Rambling thoughts on a Sunday

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Funny how seldom I post anymore. I used to be so regular about it. My heart just isn’t in it any longer. I think it’s because I find myself so down in the dumps that I realized I mainly blog in a whiney, poor-pitiful-me sort of way. And I hate that. My sister is a big whiner. And she really isn’t that bad off, but you’d think she was. It irritates that heck out of me, and I find myself doing it here all the time. Ugh.

Part of it, to be fair to me, lol, is that I haven’t got anyone else to complain to. I don’t really have friends (I have problems with that, but that’s a blog for another day) and I can’t complain to my sister (she won’t just listen and sympathize, she either tries to tell you why you don’t have it so bad or why she is at least as bad off as you if not worse) I won’t complain to my daughter (because that would just make her feel bad, and none of it is her fault) and I can’t complain to my husband (most of it IS his fault, but he feels bad enough already, and it would just make him crankier). I guess what I need is a therapist! Or some friends. My younger sister was the best - she would sympathize, let me get it all out, then do something crazy to make me laugh and I’d feel better… but since she left us all for the much, much greener pastures of Heaven, it kinda sucks.

I’m totally feeling sorry for myself because after nearly 16 years of being a stay-at-home-mom (which I LOVED by the way) I had to go back to work full-time. I hate it. Not only is the job pretty annoying and crappy, but I don’t get to do all the stuff at home I have always enjoyed doing… taking my daughter to this and that lesson or rehearsal, doing school with her – we homeschooled, remember – crafting or even just the housework. I was never a career-minded kind of gal, and I certainly don’t want to start now.

And my husband. I think he’s even more depressed than I am, so he does… pretty much nothing. His business will never take off if he doesn’t work it, and he doesn’t. And he has all the time in the world since he got himself fired from his last piddly job. It’s hard, because with all the other crap I had issues with him over, the one thing I could always fall back on was “at least he’s a good provider”.  Now I got nothing. Okay, that’s not entirely true… he is still a pretty good dad. Except for the grumpiness. But still pretty good in that respect.

Well, there I am again… whining. But this blog is my substitute friend/therapist, so I have to get it out someplace. Guess no one has to read it!

 

Twists and turns on the path of life

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Yeah... what that says!This is the road sign of my life at the moment. Because things have gotten a little upside down recently. It’s okay; just not the way I want it to be.

Two months ago I had to get a full-time job. I don’t want a full-time job; I mean, I had one – wife, mom… I was busy in this job, and I loved it. But, Kiki was tired of school-at-home so we decided to put her in a private Christian school… so she could “experience” “real” school. My full-time job was to pay tuition and gas to get her the 30 minutes each way to school and back. I was grieving, in a way, as this meant I wouldn’t get to participate in her school the way I’d want to – no room-momming, no volunteering, no field trips… because I would be unavailable. Stuck at work.

I’ve never been a “career minded” gal. It’s not that I mind working – I mind doing stuff that I don’t give a crap about. But this was so Kiki could do school, so I put my mind to the task. Then just before school started, the lovely government decided my husband no longer deserved the unemployment he’d been getting – even though he was supposed to have 9 months left. We did two weeks of school before we realized my paycheck had to go to paying bills and there was no possible way we could keep Kiki in the school. I cried for two days – for the loss of the school, the loss of her chance to experience that, for the loss of my freedom, for the fact I would have to work full-time even though the entire reason for doing so was now lost.

One week after we pulled her out of school, we got the letter that the government had been mistaken, and we got several weeks back-pay and his weekly unemployment started back up.

What the crap???

Kiki took it all better than I did. Even in those two weeks, she realized everything I had told her was true – high school is not really something to get excited about. It was not all she had thought it would be. She is also an amazing young lady – she believes beyond a doubt that God has other plans for her – if He made it impossible for her to be at that school then obviously she needs to be somewhere else. Her faith is an inspiration to me, to be honest. I wish I had as much as she.

