The title is a description of my old life...but these days I ramble on about widowhood, homeschooling, single parenting, adoption, special-needs parenting, & living a life I never planned for or expected - a life that God, thankfully, continues to strengthen & equip me for daily...
more awake tonight than when I was when I wrote my last post, so, hopefully
I'll sound a little more connected!
I had a
delightful 3+ hour lunch today with two of my favorite ladies, Carol and Jeanne.Carol is my mom's age and goes to my church.
I adore her - she's so "un-old," Jeanne is 81 and a good friend of
Carol's.I met her last Jan. when her
second husband was in hospice care.Actually, her first husband was one of my professors at Faith 25 yrs
ago.Small world.Jeanne is going to be a guest speaker on
widow issues for a class at Faith next month and it sounds like I may get to
tag along for that.I'm excited!
up talking aboutremarriage,
though.Even though I am determined to not
date until the three year mark has occurred, the subject keeps coming up with
people!I don't know if it's because I
think about it or if it's because I'm past the one year mark and people are
just wondering what I'm planning to do with mylife.But anyway, I was pretty
touched when Carol and Jeanne informed me that they are not going to let
me make a mistake when it comes to this all-important decision - that they
intend to be right there vetting any potential second husbands and making sure
I'm not about to mess up my life.Sweet
friends...I appreciate their wisdom and concern for me.
the boys had their first flag football game of the season.I had to miss my mom's group to attend which
I didn't want to do at all.I felt so
torn.Will drove down to help coach but
ended up playing because they were short a player.He was pretty tickled about that, even though
he's got a bad cold right now that is working its way into his chest.He was even more tickled when he found
his good football in the tub of equipment.That thing disappeared a year ago but he was positive he had not left it
on the field and ultimately ended up replacing it.
though, I'm just thankful I got to go anywhere after the day I had
yesterday.Oh, man...So, Iowa is kind of a big deal when it
comes to politics.Every year Sen.
Harkin has this steak fry in Indianola, which is where I go to church.It's held right off Hwy 92 which where my church
is located and the highway I take to go home.It's kind of a big deal for Democrats.Actually, it's a huge deal.This
is the last one because after 40 years (! Term limits, anyone?) Harkin is
finally hanging up his liberal hat and retiring.Everyone who is anyone in the fairy tale
world of Democrats was to be at this thing.The Clintons were there, the national
media was there, and all kinds of Democratic senators and representatives and
people who like to hob nob with the elites paid big money to attend, too.
really think anything about it as I pulled out of the church parking lot and
onto the highway.I'm toodling along and
soon I realized I was stuck in bumper to bumper traffic as vehicle after
vehicle got in line to attend the steak fry.I just wanted to go home and eat my chicken in the crockpot.It was kind of interesting, a little
bit.We did see a group of protesters
holding up signs asking questions about Benghazi and suggesting that Obama
should be impeached.But mostly, it was
all leftist propaganda.Huge posters
staked into the ground encouraged people to vote democrat if they want to solve
global warming (eyeball rolling here).Others exclaimed, "Run, Hillary, Run!" (more eyeball rolling
on my part).There wasn't a thing I
could do except sit tight and enjoy the show.I should have gone up Hwy 69, construction and all and circled back
through Carlisle.Even with the construction delays and backtracking it would
have been faster than this circus.
my van died - right in the middle of traffic.Having a non-functioning vehicle in traffic is right at the top of my
THINGS TO WORRY ABOUT list.In fact,
last month when I took my van in for alignment I asked them to check things out
to make sure I wasn't in any immediate risk for this very type of event.They missed something, but we'll get to that
later.Holy cow - what to do now?There's a car in front of me and another on
my bumper.I put the van in park and
restarted it, which it did,But then it
died.Each time my battery light would
come on and the engine would shoot to "hot."I thought - alternator?But those usually give you some type of
warning they're on the fritz.I did this
twice more before I pulled over to the shoulder.By this point I wanted to
hyperventilate.Just in front of us on
the same stretch of shoulder were protesters.These ones held up pictures of dead Palestinians and called for the
destruction of Israel - or something like
that.The world is truly coming to an
end.Biblical prophecy is unfolding
right before my eyes, just up the road from my own church and I have a dead van.It would have been an excellent time for the
my pastor, who ultimately ended up coming with his son.I felt so bad later when it dawned on me that
it was his birthday and I had just interrupted his birthday lunch!He assured me all was well, but I still feel
bad about that.I then called AAA but I
didn't get very far with them because I couldn't tell the guy where exactly I
was.There were too many people and too
many protesters for me to read the street sign up ahead.In the meantime, David had called Will and
described what was happening.It didn't
take long for Will to call back and tell us he was pretty sure my serpentine
belt had slipped off.David jumped out,
popped the hood, and sure enough, the belt was not on the track where it should
be.But I couldn't fix that.
