Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Day 686

April 21, 2015

Day 686


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 this one!


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 couples  walking hand in hand, enjoying the beautiful spring weather. 

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 transition.


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 Saturday night.


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.  I  need 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've  scheduled 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 date.


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 death.


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 first-hand.  Sad.


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!

































1 comment:

  1. The other story that popped to mind for me is Sampson, but that one is pretty rough too with the eye gouging thing. Ugh. But I think it is a little bit more straight forward in that no babies died, just Sampson. On the other hand, David and Bathsheba are such a glorious example of GRACE, since they did go on to have several more children and one was the heir to the throne of David. And Bathsheba is in the line of Christ.