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...
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
April 21, 2015
My plans got turned a bit inside out today,
but I'm not complaining.I had planned
to spend the morning getting David's 16th birthday pictures taken and running a
few errands in W. Des Moines while we waited for them to be developed.But he woke up with the same stuffy nose and
sore throat the rest of us have been battling for the past week.So, pictures are delayed a week.I'm not complaining.I've got a lot on my to-do list this week and
now I just gained a few extra hours!
One thing I did was to submit my article to
RBP.I had a friend edit it last
week.And then I ended up deciding to go
to my writer's group last night.I was
torn because my mom's group was meeting and I really hate missing getting
together with those ladies.But I
haven't been to Word Weavers in 6 months.That's not good.I know if I'm
going to do anything with my writing I need to put in appearances more often
that that.But I hate it when the two
groups meet the same night!So, anyway,
the leader of the group sent out an email yesterday afternoon asking for
attendees to bring articles/chapters to critique.I had a light bulb moment and emailed her back
saying I'd bring my article.Why
wouldn't I want something I'm about to submit to be edited by a room full of
actual published authors?
They were so awesome for my ego.I can't believe how fragile that thing is
when it comes to my writing!And they
had lots of good suggestions.I came
home and the kids were in bed so I immediately sat down and did all the edits
they suggested, which included some minor re-writing.And then I couldn't fall asleep until
midnight because my mind was still buzzing!
I got it submitted to RBP today and now I find
that I keep wanting to check my email to find out if she A) thinks this is best
manuscript she's read in the history of all writing or B) is sorry, but my
skill set appears to be way below what they are looking for and have I perhaps,
considered a career in the service industry, instead?
Actually, I was surprised at how difficult
that thing was to write.I did not
expect that because, after all, I've bled all over my keyboard since a week
after Paul's funeral.But it was
emotionally draining.I'm glad I did it,
though.I don't think God intends for us
to keep the things we learn through our trials for our own benefit.
I had a busy weekend.Friday night was the second time I attended
Single Parent Provision, where they give single parents a break by watching and
feeding the kids in a fun environment.This time I happened to notice on the website they had a woman pastor
scheduled to come in and speak to the kids on the subject of "guarding
your heart."I think that's
great.But my kids have all had
questions about lady pastors and I could just see one of them commenting
to this woman, "My mom says...!" so I had to give them a heads up on
The kids had a blast.Chick-fil-A provided chicken nuggets again
and they got to color on their own t-shirts ("with permanent
markers, Mom!").They also gave me
a full report on "Pastor Lori's" message, which sounds good.Except...she told the story of David and
Bathsheba.Sam and Lizzie were
shocked.They had never heard that story
before - with good reason.
"But I thought David was the good king,
Mom!" Sam exclaimed on the way home.Lizzie was mainly appalled that Bathsheba decided to take a bath on her
roof.Who would do that?Just that morning we'd been having our
millioneth conversation about God and death and how God never kills
anyone.When death occurs it's because
He allows it, not because he wants that person dead.This didn't fit in with the story of the
death of David and Bathsheba's baby and the kids had a hard time wrapping their
minds around that.
I'm not upset in any way.It just made for more conversation and
explanation from me.And it gave the
kids an opportunity to think, which is always good.But still, I can't help but wonder - there
weren't any other Bible stories that might have illustrated the
importance of guarding one's heart against sin?
While the kids were having their fun, I ran a
few errands.I needed to go up to Merle
Hay Mall, which is never my favorite place to be anyway.It's not a good area of town anymore, I don't
think.I did what I needed to do and
walked out, trying to ignore the immigrants and probable gang members.I realized that I felt vulnerable and
I imagined how it might have been if Paul were still beside me.I wouldn't have worried a bit because I knew
he would protect me - not that I was bothered the other night in any way by the
people I saw.That made me sad, to
be reminded that I am without his protection now.
And then I went down to Jordan Creek which
makes me feel infinitely safer.But it
was a Friday night and the place was coming alive with coupleswalking hand in hand, enjoying the beautiful
I felt so sad.
It really wasn't until yesterday I was able to
shake that off more.I was so
"down" all weekend.
Saturday night didn't help, either.I went to our Sunday School class' monthly
get-together.For the first time in 6
months schedule, babysitter, and health all lined up enabling me to go.I'm glad I went.It was fun.
But it was incredibly hard.
We had a progressive dinner.There were about 8 or 9 couples ...and
me.Everyone was super-nice to me, as
usual.Nobody sat around discussing
their happy marriages in front of me.But...I was alone.I felt awkward
when trying to figure out where to sit in the vehicle to ride around and where
to sit at the dinner table.I am so
worried about getting in the way of the married people and my singleness being
more of an impediment than it already is.
I think someday I will look back on these days
and be incredibly grateful to my SS class, and church as a whole, for the way
they have embraced me and done their best to help me adjust to this new
reality.I suspect that is probably a
rarity for a lot of widows.I have to
give my friends kudos.This is a new
situation for them as much as it is for me.Old widows we "get."Young ones - not so much.There's
no set protocol on how to interact with them and how to try to ease the
But, it's still hard and it still hurts to
spend an entire evening with married people, knowing what I used to have. Every time I happen to see a couple holding hands or a husband with his arm around the shoulders of his wife - or happen to glimpse a look between the two of them meant just for each other - it hurts. It's not like anyone's making out in front of me. It's just missing what I never thought I'd lose.
