One More Week

I have one more week to complete my January plan to finish it or forget it.  I need to make a good push the next couple of evenings.  I need to make sure I haven’t missed anything that I wanted to get resolved.  It is unlikely I will get everything done as intended.

Those big frames are still causing a roadblock.  I haven’t done the project I planned.  It was actually about the third plan for one of three.  I like the idea of the project.  But, I don’t want that hanging on my wall.  What was I thinking? Back to square one.

If I do what I promised myself, the frames have to leave on February 1.  This late in the evening with the week I have had, I don’t know what the outcome will be regarding this matter.

Monday, I went in to the 9-5 in tears.  We have an upcoming audit and I was certain a critical portion of documentation was missing.  He knew of my dilemma and prayed all morning for me.  That afternoon, I found the documentation in my file right where I would have looked had I not been so certain I didn’t have it.  Not only was the paperwork there, it was complete.  That is the power of a praying man.  That is the mercy of a loving Father.

This evening, while riding home from church, I told him he has a red phone directly to Him.  It’s one of those that doesn’t even have a dial.  He just picks up and it rings in Heaven and He answers.  He told me I have the same.  I told him no.  I have to dial my phone.   Someday, perhaps I will have faith as large as his. Meanwhile, I am very grateful and blessed because of his direct red phone connection to Him.

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Her Name is Sally

Last week, he had me wait for him to go to town after work for some Christmas shopping. This may be normal for some husbands. Not mine.  First of all, he works in the town where we were going to shop.  It is about 30 miles for the round trip.  He doesn’t help me Christmas shop. In thirty years, he hasn’t helped me shop much at all.  He had the excuse for this time that he needed to bring the ice chest full of venison home rather than leave it in the back of the truck, and he thought he would help get something for our son-in-law.  So, I met him at the house. To be very clear, his behavior was out of character.

As we rode to town, we talked about what we could get our daughter’s champion and where we wanted to eat supper. He said he had forgotten his uniforms at work.  We made one stop at a clothing shop. Then, we went to the dealership where he is the service manager to get his uniforms. He went in and got his clothes.  After he locked the door, he motioned for me to come around to the front of the building.  I got out and walked around to look at whatever he wanted me to see.

He showed me a beautiful dark smoke gray Jeep. Big mud grips on 20s. Four doors with a big back seat for grandbabies.  He asked me what I thought about the color.  I told him I thought it was pretty. Better than the black I liked.  He said, “You’d better think it is more than pretty.  It’s yours.” He handed me the keys.  I was stunned and cried.  I still tear up at moments.

I asked him why he got it for me. What feelings were behind it?  He simply said, “I just want you to have it.”  That’s him.  He feels deeply. He cries when he talks about our children and their children and our Lord.  But, he doesn’t express his feelings directly with words easily.

Knowing him the way I know him, this is about the grandest show of love and affection ever. I can never repay with such an extravagant gift for him. I can only continue to do my best to take care of him in every way possible.

I did get a comment from him at some point about my never saying anything negative about his getting trucks or boats or cows or whatever he wants. I don’t. He is a grown man and makes his own money. He takes care of me and his family and contributes to the household expenses. What he does with the rest is none of my business. He is very successful in business.  He doesn’t need me telling him what to do.

I expressed praise at church tonight. He was in another room.  I work for the State of Texas.  I have been working on an audit.  I was a little concerned about locating some needed documents in the allotted time.  He called me on his lunch break the other day.  I told him my concerns.  The rest of the day and into the next day, the audit prep smoothed out and everything has fallen into place in half the allotted time. I have no doubt he lifted up me and the situation with the audit in prayer. My praise is about his relationship with our Lord and his great faith and the positive effect their relationship has in my life.

Why is my Jeep called Sally? When he and I married at age eighteen, we had nothing. No job, no money, no car. Nothing but our love and devotion for each other and a certainty that we belong together. One person in the whole world believed we would make it.  She believed we had that special something that would make our marriage last.  We have lasted almost 33 years.  We started dating 34 years ago next month.  We still like each other.  We still love each other.  I would say she was right.  She was my maternal grandmother, Sally.  The Jeep is a symbol of our success.  Our life, our marriage, our love. So, my Jeep is called Sally to remember that someone believed in us from the beginning.

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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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Foggy Living

I try very hard to not live in a fog. I see people so caught up in their own small issues or creating their own personal drama they don’t see life hurling past at the speed of light.

