Friday, September 27, 2013

Day 114


September 27, 2013


Day 114


I’m tired today.  I thought I was going to get to bed earlier last night, but didn’t.  And when I did go, I did not fall asleep until 12:30 or so.  I have not had more than 6 hours of sleep a night for the past couple of weeks.  I’m not sure why.  Initially, sleeplessness was only a problem for me for the first 10 days or so of widowhood.  Now it seems to have returned.  As a result, I’m dragging a bit during the day.


Tuesday night was a good night.  Will, Ben, David, and I went to see Kirk Cameron’s new movie, “Unstoppable.”  It was just really good.  He dealt with the subject of why horrible, tragic things sometimes happen to God’s people – which is a question mankind has wondered about since the beginning of time.  In the movie, which is more of a documentary than anything, Kirk does a really good job of taking the viewer back to Creation and showing how God’s mercy has been so evident throughout Biblical history – and today, too, of course.  Before the presentation started, there was a live stream event from Liberty University where Cameron teaches theater now, I believe.  I enjoyed that, as well.  The singer Mandisa performed her new song, “Overcomer.”   Warren Barfield , who was the song writer for “Fireproof” (my most favorite movie, ever, although I can’t bring myself to watch it right now since it deals with marriage), sang his latest song as well.  I didn't care for it, but the boys loved it.  Kirk interviewed a  couple of people whose lives have been touched by tragic events.  It was just good and I’m glad we got to go.  Ben got restless, which I suppose is normal for him, and David didn’t quite understand the entire movie, but Will and I enjoyed it anyway!


An older couple from church watched the Littles for me.  I was very impressed by their willingness.  They are in their early seventies and have a super, super nice home, but they were willing to risk their nice things and expend the energy by keeping up with  my little wild ones.  And as we left they were thanking me for letting them do it! 


One of Paul’s friends was putting up a deer stand this week and fell 17’, injuring himself quite badly.  He’s going to be ok, but will be out of commission for awhile.  When I read this on Facebook, I actually began to rise from my seat, intent on grabbing my phone so I could call Paul and let him know.  Why does my mind do this?  How long will it happen, I wonder?


Will ended up getting a job this week, but it didn’t last long.  We thought he was just being asked to fill in on a roofing crew for a day or two.  But after Will got there, he discovered that he was now considered an employee.  Unfortunately, it was not a good work situation.  That first day Will came home in tears and told me he had started crying as soon as he got in his car to leave.  The reason was two-fold: the job was really, really hard and he was not treated well by the other workers, but also, all his other previous working experience had been with Paul and that was hard for him.  It also kind of dawned on both Will and I that if he works full time he is not going to be able to get the house done before he leaves for college next fall.  In my way of thinking, that’s the most important thing.  Will already works part-time for the state, providing respite care for Ben and we can get those hours increased, so he’ll be bringing in some money.  He’s got a good chunk saved already, too.  Will went back the next day because he had given his word, but that was the last day.  It was a hard situation for both of us.  I understand that it is sometimes necessary for young people to work unpleasant jobs.  It’s pretty naïve of them to think that they are going to enjoy every single work situation they find themselves in.  But I don’t think the kids should have to be miserable, either.  Or work in a smoke-filled environment with co-workers and supervisors who abuse you!  He’s home and we are both quite relieved.  It was one of those situations, though, where I sure wished I had Paul to talk to.


Yesterday, Sam burst into the house and said, “Mom, I need a hammer!”  Call me nosy, but I thought it prudent to ask him just why he needed a hammer (this is the child who has driven nails in brand new drywall and into my dining room chairs as a toddler).  Exasperated, he exclaimed, “Um, I just need one, ok?!”   Yeah, I don’t think so…As it turned out, he and Lizzie were breaking up dirt clods outside, which was ok.  But then I found out that when I failed to produce the requested hammer for Sam, he found himself a crowbar to use instead.  I’m not so confident where that child is concerned when it comes to hand tools.


