Sunday, April 13, 2014

Catching Up

The good news never stops.  My computer died.  Apparently, according to my IT-gifted Hubby, it was a tragic, nothing-could-have-stopped-it death.  Irreversible.  Bad news for someone who passes many of the hours of the day online.

Sigh.

The computer I'm using now is one that Hubs managed to resurrect "just enough" from the family electronic graveyard (What?  Doesn't your family have one of those?!?).  He pulled a power cord from the mix-and-match pile that fortuitously made the green light come on.  Ahhh.....sweet relief! 

Baby has taken a liking to Goliath's euphonium.  90% of the time, Goliath fails to put the instrument fully away in its case, which is more of a temptation than his youngest brother can handle.  I doubt I will ever fully get used to that which sounds like a dying animal in my front room.

Little Middle is playing baseball for the first time.  Unless you are a baseball mom, you can NOT understand the feeling of the knot in the pit of your stomach when your little guy steps up to bat.  No amount of time spent in the batting cages or balls tossed in the backyard can prepare either one of you for the enormous pressure of wanting needing to make the aluminum 'POP!' sound when the bat and ball make contact.  The pressure is SO intense, in fact, that when the pitcher (whose mother is biting her fingernails 2 rows in front of you, by the way) pegs your little man with the ball on his fifth pitch, you have to restrain yourself from rushing the mound to hug him because your kid just walked to 1st base!!!  And so it goes...until the next time he goes up to bat.  There is not enough Xanax on the planet for this wonderful walk into the world of beginning baseball.

Me:  What is your test about in Contemporary World tomorrow?
Goliath:  Asia
Nana:  Oh, like India or East Asia?
Goliath:  Just regular Asia.

His face was deadpan serious.  He didn't know why we were laughing, and it probably annoyed him to death that we were displaying any kind of jolliness.  Because middle schoolers, you may not know, are not the most jovial bunch.  They are moody and--dare I say it?--obnoxious.  I am not getting on that well with my oldest son these days.  Not because of anything I've done, or anything he's done (except for a few academic and relational flaws, which must remain blog-less)--just because of where he is in life and I must have limitations.  He's pushing them at every turn.  But then I hear him laughing with his brothers over the huge split in someone's undies...aren't these things always funny?...and I know that all is still (in a weird, twisted, middle-schooley way) right with him.

Of course, real life continues to barrel its way straight through our family.  Kids can say and do the darndest things, but Monster threatens to cover their light with his darkness.  Truthfully, each morning I open my eyes, and I am disappointed.  What I would really like to have happen is that I could go to heaven one night while I sleep.  Wouldn't that be perfectly lovely?  Fall asleep and transition from this stupid broken world into the next beautifully perfect one.  Talk about a dream come true!

I have "settled" (a term I use super-loosely) into a daily sick routine.  I still get up and wake the boys up at their appointed times each morning.  This is my favorite.  I think, especially for the littles, that it helps promote a sense of normalcy, i.e. "Mom's face is the first one I see in the morning.  That is right.".  We get them fed, dressed, and out the door, usually on time, with lunches in their hands and completed homework in their backpacks.  I know that's a lot more than what a lot of healthy parents are able to do, so I try to be thankful.  Honestly, though, it's not enough for me.  I can't believe that I, who was once such a hands-on, do-it-all mom, have been reduced to a watch-them-shovel-in-Lucky-Charms mom who considers it a successful morning if she doesn't vomit in front of them.  

After they go to school, I breathe a sigh of relief, take my first handful of many pills, and make my first big decision of the day:  to shower or bathe?  Yes, I do one of the other each day.  Both are wrought with perils that an ordinary person might not consider.  A shower means that I need to wash my hair, a problem all in itself.  Fortunately, I have added to my repertoire of medical equipment a shower chair.  I hate it just like I hate all the other stuff.  BUT...you'd be surprised how helpful it has been in doing something as simple as washing my hair.  I had one morning when my sweet daddy was here that I asked him to help me wash my hair over the kitchen sink.  It was the day after that that the shower chair was delivered!  A bath...well, who doesn't like a nice warm bath every now and then?  Especially when they don't feel well?  The problem with that is that I keep falling asleep in the bathtub.  It's happened so often that now my caretakers (i.e. Hubby and Mom) have strict instructions from Nurse to keep a close eye on me.  That eye that she has in mind is closer than I will allow, so we've had to compromise with sponge baths a few times.  

