Friday, February 17, 2012

A Matter of Perspective

Today it seems that every area of my life needs attention and there aren't enough hours in the day let alone enough psychic energy to bring to the fore.  It stems from buying a house and trickles down from there with things like printing/signing/faxing documents for loan papers, includes calling my landlord to repair the leak that exists in my laundry room since the heater was installed as well as doing umpteen loads of laundry before taking my adolescent-chew-anything-and-everything hound to the dog park before I make a rash adoption plan for him because I don't want him to ruin my new house.  Then there's the social security administration that has complicated my life by not paying the kid's portion of benefits this month so that I have to spend hours on the phone with them rectifying the situation (not to mention the fact that I need to get this is in order pronto for my underwriters!).  

Did I mention that my car is starting to smell bad and is a debris field from the last week of frenzied activity of rushing to school in the mornings and baseball practices in the afternoons?  Oh, and Bennett missed two days of school last week with asthmatic bronchitis and then spent 3 hours in the ER last weekend so he could get 3 stitches in his head after hitting it on the bathtub.  Juvenile antics, that's all I'm going to say.  He asked me if Daddy would be proud of him for how brave he was getting his stitches and it pained me to tell him that Daddy wouldn't be too happy to be in the ER at 2 a.m.  Sorry little buddy but the truth hurts sometimes.  Oh, and that'll be $500 please.  Thanks. : )  

I detail all the above because I very easily get caught up in the crap of my life.  There is more I could tell you that went on these last few weeks but I feel badly just reciting a litany of complaints.  I know my life is hard because of my grief process and my new found singularity but I also know I must pray and fight against the tendency to focus on the negative.  It is all soooooooooooooo easy to do.

So, let me tell you about some wonderful women God has placed in my life.  Melanie is a teacher in my son's grade (4th) and she lives just down the street.  God put a burden on her heart to ask me if I wanted to do a bible study with her and another mother, Elizabeth, she knew from a previous classroom who was also a widow.  Melanie was bold and followed God's lead and I said yes!  Melanie has an infectious charm and energy and for those of you in WA, reminds me of Sammie Simons!  She has a smile and a hug for everyone and is positive and radiant and loves the Lord.  She is a few years older than me and I immediately considered her a friend and mentor.  She loves my children and her family is incredible!!  We have met several times and although Satan tries to foil our plans we continue to find ways to get together although I still haven't met Elizabeth!!

Julie also meets with us and she has 3 wonderful kids who are unique and fit so well with my kids.  "O2" is Julie's daughter Olivia and my Olivia's buddy from first grade.  She and her sister Josie and "O1" love to play American Girls together and have all-girl parties complete with signs (No Boys Allowed)!  Julie's son Max and Bennett are all-boy and play Little League together, ride BMX and shoot air soft guns when they are not playing on the Wii or Playstation.  It's a lovefest all around.  And Julie is real.  She is honest and open and wanting more and is in continual pursuit of the Lord as well. She is spicy and sassy and fun!  Did I mention that she and her husband own a fantastic sushi restaurant?

Jann also lives right up the street and has taken me under her wing in so many small ways. Every once in a while my phone will buzz with a text and it's Jann, checking in on me to see how my heart and my head are.  She always checks on my migraines and my spirit and I love her for that.  She knows how bad both can get and she never forgets me.  She also has a real sweet spot for Olivia and has watched her for me several times, creating some beautiful fun crafts with her and treating her like a real special guest.  Jann consistently prays for us and know's what it's like to raise strong-willed children.  Her presence in the background is comforting and encouraging.

Lastly and not least, Trenna continues to be my stalwart bedrock.  She was, she is and she will be there.  My love for her grows more with each passing day.  I wouldn't have made it through any of this without her confident grace and reassurance.  God was a genius ~ knitting us together at the age of 6, for such a time as this!

So there you have it.  Things can seem pretty bad circumstantially but it's the people around you that make the difference.  I don't have Phil by my side but God has provided a cloud of powerful women to fill in the gaps and they are mighty indeed.  I know I need to focus on what He has given me amidst all this trouble the world deals out.  Because one thing I know for sure, this world will continue to deal out trouble.  Grab your friends and give thanks to "God, who causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them."  Romans 8:28

Monday, February 6, 2012

Home is Where the Heart Is

I bought a house this week and it is beautiful!  It's far nicer than anything Phil and I looked at when we briefly house hunted in July of 2010.  At that time what we could afford were older homes that were very small or that needed a good deal of "sweat equity" as Phil liked to call it.  Once he was diagnosed with lymphoma we quickly shelved our dream of buying a home and tried to protect our little nest egg as best we could, not knowing what was in store for us.

Now here we are, the kids and I, all these months later, on the cusp of moving into our new home, our "forever home" as Bennett puts it, all made possible by Phil's sacrifice and death.  Kinda sad.  Kinda crazy.  But mostly, it's amazing and shows how provisional his love was.  Even in death, he is taking care of us and he's made my "workplace" for raising our kids even more precious.  We will be in a beautiful home that is convenient to everything, spacious and comfortable, perfect for entertaining and yet quiet and tranquil.  There is even space for our beloved-behemoth-hound Zack and for the gardening to come.  There is sunshine all around and I will never have to move if I don't want to.  Ahhhh. 

Thank you Phil!  We will talk of you here and tell stories of your incredible life.  We will rest here when the going gets tough.  We will laugh and have fun here!  By putting a roof over our heads and giving us a safe and secure place to rest our heads and our hearts you have given us a place to rebuild our lives and heal our broken hearts.  We will move on confidently in life without you here with us because you have provided the means for us to do so.   As we move into our new home we will be taking you with us, in our hearts and memories, forever.  You have our love, always.