waiting for Pastor to show up and pretty soon this long black car with very
dark tinted widows pulled up behind us.My first thought was, "Secret Service - I am in SO much
trouble!"But the guy that got out
looked like media, so maybe he just snagged a ride with an SS guy - if that's
what it was in the first place.
Pastor made it and we pushed my van further over on the shoulder.We got pretty close to the anti-Israel
protestors and I thought it might be a shame if my van tire
"accidentally" rolled over someone's foot.They were fortunate, is all I can say.Pastor brought me the church van, handed me the
keys, helped load the kids up in it, and told me to keep it as long as I needed
it. What a blessing!Then, he stood out in traffic, held up his
hand to stop the onslaught of traffic and I was able to pull out and drive
home.That was my first time ever
driving a full-size van, too.
the afternoon, Will came down.He got
some tools, a remnant piece of carpet from our remodeling,and the hydraulic jack out of the
garage.We drove over there and Will
commented that last summer, while working at camp, he ended up working on two
vans just like mine, so he had a good idea of what to do (God at work
again!).He took off the tire, removed
the cover, and discovered that the tensioner, a piece of equipment that holds
the belt had gone out.He's guessing
that when the new belt was put on last month it "snapped" enough for
the mechanics to assume it was still working so they didn't know it needed to
be replaced.The past few weeks that
belt has slowly been working its way off.
because I drove to Iowa City last Wed and I'm doing it
again next Wed.Yes, it was rather
embarrassing and inconvenient to get caught up in the Democrat traffic jam, but
better there than on the highway two hours from home.Better to do it in Indianola where I have
friends that can help.And how fortunate
am I to have a son who knew what to do and who wasn't hours and hours away at
college?All it took was about an hour
of time on Will's part and a $43 replacement part.But, thankfulness and all, I am very happy that yesterday is OVER!
yesterday's event has caused me to realize that there would probably be some
wisdom in beginning to search for a second vehicle now.I don't have anything else to drive if
something happens to my van.I want to
replace our truck, anyway, with a dual cab one that would fit most of us.David will be driving next summer and I'll
need a second vehicle then.I don't
really want him driving a truck for his first vehicle but Will and I have
discussed the possibility of having David start out in his car and Will take the new
truck.So, we're going to start nosing
around on Craig's List and see what we can find.As much as I intend to keep my van upkept and
road worthy it's just the nature of the beast for things to wear out more and
more as they get older.I need to have a
back-up in place for when those times happen.
getting another debit card again.I have been going through those things like candy this last year.It's really annoying because I have a number
of payments that are tied to that card and every time I have to replace the
card, I have to notify all those creditors.I got caught up in the Target breach last winter and was issued a new
card.And then I went and lost that card
a few months later and had to get a new one (grrr).David found it in the van about an hour after
I got home from the bank :( And then this summer I bought my lawn mower at Home
Depot.I never shop at that place
but they were the only ones who carried the mower I wanted.And of course the news broke a week or so ago
about a credit card breach at Home Depot.I wasn't surprised when my bank called me late last week and said,
"Uh, we're sending you a new card."Argh!Seriously?!This almost makes me see the value of being a
cash-only customer.I mean, I am cash
only in that I don't use credit, but maybe carrying around bills with me is the
way to go instead.This is getting old.
to a concert next month with Will.He
invited me to go as his (paying) date.He's taking a music appreciation class this semester and has to attend 3
classical concerts.The Piano Guys are
doing one night in Des Moines so he thought that would be a
good way to fulfill one of the concert requirements.I don't really know anything about them so I
youtubed one of their performances and enjoyed it.They have a unique twist on the
classics.Will said a lot of his
classmates are going to this particular concert.And apparently, he's still willing to
take his mother, even though he is risking being seen with me by his peers!I am rather flattered.I think he's going to surprise Lizzie and
take her to one of the other concerts that he has to attend later.It was my idea and Will was agreeable.She is going to be thrilled down to the tips of her toes
to do something alone with her big brother!
