And the darkness begins to lift ...
October 30, 2010--
I sent an email to a church here that we used to go to when we were in this area … asked for prayer for us. We were at a point of great need. Knowing that God is our Provider, but being children – we were weak and weary. Just needed someone to lift our arms during the battle. A return phone call from the church…a visit with one of the pastors … and — GOD PROVIDES thru His people!
Thank you Jesus!!! 100 gallons of propane – I now have hot water for washing dishes! No more painful hands because of the cold water!
Thank you Jesus! We can take a hot shower in our own bathroom!
Thank you Jesus! A fill-up on diesel for the pickup.
Thank you Jesus! $100 to pay towards the Sprint bill.
Thank you Jesus! And a box of food!
Thank you Jesus! AND the church is talking about using Rick this next week for some odd jobs … $10 an hour!
Thank you Jesus!!! The very next day, Rick’s dad and mom wanted us to meet them at Wal-mart. They bought us some groceries that the church didn’t have in the box.
Thank you Jesus! So, now … we can even eat at home!
Thank you Jesus! I am going to fix spaghetti today!
November 11 -
I told God this morning that I felt like a lost and lonely little girl.
He gave me the calm and firm assurance that although I am HIS little girl – I am not lost.
Cause He has found me, He has saved me, He has redeemed me, He has given me HIS Name.
And I am not lonely either.
Cause He has promised to never leave me nor forsake me.
He has promised to be with me always!
So, I rest in His promises and trust my life to Him.
December 13 -
*We got a stove for the kitchen. Rick’s dad found us one, and bought it for us – just a few days after my last post.
Thank you God!!!
*We also have WOOD!!!
Thank you God!!!
A long time friend of Rick’s has given him all the wood that we need! Casey is clearing off some land, and has pushed the trees up. All Rick has to do is use Casey’s tractor, load the trees on the trailer, bring them here, and use our son-in-law’s log splitter!!!
Thank you Jesus!!!
So far we have cut and stacked about 2 cords (maybe more) of wood! And we have a yard full to do! Thank you Jesus!!!
The house is so warm and comfortable! The mind is at peace – just knowing that all we need to do is keep the wood boxes full and the fires going.
Thank you God!!!
December 14 -
*The work at the church for Rick has been dwindling down the last few weeks. Last week there was none. So far this week – none again.
I pray for my husband. He has always been the one to go out and work. That is who he is and what he does.
But, now – he feels lost. Searching. Wondering.
Trying to pray and wait on the Lord.
*We are seeing God provide for us – but sometimes it feels like He has forgotten us.
But, we know He hasn’t.
We are in the palm of His hand – He can’t forget about us!
Besides … I don’t know how to shut up! LOL
Just yesterday, we stopped at the post office and there was a check for $100 from someone that we have never met. A pastor and his wife from Illinois. Only talked to her a couple of times online. God is good!!!!! We pray His richest blessings and greatest return to them for their gift and generousity to us.
*Christmas is hard for me this year. Not just for money’s sake. (Granted, we have NO money for Christmas – not for a tree or decorations, not for presents even, not for Christmas cards, not for baking. We don’t have the money to pay our bills and
buy “regular” groceries!) It seems that the spirit of Christmas has skipped us.
Maybe it is just all that we are going thru and dealing with. Hard to see past everything at times.
December 18 -
*I want to think that I have changed in all of this – and I hope for the better.
~I don’t think I will ever complain again about how crowded the stores are, how crazy it all gets at the holidays. This has been such a still and quiet year for me. Eerily. No baking – no grocery shopping. No presents – no shopping, no wrapping. I have been so caught up in it all for all these years … now this. I heard last night – “You don’t know what you miss until you lose it all.” How true that is!!!
~I miss buying groceries – making a list, finding a parking space, walking into a busy and noisy store, even the feel of a grocery cart under my hands. Walking down the aisles, seeing the products – trying to make wise choices, finding the best
buys. Even waiting in line to check out. Then, the drive home – wondering how well I really did … did I get anything we didn’t need? Did I “beat the system”?
