Challenges

The week has been full of challenges.

I have had a very busy week at the 9-5.  We had a project to do on short notice.  The results showed I have made more progress than I imagined in a major audit that occurs next year.  Every three years we have an audit that requires annual documentation to be collected from dozens of areas. The information has to be compiled into folders.  I do a lot of the collecting and all of the compiling.  I have some co-workers who assist when they have time and I appreciate them like a glass of sweet tea in August.  The nice thing is that (Lord willing), the audit next year will be my fourth and last one.  I should be able to retire before it comes around again.

I also had a challenge to try to say the right things to a friend going through a major crisis.  She has a lot of difficult and heart rending things happening.  I reminded her that it will be okay, that she is strong, that she has a large support system.  I know He will take care of every need.

I am challenged with trying to write this post.  I am not feeling very inspired.  But, the exercise is to show up and type.  For one trying to develop a writing lifestyle, it is an important thing to just show up at the page.

He always encourages me to write.  I tease him that he just likes to read how wonderful he is and see me telling the world how wonderful he is to me.  He is my Valentine every day.  He has been for thirty four years.  He continues to amaze me with his ability to face the world with such bravado and touch the world with such compassion for others with less bold courage.  What a treasure is my True Love.

 

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A Challenging Year

He has had a challenging year.  At least a dozen medium to major problems have plagued us.  Him, particularly.  A deer hit his truck and it had to have extensive body work.  A tree hit him and his tractor and the tractor had to have serious repairs.  He was only slightly damaged.  The children have had vehicle issues with which he assisted.  He had some minor health issues to get through.  He changed hunting leases. We lost a good cow.  I counted one day and came up with twelve or thirteen issues.  Since that time, we had a few days without power.  He had to get the generator going to keep the icebox and freezer in good shape.  The big trailer’s tongue broke off at the lease and he had to get it welded back together.  Most recently, major plumbing problems have arisen.

If any of this is mentioned, he is instant to say:  “God took care of it.”  And of course, He does.  There is insurance for the truck and the health problems. A generator is ours to fire up for power.  There are friends to help with a place to sleep with air conditioning.  Other friends to help with on-site welding.  His own strength and hard work to take care of many other things.

I am grateful for the protection and provision He supplies.  I am grateful for the strength of the man I married.  Physical, mental and most importantly, spiritual.  I see the side of him the world never encounters.  I see him tired and frustrated.  Wanting to just crash in his chair and zone out watching television.  I see him deal with headaches and back pain and kidney stones.  But, I see him get up and go to work day after day.  He has almost never missed work due to illness.  When he did, we likely went to the ER for something. I admire his toughness and his courage.  It can make for some difficult moments for me and then protect me from difficult moments as well.

Occasionally, a tender spot will show.  Usually it is associated with our beloved children or with Him. I see him tense and concentrated thinking about them.  They are both married, independent, well into careers of their own.  But, his attitude of protection and guidance is still as it has always been.  There is a grand on the way.  It will be very interesting to see him interact with the little one.  I am sure I will see things unimaginable from that tough, old bull.

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Spring

The air has changed.  Even if we have more cold temperatures, spring is upon us.  Green buds peek from tips of limbs.  Weeds are more than ankle deep.  Bird songs have changed.  He heard geese traveling north the other evening.

I am restless with the changing season.  Wanting a change.  Not knowing what to change.  I am ready to get my plants off the porch.  Ready to rearrange the furniture for the changing light.  The daybed is in one corner for winter sun and will be moved to another corner for summer shade.

The azaleas should be in bloom within a week.  Already the redbuds bring vibrant hope.  I love every season in its turn.  I celebrate the fading of one and the coming of another.

The transitions remind me of the ever-turning pages of time.  I am reminded to seize this moment and be joyous at the life pulsing through my veins.

The difficulties we face today will be overcome and become distant memories.  I know this because it has happened before.  We have faced difficulties and with His Help, we have overcome them in the past.  There are some things that happen which must be endured until the end of life.  Most things pass.

Challenges are to be faced.  I may have moments of weakness and feel overwhelmed with fear.  But, I must not give in to the fear.  I must stand and face the lions in the den.  Fear leads to confusion and poor or delayed decisions.  Fear leads to despair.  Fear leads to bitterness and anger.