Of course, I am still stuck in the job. After all, I made a commitment and I don’t feel like I should just up and quit. Besides, before we were just barely scraping by, so this job is a blessing, in a way. My last paycheck (yeah, the entire thing) bought shocks and struts for my car. Most of this last paycheck bought my daughter contacts and a visit to the doctor for a much-belated check up. My next paycheck will buy new tires for my car, since the old ones are pretty much bald. All things we couldn’t have done without my job.

So I try to be thankful. Even thought it’s a stupid and really annoying job. I have remembered what it’s like to live for weekends. I miss my family, as the hours I work make me miss dinner, and my husband is off school-bus-driving before I wake up in the morning, and he goes to bed right after I get home. It’s also weird because although I like most of the people I work with, I have realized I am old enough to be most of their mothers. (No exaggeration – I am actually older than some of their moms. I don’t feel that old.)

My husband hates the fact that I have to work, mostly because he knows how much I love being a stay-at-home-mom. And he wants that for me. He also wants very much to work, but no one will hire him. I know why – his job is to grow our business, and God isn’t going to let him have a job to get in the way of that. I’m convinced of this.

That knowledge doesn’t make him feel better. He feels like a giant loser who no one wants to hire and who can’t provide for his family.

I am praying that this is just a season. Hopefully, a short season. And in the meantime, I try to remember to be thankful for the good things that I have.

And for the occasional mocha.

I need a hobby

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I am seriously bored. Bored, bored, bored.

Not like I don’t have things I could do. Things I should do. I’ve even been cleaning like crazy, and that is so not like me.

I just miss my daughter so dang bad! I am realizing that she is my “go to” person for most of what I do. Shopping, movie watching, etc. Which some would say is bad or co-dependent or something… I just say she is one of my favorite friends and we have a lot in common and a lot of fun together. I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing.  However…

Maybe I need to branch out a bit more. Strengthen some of my other friendships. Join a book club or a crafting group. I don’t know. I’d have more to  do if I had my own home… I mean, first because there is always something needing doing if you have a house, and second because I had all my supplies to do projects in, and that was always the first thing I’d pile into when I had a spare moment. Still – I find that although I am enjoying the quiet of my daughter being away, I don’t know what to do with myself. And since she will eventually move away for good - and in fact, in this coming school year she will probably find more friends of her own to hang out with rather than just mom - I better find something to occupy my time!

The secret lives of people you thought you knew

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Do you know your friends? Really?

I thought I did. Maybe it’s because I am pretty much an open book. What you see is what you get and all that. Not that I air every piece of dirty laundry I have, or, upon meeting a new person blurt out every dark and dirty event I have ever been through, but if I have been around you for any amount of time, you’d have a pretty good idea about who I am. What I’m like.

So you can imagine my utter astonishment when the husband of one of the couples in my home group (which is a small group of people from my church who meet together once a week to study the Bible and build a deeper connection with than you might find when you go to a church like mine that has over 1500 members) anyhow – we got a call that he was in jail because he battered his wife. His wife being a woman I thought I knew pretty well. Someone I considered my friend. Shoot, I thought I knew him pretty well… he put on a really good front. And I’m pissed.

So, why am I so pissed off? Maybe it’s because I feel like I was lied to. I mean, our group has met every week for a couple of years. We have asked each other to pray for issues we’re having, opened up about hard stuff in our lives… well – some of us have. Obviously not everyone.

See, we’ve been through a lot with this family. Our kids hang out together. In fact these kids always acted like they were this happy little family when the truth is they have been hurt by and upset and disappointed with their dad pretty much their entire lives… at this point they say they never want to speak with him again, they are so tired of his manipulation and lies and hurt.