I’m back to writing for Jewels of Encouragement.  My first post published yesterday -  That actually felt good.  I had not produced anything for them since April, I think.  I wrote about Paul, of course.  I was so humbled by the amount of encouragement I received from writing that post.  I rather imagine I’ve got at least a year’s worth of devotionals now on grief, God, and widowhood.  And here’s something kind of neat about my writing: I find it difficult to write at all where our computer is, out in the open.  It’s out there for a good reason, so I can keep an eye on what the kids are accessing on the computer.  But when I am sitting at it, every single child decides that I must need their company.  It’s so frustrating because I cannot be talked to and write at the same time.  I’m going to be getting a new bedroom sometime this next year and I had already determined that I’m putting a desk in there with a desktop computer of my own.  Well, today, Will and I were visiting with one of Paul’s friends and he asked me if I could use a nearly new computer.  He had used it in his business, which he is no longer running and has no use for the computer.  He’s going to have it wiped clean for me and then it’s all mine!  And it's a nice computer!


And another piece of happiness: I get to go back to scrapbooking in a couple of weeks!  I have not done this in well over a year – probably a year and a half.  I got so busy when the girls arrived last summer and wasn’t legally allowed to leave them with the boys.  So I was a little bit constrained by that.  And then football started for Will and that tied up every Friday night last fall.  I just never got back to it once we got into winter.  But I had decided that this month would be a good month to go.  I tentatively asked Will about it because it would mean that he would have to miss attending his old team’s football game (he’s been going nearly every Friday this season) in order to babysit.  David will be at a youth activity that night.  At first Will wasn’t sure.  Even if he didn’t go to the game, there was a possibility of him attending some other event, he mused out loud.  Then he suddenly stopped and said, “No – you go, Mom.  I’ll stay home with Ben and the Littles.”  I asked him if he was sure, but he insisted, mentioning that he knew it had been a long, long time since I had scrapbooked.  What a thoughtful young man I have raised!  I can’t believe how giddy I feel about actually getting back to my scrapbooking group!  Maybe I’ll get caught up one of these days - ?!?


Last night I got the kids’ pictures taken for our Christmas cards, along with a formal adoption picture of the girls.  I had a big discount on a product that was going to expire soon, so I thought it best to haul them all in to Penneys to take advantage of that.  Surprisingly, it went very, very well.  Not a single one of them was drippy nosed and they all cooperated amazingly with each other and the photographer!  This is no small feat when you have a half dozen to work with!  Afterwards we went to Chick-fil-A and used some coupons the kiddos had been given at VBS this summer (the same week Paul died).  That part was a little difficult for David because the last time he had been in the new Chick-fil-A had been with Paul last spring.  It was the same for me, but I didn’t tell him that.  We just have to power through these kind of things, I think.


David continues to struggle, especially.  I’m looking into some Amanda the Panda group sessions for us after the first of the year.  I’m a little dubious about starting up with them because they are not faith-based and I struggle to believe that it is possible to find true healing apart from God.  But, there may be some advantage to a group setting where one could talk with others who have experienced deep loss.  A couple of my widowed friends have told me that Amanda the Panda was really helpful for their families.  I figure that if it’s not a good thing, we never have to go back after the first session.  Will told me that he has his church and that’s all he needs.  I understand what he’s saying and I told him my main reason for considering this is for David’s sake and Will said that he would go for him.


I did stumble across something earlier this week that I am hoping to share with David as a reminder.  It was in my Bible study book that I am currently going through with my pastor’s wife.  There were four statements that caught my attention; I starred them in my book.


  • A world where God does not love us does not exist
  • A world where God is not in control of all things for our good and His glory does not exist

  • A world where God is not with me or does not hear my cry does not exist


  • A world where God is heavy-handed and mean-spirited does not exist


-         These worlds are fantasy worlds of our imaginations and to live in a fantasy world is to hasten our own disintegration (Jim Berg – Quieting a Noisy Soul)



This morning I was reading Psalm 92 and the last verse reminded me of the above statements:


To declare that the Lord is upright; He is my rock and there is no unrighteousness in Him.


I still hurt, of course.  It’s been nearly four months and there are times that my heart feels as splintered as it did that first week.  I miss Paul tremendously.  He is still constantly in my thoughts and I would give anything to have him back.  Even with the busyness and chaos of a household of six children, I am lonely.  I still cry frequently.  But I am so encouraged to remember that God is good.  He cannot be anything but good.  And that means that Paul’s death is for our good.


Even when it feels really, really bad.


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