concert, though, is the same week as the NBA pre-season game that we have
tickets for - being held in the same place, too!That will be a busy week, that's for sure.
the girls came down Friday afternoon/evening.She brought cupcakes and party plates and treats for the Littles to
celebrate the girls' one year adoption anniversary (this Friday).How many people would think to do that for
someone else's kids?She's something
else.We went to the mall, as usual, and ended up spending quite a bit
of time at Barnes and Noble.I found
myself in the magazine section, perusing the selections.Nothing appealed to me.And then I realized what I was subconsciously
sure that doesn't exist.They have
magazines about motorcycles, weddings, Hollywood, cooking, travel,sports, home remodeling, and electronics, but
I am fairly certain there are no magazines out there devoted to the subject of
death and dying.
there should be.
When I realized
what I was looking for, though, I kind of laughed at myself in a rather
sardonic manner.And then I joined my
kids over in the children's section and watched them play with the train set
and forced myself to sit down, relax, and enjoy their moments.
need to read a magazine on coping with life after death.They're living it.I could take a few lessons from them.
months...and I'm still hurting.Some
nights, like tonight, it feels like you just left instead of it being more than
a year ago.Of course, it doesn't help
when I crawl on YouTube looking for songs about death and loss.Music has been huge for me since you've died,
but sometimes it stirs up sadness that quickly becomes overwhelming.You know what songs I like best, though?The ones about Heaven and the ones that give
reminders that of how happy you are and how much the kids and I are being held
I have a
new picture on my desk right here by the computer.Actually, it's an old picture.It's the one I should have used for the
funeral brochure but I was in such a daze I didn't even think of it at the
time.It doesn't matter.It's the picture taken of us at that Murder
Mystery theater we visited in Denver three months before you
died.Remember that night?It was so much fun.We both laughed a lot that night.Before the evening was over you asked the
neighbors to our left to snap our picture and she caught our happiness on the
camera.That's the picture that's on our
gravestone now.I've had it in a little
4X6 sitting on one of the shelves you made above the sink for the past
year.I've probably looked at it a
thousand times.I was given a beautiful
5X7 frame by some on-line friends after your death and I finally had that same
picture enlarged and now it's right here.Every time I look at it, I'm startled to see your smiling face looking
at me. I suppose in time I'll get used to it being here on my desk and not
think anything of it so much. We both look so relaxed in the picture.What a special trip that was...
moving along.You know how busy it was
before you died - it seems even busier now.Today was one of those perfect fall Saturdays.The Hawkeyes were playing (they lost - you
probably already know that, but if you didn't, I know you're not surprised by
the news), the air was crisp and cool, and Will came home.He stayed here all day.I told him I loved having "all my chicks
under one roof" but then I immediately felt sad because I was reminded
that, for the rest of my life, there will always be someone missing.
along, too.I'm giving a lot of thought
to my future these days, trying to figure out if I should go back to college or
not and thinking aboutwhen the right
time to pursue gaining some employment would be.Sometimes I'm resentful that I have to
consider these things.I wasn't supposed
to have to worry about supporting our kids.That was your job.Mine was just
to manage the money and take care of the house and kids.Now I have to do it all.Sometimes I almost feel mad about that, but
mostly, I'm just sad.I know you would
have never wanted this for me - back when your perspective was purely
human.Now, I have a feeling that you
have the ability to see the good things that this type of hardship is creating
in me, even if I only see the difficulty of it.
changing, though - mostly in good ways, I think.Yesterday Marcia was here and she commented
that she has seen growth in me since your death.I know that's a good thing, and it's nice to hear, but I would have
preferred growth to come in a different way.I'm pretty sure we don't get to choose what grows us, though! I know we don't.
myself thinking sometimes more frequently now about marrying again
someday.A long, long time from now...I
know you'd be the first to tell me to go for it.And I probably will if I can find anyone that
will want me...someone who measures up to what you were to me.All that will come in good time and in God's
timing so I'm honestly not in any hurry.I have a feeling I've got some growing to do first as I learn to be more
independent. But I know that even if the day does come that I'm able to love
again, you will always lay claim to a chunk of my heart.
