Sunday, February 26, 2012

Rut

I'm in a rut. I know why, and I know it's "okay" right now but I hate being in a rut. Going through the routine, the motions. Getting frustrated when something is spilled or broken. Getting impatient with life. It's as if I can see the light at the end of the tunnel to carefree-land but I'm stuck in quicksand at the entrance.

Grief is weird. It's predictable in its pattern, but then it's not the same for everybody. I want so badly to have a timeline that I can focus on. In two months, you'll feel____, in three you'll feel____ and the sadness will be overshadowed with hope in _____. But nobody knows. Nobody can tell me because nobody knows. Counselors, pastors, friends, family members, they're all helping. Prayers are helping. I'd be a mess without prayer. I can feel the support through your prayers. I'm so thankful.

So I'm in a rut. Y'all pray that I let God get me out of it, would you? Being in a rut does not make a happy mommy. Or a happy daughter to my parents who are carrying the immediate burdens of me and the kids.

Thanks y'all.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Having fun :)

Having fun. Thankful.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

somewhere down in Texas

Tomorrow night at this time I hope to be within an hour of my final destination. If all goes according to plan we will make it to my brother's house around 9:30 pm. And if all goes according to plan everyone will be at least two hours into a great nights sleep.

If all goes according to plan.

Well since recent life events have thrown the plan out the window I never bank on the plan. I can do my part to get us into the car fed, bathed, toileted (still should be a word,) and excited about the trip but what happens from the moment I close the driver's side door until we show up at Graham's house there's no telling what will happen. NO TELLIN y'all.

I've been packing for a few weeks I mean days and like every trip I've ever been on I've enjoyed packing. Someone asked me today if it made me sad to pack since it's the first trip since losing Sean but thankfully it hasn't affected me negatively. First of all he hated road trips. Literally I was never in the car with him for more than three hours. EVER. In six years we never travelled further than Abilene in a car. He was all for flying. Duh. If you've been reading here long you know that I'd rather go the car route. Ahem.

Anyway, packing for this trip means a change of scenery, a chance to let the kids play with cousins they don't get to see often enough. It means waking up and having breakfast with my brother and his family, which I haven't done since December, and before that--I don't even remember. The trip means that we can wake up, put shorts and flip flops on and go down the street to the bakery where there are lots of calories to be enjoyed. Calories in the best forms: apple fritters, cinnamon rolls, and my personal favorite, regular iced donuts with lots of extra icing and sprinkles. Multi-colored sprinkles, not the chocolate ones. I'm not a big chocolate girl. I know, I know, I have issues.

It's warmer where we're going and I'm ready for warmer. I'm ready for Spring, more ready than ever. We know that Spring brings the promise of new life, new things growing. That's where I'm hoping to be: feeling the warmth of God's presence day by day. Looking back on this winter and being thankful it's over. I'm not sure how wise or "right" it is to wish for the seasons to hurry up and change but good Lord I'm ready to say goodbye to clouds and rain. Shoot I forgot Spring has thunderstorms.

Dang.

I don't do thunderstorms. I don't do power outages and loud claps of thunder waking me up and I sure don't do tornado warnings. Nothing reduces me to the mental capacity of a toddler faster than tornado warnings.

See? Issues.

The last week has been full of great blessings. My bible study in Frisco that I was a part of for the last few years blessed me greatly with gifts. Girls from Mom2Mom, I could never thank you enough for your generosity. I am forever grateful for you! Not just because you showered us with your gifts. My very foundation as a momma is wrapped up in your group and when I'm able I hope to come visit and give you the hugs you deserve. Good plan? That reminds me to tell y'all about something else.

The youth group at the church where we served/attended also did unbelievable things for us. One of the students thought to give the kids Christmas gifts and he orchestrated a huge--HUGE--amount of gifts to make their Christmas happy this year. I burst into tears when I found out about it and cry every time I think about it. What a way to give us encouragement and joy! Seeing their faces as they opened things they'd only dreamed of...as hard as that morning was, (and it was hard,) I was also overjoyed that the teenagers that Sean devoted his life to were honoring him in doing what they did. What a gift.

Awkward transition...

Okay. Done. You still with me? This is what I most want you to hear. I mean read.

On Valentines day I opened cards for each of us and felt very loved and remembered. That's a part of this loss, I've realized. While getting back to a routine feels good, (man does it!) I do find myself falling prey to the lie Satan tells us: that I will never mean what I used to mean. Like the tragedy that has rocked our world will always be the only thing that defines our lives from now on. That who Sean was as a man will be lost in the wake of how he died. I am tempted to believe Satan, the king of lies, when he says that I'll never be happy again. That I'll never feel carefree again. He tries to convince me that the kids will suffer and feel incomplete no matter how hard I try to protect them. And I start to wonder if because the sin of the world is so strong, maybe I should wrap them up in cozy blankets and move to an island where I can control everything.