I do find myself in a fog more often than I would like. I was in one this evening. I walked through the park and said my prayers. It did not help much. I got home and made a mega list. It did not help much. I started on my house work. It did not help much. He arrived home and naturally saw I was not functioning properly. He took the time to listen and to talk me out of some of my fog.

Someone I love is having a health crisis. Two loved ones actually. It would seem something like that would clear my brain. But, it makes me pause. I am reminded of my own mortality and the limits of my physical body. I am anxious to make my time count. Am I doing the right things each day? Is my life counting for something greater than my own melodrama?

Yes. I do the best I can with the tasks set before me. Whether at my 9 to 5, at home, at church, tagging along after him, participating in family events. But, still I feel I am missing something. What is causing that nagging feeling that I am missing some element in my life?

I don’t know. I am continually working on that problem. Every day some time is devoted to that very problem. It is the reason for the lists. It is the reason for the digital tape recorder I always have handy in case some thought arises while driving or when otherwise unable to write it down. It is the reason for walking as often as I can. It is the reason for this blog. It is the reason for my journal. It is the reason I go to the deer stand in the cold dark morning to sit alone in the woods.

Find and fulfil your destiny. My son and daughter seem to have worked it out. They have made their destiny. I know they aren’t continually satisfied and I know they have had heartbreaking decisions and choices to make and with which to cope. But, I believe they are mostly satisfied with the life they have and are creating for themselves. Fearless. Or at least saddling up anyway. They have taken life by the horns and made it what they want. He has blessed them with His protection and His healing and they have faith in Him.

He also has great faith. Without his faith and his prayers of faith, I would not be sane. I would have gone completely over the edge. I have been blessed because of him. He has time and again brought me out of the depth of despair with his courage and his strength. He lifts me up to Him. So many times have I let him know I was having problems at my 9 to 5 and he immediately prayed and He immediately answered, smoothing out the wrinkles in my emotions and often completely resolving the actual problems.

The fog still comes in at times. But, there is a strong light beyond burning through to reach my heart and mind. He and his Lord never give up on me. Even if I never find whatever I seek through the fog, I will always have their lights to guide me back into the clarity of love.

 

Black and Blue

At times, my heart becomes black and blue from the concerns that come my way.  I find myself overly concerned about my children, about home things, about him.

I say “overly” because I believe worry to be a futile waste of energy.  I want to be concerned enough to pray for them, to spend time helping them, to tell them I love them, to gently guide or present another view.  But, to be so concerned that I become fretful is not a good thing.  It shows lack of faith.

I confess I have been overly concerned about my son and his wife during their recent travels and their island move in progress.  They are managing just fine.  He is just more relaxed about everything than I am.  I like having a detailed plan and definite commitments for big things like they are doing at the moment.  He seems to fly by the seat of his pants, like his father.  They are both successful men and have each other for conferring and helping when needed.  I need not worry a bit.

I encouraged my daughter to try to refrain from becoming distressed about situations in her life.  In fact, I have been doing that a lot recently with her. She is getting married, moving, changing jobs, all this summer.  Just one thing at a time.  Patience.  His timing is perfect.  Regarding a loved one’s illness, I simply said, find out what you can and pray.  Not much else to do for the situation right now.

I am not so very worried about him today.  Things are going well for him.  I am always trying to feed him healthier foods.  He is trying to like it.  I told him I don’t want to be a widow for my last 30 years, since I intend to live to 102!

As for myself and home, I got a few things done.  But, I was too late to salvage one project.  It will have to redevelop.  I am set up to do it now, though.  Our yard is looking so good.  The grass is green from all the rain.  Even in the flower beds!  The rain has been steady recently limiting the opportunity to work on some things.

I started a special project the first of June.  When I get more done on it, I will talk about it.  I don’t want to diffuse my energy and focus by discussing it yet.  Suffice it to say, things are going.  Not as quickly as I would hope, but I am not losing confidence of the final result coming sooner rather than later.

Yes, my heart gets black and blue.  But, then I recall what I have survived and to what I have to look forward.  And my heart feels better.  Great thing about it, I don’t have to wait for the bruises to fade.  Just a moment and the miracle of Mercy can make it rosy red again.

There is one black and blue I love to look at over and over.  On a special day, in the middle of the ocean, where molten rock once met salty sea, I found a perfect black and blue:

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