Anyway, one of my cousins recently sent me a sweet message. She wanted me to know that she was praying for whatever we were dealing with. She also mentioned that she knew that I didn't feel like I should be blogging about everything going on, BUT that she also knew writing is how I process thoughts and feelings...she encouraged me to get a journal (an old fashioned one) to jot down my feelings. And she gave me one more piece of advice...record God's faithfulness. Even when things seem really hard, and they have recently, remember how God is being faithful.
The last couple of weeks have been hard. I have struggled with so many questions, emotions, etc. (Again, none of this is marriage related :) I have always had great joy in eating (though I try not to do it nearly as much as I want to), but the last two weeks, eating became merely a chore. Even when I did eat, I would feel sick immediately afterwards. I have had a knot in my stomach all day, every day. I have felt exhausted but cannot sleep. And a few (maybe several) times, I just asked God to take me away, right then and there. I want to pray but sometimes when your heart is aching, it is hard to focus on anyone, even God.
That being said, I can look back and see many times God has been faithful, sometimes in big ways, other times in little joys...
- I cannot remember what I have blogged and what I haven't, but recently we received a letter that Mark's student loan (as in from his college days) was paid in full. We never have really kept track of our balance with it; it had a low rate and was just not of the utmost importance to pay. That being said, what a treat to find out that we have finished paying it!
- Child 2 reached a goal that she has been trying to reach for a couple of years with school. I have never put any pressure on her to do it; she wanted to do it on her own (maybe somewhat related to me :)...and she did.
- I don't know if I mentioned, on top of all the stress we have been dealing with, the same day it all began, Mark's laptop was stolen from his truck (in our driveway). Okay, so that isn't really a blessing (and yes, we are feeling a bit violated in the last year). But when I mentioned it to a friend who had also dealt with a recent vehicle break-in, I also mentioned that it appeared the vehicle was accidentally left unlocked...no damage. She told me we were fortunate; their vehicle's window had been busted out and of course, they had to pay to have it fixed.
- This past week, one of the kids started running a fever. We have been hearing a lot about a possible flu "epidemic" this flu season, so my heart just sank. I was able to get into the doctor right away for a flu test. No flu. Just a virus. (Huge praise right there) I had taken all of the kids just in case they all needed to be tested though nobody else had symptoms. The doctor was happy I had brought all of the kids (I am glad, because all five of us in the exam room seemed overwhelming to me); he went ahead and flu misted everyone. Even our youngest was old enough this year, though he was not crazy about the syringe going up the nose. He still tells us about it. :)
- A free sundae at a local frozen custard restaurant (and a husband who brings me such things :)
- A very sweet class this year. I am eager to see where the year takes us!
- The prayers of friends. Even not knowing what they were praying for, I was so touched by the sweet messages from friends via Facebook, the blog, e-mails, cards, etc, just letting us know that we were loved and being prayed for. All I could think of was the last scene of "It's a Wonderful Life". We have been very blessed indeed!
- A mom who is willing to love on my sick children when I return to work
- My sister. I am not so sure I would still be sane (or as sane as I am) without her. We struggle through the highs and lows of parenting together; it is comforting to know I can share anything and everything I feel with her without judgment or criticism no matter how crazy I sound sometimes!
- My co-workers (all of them but especially my kindergarten crew)...we are a team. The way we function together is a classic example of work smarter, not harder.
- My kids' teachers. They give of themselves day in and day out, making learning a truly memorable experience for all of them... (I have to give extra props to Hunter's teacher...this is her third year in a row to teach him-3rd, 4th, and 5th)
- A flexible husband...we have had a busy week with Open Houses, first of school, plus other situations. He has cooked and picked up food so we can eat at a time I just cannot concentrate on meals.
- A weekend away (coming up)...with kids. We haven't done a weekend getaway in some time and a wonderful opportunity presented itself. I am looking forward to it!
- My kids. I do love my kids, even when they are a bit whiny or irrational (which seems to be a side effect from starting school). They make us smile with their silliness and their loving hearts.
- The youngest's language...he is really starting to use more and more complete sentences when he talks. He can also share sweet memories. One of the sweetest ones is that he constantly tells us about the baby monkey we saw at the zoo a few weeks ago. For some reason, that made a huge impact on him...he tells it in such a sweet and tender way. (The mommy monkey was "brushing" the baby monkey) Child 3's language continues to amuse us too...how do we go from no words to speaking ALL of the time?
- God. I cannot always feel His presence, and recently the world has seemed so dark and cloudy. But He is still there.