Fear is a powerful motivator, isn't it? It is powerful but it isn't right. I don't need to feel afraid or feel the pressure to be the only protector of my kids. That's false. You know what is also false? The idea that my circumstances are permanent. We are in survival mode, praying a hundred times a day for strength and some sort of peace. I'm feeling more peace every day, and more closure too. But I'm broken. There's no way around that. It's also false to believe that God, seeing this heartache, won't continue to be right beside me every step of the way toward healing. I believe that knowing this level of loss and despair will be a way that God brings comfort and healing to someone else who is hurting. It's not just an afterthought to God. I know that we aren't guinea pigs, used for an experiment then tossed aside. I know all of those things but Satan knows my weakness. He's no fool. So since he's a punk he goes for what he knows will get to me. Then Jesus prompts me to remember the Truth, and I combat what I'm feeling with it. Now more than ever I feel an urgency to share the gospel. I feel the urgency to tell people who don't know Him all about what He can do with a broken life.

Without Christ there would be no hope, no future. What possible good could I find in getting up every day? Like an old friend told me recently, I am the apple of His eye. I am loved and cherished. What more could a girl ask for? He loved me enough to take all of the sins of this world and shoulder them. To trade Himself for me. The ultimate gift, the highest price. And He did it. I hope that you know Him and trust Him too.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Gently, Lord

From the book Things Pondered by Beth Moore:


Gently, Lord

Love me gently, Lord
I'm hurting now.
I've lived to see Your sovereignty
You've taught my knees to bow
I've caught glimpses of Your glory
I've seen Your righteous ways
But right now I need You, Father,
Just to face another day.

You have promised not to always be
Exactly what I please
But You give me sweet assurance
You're exactly what I need.
I need a gentle Father
And the lullaby He sings,
"Let me tuck you safely
Underneath My healing wings."

Love me gently, Lord,
I'm hurting now.
You said, "Take your cross and follow Me."
I beg, please show me how
To celebrate my weakness
That in You I might be strong.
When desperation grips my soul
A moment seems too long.

Oh, God, what noble plans I had
To do this whole thing right
Now I fall before You wounded
And I've lost the will to fight.
There are soldiers all around me
They're depending on me, too.
I fear I've nothing left to give
So, again I ask, Can You?

I'll love you gently, He says,
I know you're hurting now.
You've oft revered my sovereignty
Your knees have dropped to bow
If you could only see things
From My throne's clear point of view
You'd see glimpses of My glory
Are fast at work in you.

I'll love you gently.
Let me soothe your hurting now
I've said, Pick up and follow--
I'll do more than show you how.
I'll turn this Throne of brilliance
Into a rocking chair
Crawl aboard, My precious child,
And I will rock you there.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Corrie ten Boom

Saw this on Facebook and thought it was a great thing to remember!

Work with me

Let's see...

Trying to see if my new method works...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Cold

I'm cold. It's cold here today.

You're welcome.

Hi y'all. Until today I thought all was moving along just fine. I'd posted a few things this week and filled you in on some little things going on, posted a few pictures of the kids and even one of me with my friend KJ. Who knew the app I use to write posts from my phone wasn't working? WHO KNEW? Clearly not me. It wasn't until I today that I realized y'all hadn't heard from me since the weekend.

Gasp

The sad part is that since I can't make the app work (BlogPress,) I can't get the posts that were written/that I thought were already up and running. They're trapped in my phone. One of you techies needs to help a sister out.

If you're my FB friend then you know that I took a break from it early in the week and I wrote a whole post about why, (remember, that is trapped in my phone,) but here's the summary: I was on my phone too much for the wrong reasons. At one point all three of my kids said, "Get off your phone!" in the same day. Y'all, that's pretty bad when you have even a 2 year-old telling you that. I know it's fine to keep in touch with everyone through FB and I honestly love getting to share what God is doing during this process that way--it's a quick, easy way to show you answered prayers, funny stories, and pictures. I was also using it as a mindless escape during times when I started to lose control. I can't exactly go to Mexico every time I get stressed, (at least not in this stage of life! Ha!) so I escaped to my phone. It's a perfectly normal/sane thing to do but I'm trying to listen to what my kids need and apparently they need, well, ME. I have no idea how often I'll be on there now, but my goal is to keep in touch that way and be aware of my time on it.

Okay I feel better.

Well actually I don't. I feel awful. I finally caught the cold/respiratory infection/bronchitis that all of my kids have had in the last few weeks. My voice is gone and I've strained to talk so much that it hurts to try now. If you've called me in the last few days and haven't heard back it's because I haven't called you because you wouldn't be able to hear me. My sister is hating that sentence right now. She's a teacher ;) Plans for tomorrow? Rest.