The husband has had lots of serious health issues, and we prayed and we took them meals and we kept their girls when they had to travel to hospitals out of state and our husbands drove this guy to the doctor visits out of state when the mom needed to be home with her children for special events… and never, ever, did it come up that this man was an abusive addict. We knew he had once had addiction issues… and were led to believe this was the past; dealt with. He was even a leader in our church’s addiction recovery program! Sheesh. Then he went nutso one more time and she’d finally had enough. The attack was witnessed by their kids, by two pastors who came by because one of the girls got really scared and called her youth pastor, and the arresting officers. So even though this man has denied the event (!) we all know what happened.

I don’t blame my friend for leaving her husband, even tho they’ve been married over 20 years. I don’t know why she didn’t leave him earlier, except she is this sweet Christian woman who I know was trying to do the best by her kids and I am sure in her dysfunctional way she thought if she hung in there and prayed enough she could rescue this man. I get that. What I don’t get is in all the time we’ve been friends that she never felt like she could have, at the very least, said “hey, we’re having some problems in our marriage – could  you pray for us?”  I mean, maybe she didn’t want to drag her husband through the mud, or maybe she was embarrassed about – whatever parts of it – but we other gals sure asked for help and prayers about a whole bunch of crap… so it kinda makes me mad, I guess. Hurts my feelings maybe. Like she didn’t feel I was a trustworthy friend.  I love this woman, I really do. She’s one of my best friends. I am sorry she is hurting right now.

I am also pissed that I was so misled by this man. I mean, he presented himself as this quiet, softspoken, very very wise man of God. He knew all the Scripture, had the right answers… When in fact he’s a crazy addict. And I seriously mean crazy. Some of the stuff he has said and done since the arrest and subsequent no-contact order, separation and divorce has been absolutely bat-poop-insanity. For reals.

I am not judging these people. We all mess up. We are all crazy, sin-filled people. I have had probably more than my fair share of stupidity and screw-ups.  But, I don’t know. It just makes me mad. Why do we get together as a small group of Christian friends to support one another if we aren’t going to be honest with one another? Why don’t we just play Poker then?

Which all just makes me wonder… do I really know any of the people I think I know? How many of my friends are hiding some dark secret that they think I am not able to be trusted with? Do they think I’m hiding something? Do you? Are you?

Trusting God with your kids… and other stuff that’s hard. Like loving pets.

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managua-nicaraguaMy daughter, who is not quite 16 years old, is in Nicaragua this week on a mission trip with her youth group. On the one hand I am totally excited for her; she is going to have a whole new outlook on life when she gets back. I am so proud of her for being brave, being open to what the Lord wants her to do in her life, for simply being willing. On the other hand, it’s kind of… well, it’s not freaking me out; I know God can take care of her better than I can. Even when she talks about the gross stuff that splashed on her while they were cleaning trash in the park, or while crossing the mega-polluted lake – Oh, Lord, protect this child!! I just… really miss her! It’s lonely and quiet here. Okay, the quiet part is kind of nice! We have been able to video chat with her a couple of the nights, so that was fantastic – to touch base, hear how her day went… it’s only been 5 days, and she has 5 days to go… it seems like it’s been a month! It’s cool, though. Especially cool to see how she is beginning to understand the world from a different perspective. As in, she doesn’t really have it as bad as she sometimes thinks!

Seriously, the hardest part has been yesterday morning. We were up getting ready to head out to the Farmer’s Market downtown, when my mom called to me that our dog had hurt her leg. Yup, I am pretty sure it’s serious.. in fact, I think she tore her other CCL… which can only be repaired surgically – and last time that cost us $1,500. Which:  A)we can’t afford and  B)now that she’s 12 and has lots of hip and joint issues I don’t think she can support herself on 3 legs anymore. It takes several weeks of that, for rehab… I don’t know that she’s got it in her.