Getting home, unloading the truck, unpacking and putting away the groceries. That feel that comes with knowing that we will eat for the next however long till it is time to do it all over again. Tired, accomplished, satisfied … and not knowing what to cook for dinner!!! LOL
~I miss buying the Christmas presents. Walking into the stores with little or no idea of what to buy. Only a list of those to
buy for. Trying to match gifts to the desires and personalities of those on my heart and list. Bringing them home, wrapping the presents and imagining the look on their faces when they open them.
I miss that!!!
~I miss the smell of baking in the house. Cookies. Cakes. Pies. I miss the mess in my kitchen! I miss being covered in the spills and splatters. I miss going to bed exhausted but knowing that my heart and love has been poured out for that day.
I miss having the joy of giving it all away – in my home, or to some one else’s home.
I miss it all. Sigh.
~I miss the expectation, the anticipation, the preparations for the get togethers. Trying to figure out what to cook … what to wear … balancing the time to get it all ready and be there on time and in the right spirit and mood.
~I miss a Christmas tree. Getting it put up … the ornaments unpacked – and all the memories that come with them of past Christmases. Dressing the tree. Then standing back and looking when the lights are first turned on. I even miss being tired of the tree and taking it down, packing it away with all the memories of this year. Only this year – there is no tree up, so no tree to be put away. What will I do with these memories? Wait … what memories?
~We have received some Christmas cards, and with the joy of getting them there is also a pain in my heart – knowing that I cannot sign a card, cannot mail a card. No cards, no stamps, no money. Sigh.
*Yes, there are many things that we have “lost” this year that I miss. And I pray with all my heart that when they are returned to us, that I will do better with them than I ever have in my life! Not to complain as much. Not to take them
for granted. Just to enjoy and relish every moment of LIFE.
Christmas Eve 2010 ...
*I have been up almost 4 hrs now … woke up at 2 a.m. – tried to stay in bed, finally getting up around 2:15 … my eyes are tired. My mind is tired. (Remember I said that I wasn’t sleeping much lately? Well …)
*Some good things about getting up so early? ~Coffee is REALLY, REALLY GOOD!!! LOL ~Quiet and alone time with God - to pray, to listen as He reads His Word to my heart and spirit. ~Build the fire up and get the house toasty. ~The blessing of praying over my husband, my children and my grandchildren while they sleep. ~Naps feel good in the afternoons (if I get a chance to take one). ~I am usually beyond ready for bed when that time comes. Which makes for
falling to sleep faster and easier.
*Josh and Dessie got moved into their trailer at the ranch. Dessie said waking up in a quiet house with her kids under the same roof – sure did FEEL GOOD!!!
Thank you Jesus! Thank you Lord!
*Mandy brought El and Brooke out last evening. El spent the night up at Paw-Paw and MeMe’s. Brooklyn spent the night here. We ate supper up there – I fixed spaghetti (never used pasta made from rice before – it was good tho) and MeMe made a salad. It was good.
*Thursday evening, the church brought us a box – said it was a Christmas gift. We visited while they were here, then, afterwards – we opened the box. They had sent a complete Christmas dinner. Ham, dressing, green beans, candied yams, rolls, 6 eggs, oil, a cake mix and frosting!!! How sweet and thoughtful! They also gave us a gift of money. All of it – VERY APPRECIATED!!!
*Rick did pass his DOT physical!!! PRAISE THE LORD!!!
...He also has a JOB!!!!! Transport driver for a milk company. It is something that he has never done, and we have never lived this life. So …
...In this job, he will be gone 1-2 nights at time. Depends on the load and where it goes. For these 30 years of our marriage – we have never been apart like this. We spent the night away from each other when Mandy was born, then again when Joshua was born. The rest of the 30 years we have been together. So, yes! It will be a challenge!!! Others do it – just have to figure it out for us.
