• 28Sep
    Categories: Grieving Comments: 3

    Does “Heavenly bodies” mean no “earthly desires”?  Cause I’m getting real sick of fighting them off.

    Satan really seems to have it in for me this week.  One of the sessions that I taught at the Ladies Retreat the other weekend was about how depression can dirty up the windows of our lighthouse and keep God’s light from shining through to the outside world. 

    Well, Mamma, are you going to practice what you preach? 

    My windows were pretty grimy this morning.  Hopefully we got them cleaned up a bit.

    I’m struggling to stay afloat myself and the Lord wants me to be responsible for others? 

    Ha!  That was another one of my points.  Get out there and do something for someone else.  It’s a great way to beat that selfish old depression right out the door.

    I’m starting to talk to myself.  Never a good sign.  My pillow must be calling my name.  Maybe I’ll go talk to it for a change.  =)

  • 22Sep

    Wow!!

    That must have been one of those days that single mothers tell horror stories about.

    Apparently my children missed me because every single one of them wanted my attention every minute yesterday and most of them were hollering and screaming to get it.  I had a headache by 9:00 a.m.

    But again, the Lord provided.  We made plans last week already, that yesterday was the day that a cousin would babysit for an hour or two while I went with an adopted mom to look at material for curtains.  That was a bit of a break.  And then a sister was able to show up for the supper routine and that helped relieve a bit of the pressure, too.

    Today my construction workers are back to finish up some more stuff on the house.  We finally have the furnace hooked up.  They are supposed to hook up the thermostats today so that I can use it and then I think we are ready for “Final Inspection”.

    But I must be going.  We still have school today, laundry to do, suitcases to unpack from the weekend, floors to mop, winter clothes to exchange for summer clothes, and so on . . . the list always seems so endless.  It’s a good motivator.  If there is something that needs doing then I have a reason to get out of bed in the morning.  I miss my reason to get pulled back into bed.

    So, if the Lord got me through yesterday, I’m guessing He can do it again.  Let’s go test this theory.  =)

  • 21Sep

    I don’t think Benjamin (7) had a very good weekend.  He gave me a big hug when I got back and told me that he had been forgetting what I looked like.  He almost didn’t recognize me” (and it wasn’t because I looked different).  I suspect he feels the same way about his Dad.  He is so starved for hugs and love, and I just haven’t been able or willing (not sure which) to give him what he needs.  He’s so quiet sometimes and I see him burying himself in books or computer games and I wonder if he’s trying to hide from it all (like his mother likes to do).

    Oh God! 

    Please fill in the gaps where I fail.  Keep his heart tender. 

    Help me to do the best I can to give them all what they need.  I don’t want them to look back and say “I chose to go the wrong way because I saw my mother do _______.”  I know it’s their choice, but

    I don’t want my life to be their excuse.  Help me to keep my windows clean so that they can see your light through me.

  • 20Sep

    I just spent the weekend pampering myself!  My Mom and I were invited to speak at a Ladies Retreat this weekend and the theme of the weekend was “You Are Worth It”.  It was great fun.  I had the first and last session and my Mom took the two in the middle.  It was a small group so it wasn’t too intimidating.  I’m still not totally sure why anyone would want to listen to me, but God just told me to speak.  I guess He will take care of the rest. 

    When we weren’t speaking we were doing all kinds of pampering stuff like massages, relaxing in the hot tub, hand creams, nail polish, hair cuts, etc.  It was probably more pampering than I’ve ever had, in my whole life combined.  And lucky for us, the weekend correlated with the yard sales in that area.  =)  So, during some free time Saturday morning a bunch of us did some yardsaling . . WITHOUT kids.  In fact the whole weekend was without kids.  I’ve always tried to make sure to take at least one night a month and just go somewhere without the kids.  Usually I tried to take Dan along, but he wasn’t available this time and since it was a ladies thing I doubt he would have been welcome anyway.   I haven’t done that quite as faithfully here this last couple of months because I felt like I was always leaving the kids somewhere with all the running around and decision making stuff that I had to do.  But that’s just more work.  This time I got away with the intent to relax and renew.  I think it worked.

    My last session was a bit more personal and therefore a bit more difficult to share so I suppose some would argue that I really wasn’t very relaxed, but hey! One demand on my time and emotions is like ‘piece of cake’ after 7 little demands screaming and hollering for physical, emotional, and spiritual help all at once.

    But may I just say, “I am glad to be back home.”  The pampering stuff was kind of fun and unique, but it wouldn’t be pampering if I did it all the time, and there is no way I want to live in that kind of environment anyway. 

    I like challenges! 

    Good thing. 

    I think the Lord gave me one.

  • 09Sep

    I feel pretty.  I just had a nice long bubble bath with no interruptions.  I found a nice flowy dress to wear that’s comfortable and makes my hips look great (hides the belly a bit, too).  I feel clean, refreshed, . . . hmmm . . I’m guessing the kids aren’t going to appreciate this – at least not as much as Dan would have.  =)

    I’m not much for keeping up with fashion, or spending hours on how I look, but I’ve always felt that it was important to look nice or at least neat (both of which have had to be flexible with multiple children).  When Dan died I felt like I lost a lot of my motivation.  I’ve been making sure that I’m dressed appropriately and nicely, but like so many other things I felt like my enthusiasm was swallowed up in the pool of confusion that is only now starting to settle down.