So that totally stinks because she’s Kiki’s dog. Kiki specifically said when she left “No body and no animals can get sick or die while I’m gone.” Of course I told her there was no way I could guarantee that sort of deal; I don’t make promises I don’t have the total ability to keep… but to be honest I sure didn’t think anything would happen while she was gone! And you have to wonder – at least, I have to wonder – why now? why this week? Seriously?? Because we will take the dog to see our regular vet this week (the one we saw Saturday wasn’t sure, didn’t find anything conclusive) but no matter what, we can’t make “the decision” – if it has to be made – until our daughter gets home. And I don’t know how the dog will hold up… she can’t get up without assistance, although she can hobble about once she’s up… but pottying… well, she’s done one thing, but not the other, and I don’t know how she can when she can’t…well, she can’t squat, if you know what I mean. Sigh.

This is the hard part about loving animals, isn’t it? I guess it’s the hard part about loving any living thing. Because none of us lives forever. Not on this world anyway. Today I am feeling sad and worn and not all that thrilled about this life. I’m trying to remember that God has a plan even when it makes no sense. I’ve been there before, and lived through it.. not without pain or grief, however. Looking forward to the end of this week when my daughter will be home so I can hug on her, because that always makes me feel so much better. I suppose I also need to start thinking about, I don’t know, a hobby or pursuit or something, as this trip is only a tiny precursor to the fact that she will one day soon move away for, well, at least an extended amount of time, if not permanently. She only has 3 years of high school left, after all. Of course, I want her to move on – to college, Bible school, marriage… whatever life has in store for her! It is how it should be, no matter how desperately I will miss her. So I better figure out something interesting with which to fill my days, huh? Not sure how many pets I want….

Living – and loving – the lazy life

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Last week my little family did some housesitting. Oh, sure, I complained like crazy about doing it. Like, how it was going to be a big pain having to pack up the stuff I’d need for being there (hmm, pajamas, sweats..) and then decent clothes to wear to work. It’s also much further to my job, and my husband had his own business so all his supplies are at the other house… blah blah blah…
But wow! We had a fantastic week. The first two days we sat in our pajamas and watched movies (okay, we also watched the first 2 seasons of Sherlock… I am soooo addicted to that! And I can’t believe it’ll be ages before the next season…! But I digress…) We ate when we wanted to eat… what we wanted. We watched what we wanted, when we wanted – no news!! Yay!! I didn’t have to play 20 questions when I left the house; I just left. It was awesome.

 

As much as I don’t want to get a full-time job, I have to admit it might almost be worth it if we could have a home of our own…

 

Do you ever think God isn’t paying attention?

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I admit, I feel like this sometimes. Like God is just up there in the clouds, letting the world down here spin out of control while we flounder about in it.

Then something happens that makes me adjust my attitude. Something that reminds me that our God cares about even the little details of our lives, and we need to be paying attention to see what He has going on. Something like what happened to me this week. A silly thing, but pretty cool nonetheless.

Monday night, my family had Chinese take-out. ‘Cause you know I hate cooking. It was yummy. Then I cracked open my fortune cookie, and here is what I see:

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My first thought was “Really? REALLY?! I don’t get a fortune, I get told what to do?!” It was a little… irritating. (I guess I wanted it to tell me my ship was coming in next week or something) My husband and daughter laughed at my indignation.

Right on the heels of that thought was the thought of the one friend I knew could really use some flowers. A friend I love, who is going through a really tough time. Just as I was thinking about her, my daughter said “You know who could use some flowers?” and proceeded to mention the same friend.

Which got me thinking that maybe there was something to that silly old fortune cookie.

The next morning I got online to see what florists delivered in the area where my friend works. I called and ordered what I hoped would be a cute little arrangement. A bit later, I texted my friend, just to see how her day was going, as I hadn’t seen her in awhile and wondered how she was getting on. Turns out, that very day was the one year anniversary of – well, of a traumatic event which set off the chain of events which she is struggling through right now. I had known it had happened “last summer sometime”, but had no idea it was that very same day. Guess who knew? God. That’s right. The creator of the very universe knew it was going to be a hard day for my friend to get through, and He thought someone should let her know they – and He – were thinking of her. Loving her. So He spoke to me through a fortune cookie. Who knew?!

When people tell you “God works in mysterious ways” they aren’t just joking.