hop on my computer tonight to tell you all this, anyway.I just wanted to tell you that I still miss
you.Some days it's more of a familiar,
far-away ache and then there are times, like tonight, when it's sharper.I miss hearing you clear your throat, I miss
the low, tenor drumbeat sound of hearing you talk on your phone in the back
room (which, by the way, doesn't exist anymore - it's all one big open space,
just the way you'd planned it).I miss
seeing the relief in your eyes when you'd step into the house, dirty and
dog-tired, but your eyes would light up as if to say, "Finally - I'm
home!"I miss the sound of your
shaver in the morning and the sight of your workboots on the kitchen
floor.I miss the warmth of your body in
our bed.I still sleep with your pillow,
every single night.I wrap my arms
around it and sometimes I can almost pretend it's you I'm holding.
miss being able to threaten the kids during the day, "Do you want me to
have to call your dad?"But that's
a complaint for another time!On that,
all I can say is that God, apparently, has more confidence in me than I
do.Parenting alone is, by far, the hardest
task I've ever taken on.We thought
things were tough when we were given a special needs baby - piece of cake.And when the girls came we exclaimed to
eachother, "This is SO hard!"It was, but there are even more difficult tasks, I've found.I can hear you whispering, "Philippians
4:13" in my ear right now...
I miss you
- so much.I'm healing,
though.I really am.A year ago, I was a shattered mess.I still feel pretty broken, but there's a
strength behind that brokenness that is growing a little bit every day.I have a feeling you're probably proud of me,
but more than that, I think you're mostly filled with awe and love toward our
God Who is enabling me to do what I never imagined I could.Because I couldn't- not without His strength flowing through
his scarred, loving hands.
there's probably some moments you are face-palming yourself, too as you watch
some of my more dumb moments as I blunder along this journey.Hopefully, God is reserving your glimpses of
earth for more of my stellar moments and keeping those times of my idiocy to
Paul...we never imagined this, did we?But here we are separated by this temporary veil.One day, soon, I hope this will all be over
and we'll be reunited on Heaven's shores.Until then,
missing you, loving you, and appreciating you far more than I did when you were
day.I did not get a single thing
accomplished except making some pumpkin bars.Of course, when you spend 4 hours driving and a couple of hours in Iowa City, it kind of shoots the entire
wouldn't be so bad except that two weeks from today I'll be doing it all over
again.And then I have to go back
again.And when Ben has surgery (!) it
will be yet another IA City trip.Ugh.
thought this was a one-time deal.I
couldn't get anyone to do Ben's fillings here, was sent to IA City and I
thought they were going to take care of them and send us home!But no, as it turned out this visit was
merely a consultation in which I had to detail Ben's entire dental
history along with his behaviors from infancy onward regarding dental
line: he now has 4 cavities, two on each side.Since he tolerated having his teeth counted well today they want to try
to fill them normally, with a Novocain and a drill.Ben hasn't had that since we used to papoose
him at Creighton school of dentistry when he was between ages 3 - 8.Our last dentist in Clive did only laser work
which Ben tolerated wonderfully.IA City
wants to do this in two separate visits.But, if he panics and it doesn't work out then we'll probably just do it
wisdom teeth have to come out.I hadn't
even thought about that.Will still has
his and hasn't been bothered by them so I didn't stop to think that Ben is
probably at an age where his are maturing.The dentist said with the shape of Ben's mouth there is "no
way" the teeth are going to come in on their own.I'm thinking that maybe we should do
everything surgically then, anyway, since the teeth are going to have to come
out.But they're telling me that they'd
like to see if Ben can handle dental work while awake because if he can then
maybe they can do the wisdom teeth in a chair with an IV rather than having to
do it at the hospital.Ok...but that
means I'm going to be spending a lot of gas money and time running to Iowa City for all this...sigh...
if it works out, I'd like to postpone the wisdom teeth removal until next
summer so he doesn't have to miss any school.If I could get it scheduled after he goes to camp and before David
starts Driver's Ed (I'll have to load all 5 kids up twice a day to take and
retrieve him for about 2 weeks of classes) that would work best I think.