After I get cleaned up and changed into fresh pj's, it's time for a nap.  Yes, even though I just got up, it's time to go back to bed.  Very often, I will sleep for another 2 hours (or longer).  Truthfully, I wish my body would allow me to sleep even longer.  There are points in the day that I think would be better if I just let go and slept straight through.  

When I wake up, sometimes I eat lunch, and sometimes I eat nothing at all.  It all depends on how I'm feeling.  I can't seem to hold interest in my books.  I've always been an avid reader!  But right now, for example, I am at the halfway point in a new book by one of my favorite authors, and I just can't feign enough interest to talk myself into reading further.  What a letdown.   I'm not much of a TV or movie person, but a lot of times I leave it on for background noise.  What else am I going to do?

I don't drive anymore.  Correction:  I can drive, but I don't.  I am taking so much medication (23 pills a day to be exact, and that's without "extra" stuff like phenergran for nausea or Xanax for my 6th grader stress), that who knows what is happening to my response times, my reflexes, etc.  So I depend on Hubby or Mom or the occasional friend to get me where I need to go.  It's not really that hard to work out, because I don't leave the house much.  Still, the loss of that independence stings.  It's amazing how I never seemed to care about just getting out of the house for no reason before, and now that I can't, it really feels like it matters.  The Bus just sits in the driveway, seemingly taunting me.  

Anyway, back to the rundown of my day:  The boys come home in the afternoon, and then the craziest thing happens.  I swear that as soon as the door opens and I hear the first, "Hi, Mom!", my stomach starts to hurt.  I become uncomfortable in my own skin, and that horrible feeling increases over the next several hours until the clock mercifully allows me to take bedtime meds and I can sleep.  I don't know why those two things have to intersect, but that is what happens nearly every. single. day.  I hate it so much, because I feel like I don't spend nearly the time with them that I want to.  They come in my room and tell me about their day, of course, but I'm no match for them.  Most nights I have reading time with Baby, usually some math or some other can't-wait-to-be-done assignment with Little Middle, and then Goliath will come in and demonstrate his newest playlist for me before bedtime.  I am so thankful for these times with them, but again:  it's not enough.  I've fallen hard.  And every day is a tough reminder that I'm not what I used to be.

So that's a typical day.  Of course, weekends are a little different.  I have been trying very hard to make Little Middle's baseball and Baby's soccer games.  Mom and I sat out in the crazy wind on Saturday morning cheering for a bunch of second graders who were falling all over themselves.  Hilarious!  But even that felt bad to me:  I used to be the team mom.  I went to every practice, I set up the snack schedule, I made sure he had his cleats, his socks, his shin guards for every practice and game.  Now I have no idea how it all comes together each week!  Of course, I'm not so arrogant as to believe that the world of soccer needs me to make it all jive.  I simply miss being an integral part of my children's lives.  And I'm at a loss how to achieve that feeling of closeness again in this new world.

The boys seem to be doing well.  They have each had their own mini-breakdowns from time to time, and that is to be expected.  I don't think you live knowing that your mother is dying and not have issues.  School teachers, counselors, coaches, church personnel...they're all on board with us.  There are people falling over themselves waiting and wanting to help the 3 little cowboys.  And for that, ya'll, I am unbelievably, overwhelmingly thankful.  Crazy thankful.  God has been so gracious to put our family in a place where we are cared for and loved on.  There's no way that the boys could be carrying on so well if they weren't in the middle of a you-are-loved cloud everywhere they go.  Life is hard enough, and a curveball like this can really alter the course of one's entire life one way or the other if we let it.

