Saturday, September 20, 2014

Day 474

Sept. 20, 2014

Day 474

I'm pushing upward to day 500.  I didn't realize that was coming so quickly.  Let's see, looking at my calendar, it looks like that will happen on Oct. 16.  That's already a planned busy day.  Actually, we'll be together as a family that night, all 7 of us, so that might be kind of a nice way to commemorate surviving 500 days.

Yesterday was a wonderful day, a reprieve from the daily grind and hardships that my busy schedule, grief, homeschooling, adoption adjustment, single parenting and all the other stuff brings.

We finally made it up to Living History Farms.  We had not been there in 13 years, since David was two and fell asleep, head-first into his lunch at the Machine Shed!  Last time we made a weekend of it, driving from western Iowa and spent it with our friends, David and Kristi, and their kids.  This time it was just me and 5 of mine.  But the weather was much nicer.  I remember 13 years ago we about broiled to death in the hot August sun.

We had a good time.  Quite honestly, it was more of an educational field trip than anything else, but it was fun.  The kids were full of questions and I've done enough reading over the years that I was able to answer most of their questions about what they were seeing. The place is divided up into 3 farms, a year 1700 farm (a tepee is the primary dwelling), an 1850 farm with a crude cabin and outbuildings, and a 1900s farm with a traditional farmhouse and barn.  Then they have a town that's designed to be a replica of about 1875.  Another building and cropwalk showcases farming in about 1950s Iowa.  As we were touring the farms, Sam, in all seriousness asked me, "So this is what life was like when you were a kid, Mom?" 

Will met us at the Machine Shed around 2 for a late lunch. By that time we had seen everything anyway.  Of course, the Machine Shed food is always SO good! 

He had already made plans to come home for the weekend, so after we were done eating we all headed home.  There, I had cupcakes for the girls.  Sept. 19 was the day of the girls' adoption last year.  Doing LHF was not to celebrate that.  I don't want to set any expensive precedents here!  It just happened to work out they were the same day.  I actually found a fun cupcake method on Pinterest that I tried and it worked!  They're cupcakes with mini-m&ms on the inside - pure awesomeness...

A little bit later we headed down to Pville for a football game.  I had not planned to go, but I was so much enjoying our family time that I kind of hated for us to split up in the evening.  So we all went.  The September weather was warm, with just a hint of chill as darkness descended.  The Littles had, amazingly, chosen to get along with eachother ALL DAY LONG and that continued at the game.  I felt so much contentment as I sat watching the game.  I know I groan about the constant presence of my kids at time and how draining it is to be "on" all the time for them.  But last night, I just felt gratefulness to have them all there with me.

I was just really thankful for the gift of yesterday.  This is how I described it on Facebook: 

... So much of the time, anymore, life is just plain HARD. I think it's to be expected, I know it's having a refining effect on my soul, and I'm pretty sure it won't always be this difficult. But today - today was just perfect, a reprieve. I felt like God was smiling as He gave us this gift of today and saying, "See - you're making it. You're still a family, you're figuring things out!" And like that, there's strength for another step, for the not-so-extraordinary days that await.


Today, I'm back to not-so-extraordinary.  The Littles are not being nearly so congenial with one another, I had an allergy attack in the middle of the night that left me drugged and fighting rather intense sinus pain today.  My body aches from all the unaccustomed walking it was subjected to yesterday.  But I'm still smiling because of the  sweet memories!


I've been busy wrapping up the kids' winter shopping in the last couple of weeks.  My friend, Mari, sent me her 30% off Kohls coupon and my card was sure smoking after I got done using it.  All I have left to do is buy some winter mittens, hats, and gloves.  Oh, and David needs boots.  Of course, that will necessitate finding someone that sells boots intended to fit the Jolly Green Giant.  I took him to Scheels last week just to get an accurate measurement of his feet.  The salesman proclaimed him to be a size 16, scratched his head, and said, "I don't think we sell anything that large here!"  I did manage to find him a pair of tennies on the internet - for $75.  I'm a little nervous, though, because at all the sites I perused, I didn't see any shoes offered for over a size 18.  I think I'm going to try to order him a 17 or 18 in boots, just so he can keep them longer.  Paul had very normal sized feet but we paid close to a hundred dollars every time he needed a new pair of work boots.  Whoever said raising a child to adulthood was expensive wasn't joking!  And I bet he didn't even have a 15 year old with size 16 feet...


The gubernatorial election is coming up in a month and a half, along with votes for various senate seats.  Terry Brandstad is going to win the  governor's seat in Iowa.  This will be his 6th term - maybe?  Something like that, anyway.  I'm going to vote for him.  I'm not crazy about the guy, but he's better than his Democrat opponent.  Four years ago I voted for a third party candidate who is running again.  But I've pretty much decided to stop doing that.  I'm all for third parties, but right now, they don't work.  If you don't have an R or D after your name, you're not going to win.  It's that simple.  I'm not crazy about the Republican party.  They're a rather self-destructive lot and are truly not helpful to candidates who might help change their image and actually do some good in office.  Maybe widowhood has changed me, I don't know.  Let's just be practical and expedient here.

One of the seats here in the state that is up for grabs is that being contested between David Young and Stacy Appel.  I'm not crazy about Young.  There was something fishy about how he got the nod to be candidate anyway and the PR team he has hired to make his commercials ought to be fired - talk about yawnfests!  But I'll vote for him.  I've been hearing and seeing ads by his opponent this time around, as well as last  time, when she was defeated.  She looks and sounds like a fifty-something, brassy dyed-blond, grandmother who's probably a hard to get along with person.  Doesn't appeal to me.  So the other day I was shocked when I happened to see one of her commercials where she parades her children in front of the camera and announces that  "As a mom of six, ages 5 to 17 yrs, I'm well equipped to handle problems, blah, blah, blah..."  What?  Her kids are the same ages as mine!  In fact, I've got one nearly three years older than her oldest.  That means that only 5 years ago she was pushing a newborn out her shriveled baby making parts!  All this means that Stacy Appel and I are probably pretty close in age.  This realization sent me rushing to my mirror.  In my mind, I am nothing like this woman, but perhaps there are more similarities than I am wanting to admit.  Man, there's nothing like growing older to humiliate a person and disassemble the false image of reality we prefer to sport in our minds...