I may have
to contact Transportation Reimbursement (Medicaid service) in regards to paying
for these trips.These people are a
nightmare to work with, which is why I gave up a few years ago trying to get
them to pay for Ben's medical trips.The
stress wasn't worth it.But with a
minimum of 3 more IA City trips in my near future, I'm going to need some help.
So that is
that for now, anyway.What else?
Oh, I have
a leak.All that rain yesterday.I'm not sure exactly what we got.I guess I should go look in the wheelbarrow
that's been sitting in my front yard for the last week - I'd probably have a
good idea then.But most surrounding
cities are reporting totals of 4-6".My basement stayed perfectly dry, praise the Lord.But we discovered a wet ceiling panel in the
kitchen today.It came through that old
bathroom window upstairs.That window is
actually scheduled to be replaced, along with Will's bedroom window when I have
the siding done next month.I think that
window is so ancient the rain went right through it.I am fearful that there may be an awful lot
of wood rot that will be discovered when they go to replace it (which is going
to translate into a more expensive job).I know when Paul replaced the windows on the opposite side of the
upstairs in the girls' bedroom he ended up rebuilding the entire wall!I am also praying the rain did not get into
the new drywall there in the kitchen that's right beside where the leak has
shown up.Sometimes I hate being a
homeowner.Correction: I hate being a
SINGLE homeowner.It wasn't too bad when
Paul was alive.
missing him today - and not just because of my leaky ceiling.I think a trigger for me is long trips when
the kids are either being exceptionally quiet or I'm alone.Ben had his headphones on the entire time so
it was just the radio and me for 4 hours.It's not the depression or feelings of hopelessness, though.It's just grief.By now, I recognize its sharp edges and am
even comfortable with its presence.It
is no longer paralyzing.I feel it
coming on, kind like a black cloak is descending over me.Its pointy edges burrow into my stomach and
chest and it just sits there for a time and then it quietly leaves - sometimes
after a few hours, sometimes a few days.
lost another tooth this week, this time a canine tooth on the bottom.She's getting a decided jack-o-lantern look
to her smile!She showed me her
remaining top tooth and that's sitting cockeyed now, too.She told me she's been wiggling it really
hard because she heard me say I hoped she'd have both teeth out before she gets
her birthday pictures done next month.Oh, Lizzie...I told her to stop it.I didn't mean she needed to pull out her teeth just to please me!
this week I found her curled up on the floor with her blanket and pillow.I managed to rouse her enough to get her to
climb back into her bed.The next
morning I asked her why she had been on the floor and she said simply,
"Oh, there was a spider in my bed."Well, that might make me sleep on the floor, too...
I was at
Goodwill with her last Friday and while I was standing in line she was browsing
through all the stuff on display near the check-out aisle.There was a rack of granny panties that I
presume some store couldn't sell and donated.I wonder why they always feature a youngish woman on those panty
packages?I don't think anyone under 60
wears those kind of underwear!But
Lizzie, who is not a quiet child, had to pipe up, "Oh, look, Mom!This is the kind of underwear YOU
wear!"And of course, the checkout
lane at Goodwill was exceptionally long when she made her erroneous
I took the Littles to a kid consignment store while David was at Learning
RX.While there, Sam and Lizzie asked to
get their Halloween costumes.It was as
good as time as any, so I was agreeable.Sam chose a camo hunting costume.I made Lizzie narrow her choices down to three to try on.One was a bear with a furry brown head.Lizzie looked at herself in the mirror and
seriously commented, "Well, it's a good thing I'm already brown because I
match!"I couldn't help it - I
laughed!She ended up going with a white
Cleopatra costume, though.It looked
just stunning against her previously mentioned brown skin.Unfortunately for her, she lives in Iowa and there's no way I'm going
to let her traipse all over town bare-armed the last night of October - not
unless I want a sick kid for the next week!So we're going to have to find a white turtleneck to put under that,
along with some long underwear and sweatpants!