I still worry, of course.  I spend a lot of those empty hours in my days worrying.  Some days I feel like all I DO is worry.  I love this translation of a well-known verse:  "Don't fret or worry.  Instead of worrying, pray.  Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.  Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down.  It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life."  (Philippians 4:6-7, MSG)
This Scripture offers an option:  Instead of worrying, pray.  And don't just pray asking for things, but offer up praise.  I love that.  If I am doing it right, I shouldn't just ask God for his watchcare over my sons.  I should praise Him!  And there's plenty to praise Him for:  He is big enough to handle my requests.  He loves the boys even more than I love them.  He has good plans for them.  And before I know it, my need to worry is replaced with Christ.  A sense of God's wholeness...I can't think of anything better to have on this earth until I can get to heaven and be remade!

I don't know how it's going to happen.  A lot of days--more often than not--I get bogged down with the imaginings of everything that can go wrong.  Raising three children with two parents is a huge job.  Raising three broken, hurt children with only one broken, hurt parent is an astronomical, how-can-it-be-done job!  But my God knows.  He knows our hurts, and He can heal.  That's what I pray for:  healing for my sons.  I don't want them to ever forget me.  But I do want God to use the experience that this hurt and loss is/will be for something spectacular.  I can't even imagine yet what it could be!...But God knows.   And I trust Him with them...even the one who never takes his ear phones out of his ears just to make me nuts.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Ally's Wish

 Cancer is a lonely place to be.  Instead of planning out dinner menus and baseball schedules, I'm making end-of-life plans.  Instead of dreaming up the next family vacation, I'm fretting over life insurance policies and trust funds for the boys.



I have good people in my life.  Really.  I have GOOD people in my life.  A few weeks ago, I met a group of friends for dinner.  I had no idea why we were gathered, but I quickly found out that it wasn't just to talk about hedghogs, our kids, and shampoo.  No, they had something much bigger and more important.  Something that made me forget for a while that my life is not what I want it to be:


Ally's Wish is a new foundation put together by my amazing friends.  The purpose of Ally's Wish is to grant wishes for other mothers with terminal illness.  Spread joy.  Give hope!

I can not think of a more fantastic way for my legacy to live on.  It's not often that I am without words, but I was at the dinner table that night.  My friend Missy explained to me how she had been praying faithfully for me (which I knew she had been).  Like so many of us, she wanted to do something.  She wanted to put something behind her words.  But she didn't know what.  So...she kept praying.  And one morning, God gave it to her.  She immediately called the other friends, and Ally's Wish was born.  They had the whole thing put together and finished before they ever even presented it to me.  There was not a fear that I would say "no".  Because God was at work...there was something so much biger happening than what any of us could ever do on our own.

 At dinner that night, they asked me what my wish is.  They wanted mine to be the first one granted.  They said that I should dream big.  They said that I should think outside the box.  They said that I am loved, and that people want to help.  

So, I am thrilled to tell you that my wish is for this blog to be published.  I don't necessarily want it to be on a shelf in every Barnes & Noble across America, but I want it to be published at least so that each of my boys can have a copy of their own--a way for them to remember that their mom loved them with every inch of her heart.

Maybe you want to help.  Maybe God is leading you to bring hope to other sick mothers the way these friends of mine have brought hope to me.  Maybe you want to donate or volunteer.  Go to our website and look around.  I hope your heart is touched and you are moved to help.  On behalf of moms like me who love their kids and will have to leave them sooner than we want to...thank you.  Thank you for being an instrument in God's hands.  Thank you for reminding us that there are still good things to be had, joy to fill hearts like ours.  He is a good God.  

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Happy Birthday, Little Middle!

Dear Little Middle,

Happy 10th birthday to my little man!  And what a little man you are indeed!  You have grown and changed so much this year...it makes my head spin to look back!  All the while, you give us great reason to look ahead.  Dad and I are SO unbelievably proud of you.

