Friday, October 9, 2015

Day 858

Oct. 9, 2015

Day 858


This is the only day this week I don't have to rush off first thing in the morning.  I'm enjoying it!  And, to make things sweeter, I don't have to cook supper tonight, either!  It's Single Parent Provision night so when the kids get home from school we'll head to W. Des Moines, I'll drop them off, and then the night is mine...three and a half hours of having to talk to nobody at all!


Actually, that came up this week.  My pastor's wife asked if I'd consider joining the ladies' Bible study starting in a couple weeks.  She said she thought it would, specifically, be good for me.  I asked her why and she said, "It will give you a chance to talk to people."  Hmmm....I'm sure my kids would say I talk entirely too much already.  And I always beat myself up after spending time with friends because I think back over the night and am convinced that I monopolized the conversation - which I assume comes from the fact I have no other adults here at home with which to converse.  So, I'm not so sure I really ought to be talking to other people.  But, I'm going to do the Bible study anyway and while I'm there I might let a thought or two escape.  It's on Biblical womanhood, co-authored by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.  I've always liked her stuff and there might be something thing for me to learn. 


I don't know.  I feel kind of restless right now and have for some time.  I don't know if I'm being called towards something or if it's just all part of figuring my new identity as a widowed, single woman.  In addition to that, I am only  now realizing how much of my identity was tied up with homeschooling.  Now that I've let most of that go, I'm kind of at loose ends.  Who am I when I'm not in charge of my kids' education and having them at my feet all day?  So maybe this Bible study might help.


Tuesday I am taking a strengths assessment test up at DMACC and meeting with a career counselor.  There's still lots of conflict tied up with this whole thing, too.  I don't want to go back to college.  I don't want to have get a job.  What I want is to still be Paul's wife and to still be homeschooling all my kids, knowing that he is there to financially and emotionally take care of me.  Sigh...


But, neither do I want to eat up my retirement money or live out my life in poverty.  I think the only solution to that is marry rich or get a job.


I told the person who answered the phone at DMACC that I already know my strengths and weaknesses (English and criticizing others' lack of it: GOOD, Math: BAD) but she said they want to see something on paper.


And on that subject (of criticizing others)...


Just a few minutes ago on Facebook a friend made the comment that she needs to find some, "inter peace."  Ugh...I so badly wanted to say, "Perhaps you might find it in the pages of an English manual?"  But then, we probably wouldn't be friends anymore.


What really upset me this week and I honestly mean that word: upset happened in Pleasantville.  I've been puzzling over this ever since, wondering, basically, what's wrong with me.  Taped to the door of Ellie's preschool one morning was a flyer from the local library advertising an upcoming Halloween event.  Later that same day, I saw the same flyer at the bank and I'm sure it's all over  town.  The paper read, "Come to the Library on Saturday, Oct. 24, for some not to scary fun!"


Not to scary...


It is very scary!  And then a day later one of Ellie's preschool teachers took a picture of the flier and posted it to the preschool Facebook group and my first thought was, "Oh, she's going to point out the grammatical error here to the rest of us educated parents."


No, she didn't.


I was so upset after seeing this flier the other day.  Enraged is probably too strong of a word, but I was hot.  My first impulse was to tear down the steps of the preschool and demand to know why Ellie's teachers would hang such a travesty of the English language on their door.  And then I was very, very tempted to swing by the library and point out this grievous error. 


I didn't.  Thankfully.  I reminded myself that relationships are more important than good grammar (by a small margin, anyway).  And really, what I would I essentially be saying?  I would be pointing out to them how dumb they are and how smart and superior I am.  Not good.


But I have puzzled ever since as to why something like this elicits such a strong emotional reaction within me.  As important as something like this is, it's not the most important thing in the world.  I have no problems making dumb math or driving mistakes that would probably disgust anyone with the slightest scientific brain - and it doesn't bother me a bit.  So it's not like I demand preciseness in every area of my life.


Maybe I just like to criticize other people.  I don't know.


The other day Ellie came home from preschool and told me, "We learned a new verse today!"  That was puzzling because it's not a religious-based preschool.  She then intoned in a measured,  Iittle kid, I'm-reciting-my-memory-verse monotone, "You should not throw sand at people."  Ha, ha, ha!


She and David were playing the "gotcha" game this week where David pretended to rip her nose off her face and said, clenching his fist, "I got your nose!"  Ellie then leaned forward towards his shirt, pretended to grab something off the front, clenched her fist, and exclaimed, "I got your nipple!"


Yeah, I kind of doubt David will want to play that anymore with her!


Some of my neighbors had an auction last Saturday.  They have this "business" where they buy up stuff at rock bottom prices and then they store it in this steel building that sits right across the alley from me.  In fact, I can look out my window right now and see the building.  So they dragged everything out last week, hired a food truck and an auctioneer and a ton of people descended on our corner.  In fact, they had electrical cords strung to my house, and the money tent set up on my front lawn.  I guess those were my contributions.  Oh, and they borrowed my trailer, too.


I wasn't interested in buying anything.  I've spent the last two years divesting myself of a lot of junk and I sure don't want any more.  But the kids were dying to go over there so I told them I'd take them after lunch.  We did and I got into conversation with a couple of neighbors.  One was telling me how she had lost her mother as a young girl (she's buried not too far from Paul - she got hit by a drunk driver in the '80s) so she said she really feels for my kids.  She was relating some of her experiences with that and asked me if I ever sense, "Paul's presence."  The question kind of opened up a neat door of opportunity for me.  I shared with her that I had an extremely vivid dream when Paul had been gone about 5 months (I wrote about it here) that I look back on and am convinced was no regular dream.  I truly believe that it was a "message" from the Lord, designed to both inform and comfort.  And I've never had  one like that since nor do I expect one.


I made it clear to her, though, that this dream was from God, not Paul.  I was able to share with her the comfort of the Holy Spirit that I've experienced.  But no - I've never caught a whiff of Paul's scent or heard his footsteps or felt his hand on my shoulder.  He's gone.  I'm not ever going to experience those things here on earth again.


So - I don't know how much she understood, if anything.  She may have just been standing there nodding politely, inwardly disappointed that I didn't have any awesome stories to share of his ghostly presence.


I have been a little more emotional lately and I'm not sure why.  I'm not hormonal and there are no significant dates approaching.  I did hit month 28 this week and I've never cared for the number, "28," but  I doubt that had anything to do with it.


I did some grocery shopping and Walmarting a week ago and I could tell all day that I was more on edge, emotionally.  I was alone.  But it wasn't until I hit Carlisle on the way home - 10 minutes from my house - that I started to cry.  I'm wiping my face and thinking, "Really?  I couldn't have done this when I was in Des Moines and had a good half hour or more?"  Ugh.  But I made sure I was fine by the time I got home and saw the kids.


And then yesterday I was kind of weepy too.


I don't know.  Maybe it will always be like this.  I may eventually have everything figured out, future-wise, and may end up in a pretty good spot down the road.  I might even be happily remarried.  But I have a funny feeling that I'll still occasionally experience these "cloudbursts" from time to time.  I think once a heart has been so riven, there's going to be occasional cracks and overflow of emotion.

And I also think that might be ok.



















What I have learned in two years of widowhood:

• God is good - so, so good
• I am loved far more than I ever knew
• I have amazing, resilient children (I am reaping what Paul sowed into their lives)
• Darkness eventually gives way to light
• Strength and wisdom are mine for the asking
• I don't have to have all the answers
• God delights in carefully and tenderly mending torn-apart hearts

Psalm 73:26: My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.


































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