...Rick has said that he is going to “try” this job … we have agreed to be honest with one another in whether we like it, can deal with it, or can’t live like this. We know there will be good days and bad days. Days that we wonder what in the world have we gotten ourselves in for … as well as those days that we think – “It just does not get any better than this!”
*Well, tomorrow is Christmas Day … HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS!!!
*I still miss “Christmas” – in the “traditional” terms … tree … presents … lights … candles … baking … all of it. The child in me aches for that type of Christmas.
Yet, the woman in me understands. Sigh.
God bless you and yours this holiday season … May we all remember and LIVE – Jesus is the Reason for the season! Jesus is the Reason for our lives!
October 2010 notes
October 10 - moving day. Headache from HELL. Rough nite.
...Talked with Dessie and with Mandy. Thanking God for my children. Still do not know how I would make it thru the storms of life without their love and support! They truly are the wind beneath my wings.
October 16 - unloading and unpacking for days. Cleaning up the old house. Stress got to Rick and I. We realized even in the midst of the worst arguments that if this was the worst we would ever have to deal with in life - then we were most blessed. But, when you are in the midst of the storm - it is hard to stay focused on the other side of it all!
...This "homeplace" is not our first choice of where to be. But here we are. Lord, help us!
October 17 - still cleaning and unpacking.
...O Father God! This warrior is a child!
October 21 - yes, still cleaning and unpacking. Rick looking for work. Bills piling up. Groceries going down.
..."Sure am missing my kids and grandkids. We are living in Texas now - and we either have the money to go see them, but no time ... or we have the time, but no money. The kids are busy with work - so we can't ask nor expect them to come see us. The grandkids are in school. Just to get our money and time to cooperate with one another!!! I sure do need some
kids and grandkids therapy!"
...O Father God. Help me to breathe in and breathe out today. Waiting on You.
October 22 - drove to Stephenville to clean out the storage
..."The hardest part came when we left the storage building and drove back thru Stephenville. It took every ounce of my energy and sanity not to just break down totally. All I could think and see in my mind and heart - all the places we had been with our kids and grandkids, or even just Rick and me. I felt like I was having to leave a chunk of my heart there - it became so very hard to breathe. But, sitting there between Rick and his dad - what choice did I really have? I knew that
Rick would come closer to understanding me than his dad - but I didn't even feel like explaining my tears to Rick. Sigh. I miss Stephenville. I miss the times with Josh and Dessie. The laughter. The laughter and love and hugs with Shell & Kyla.
Some days it is just hard to not focus on what we have "lost" ... hard to "press on" ...
October 23 - trailer unloaded. Still working on the old house.
...We returned the trailer to Roger and Mandy. We were there when the grandkids got off the bus. :-)
"Brooklyn squealed and ran to me - "GRANNEE!!! I missed you!!!" There were tears in her eyes and in her voice. Melted my heart. O how precious are the hugs and love of a grandchild! There are not enough hours in the day to absorb all the love and hugs - what a soothing balm to a hurting heart and a wounded spirit!"
October 24 - "My body says that we have accomplished a lot in these 2 weeks. My eyes say not enough! My mind is overwhelmed with how much I still have to do. My emotions are ragged with all that we need."
October 27 - Computer crashed over the weekend. Still cleaning, painting and unpacking.
..."Bills are stacking up ... groceries are going down. Panic rises. Worries increase. Faith weakens and trust is harder to come by. As I sat here praying this morning, God reminded me again of the children of Israel when they were wandering in the wilderness for those 40 years. He fed them with manna from heaven - ONE DAY AT A TIME. He never forgot them. He gave them promises and provisions. But everything He did for them - He did ONE DAY AT A TIME. Sorry, but I am NOT a good "one day at a time girl". Sigh. God knows this, and He is working on me.