There is a
great deal of satisfaction I am finding in knowing that you raised a child and
you raised him well.I had one of those
moments yesterday when Will texted me a picture of one of the pages in a book
he's reading for a class.He wrote,
"should be 'accepted,'right?"He had found an error - "excepted" instead of
"accepted."He makes me
proud.I suspect that what he was
reading was probably old English and they did some funky stuff with the
language back then.But I'm just pleased
as all get out that he knows the difference between the two words and can
I had a
brainstorm this week about the basement desks.Paul had his desk and I had mine, which is actually a painted metal,
drop-leaf antique table from the 50s.After he died I did re-do the files in his desk drawers to make them
easier for me to access and rearranged some of the other drawers.But I haven't actually used his desk for
much, other than storing some scrapbooking supplies on top of it.Last week I found myself frustrated as I
attempted to pay bills amidst all the clutter of crafty things on my
table.But I've always paid bills there
- that's MY space and Paul's desk was his.A couple of days later it suddenly occurred to me that there is no
reason I can't use Paul's desk for my own now.Why not use my table only for scrapbooking and other crafty endeavors
and use Paul's desk for bill paying and organization?It's an obvious solution but it took me this
long to come up with it!I got that all
switched around and oh, it'snice now!
done with my "Widows Wear Stilettos" book.I really have appreciated this book.It's a practical widows manual covering all
kinds of topics regarding this new station in life.One thing the author covers is eventual dating
and remarriage.She even tells you what
to say and what not to say on a first date about your deceased mate.That's good to know.Knowing myself, I'd probably lay out the
whole sorry story of Paul's death on my first date and scare off the poor guy.One thing she brought up that I thought was
interesting was that a lot of men don't want to date widows.That surprised me because I would think that
a man would appreciate a widow (obviously faithful - stood by her man until the
end) over a divorcee.But the author
said that men, by and large, prefer the divorced because they don't feel then
like they have to compete with a dead man.Plus, a divorced woman probably has some animosity toward her former
husband, so he's definitely going to look good in comparison.But a widow - too much "baggage"
was the word the author used.
that's depressing to those of us hoping to find love again someday!But, I have to remind myself that all this is
said leaving God out of the equation.The right man won't be scared off.
not now.I'm just thinking ahead.
I've got.I want to take a bath and
crawl into bed.I've got my electric
blanket back on my bed and I think I will appreciate that tonight.Fall arrived quickly this year.I'm not complaining! I love the cooler temps
and putting away of summer.Fall is comforting.
I hope my
section of Heaven is in an eternal autumn state - leaves crunching on the
ground, pumpkins decorating the front porch of my mansion, a fire crackling
inside the front door...
And just like that...the sun came out.Not outside.It's actually been pouring torrentially off and on for the past 6
hours.I helped serve the students
tonight at Simpson College's "Food for the Soul" (area churches take
two nights a school year feeding the students at the religious center) which
meant going in and out of our church and then in and out over there and then in
and out back again at church- in a downpour.I made my way home in rain so heavy I could barely see, praying that I
wouldn't drive into a flooded area on the road.I came home absolutely drenched and chilled.Even though it was only I announced to the kids that I was
going to take a shower so I could, "dry off," (thinking ahead to
after my shower when I would be warm and dry again).David looked at me and said, "Uh, I
don't think taking a shower is going to get you dry!"
But inside my soul, the sun is shining.I know others have been praying for me.I have no doubt.As far as depressions go, mine really didn't
last all that long.I know people who
live their entire lives in depressed states.Personality-wise, I actually fall into the "Melancholy"
category which doesn't mean I'm depressed, but it means I have a creative,
deep-thinking type of personality and those types of personalities do tend to
lend themselves to depression more than the other three types.I do not live my life on a "high"
either - I'm not a people person, although I like most people.I'm not sanguine, I'm don't bounce in
excitement, and jump from one high spot to another.I'm really pretty steady and usually rather
content, neither happy nor unhappy.
Until the last few weeks.Looking back, I think I've been in a steady decline since the
anniversary of Paul's death.It's just
been in the past few weeks that I became acutely aware of my unhappiness and
frustrated as I sought to escape its burden.