I watched a movie once.  I have it on DVD.  I cannot bear to watch it again.  I love it, but it is emotionally taxing.  What I learned from the movie is simply to feel the cold and not fear it.  Feel the pain.  Feel the heartbreak.  Feel the feelings.  Do not fear them.  I don’t know if I would see all of that if I watched it again.  I doubt anyone else would find that message in the movie 300. 

It corresponds with my Grandmother telling me about childbirth to let go and let it hurt.  I had both of my children without pain medication.  It was not easy to let go and let it hurt.  But, it was worth it.

The current challenges I face will pass.  I have a choice.  I can face them with good humor and a smile or I can make myself miserable along with everyone around me.  No matter the outcome of the situation, I have a choice about what I think and what I allow myself to feel.

I want to get through this happy and laughing at the moments that exist between the battles.  I want to be able to focus on the battles when they are before me and leave them on the field when the time for rest comes.  I do not want to be covered with the smell of fear.  I hate feeling fear more than just about anything.

I will be strong for him.  I will be faithful for Him.  I will not fear.  I have my sanity and His Salvation.  And a thousand other blessings………………………………..

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In the way of living

How often I have let life get in the way of living….too often I don’t make the plans I should make to create the life and legacy I want to have.

This weekly confessional has done more to get me going in the right direction than I ever could have imagined.  Especially, since it isn’t the type of blog I intended.  But, it is what is has become.  A telling of the days passing.

For this evening, I had forgotten it was Monday, I suppose.  He reminded me I needed to write.  Suddenly I was flooded with things to consider.

I wanted to write about my friend losing her mother the other day.  The funeral is upcoming.

I wanted to write about how wonderful the sound of my brother’s voice is on the other end of the phone line.

I wanted to write about the thrill of getting a text from my son asking a simple question.  Just seeing his name on my phone…..

I wanted to write about coordinating Christmas gift buying over the phone with my daughter and her beloved.

I wanted to write about missing the deer stand.  Haven’t made it to the woods in weeks.

I wanted to write about the unexpected places and circumstances that create treasured relationships.

I wanted to explain why I want to live to be an old woman who is vibrant and healthy and self-reliant.

So, here goes the “reader’s digest” version of what should be many different posts.

I hated hearing my friend express regret.  Feeling she didn’t do enough to take care of her mother.  Been in that exact place myself.  I just had to forgive myself and give myself compassion.

I loved discussing with my brother how to manage a salt-free turkey breast for a dear aunt’s dietary needs.  Sharing a suggestion for seasoning it.  Hearing his plans. Looking forward to seeing him in a few days.  Trying to not consider how long it has been since we were together.

I believe my son is way more awesome than a rock star.  He is awesome coolness to the max!  The life he is leading is proof that I have done something right in my life.  Of course, I did not do it alone.  But, nevertheless, I take credit for what part I did play in his upbringing.

I know my daughter is the most perfect woman on the planet. Ever. And, I believe her honey knows it, too.  She is another proof of my personal success in my most important job ever:  being a mother.  My parenting partners and I did a great job with both of them.  He and I give praise and gratitude to Him.

I have needed to do some things instead of sitting in the deer stand.  At least, it seemed they were important at the time.  And, of course, some were.  At least one time, it was just too cold for me to deal with that morning.

I have a friend at work.  She challenges me to reach out of my safety zone and ask for the things I need that I can’t do for myself and also to give myself the care I should for my own sake.  She listens deeply to what I am saying and helps me hear myself.

I want to live to be an old woman, fully capable of taking care of myself and my family. I am living a long life without my mother. I want to be strong and well, though.  Not disabled and in need of care, but giving care and love and support and pots of chicken and dumplin’s.  Holding hands and catching tears as my loved ones go through the trials and the joys of this life.  I have learned how to grieve.  I will grieve again.  There are some I hope and pray never to grieve.  But, I want their grief for me to be brief and full of gladness.

Another fifty years or so should suffice.  As long as there are elders to uplift and children to tend, I will have a purpose for which to get up each morning.  And there is always him.  Needful of my care and attention.  And pots of chicken and dumplin’s.

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