But it hurts, and it is NOT my "comfort zone". I want to know that the bills are paid, the groceries are bought, and the fuel is in the truck - today, for tomorrow, and that there will be a way for it all next week, next month and into the coming year!!!"
...Father God - forgive my humanity in all of this. Strengthen the faith that I do have. Take my "little" and make it enough. Remember the 5 loaves and 2 fishes? Jesus, you blessed it. You fed 5,000 men plus the women and the children. With 12 baskets left over.
Please - take my "little faith" and bless it. Make it enough to feed us and strengthen us.
O Jesus! Pray for us! Bless us!
~You know, I hear so much about the economy. We are LIVING the economy!!! But I am so tired of being told that there is little to no future for us, our children or our grandchildren. That is NOT what the Word of God says! Jeremiah 29:11!!!!! Jesus said that in this world we would
have troubles and tribulations - but that we are to be of good courage.
Because HE HAS OVERCOME THE WORLD!!!
God - help us!!!
Looking back ...
I don’t know how many “waves” a storm can have … but we are experiencing the first of what will probably be many in this season of our life.
We have been hanging on – sometimes by only a frayed thread – for 2 years now.
Ever since Tasker Products, Inc. closed its doors.
Best job Rick had ever had – good and sound one day, the very next – gone.
2 cents of advice?
Don’t EVER go to work for a “publicly traded company”!!!
When the stock market crashed, so did the company, so did our lives.
We have been in a downward spiral now for 2 long hard years.
Today … we see the “end” of these 2 years … and HOPEFULLY a new beginning.
(Praying with all my might that it won’t be worse!)
We are packing and loading today … moving our stuff into the old homeplace in Sulphur Springs. The house is not ready to be lived in … so, we will “camp out” at Rick’s parents’ place for a while.
A while being however long it takes to get the old house ready to stay in.
Which will be determined a lot by the job market in that area.
Frustrating how it takes money to do anything!!!
I will be sad to leave this little house in Selden, TX.
Kurt and Vickie have been absolutely awesome landlords. They have treated us more like family than like renters.
Rick and I have had a lot of good times here in this little house – with just us, with Josh and Dessie, with our grandkids, a New Year’s Eve party with Josh and Dessie and Mandy and all the grandkids.
Many walks around the driveway and down the country road.
Many an hour spent in prayer and reading the Word – and God has taught us some invaluable lessons here.
I guess you never live in a place that you don’t leave a part of your heart and self.
We have had some bad times here, too.
Arguments and sick days.
But, that’s life.
I will miss our church. Double N Cowboy Church.
I will miss Jimmy (our pastor). He has a true pastor’s heart.
I will miss Damon – what a heart for God!
I will miss Marjorie – quickly becoming my best friend.
I will miss Rose – always had a smile and a hug.
I will miss Sue – always a hug and a laugh.
So many I will miss.
I will miss the worship services – hearing “our band”.
I will miss the laughter and the teasing of everyone.
I will miss the rodeos.
I will miss it all … the tears are flowing hard this morning as I think of all that I will miss.
A part of my heart will stay wrapped up in that piece of land 6 miles outside of Dublin, TX!!!
So many things I will miss about this part of Texas … so many memories of our times together, and our times with the kids and grandkids.
My heart feels like it is in pieces this morning as I sit here in the early morning hours … 3:13 a.m.
I am trying to be strong – especially in the daylight hours.
Rick is having a hard enough time with life right now … he doesn’t need to deal with a wife that is “falling apart”.
So, I breathe in and breathe out during the long days … and I cry and pray thru the long and dark nights.
Waiting for the storm to pass … wondering what will be left.
Rick’s parents are coming today with their pickup and trailer.
We will load 2 pickups and 2 trailers and we will drive away.
Hopefully, driving TO a continued life and more memories.
Rick has said that he feels burned out in looking for a job.
I can understand.
In these 2 years, we have lost count (somewhere around 300 ?) of the applications and resume`s he has sent out.
Few if any call-backs.
So, where does he look now?