This year was finally the year that you started to outgrow your Lego mania.  For five+ years, I never thought you would want to do anything else as much as build Lego sets.  Those nasty little blocks have nearly taken my foot off more times than I can count during late-night bedtime checks!  And yet your love affair with Legos persisted.  It's what you asked for for birthdays and Christmases.  It's what you spent your saved-up dollars on at Target and how you spent long hours sitting in the game room.  Do I think you are completely over your Lego love?  No way.  But the good news is you've passed it on to your little brother...a legacy not lost.

This summer you experienced one of your first heartaches when your best friend moved away.  M had been your best buddy for two years.  You guys did everything together--games, swimming, running between each other's houses--and it broke your heart for him to leave.  To tell the truth, it broke mine, too.  You were a little lost this summer, but you have slowly found your way again.  There will never be another M, but you are learning to spend time with other friends and still have fun.  Did I tell you that I'm really proud of you? 

In the fall you started 4th grade.  4th grade?!?  How is that possible?!?  It took little work on my part to convince the powers that be at school that you deserved needed to be with the same amazing teacher that Goliath had.  And, boy, am I glad I did!!!  You, even more than your older brother, have shown me the crazy-good perks of having a teacher who is also your friend.  Just yesterday morning, you were freaking out a little bit about the did I?/did I not have math homework over the weekend? question.  I was able to text Mrs. C and ask her, thereby diverting a crisis.  It pays to be friends with your kid's teacher!

You do well in school, although you would obviously rather be spending your time doing something outside the classroom.  You consistently perform better in ELA/spelling/grammar than you do in math & science.  Your brain is wired like your mama's, and seemingly no amount of patient coaxing by Mrs. C is going to change that!  You like weird science experiments, though.  We could mix baking soda and vinegar together every day of the week and you would never tire of it.  The messier, the better!

Speaking of school, you got a great gift this year!  Our school district is on the technology bandwagon, and is investing in iPads for every student.  4th grade was on the first deployment list this year.  For WEEKS, all I heard was, "When I get my iPad, I will __________" and " I will download ____________ app when I get my iPad."  And then....the day was HERE!  I had to go to school and stand in a crazy line--not at all too much to ask of a mom with the happiest son on the planet!  You love that thing!  You have become very proficient at using it, and it's been more than one occasion that I've needed to ask you an Apple question.  We laid down rules early on, and you are near-perfect at obeying them.  Thank you for not being a technological nightmare kid.

The Year You Were Nine has been a year with joys of its own, but also plenty of sadness.  Just recently we had the very worst family meeting that you could ever imagine:  the one where we shared the news that I am not going to get better from The Cancer.  That news was met by a staggering silence on your part.  No crying, no yelling, no nothing...just an awful, dreadful silence.  I don't blame you one little bit. Since that day you have actually been a little more hands-on.  You have hugs a'plenty when I need one.  You are almost always happy to come down and sit for a spell to catch a show on Disney Channel or to do math (ugh) homework in my company.  I don't really care what it is, as long as I get to be with you.  

Little Middle, you have always been my happy-go-lucky, laid-back son.  You easily have a smile on your face and you laugh fast and loud.  I think you are one of the best ideas that God ever had!  I wish so much that I had been able to give you different news on that night, or at least tell you that we are in the middle of a bad dream from which we will surely wake up very soon.  Neither one of those is true, though.  It seems that our family's bad dream can't be stopped.  I want it to be different for you.  It appears, though, that God has a plan for you that is opposite of the one I would have written.  I don't understand it, but I choose to trust Him, and I pray every day that you will, too.  Remember, sweet love:  We serve a big God who loves us and is always in control.  One of the ways I know that is because that same God gave you to me!  I didn't deserve the happy, calm baby that I met at the hospital on that beautiful spring afternoon.  All I knew was that God had chosen us to be together.  And I'm so glad that He did!  I have loved every single day I've gotten to spend with you.  No matter how many days we have left to be together, I will make the most out of them.  You are precious to me, little man.  Never, ever wonder if your mom loves you...because she does.

