to Nashville the very next day, not to mention that this will kill an entire day I was counting on to get things ready and packed. I worry that he’ll injure or re-injure himself in the process. And I’ll have to do something with Max for that whole time. I can’t imagine dealing with him in the truck for the entire ride, but that may be what I’ll have to do. Maybe I could put him in Sam’s pen for the day, but boy, is he going to be a mess once we get home. Probably physically as well as ‘mentally’… he’s pretty hyper if he’s been confined for any length of time and I hate dealing with him when he’s like that.

I know. I sound pathetically unsympathetic, don’t I? And perhaps I am to some extent, but I HATE feeling this pressure and he sees as me not supporting him. I DO support him, but dangit if this thing isn’t becoming more and more trouble. If he had ridden the century during the Redbud, there would have been a ton of SAG support provided. This way, I will have to do it AND there won’t be the public awareness to be cautious of cyclists either, which adds to the danger factor.

Yes, yes… *sigh* I know there’s not much “awareness” of riders when we just head out for a spontaneous (or even a planned) ride, there’s no news crews out covering it or any giant crowds to let anyone know there’s a special event going on. But sheesh… this is A HUNDRED MILES!?!

Maybe it’s just the sheer monumental-ness of the task that is bothering me. If Hubby does this, he will be on Cloud 9. He’ll be so pleased with and proud of himself, as well he should be! And *I* will be proud of him too, if I survive, that is. Ha.

I know, I KNOW!! I’m so selfish. Fear of the unknown is gripping me. The pressure to be ready in time, of losing a whole day to prepare. The worry that he will make the injury worse or be hurting the whole time we’re gone, when he’s supposed to be concentrating on what’s going on.

Ugh.

Fine. Maybe I’m being selfish, but I DO support him in this. I admire how determined he is. I drove SAG for him back to our house a few days ago and just kind of sat in awe of how he pushes himself beyond what’s comfortable and maybe even safe sometimes. (which is the case here…the ER doctor told him he didn’t think he would be ready to do a century for this ride)

I just found out a lady who sort of heads up our cycling club is planning to drive SAG for the riders (there are several) who are going to do the century tomorrow so maybe he has changed his mind about thinking I’m unsupportive. And she had said she would do this a couple weeks ago so I’m not quite sure why he is insisting on me doing it for him. *SIGH*

Shutting up now. I have stuff to do! LOL!

No matter what he thinks of my support or lack of it, I will be cheering louder than anyone when he does this, no matter how much of it he completes.

Post-Redbud Ride ride 2015

1 Corinthians 9:26-27“So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”


all the things I leave unsaid


So, I started a post over a week ago about our impromptu vacation. I was going to tell you that we had a nice time, how we went to this huge indoor waterpark with our oldest kiddos. How we even got my dad to go in with us (but not down the water slide) How I was so sore from walking several times up four stories’ worth of stairs to go down these crazy slides. How I got dumped out in the huge funnel/cone/whatsit when I went down with my DIL and freaked myself (& her, I think) out.

inside the funnel, where I got tossed out!

the outside of the funnel at night and NO those lights are NOT visible on the inside!

Wilderness of the Smokies Waterpark

Me, DIL1 & Hubby

But I just couldn’t seem to do it for some reason. Maybe because it was chaos by the time we got home. It started to snow as we headed back. We stopped at a Trader Joe’s to pick up some coffee and amazing triple ginger snaps, so it was coming down pretty good once we got home.

out my back door - Snowmageddon 2015 out my back door

Then, by the first of this week, we got hit with what’s being called Snowmageddon 2015. We have about a foot of snow and at this point in time, frigid temperatures and our governor has declared a state of emergency.

That’s how all four of the kids and hubby together coerced me into going “sledding” on Monday, or maybe Tuesday. I’ve lost track of time now. It was still when the initial snow storm was still in progress. We took our four-wheeler to get us back up the hill faster, but ended up having to push it up and we were all freezing and getting covered with snow so we packed it in once each of us had a turn going down the hill.

A huge blessing::: My boys sort of cooperatively suggested that we all go up to our youngest kiddos’ house and eat chili. They’d fixed a pot earlier that day and Hubby and I had fixed some the day before and had lots of leftovers. So we spent the evening up there, all my kids together for the first time in months. It was so nice and also sad that it was such a momentous thing to me. I mean, perhaps I wish I could take it for granted, if that makes sense? It just struck me that I shouldn’t have to be so extremely excited that my kids would agree to all have a meal and spend a couple of hours together with us. But nevertheless, I was glad to have that time and pray that more times like that will follow and won’t be so far in between.

Anyway, this past week or so, I have fallen back into a cycle of just being totally exhausted, wanting to sleep most of the time and just feeling like crud. I am so sick of it. I just pray that I will get some meds that might help. I need to order more Thrive, which is a program of supplements that seems to really help me with energy and the inflammation/pain in my joints, but it’s so expensive and we can’t afford it right now.