Sunday changed things for me.I don't mind going to church.I
have continued to go faithfully for the kids' sake, if not my own.A great deal of my social life and emotional
support is found in my church.But it's
been more of a struggle this summer to actually listen.When you are grieving it is so easy to
dismiss a lot of what you hearespecially if the speaker has not walked a similar path of travail.The kids were not the only reason I've
continued to be faithful to be church, of course.I know it's the right thing to do.I also instinctually recognized that if I was
ever to recover from this malaise, it wasn't going to happen of my own
doing.God was the only one who could
recognize me and who's to say He might not do it in church?Seems like a good place to start to me,
The first thing that caught my attention Sunday was the
little Horizons insert in the bulletin.This week they had an article written about trusting God's sovereignty in
both the little frustrations of life, along with, of course, the great
trials.What caught my attention the
most was a series of points the author drew out of Psalm 139.That particular psalm is the one most
commonly used to point to God's view on the value of life in the womb.That's what I've pretty much associated it
with.But here are the points that so
V.1 God has searched us and known us
(My thoughts) He KNOWS me.He knows me right now, while I'm hurting and
depressed and unable to think like I normally do
v.2 He knows when we sit and when we
If he knows even these minute details
about my life, then how much more does He know about my pain and troubling
v. 2,3 He discerns our thoughts, and
He is acqainted with all our ways
He knows what's typical for me and He
knows that I've been struggling with isn't normal
v. 4 He knows our every thought, even
before we do
Not even Paul could claim that, and
he knew me better than anybody
v.5 He has put a hedge or protection
around us and laid His protecting hand on us
Widowed, I feel so vulnerable without
the protection of my husband.But I have
a Protector even greater than Paul ever was
v. 7-12 We can never slip out of His
No matter what and no matter where my
frail mind may take me
v. 10-12 He leads us and holds us
Oh, yes, he does.
v. 13-16 We learn that He had laid
out His plans for us before our bodies were even formed
Billions of people throughout
history, but yet He has a plan for ME!
v. 16 We learn that He thinks of us
constantly. In fact, He wrote our very
"members," or parts, in His book
Paul used to sometimes list off to me all of his favorite body parts of mine,
from the obvious to silly ones, like the back of my knees.I am so precious to God that He has written
down everything there is to know about me!
v. 19 He will slay the wicked
Those that have wronged me during
this time of grief, and other times, too, will be held accountable.Maybe it shouldn't, but that fact does give
me a certain amount of satisfaction!
v. 23, 24 He will search us and try
us, and know our hearts, leading us in His everlasting way
Because I am so loved, testing will
happen in an attempt to refine me and make me more like Him.I am THAT important to Him!
* Credit to Trisha Johnson who came
up with these points in her article
During the Sunday School hour I read these truths,
repeatedly. I just couldn't get enough of them.I suddenly felt hope. I also pulled out the 3X5 card I had written the passage I'm memorizing on and worked on that. I'm sure Pastor did a good job with Sunday School, but I didn't hear a lot of it!
Then, church started.Pastor always begins with reading a passage of Scripture.This time he read two chapters of Psalms, 42,
and 43.Now, I know I have read these
chapters before but suddenly, I was hearing them with different ears.It was like this shell that formed around my
emotions and soul this summer began to crack.
As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the
living God. When shall I come and appear before God?[b] 3 My tears have been my food day and
night, While they continually say to me, “Where is your God?”
4 When I remember these
things, I pour out my soul within me. For I used to go with the multitude; I went with them to the house of God, With the voice of joy and praise, With a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast.
5 Why are you cast down, O my
soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance.[c]
6 O my God,[d] my soul is cast down within me; Therefore I will remember You from the land of the
Jordan, And from the heights of Hermon, From the Hill Mizar. 7 Deep calls unto deep at the noise of
Your waterfalls; All Your waves and billows have gone over me. 8 The Lord will
command His lovingkindness in the daytime, And in the night His song shall be with me— A prayer to the God of my life.
9 I will say to God my Rock, “Why have You forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the
enemy?” 10 As with a breaking of my bones, My enemies reproach me, While they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
11 Why are you cast down, O
my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.
Prayer to God in Time of Trouble
43 Vindicate me, O God, And plead my cause against an ungodly nation; Oh, deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man! 2 For You are the God of my strength; Why do You cast me off? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the
3 Oh, send out Your light and
Your truth! Let them lead me; Let them bring me to Your holy hill And to Your tabernacle. 4 Then I will go to the altar of God, To God my exceeding joy; And on the harp I will praise You, O God, my God.