With my whole heart,

Mom


Friday, March 14, 2014

Bellies, Beds, and Body Bags

I have a Monster growing inside of me.  There is no denying his existence, nor his growth.  Yesterday, I looked like myself.  A little rough, yes, because I was in dire need of a good hair-washing and some fresh pajamas.  But other than that, I looked like me.  This morning I got up and I look like me .... at 5-months pregnant!  Seriously.  I called Nurse in a bit of a frenzied panic.  How could this happen just...overnight?!?  She calmly told me a story about abdominal disease and fluid build-up.  I not-so-calmly asked her what we could do about it.  Her answer?  Nothing.  That's what.  We do NOTHING about so much accumulation of fluid that I look like my former pregnant self.  Wha..........????  This just keeps getting better.

Then, I went on a little field trip with Hubby and Daddy.  We went to a funeral home.  I'd been there before, when my friend lost her own daddy in a sad and sudden way.  I had no real emotion going in.  Actually, I felt a little detached.  Maybe that's why I was so surprised to see a dead person first thing upon entry.  She was just laying there in a room off to the side, surrounded by floral sprays, waiting for her friends and family to come pay their respects.  I actually whispered out loud, "There's a dead person over there."  Stating the obvious didn't help, but it broke the ice when the funeral director came out at that exact moment.

He seated us in a conference room that was not spectacular by any means.  I could have been at any company in Anytown, USA.  This room was only set apart by the collection of urns in a glass case in the corner.  The Director took a seat at the head of the table and started his spiel.  He did a good job.  We were well-armed with a list of questions and ideas, and Mr. Director provided all the answers that we needed.  He also gave us some good information about cemeteries in the area.  Since I am lacking in this area of expertise, I felt grateful.  Did you know that not all cemeteries have perpetual care?  If you are a local, this might explain a lot to you like it did for me.

I never realized how many decisions there are to make for a funeral.  I have been working on a few things on my own at home, but WOW!  Who knew?  One of the most important decisions to make is the choosing of the casket.  We were quickly educated about the differences in steel grades, wood types, and then we were allowed to enter The Casket Room.  It wasn't like the casket rooms that you see on TV and such.  There were only 8 full-size caskets in the room.  The rest of the displays were just cut pieces of the casket with a pull-out display from the wall.  Weird, but efficient.

I found one I liked.  I mean, I guess I like it.  Again, weird.  Mr. Director regaled us with a tale of a husband and wife who visited The Casket Room and asked him to take their pictures inside their caskets of choice.  Why?  What in the world is wrong with people?!?  I guess that's one way you can really be sure you're getting what you like.

While I held up pretty well through the funeral home experience, I must confess that I am a little freaked out by the thought of bugs and creepy-crawlies and, um, elements getting through.  Hence the need for an outer burial container, but still....ew.  That's the only thing that really bothered me.  I was pretty calm as Mr. Director went down the list of  his a la carte menu.  We selected some things we really wanted, and drew question marks beside others that require decisions.  Then we thanked him for his time and went on our way.

For as much as I had been dreading this visit, I suppose it went relatively well.  I did it, and I'm proud of myself for that.  I feel like taking care of these things is a way that I can take care of my family.  They don't need to see to all these little details and worries if I can do it for them while I'm still here.

Right now I am waiting for Nurse to come.  This will be the third appearance she has made at my house this week.  Maybe it's just me, but I'm thinking a 3/5 ratio of nurse needs isn't that great.  She's coming to access my port (which I haven't used since last spring--almost one year).  They are going to "feed" me some of my medications through my port so I have fewer pills to take.  It's a lovely thought, because I have got some pills!  Mom bought me one of those old-people pill organizers.  It's the supreme version:


Nifty, huh?  Every one of those little spaces is filled up with pills for me to take.  Every. Single. Day.  It's a lot.

Update:  Nurse has come and gone.  She totally threw me under the bus to Hubby and Daddy about not wanting to use the wheelchair.  Which I don't.  I was thinking maybe we could take it when we go to look at cemeteries.  Seems appropriate.  She managed to access the port with minimal discomfort to me.  I am most thankful.  The port has always been a difficult thing to deal with.  Maybe now I know that the medical staff just weren't doing it right!

