Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Day 916

Dec. 1, 2015

Day 916


Thanksgiving was last week and I began to feel a bit panicky - like I always do.  Christmas was only 4 weeks away and I hadn't done a thing yet!  I'd like to be one of those people who is ready by Nov. 1, but I don't think that will ever happen.


But, I'm feeling a lot better now.  I spent a lot of yesterday on the computer, running up charges on my credit card  (all budgeted for - don't worry) and those brown UPS trucks ought to start chugging up my street any time now.  The tree is up and so are a lot of the decorations.  I've got this!


Emotionally, I'm hanging in there.  It's harder, I can tell.  I started noticing a weighed feeling in my spirit about a week and a half ago or so.  But so far it isn't as hard as it was the last two years at this time.  I don't know.  Maybe it's going to get worse.  But so far, I'm hanging on.


Thanksgiving was good this year.  We went to see my folks and both brothers and families made it from out of state.  That always makes it more fun.  I love it when my  kids can see their cousins.  It helps alleviate my guilt for taking them away from their cousins on the other side of the family!


It took me 5 hours to get back home Friday.  But that was because we stopped and saw Sara on the way back, hit a drive through for  lunch (which is never a quick process when you have 6 people in the van)  and then David wanted to brave the crowds and run into a couple of stores in W. Des Moines.  He especially wanted to go to Barnes and Noble so he could get the issue of Sports Illustrated featuring the Iowa Hawkeyes (undefeated this season - man, how I wish Paul was alive to see this.  He was so down on the Hawkeyes the last few years because they weren't doing so well then. If he could only see them now!)  That's out at Jordan Creek Mall and I literally could not find a parking place because it was Black Friday.  I had to just keep driving around while he went in the store.


I eventually made it home and got my entire house cleaned before bed, which made me feel much more peaceful inside.


But then I got the mail and I was so sad.  We've known for a few weeks that it was a distinct possibility but the letter that arrived confirmed it: Pastor and Marcia are leaving. 


I do not doubt this is God's will for their lives and for our church.  But I don't understand.  They've been here for almost 20 years.  They have been so wonderful.  Marcia has been mentoring/counseling me since before Paul's death.  Since his death, they've been my "go to" people for my many questions.

And now God is moving them.


I told the Littles that night because I didn't want them to hear it from any other kids and wonder.  I was so shocked when Ellie's eyes immediately began to well and she started crying.  Then, I looked at Lizzie, whose head was bent over, and within moments, two big, fat tears plopped onto the table.  I never dreamed the kids would be upset over this!


So I quickly told them the things I've been telling myself.  God knows.  God has a plan.  Someday we might even understand it.  We're not leaving our church.  In time, God will give us a new pastor.


I didn't tell them this, but I've had the thought that as much as this has to do with Pastor and Marcia and our church as a whole, I think God can and will use this to help nudge me into a little more independence.  It's been 2 1/2 years now and I've been feeling for some time that it's time to step out and start living again.  It's time to figure out what that life is going to look like.  I suspect that God is going to use this separation as one of the methods of getting me to move.


But, oh, I don't like it.  I'm going to miss them so much!


Last night I had parent-teacher conferences for Ellie.  I was about dumbfounded when her teacher expressed to me that "Ellie is just perfect!"  She said that Ellie is one the most helpful, mature, obedient, and kind students in her class.  I wanted to interject, "You're sure you're talking about MY Ellie?" but I just smiled and nodded.  The teacher said Ellie is the first to help the younger students and whenever anything gets spilled, Ellie is right there cleaning it up, even if she didn't make the mess.  She showed me Ellie's work binder in which the kids practice writing their letters.  Every single page was carefully filled with her writing.  The teacher said she figures she's doing good if she can get the kids to trace and write maybe three of the letters before losing interest.  But Ellie consistently fills up the entire page with her letters.


Wow.  I began to think that maybe I've misjudged this girl of mine.


But then before bed, during her bath, she took dixie cups and deliberately threw them full of water all over the bathroom floor and hamper, completely saturating everything.  That's the Ellie I know!


I don't have anything else to write about.


Now, I'll think of a few things, I'm sure.


Oh, I got my official acceptance letter from BVU on Saturday.  I guess I'm in.  I emailed my adviser this morning asking about filling out loan applications.  I need to buy another laptop. And whatever books I need for this first class.   And I think that's it.  I'm good to go.


Last night, my friend, Deb, was here working with Ben.  She said, "Sam tells me  you're going back to school?"  So I explained everything to her and she told me she really thought this was a fantastic thing.  She said it's a step forward and those steps are what I need to be taking right now.  She reminded me that a good portion of college work is writing papers and "Those will be a breeze for you!"  I hope she's right.   I've been helping Will write them for the past two years (including last night - he has this neat application where we can both be writing on the same paper at the same time on different computers.  I'm going to have to have him download that for me.  Not that I'll be getting any help writing my papers, though) so I guess I'm in practice, anyway!


Well, the kiddos will be home soon so I suppose I had better wrap this up.  Plus, I really don't have anything else to write about!

























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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