5 Why are you cast down, O my
soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.
I found my
eyes welling up and as soon as we were praying, I was whipping out a tissue to
wipe them as fast as I could.You know
me - can't let anyone know I'm actually human and shed real tears sometimes.
put two and two together right away, so I was delighted when I realized that
Psalm 42 was the text of the morning.For the first time in forever, I took out the note sheet that was also
in the bulletin and managed to secure a working pen out of my purse.I couldn't jot things down fast enough.
alone.A long time ago, King David also dealt
with depression and felt far from God.He was a mighty warrior, chosen by God to lead His people and yet, He
was reduced to running for His life and hiding in caves.He knew what it was to walk closely and
intimately with the Lord.But he felt
I know he felt.
felt overwhelmed by life's trials.In
verse 7 he says, "deep calls to deep" which sounds terribly
poetic.What it means - and I didn't
know this - was wave after wave was crashing in on him.How often have I felt that since Paul's
death?How often this summer alone, have
I had that very thought of feeling like the hits keep coming. that I am
drowning in despair?
this chapter, we see three things David chose to do.He did these things even though he was discouraged
and depressed.He didn't wait until he
felt better.He talked to himself of
God's truth, rather than talking about his circumstances to himself, as my
pastor put it.He forced himself to
remember the good things God had already done in His life, the ways He had
shown Himself to David over and over.David challenged himself to do what he was supposed to do.He vowed to put his hope in God.My pastor said that word, "hope"
actually translates in Hebrew to a word meaning to "wait on God's
timing." That one hit me.In the last few weeks I've just had myself
tied up in knots, trying to figure out my future.Suppose God might just show me His plan for
my life if I wait?
lastly, David chose to praise God.You
know, in the months since Paul's death I have pondered the phrase taken
fromPsalm 50 - offering a
"sacrifice of praise."Just
what is a sacrifice of praise?The words don't seem to go together.Could it be - and I am conjecturing here because I honestly have no idea
- that a sacrifice of praise is one we make and is especially honored when it's
one we make when we least feel like praising God?It's praise that comes from a heart riven in
two by our circumstances?I don't know -
just a thought I've been pondering for awhile.
sermon about did me in.I know it wasn't
written specifically for me, but sitting in that pew Sunday, it felt like it
was.I felt the hardened, weary edges of
my heart crack and fall away.I can't
even write about it without getting weepy all over again.
So am I
"cured" after one really amazing Sunday morning?Uh, no...I'm not so sure it really works that
way.But God moved and He answered my
prayers for deliverance.It's not that
I'm not going to continue to struggle with depression and sadness and
weariness.I'm only 15 months into this
journey. My entire life has been turned upside down and I am bearing
overwhelming burdens. I don't say that dramatically or to engender sympathy
from others.It's simply the way things
are right now.I'm pretty sure that these things,
the depression and so forth, aregoing to be nipping at my heels for a very
long time.If nothing else, I have
gained a new understanding and compassion for those that struggle in the grips
of depression on a regular basis.
is not going to have the victory.I'm
not going to let it.
reading a book by Beth Moore lately, without knowing much about her life or
ministry.The book is really opening my
eyes to the insidious way that Satan works in the life of the Believer and his
intense hatred for those of us who claim Christ.I think I've been pretty naive and insulated
for most of my Christian life.But now,
looking back on the past weeks, I can see that Satan was at work.No, he didn't tempt me to fall into any great
sin and I haven't shamed my name or that of Christ.But He was whispering lies to me and allowing
me to focus on how I felt instead of what I knew to be true.
where I am right now.The sun has come
out.Tomorrow I might be sad again and
feel sucked down into the mire once again.But I don't have to stay there.
I have a
whole list of other things to write about, but they're going to have to
wait.My melatonin are kicking in and I
still have to do my nails and eat something before collapsing.Tomorrow I take Ben to Iowa City for his teeth.I don't know how long that will take but I'd
like to hit a couple of children's consignment stores out there and still get
home in time to drop Ben off at the farmer's market to work, go home, whip up
some supper, and go retrieve Ben again, and get to church on time.I promised to help with the Patch Club kids
tomorrow night (since two of them are mine, I'm kind of obligated, I think!) if
Ben feels up to going at all with his mouth.It will be a busy, busy day.