I now am receiving methadone through the mediport.  I am hooked up to it, which means I must carry it with me all the time, everywhere I go.  Ugh...I hate that.  Just looking at the unattractive bag which houses it, I am already freaking out, wondering how I will carry it around and what I can possibly wear that will hide the tube sticking out of my chest (and disguise my giant belly).  Again:  ugh.  These are problems I didn't sign up for when Monster came nosing around.

Also, this afternoon we are expecting delivery of a hospital bed.  Nurse asked me how I had been sleeping, and the answer is, "Not well."  I even take Ambien, the magic med, every night, and I am still waking up several times each night because I am crazy-uncomfortable.  It's like she can read my mind.  Nurse said that is due to the swelling in my abdomen, and that laying flat will become increasingly difficult.  Then she gently reminded me that I could have a hospital bed that can elevate my head and/or feet, and it would probably be a great time for it.  I agreed, even though it's about the last thing in the world I want to have in my possession (except a wheelchair).  So there is one coming.  I think that the only twin sheets we have left are Goliath's old ones with the camo pattern.  Mom suggested that I send Daddy to Target to buy pretty new ones for my "new" bed.  Or maybe I'll just sleep on the camo sheets for a few days.

P.S.  Just in case you ever need to know, "disaster pouch" is a nice way of saying "body bag."

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Come One, Come All!

We are so incredibly blessed to live in a community where we are surrounded by people who care about us and look for ways to show it.  One of those ways is coming up this Tuesday, March 4:


A few things:

*You DO NOT have to have a paper flyer to show when you come in.  You can show the flyer on your phone, or just mention to your server that you are there to support the "3 little cowboys" family.
*The event is open all day, not just at dinner time.  You are welcome to go to Chili's for lunch, a mid-afternoon snack, or dinner--or all of the above!
*For every friend that eats at Chili's and mentions our name, our family will earn 15% of the amount of that check.
*The event is open at the Chili's restaurants in Flower Mound (3040), Justin Road, Lewisville, Hickory Creek, and Denton.

You, our friends, our community, sustains us.  You have shown us unwavering support and unending love.  This event at Chili's is one of the things we have pointed out to our little cowboys as a way that God cares for us because people care for us.  We thank you in advance for your help with this special event, and mostly, we thank you for just being YOU!!!  Each of you is a huge blessing to our family!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Living With Grace

It is a struggle, as I sit down to write this evening, to form all of my thoughts into a cohesive format.  This day...oh, my.

It started as a regular day with regular cinnamon toast.  Then Nurse came.  Ten minutes into her visit, I knew I was going to throw up, and promptly did so.  Maybe I have not made it clear here before, so I will do it now:  I hate vomiting.  It's for sure in my top 3 things I despise.  Right after I returned from brushing my teeth, Nurse re-introduced the prospects of "assistance equipment," including an oxygen tank and a wheelchair.  She first introduced the ideas during her visits last week, when I quickly and distinctly turned her down.

I lost the battle today.  I am now the horrified owner of a WHEELCHAIR, which you will NEVER see me in.

She left, and then I threw up twice more.

THEN, my sweet Goliath came to me to confess that he "accidentally" read something on my iPad that was hurtful to me, so it was also hurtful to him.  He was full of questions and a little bit angry.  That caused me to ask more questions and be a little a lot angry all over again.

Stupid day.

What I really want to do here, though, is tell you about last night.  This conversation happened:

Goliath:  So Mom, you know how you have that cancer?
Me:  Yes.  Yes, I do.
G:  Well, I need to talk to you about something.  I'm not sure if it's wrong or not, though.
Me:  You can tell me anything, buddy.
G:  You know I would do anything for you, right?
Me:  Yeah....
G:  Every night when I go to bed and I say my bedtime prayers, I pray for you to not have to have cancer anymore.  And a lot of nights, I pray that God would just give me your cancer instead.  You know, so I could be sick instead of you.
Me:  (Solid, streaming tears)
G:  Is it wrong for me to pray that, Mom?

