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.

 

Monday Blues

I don’t hate my job.  But, Monday is a challenge for me.  Not because of my job, but because of all the undone things from the weekend.

I always seem to have too much to do on the weekends and in the evenings.  But, I don’t stay as busy doing as I should.  I like to sit and drink coffee.  Therefore, I stay behind.

I keep trying to remember I am not 25 and super woman anymore.  I used to go out in the yard and work all day in the flower beds.  I used to start at one end of the house and clean top to bottom, back to front, in a day.

Not only do I not have the physical energy and stamina, I don’t have as much enthusiasm to do so.  I want it done.  But, other things attract my attention.

I keep trying to figure out how to do all of it.  Work all week, cook supper, keep up with the washing, do all the dozens of little things that need doing to keep house. When do I get to the ceiling fans?  What about the rose bush that needs a good feeding before it gets too cold?

So, why didn’t I get a lot done this past Saturday?  Well, he got his four-wheeler running. He took it to the woods.  No way am I staying home when I can ride with him!  Of course, it was rough and tumble and wore me out.  But, I would rather be with him and be behind on chores any day of the week.

Someday, I will have time and energy to do all of it and keep up with everything.  But, not at the expense of time with him.

What about the upcoming weekend?  The women will be gathering again.  I have gumbo and ice cream to mix up.  Four generations of women laughing, talking, and just by being together, gaining courage and strength.

Mother would be so pleased. Is so pleased.  I am sure she knows about it.

We have lived in the house Mother built for ten years now.  No. She doesn’t haunt it.  But, when my little nieces come to visit, I feel Mother there with us.  When we all gather to visit at her sister’s house, no doubt her spirit comes to linger and laugh, too.  I certainly feel her closer after the visits.

We are still living her legacy.  Love, laugh, pull together to face the difficult things life brings.

The dust and the weeds will have to wait.  Love calls. I answer, “Here I come!”

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Yes.

Yesterday was Mother’s Day.  I read many posts on Facebook.  Honoring mothers living and remembering those passed.

My own is gone.  His is gone as well.  Yes.  There are many moments I wonder how different my life would be had they still been here.  I miss them.  I love them.  I long to see them.

But, I direct my focus to my children.  To being a mother.  Both of them are amazing people.  They live incredible lives and create positive relationships with the people around them.  I am proud of them and love them more than I can sometimes contain.  So much love fills me it pours from my eyes in liquid form.

I always pushed them to never be afraid.  To be cautious and careful and sensible, but never afraid.  They are living out their dreams.  No.  Life is not perfect for any of us, but they take hold and run with the opportunities presented.

I am so very grateful for my parenting partner.  He is still my hero.  When we met, I was confused and afraid.  He fought his way through the barriers I had created around me and took hold of my heart.  I still keep barriers up around myself.  I still think I have hidden things.  But, on occasion, he makes a comment or something and I realize, he sees through the mask I wear.

He knows the hidden things.  The struggles, the disappointments, the pain.  He does not let me dwell on the negative things.  When I am “off-stage”, I tend to be depressed and discouraged.  He knows this and watches carefully to take action if I drift too close to the edge.  How many times has he pulled me back from despair that overwhelms me?

He has been father and mother to me these many years.  Poor fella!  Yes, I miss my mother.  Yes, I miss his mother.  Yes, I adore our children more than I can express.  Yes, I am grateful to Him for giving me him to be my strength, my courage, my champion, my guardian.

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Laugh

This was a great Monday.  Work was great.  The weekend past was great.  Everything is great!

Makes me nervous.  I keep my foot on the track to feel if a train is coming.   I have lived for so long dealing with serious issues, I know no other way.

And anyway, a train is coming.  A loved one has a devastating health diagnosis.  We will have to pull together and help her and each other through the coming days.  But, we, as a family, have one very critical strength.  Humor.  We have a sense of humor and laugh at the silliness of situations that arise from the very horrible things we face.

My mother’s visitation before her funeral sounded like a loud party.  We laughed and talked as if she was sitting with us.  She taught us to do that, as did her Mother.  Laugh.  Make a joke about something.  Crying and wailing get you only a headache and puffy eyes.

Yes.  Each of us cries privately and in small groups.  But, you won’t find us all together moping and weeping.  I remember us laughing at how pleased Mother would have been to know the size 12 dress fit that we bought to bury her in after she passed.  My aunt and cousin shared how they got too tickled and laughing when my aunt couldn’t get my very ill cousin off the floor after she fell in the middle of the night.  I can just see them wallowing like drunks and laughing trying to get her on her feet and back in her bed at the hospital.  Humor.  Why cry when you can laugh?

Laugh in the face of danger.  Laugh at the silly little things.  Laugh to keep the heart from bursting with pain.  Laughter.  His medicine.  He promised a merry heart doeth good like a medicine.  May we be blessed with laughter all the days to come.

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 P.S.  He poked his head out the door while I was sitting on the porch.  You are supposed to be orchiding, not watching videos…….acting like the boss of me….who does he think he is!  He is the boss of me.  Thank goodness.  I need someone to take hold of my wild self and keep me in line.  He needs me to make him laugh at all the silly little things that come out of my mouth.  I am very good at making him laugh and shake his head many times just by laughing at myself.  Good medicine for each other.

Flood

He and I walked down to see the muddy water boiling through the gates from the lake into the flooding river bed.

This gushing torrent is pouring from the same serene lake whose lovely face I have shared previously.  She is overloaded with rain and bursting at the seams.  Not her normal self.

I know how she feels.  I have a torrent of thoughts flooding my mind.  I recently filled one of my paper journals and switched to a fresh one.  I keep hauling around the old one.  I have been back through it several times trying to figure out what I am afraid to discard or shelve.  Finally, yesterday, while again going over the pages, I realized the whispers of the bigger story I want to tell is started there.

I shared with my friend today my idea of what I want to tell.  She had asked me if I have taken classes or is my writing a gift.  I don’t know about it being a gift, but, no I haven’t taken writing classes.  I haven’t even read many books on the prescribed reading lists from high school or college.  I simply write.  I have written forever.  When the prescribed writing of school days ended, the pen of teenage passion waned, and my babies were big enough to play without constant surveillance, I began journaling.  From the first time I heard about the concept of blogging, I wanted to try it.

I always wanted to be like John Boy Walton and write stories.  I never felt I had a story to write.  I still don’t have a fiction story to write.  My cousin encourages me to write the book.  I want to tell my story.  Every woman’s story.  Wish me courage.  Wish me discipline.  Wish me strength.

I fear letting the story come forth, I will become like this raging river boiling from the depths of the lake.  Churning out of control and spilling forth over the banks meant to contain me.  The banks of calm rationality I try so hard to maintain.  But, dear reader, you know I despise fear.  Here is a fear I must overcome and free myself.  He will hold on to me when I start to go under.  He will not let me be pushed to the bottom of the churning turmoil of emotional energy.  He will lift me up to Him in his prayers and we will ride out another flood of life together.

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