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matthew 11:28

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The weekend

We went to my in-laws yesterday and splashed in their puddles


And drove their cars


And used their basketball goal


And then we played with cousins and watched their basketball game


And ate together, and we all laughed. We have prayed and prayed and begged for something to laugh about-and we laughed.


And rode around with underage drivers. Don't worry there was a momma right there, who took this picture.


Oh and we didn't comb our hair. See.

It is hard and healing to be with Sean's family. Hard because there is no denying that he should be here too. We all constantly think about what he's missing, what he would be doing, or what he could be fixing for his parents. It's healing, too, because we all know that it's okay to cry. It's okay to talk about what he left us with-the mess of emotions. We are all so broken hearted.

But there is hope. We all have hope. Praise God that we are not facing any of this alone. We have each other to grieve with and God is with us, paving the way through this new life without Sean. Our hope is also tied to the promise of seeing Sean again on the other side of Glory.

So.


On to new painting projects.

Like the smooth transition there?

You're welcome.


This will be our new desk. Stay tuned.


Friday, February 3, 2012

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Where I Belong

On my way home yesterday I heard a song on the radio and thought, "Yep, that's it. That's how I feel today, that's what I needed to hear." Here's the song.


There isn't a title that can cover it all

Different illnesses have taken over our house the last week or so, and I think we're finally on the mend. I'm thankful since I was beginning to think that our new normal would always consist of sleepless nights and at least one kid hanging on my leg all day long. Sometimes more than one. My patience was low, my confidence in my ability to be a parent, you name it, it was a struggle. Then meds kicked in and we all got a few good nights of sleep.


Like magic, I tell you. Sleep is magic. It may be a genetic requirement for at least 10 hours a night and all three of my kids have it, just like their momma. Take away our sleep and the sky will fall. And it will fall fast. You'd think we were all emotionally disturbed if you saw us fumbling around trying to function.


I'm not sure how big or new of news this is to most of you. Like my hair, not much has changed in the last, um 32 years. Old friends remember that I'd always be the first one asleep at parties and often following a late night I'd bottom out and call my mom to come get me. I just wanted to sleep, what can I say?

Moving on.


Did you know that mice can climb walls and get cheese from a mouse trap without getting caught? Are we new to this information? Apparently we have a skilled little guy living in our garage. Max goes nuts every time he is in the garage and there are signs of mouse shenanigans so I know he's in there. My dad caught one about a week ago and we thought our bird seed would be safe but after one day of calm there was another new hole in the bird seed. Last night Dad set a trap and moved it up on top of the refrigerator in the garage so the kids wouldn't get into it, then forgot about it and went to bed. This morning, the cheese was gone and the trap was still set. Apparently we have a Jason Bourne mouse. To sum up our pets at this point we have a mouse who is smarter than our ten year-old dog.


Speaking of Max, lots of you have asked how he's doing since losing Sean and I'm sad to say that he's as anxious as ever. He doesn't seem worse as far as anxiety when I leave him goes but he has upped his bravery to steal food right in front of me. He has always seen me as his big sister instead of his master, so I knew it might be a rough transition for him. He has to take me seriously now, so he's trying to get away with all he can before surrendering. In the last two weeks he's eaten a bar of soap, two whole, (plus the plastic,) loaves of bread, a big ball of packing tape and a new jar of Valentine candy corn.

Y'all, I could not make this stuff up.


I catch myself sending Sean pictures of what he's done, since I used to do this all the time when Sean was at work. Like, "Look what YOUR dog just did!" It makes me sad when I realize I can't send him anything. It was such a normal thing, just sending him texts and pictures when something funny happened. Each time it hits me that he's not on the other side of his phone a wave washes over me. He was so excited to get pictures of the kids when he was away! He'd say it helped with him wanting to just turn around and come home. He hated missing what the kids were doing, what they were learning. And now he's missing so much. When I think of all he will miss in the future I can't stop crying. Lord be near.


I've slowly thought through things that I want to do for the kids so that they have their Daddy as visible as possible around our house. There's a mixture of sadness and peace in my heart about it, since I know that every time I pass a picture I'll miss him. The peace comes from knowing they will know all about him every day of their lives. They'll know how much he loved being their dad and how much delight he felt in everything they did. They'll see the humor he shared with everybody he knew. They will know the depth of his love for his family and the depth of his love for me. I have cards that he's given me over the years that now will always represent who he was as a husband. He was a good man, full of funny ideas and all-encompassing hugs. They will never wonder about him if I can help it. They will know.





Psalm 121:1-8


"I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains? No, my strength comes from God, who made the heaven, and earth, and mountains. He won't let you stumble, your Guardian God won't fall asleep. Not on your life! Israel's Guardian will never doze or sleep. God's your Guardian, right at your side to protect you. Shielding you from sunstroke, sheltering you from moonstroke. God guards you from every evil, he guards your very life. He guards you when you leave and when you return, he guards you now, he guards you always."