I think at that very moment I understood for the first time how sad my parents must be.  Because the very thought of my baby having to go through this horrible, wretched disease made my head spin and my heart nearly split in two.  At the very thought.  

I somehow managed to keep my head on and I dried up my tears.  I told my precious baby boy how God doesn't want bad things to happen to us, but they do because we do not live in a perfect world.  I reminded him how God wanted perfection for us (remember the Garden of Eden?), but sin messed that all up.  I said to him that God has a good plan and great ideas for all of us, and as Christ-followers, one of the hardest things we have to do sometimes is to BELIEVE that is true and TRUST Him to see it through.  Yes, even if our mom has cancer.  Yes, even if it turns our lives upside down.  Yes, even if it sucks.  (I allow this boy 'o mine to say the word "sucks" only when it is used in combination with the word "cancer."  True mom story.)  
Then I said to Goliath that while I don't think he's necessarily wrong to pray this particular prayer, that I wish he wouldn't do it anymore.  Simply because I can't stand the thought that God could choose to answer his prayer.

No more than I can believe that I gave birth to a person who would do anything for me.  He's only twelve--and I totally believe he would do it if he could.  Grace is getting something you totally don't deserve...and if being this kid's mom isn't grace, I don't know what is.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Limitations

This is a weird time in my life.  I've tried to think of other, better words.  Lonely.  Scary.  Sad.  Weird.  I am working on creating--and accepting--a new normal for myself.  This week, I've resigned from one of my last just-for-me activities, a volunteer position at Goliath's middle school.  I simply don't have the energy or the physical stamina, to go and push buttons on a copy machine.  It's really unbelievable to me.  

I feel a little lost.  I feel easily replaceable.  It truly stuns me when I go out during the day and I see the little old man down the street preparing the soil in his gardens for the spring planting.  Or when I hear the stories from my friends of what they've been up to, or notice the neighbors coming and going while I sit in the front room.  Really....I don't expect that the world will continue to go like it always does--because I'm not in it.  My husband is slowly but steadily taking over a lot of my stuff at home.  My mom, and this week my dad, has been here taking care of me and doing a lot of the work.  My darling housekeeper is even coming two days a week instead of her usual one Tuesday to help out.

While I am so appreciative of these people who love me and are helping with the transition process for my cowboys, my old self wants to jump up and do it all--just because it is mine to do.  I want my mom to have her life back, my husband to just go to work and leave the running and the scheduling and the cooking to me, and I want Amparo to...well, I honestly don't mind her coming twice a week. I've finally found the solution to the laundry problem!!!

Mostly, I want my life back.  I'm not angry or anything.  Just sad.  Because I had this great world made out of kids and noise and food and preschool and friends and shopping and taking care of things and church and activity and sharing and being a part of people.  I mattered.  And it was meaningful and sometimes messy, but wonderfully beautiful life.  Now I have....what?  A good bed and a quiet room and a few pairs of pajamas that I wear all the time.  It pales in comparison.

A friend posted these words on Facebook last week from Jesus Calling:

"Thank Me for the conditions that are requiring you to be still...Instead of resenting the limitations of a weakened body, search for My way in the midst of those very circumstances.  Limitations can be liberating when your strongest desire is living close to Me...My strength and power show themselves most effective in weakness."

The day I read that, I wrote this in my journal:

"It's hard to be thankful for these conditions.  I overdid it yesterday, and I paid for it today.  It's so frustrating!  Why can't I have at least a semi-regular life where I can do at least a few normal things?  Can my limitations really be liberating???  Strong word.  Oh, for grace to trust Him more!"

I want to be thankful.  I really do.  Being still is hard.  Being weak is harder.  I know God is in this new chapter.  But the quieter it gets, the harder it is to hear Him.

Oh, for grace to trust Him more.

My 3 Sons