David asked me this week if we could order some tracts to give out to the trick-or-treaters this year.  How can I say no to that?  So I told him to do some internet research, find the one he thinks would be best, and we'll order them.


This week I was attempting to do some schoolwork with Lizzie and told her to go get one of her workbooks.  She protested and then sighed, saying, "School just isn't really my 'thing'!" 

Lizzie did pray to accept Christ this week.  In time, she may need a prayer or reassurance or rededication, but I really think she understood what she was doing.  I tried to put her off because I'm not real excited about early childhood professions of faith.  Too often they're made without full understanding or under pressure to please parents or Sunday School teachers.  But, she is a very smart little girl so I really should not be surprised that she was able to grasp the concept of needing a personal Savior, even at the tender age of 5.  After she prayed, she was so excited and bounced down the hallway exclaiming, "I'm saved, I'm saved!"  Will quizzed her when he came home yesterday and told me, "Oh, yeah - she's definitely saved!"  Maybe we adults just make it too difficult sometimes.

My mom commented that perhaps Paul knew now that Lizzie had made this decisions.  I had not thought about that until she said that.  The idea made me smile.  I have read accusations in articles about the sharp rise in adoption by Christian households, accusing these parents of new children of adopting in order to "convert the heathen."  I can guarantee anybody that is NOT happening.  Otherwise, you'd see Christian families adopting virtual orphanages if it was all about numbers.  But I can say that, as a parent, I have a definite interest in the eternal state of my children's souls.  Knowing that, had Lizzie remained in her birth home, it would have been unlikely she would have been exposed to the gospel at this age, and seeing the early fruit of such exposure - well, all I can do is smile and tell God, "Thank you!"


I had an absolute nightmare this week.  I won't go into all the details.  Somehow dreamers seem to have this perception that those around them greatly desire to hear every single detail about their significant-to-them nighttime dreams.   I was married to someone like that.  Most of us really don't want to hear all the details of others' nocturnal brain wanderings.  But one part of the dream stuck with me.  Paul and I had been kidnapped by some really bad people.  We were taken to this building and separated.  Later, my Littles were brought to me and it was just awful.  But in my dream, I am being forced to walk around all day with these people.  I finally find Paul and he has been tortured to the point that I know he will not survive.  I stand there, hoping I'm not caught, and tell him one last  time that I love him so much.  The end of my dream approached and the bad guys told me that now they needed to decide whether to kill me or not.  In my dream, I began praying and telling God that it looked like I might be getting to meet Him in person that day and I was ok with that, although I was concerned for my kids that were now in the clutches of these horrible people.  In the midst of my praying, I woke up.  I had that sudden, relieved,  jolt of, "Oh, it was only a dream!"  But that was followed by, "But Paul really IS dead..." and I felt a bit sucker-punched in my half asleep, half awake state.


Sam's eyes are definitely green.  When he was younger, I thought they looked kind of blue/gray, which wasn't surprising since I have blue eyes and so do Will and David.  A few months ago I looked at them and thought they were now looking kind of greenish.  This week I happened to look at them again and they have a definite green tint.  Ben has green eyes, too.  Both boys got them from my mom.

Sam asked me this week in his serious, need-to-know, voice, "Mom, I've been wondering.  Just where is this 'broken road'?"  It took a moment, but I realized he was referring to the song, "Bless the Broken Road."  Oh, the literal minds of small people...


I read an article about the "kindest" thing a person can say to a widow.  It's "Your husband would be so proud of you."  I thought about that and I think I concur.  I have heard that a few times now and it leaves such a warm feeling in my heart.  I wouldn't say I'm living for Paul's posthumous approval.  I know I'm not doing everything the exact way he would.  But there is something extraordinary in thinking that perhaps he can see me and approves of the way I'm raising the kids, keeping the faith, and soldiering on without his help.

I have a new song.  I heard this for the first time about a week ago.  It's by Mandisa, called, "You Wouldn't Cry for Me Today."  The melody is so pretty and the words are really encouraging for someone who is missing a loved one.  Here's the link to hear it:You Wouldn't Cry for Me

And here are the lyrics:
All you saw was pain,
all you saw was rain,
But you should see me now.
Moments filled with tears
lasted all those years,
disappeared somehow.

You never said good-bye,
on your knees you cry.
You're still asking why, but

Blue has never been bluer, true has never been truer.
Honey never tasted so sweet,
there's a song in the breeze, a million voices in praise,

A rose has never smelled redder,
the sun has never been brighter.
If I could find the right words to say,
if you could just look at my face,
if you could just see this place,
You wouldn't cry for me today.

What you think you see,
isn't really me.
I'm already home,
you've got lay it down,
cause Jesus holds me now,
and I am not alone.

Your faith is wearing thin
But I am watching Him,
and He's holding you, too.


What may seem like years, will just be a moment
Oh, the day will come when I'll show you where you're going,
I can't wait to show you that!


 As great of a day as I had yesterday, Paul's was a million times better.  I'm so happy for him because of that, and honestly, I don't cry for him - I cry for me.  I've always known he got the best end of the deal.

   But my turn will come.








































































No comments:

Post a Comment