It's probably why I cried most of the way home
Ok, onto something more cheerful - namely,
Stitch Fix!My box arrived yesterday, a
whole day early.I am having so much fun
with this.I started looking forward to
the box's arrival about a week ago.Also, last week I discovered a number of blogs on Pinterest that include
SF updates from customers.What they do
is model everything that comes in their box, post a picture of each on their
personal blogs, and write what they like or dislike about each and give their
verdict on whether they kept or returned the item.I don't really have any desire to do that
myself, but I do enjoy reading others'.It's been a relief to find that I am really not so unique.A lot of ladies are having a blast with this
service and stepping out and trying clothes they normally would pass over in
stores.It seems like a lot of women are
recognizing the value of not having to do their own shopping, too, but just as
many seem to be budget-conscious, as well.
I ended up keeping two items, like last
time.I would have kept three, but one
blouse I loved was just too tight across the shoulders to consider.They sent a gorgeous gold necklace that I'll
have good use for.I kept this delicate
cream, summer-weight cardigan, too. Ineed
to find some loose tanks to wear underneath it (I'm beginning to be slightly
less enamored of all the cami tops I own which could go underneath the sweater since
they seem to cling to my tummy rolls now that I have developed them!).I'm pleased.They sent a gorgeous, royal blue tank top.It was textured and had a lot of pretty
detail.I wasn't sure because the
armholes seemed to gape a bit and I really don't like showing off a lot of skin
around my fat upper arms.So I went back
and forth.Then, I happened to glance at
the price sheet and discovered this particular top was priced at $68!That made my decision to return it a whole
lot easier!I didn't even consider the
skinny black, polka dotted pants...
I'vescheduled my next fix for June 11, which will be the 2 year anniversary
of Paul's funeral.I could still use a
few more tops for summer and it gives me something to look forward to on that
It's now evening.No, it's night.Late at night.Will came back at 2.He was so tickled that he got Paul's old
truck running.It has sat all these
months, unmoving, and as it turned out, all it needed was a new battery.And the old one was still under warranty.I hope that's all it needed.He just drove out of the driveway in that
thing headed for Ankeny.I sure hope I
don't get a call about a 27 year old broken down truck on the by-pass...
There is not a thing wrong with Will's
car.But he wants the truck up in
Ankeny.I don't begin to fathom the male
mind.What is it about a rusted-out, loud
hunk of metal that makes one want to drive it around?But I remember how partial Paul always to his
trucks.And maybe driving this makes
Will feel like Paul is closer in his memory.I don't understand, but I care - enough that I drove us down to Knoxville
today to pick up a duplicate registration and sticker since I managed to
misplace the one they mailed to me in December.And I called and got the insurance put back on the thing for him.
And then I spent most of the afternoon and
evening helping Will write an 8 page paper on choosing joy in the midst of
trials.Will said he wanted to put his
own story in there so we wove it in.I
think that's progress in Will's grief journey since he's mostly had an attitude
of, "I can't fix it, so why worry about it" in regards to Paul's
He and I both stumbled across an interesting
truth in Heb. 11 and 12 that I'll have to share sometime related to the
Christian and suffering.My mind is too
fuzzy right now to think it all out, but we just kind of sat and stared at
eachother as the newness of this concept washed over us both.It's amazing when you suddenly realize
something from Scripture you never knew was there before!
I have something new and exciting.Now I just need to find time to open it
up.Last year Laura Ingalls Wilder's
autobiography was put together and published.She had written this back in the 30s or it was discovered then and deemed
not acceptable for readers used to the Little House books.It was finally published last year.It's a huge, hard-back book.I had requested it for my birthday and my
sister-in-law had it on backorder.She
finally gave up and sent me a Barnes and Noble gift card last week.I checked on-line and the book was going for
$57 on Amazon and $100 on half. com!Not
worth that,I don't think.I figured I'd have to wait until it lost some
of its popularity.But then Friday night
I was out while the kids were at the Single Parents deal and I found it at
Barnes and Noble - $40.I haven't had
time to read it yet, but I like to pick it up and just hold it right now.I can't wait!
The other day I heard Ellie shrieking at
Lizzie, "You're not my sister!"And so, it begins...
I was checking out at a store, also on Friday
night, when I happened to glance at the clerk's - a gal in her early twenties,
probably - arms.It took me a minute to
realize what I was looking at but her left arm was completely scarred with
razor blade slices.She's a cutter.Or she was.The marks didn't appear to be fresh wounds anymore.I've read about that, but never seen it
The other day I was attempting to kill a wasp
in the dining room.Sam was decidedly
nervous and eventually commented, "You know, if Adam and Eve had not
sinned, then I wouldn't be so scared right now!"
Ellie has her dental surgery this Thursday
somewhere between 8 and 8:30.We have to
be there at 7.Lizzie and Sam are both
so excited about the surgery because they know I purchased the new movie,
"Annie" for Ellie's recovery.It's a surprise for Ellie, though.But the poor kid probably thinks she has really sadistic siblings.Sam keeps excitedly asking, "How many
more days until Ellie has her surgery?"Ellie does have a bit of a runny nose and I had made the comment over
the weekend that I didn't know if she would be cleared for the surgery at her
pre-op visit on Monday because of that (she was).So Lizzie said to Ellie, "Please don't
be sick or my heart will be broken!"No wonder Ellie doesn't want to be her sister anymore!
I read a disturbing story today about a Cedar
Falls toddler who died recently after getting his tonsils removed.Makes me a little more nervous about these
"minor" surgeries the girls have had to do.
Well, I have got to get to bed.David is relaxing
in the tub now in an attempt to feel better with his cold.He needs to get out.I've gotten very little sleep for about 4
nights in a row now.I'm going to
collapse if I don't get some tonight!