I’m so sick of worrying about money, too. *sigh* But that’s a whole other post, right? I sometimes wonder if it is me having a wrong attitude about money or if somehow God sees us as unfit to handle money. Not that I would disagree. We have failed hugely in the past. And it’s not that I “want” a lot of stuff. I would just like to not have to worry about being able to afford my meds or visits to the doctor!

I’m not sure what brought that on, other than just “the things that bug me” …ha ha.

2 Corinthians 4:7-9 — “7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;”


being single isn’t for me


For those who don’t know, I’m married.  Not separated, not divorced.. just minus my man for a longer amount of time than I am used to the past couple weeks!  Normally, he doesn’t travel much at all for his work.  Maybe a couple days once or twice a year.

However, he’s been gone almost 2 weeks this time!!  It happened that two different conferences/seminars were happening back-to-back & they wanted him to attend both.

Egads, but it’s been cah-ray-zee around here!!  He left the day after I got back from serving 3 days with Emmaus, so there was that.  Then he left that Tuesday for Alabama. (I’d just gotten back Monday night) He got back from there late Saturday night.  We dumped his clothes into the washer and then hit the hay.  We rushed to get to church the next morning, then ran home, finished his clothes, repacked them, adding some winter clothes since this time he was going north to Indianapolis and off he went at 1pm Sunday afternoon.  This is Thursday afternoon and he’s just now heading back home.

Thank God!!

I woke up kinda sick Monday morning & not wanting it to progress, I decided to go on to the doctor, which meant sitting there pretty much all day.  Turns out I had yet aNOTHER double ear infection and the beginnings of bronchitis.  AGAIN.  Ugh!  So they did the usual, two shots & a round of Omnicef.  I thought, great, I will beat this out before it gets any worse.

WRONG.

Woke up yesterday (Wed) morning feeling worse.  But I had an MK training that I really needed to go to, so I went.  I wasn’t out in the cold that much, just between the truck & my house, then to her house & back home again.  I went straight to bed soon as I got home,  hoping some sleep would somehow improve the condition.

I got home about 3:30 pm yesterday, so when the hubby called around 7 pm & woke me up, I quickly realized I was NOT better.  I was worse, if anything.  Very tight chest with barking cough & lots of congestion in my head.  Ugh!

So I finally went back to bed around 11 pm, exhausted so I fell back to sleep pretty quick.  Around 3 am I groggily woke up wondering if I had left my little poodle outside because I could hear distant barking.  But it was Samson, our chocolate lab, going crazy in his pen outside.

He never makes a fuss, so I was concerned, but didn’t have a clue what I should do.  I was now dealing with Tucker, the poodle who was doing his own loud barking now.  I texted Tommy because frankly, I just didn’t know what to do.

I looked out at the pen which is in a bit of light from the night-light across the street.  I could see him walking round & round his house, looking away from our house & just barking.  I couldn’t see anything or figure out any direction he was focusing on.  I thought maybe it was a skunk or a stray dog, but didn’t see a dog & didn’t smell a skunk.

I didn’t get a response from Tommy so I called him.  No answer.  I was desperate now to get Tucker to shut up (he doesn’t have an inside voice) so I turned on Pandora & laid back down with my bedside lamp on.  Tommy called me in a few minutes & I told him what was going on.  My head was SO full of gunk & I was trying to blow as much out as I could.. I felt purely miserable!

Then he tells me I need to take the shotgun & go let Samson out of his pen.

*SIIIIGH*   Really?

Ugh.

Did I mention I have this double-ear infection & bronchials from Hades right now?

So I muster up my courage, remind myself that God is always with me (seriously!), that fear is the enemy’s tool to make us lose focus of what God wants for us AND that I was really really tired & wouldn’t be getting any sleep til Samson shut up… and I stepped out into the dark.

Of course, everything was fine as best I could tell.  Sometimes we have coyotes around here, but I hadn’t heard any & it was kinda cold for them to just be roaming around.  I didn’t smell the first hint of a skunk & you KNOW when those suckers are causing trouble even if you never see them.  So I don’t know what Sam was so upset about.

I do know that when I came back in the house, I called Hubby back, as was the plan, *(to tell him I was still alive, I guess.  Haha!) that sleep did NOT just pounce on me like I’d hoped.  ImageAs sleepy & sick as I was, there was no sleep for me.  I propped my trusty .410 within quick reach right at the bedroom door & just stared at it while I waited for sleep to come.

I think it finally showed up about 5 that morning.  “You took your sweet time!”, I thought to myself.

Ahhh, so now my husband is home at last.  I am just not good alone.  Just NO GOOD at single.  And I guess, after almost 30 years of marriage, that’s probably a good thing!