    I’ve been noticing a change in that lately.  I’m not like a teenager out to catch a guy or anything (that’s something of a joke with 7 kids), but there seems to be a new pleasure, a certain thrill in knowing that I look good. 

    I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!  My pessimism says “I’ll be looking the other way tomorrow and won’t be able to see the light”, or “the light sure doesn’t seem very bright”, but my hope in the Lord says the light will shine through, and it will be BRIGHT!!!  I will have a happy day without storm clouds darkening the skies.  If nothing else there is always Heaven where I will be Truly Beautiful.

    Psalm 27:1

    The Lord is MY LIGHT and my salvation; whom shall I fear?

    The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

  • 08Sep
    Categories: Grieving Comments: 5

    I find myself very aware of the approach of October 29th. 

    Often I feel the urge to take the bull by the horns, travel to WV or Pensacola Christian College where we both met, and spend an intense week grieving, so that I can get on with my life.

    Then there are the days when the idea of hiding in a book or a movie is so strong I can barely focus on the child standing in front of me.

    It’s the days that I want to hide that the Lord’s grace shines through the most.  It’s when the books get put away and I have to face my day head-on that I see the Lord working in my life.  I am reminded on a daily basis that I can’t do this on my own.  The Lord has to work through me.  And when I block His hand, oh the mess we have!

    And so I remind myself that to God October 29th was a very happy day, and although it has the potential of being another traumatic day for me, God will get me through it, just like He got me through it last year.  And despite the pain, I need to allow His hand to work in my life so that He can make something beautiful.  I want to be beautiful when I see Dan again.

  • 06Sep

    Tomorrow is Labor Day. 

     

    We were here last year on Labor Day. 

    Dan was helping with the pavilion project that ended up being the main dining establishment during construction of our new house.  We discussed the heart problem and my family was suitably worried.  Dan and I kept brushing them off.  Dad finally stopped me and said “He could die, Liisa.  Then what?”  What worry I felt, I shoved into a little corner and said firmly that we would cross that bridge if we came to it. 

    Here I am one year later, still thankful that I was able to take that attitude.  I could have worried myself sick about the whole thing and probably not changed anything.  Instead we just took each day as it came and enjoyed it as much as we could.  We did what we could to be prepared, but we didn’t let fear rule our lives.

     

    God’s grace is evident again.  Thank you, Lord.

  • 01Sep

    I feel a little raw tonight.  Yesterday I watched a good friend and neighbor coach the boys in learning to ride a bike.  Benjamin (7) caught on pretty quickly (as usual).  Josiah (6) was a bit more timid (as usual) and finally managed to pull it off tonight.  I am grateful for friends who have stepped in to fill some of the hole that Dan has left behind. 

    That, on top of the First Day of School has kind of hit all of us in varying degrees as we realize anew the loss of Dan.  It was a school day when he headed off for surgery.  We managed to do school during some of that time in the hospital (thanks to helpers), and continued faithfully in the weeks following.  It was a routine that we clung to in a time of chaos.  Or at least I did.  I think the kids appreciated the normalcy of it all or perhaps will later.

    My heart aches.  The end of the school day signified the arrival of Daddy.  That was when our accomplishments paid off.  That was when the pressure abated.  That was when creativity abounded.  That was when the house came alive.  That was when the supper time ritual was more than just putting food in our stomachs.

    We are “going back” to the routine we had before this all happened and it makes us feel the loss all over again.  And I know it’s not all just me.  I haven’t been able to get Benjamin (7) or Josiah (6) near as excited about school this year.  And Benjamin gave me such a ‘little man’ look the other night when he figured out how to ride his bike.  He was excited, but I think he knew something was missing and I could see his pain.  Josiah looked at his school work today and fell apart.  It was just too hard and overwhelming.

    It really was a good day; there is just this underlying sadness to it all.  And here in my room, alone with my computer, I can focus on the sadness, cry, and let loose the pressure, grieve, and find a way to move on.  God is good.

    A friend and neighbor showed up tonight and mowed our yard; a big task considering we have almost an acre of yard, and a necessary one since I don’t have a lawn mower yet (I’m hoping to get one with some kind of snow blower/plow attachment to play with).  I got five loads of laundry done (praise the Lord for my double washers!) and a cake baked.  School went smoothly.  Caleb (8 mo.) was cooperative.  Another neighbor kept an eye on Payden (1) and Maranatha (2) giving me the space I needed to adjust to a new arrangement and get the older ones introduced to the routine.  The girls (Abigail (5) and Dassy (4) ) didn’t demand my attention every two minutes which gave me the chance to have some one-on-one time with the boys.  Adjustments do need to be made (we had a three hour lunch break =)), but I feel like this is feasible. ‘Course we will see what happens when I get the little ones back.