We will be searching within 50 miles of Sulphur Springs to start with.
Just need something that will pay at least $400 a week.
We won’t have any rent or house payment at the old house – but there is plenty of money that needs to be spent to get it in shape!
Plus all the other bills and utilities and food and fuel.
There have been a few paychecks these 2 years … but nothing that was “lasting”.
Nothing that we could be sure and count on for the next one.
We are empty.
We have used even the “fumes”.
This really is a beginning again.
Our bank accounts are as empty as our hearts and minds.
No one knows the pain of my heart and soul … how do you put it all into words without sounding like whining and complaining.
I don’t mean it that way.
I’m just weary and tired – beyond all words or descriptions.
Finding it hard to even pray.
I love my husband.
I love my children.
And I absolutely adore my grandkids.
It is for them – that I continue to breathe in and breathe out.
They are the wind beneath my wings.
Later in the morning ...
I am trying hard to remember that The Anchor Holds but I am so tired and weak and weary right now. Sigh.
Rick couldn’t sleep this morning, either. So, by 4:30 a.m. we are both sitting here talking and thinking about everything …
wondering what this storm will leave … will there be anything but destruction and damage? Will it somehow work to our good?
He read the devotional for the day. I shared with him what I had written here earlier this morning. We cried. And cried. Both of us shaking with sobs and tears. This is so hard! To leave this house … to leave our church … to leave this area. It feels as if we are in some kind of enormous vacuum – and all the hope and joy and peace and life is being sucked right out of us!!!
As we were holding tightly to one another, we agreed to just hold to one another hard and fast thru it all. Praying for God’s wisdom and His divine protection as well as intervention. Just keep us safe and together thru this storm God!
We enjoyed a walk in the early morning light. What a beautiful sunrise it was.
Breakfast. Then begins another hard part…packing. Everything I touch reminds me of something connected with this place …
Movies that we have watched with the kids and grandkids. Books that I have read to the grandkids. Games we have played. A rock that Kyla picked up when we walked together. A book bought at “my” bookstore (that I will sorely miss!) … decorations that were bought at a flea market … how much can my heart take??? I know that the “things” I will carry with me no matter where I go … and I know the memories are seared upon my mind and heart … but – still … just having to leave. The struggle lies in focusing on going TO something not AWAY. Do you know how hard that is?
I had to make a hard phone call. Called Joshua. We are only 1 1/2 hrs from there here … once we get moved, we will be 3 hrs from them. Not that much difference – but it feels a lifetime away! I already miss Joshua, Dessie, Shell and Kyla. We haven’t seen them much these last couple of months – they and us have been short of money or travel. But, just the “knowing” they were close. Sigh. And now … Course there is the fear that we won’t be able to afford the trip back very often. I
have already lived that “season” of only seeing them once or twice a year … I don’t want to go back to that!!! O GOD deliver this momma and grannee’s heart from having to endure that again. Please.
Rick’s dad got here just a bit ago. His mom didn’t come. Rick and his dad have gone into town to pick up more boxes for me, and a few odds and ends at Wal-mart. Of all the Wal-marts I have been in across this country … this one in Stephenville
is my favorite. I know it is silly (I guess) but I just could not bring myself to go with them.
I sat in the swing for a few minutes after Rick and his dad drove away. I thought about calling someone – just needed to hear a sweet voice telling me that all would be well. That all this storm would pass on by and we would be ok. I sat there
and scrolled thru the phone book of my phone. Sadly, I found no one to call. No one that I could think of that would have an inkling of what I am facing in this day and tomorrow. Yet, my spirit and my soul cry out for someone!
The one “knot” left … we are moving closer to Mandy and that set of grandkids for a while.
I have missed her and the grandkids. I know she is busy with work and school, and Roger’s work, and the kids’ school activities. So, not sure how much time we will be able to spend together. But, she remains the strength I hold onto at these moments. Going TO.
I sit here looking around at this house … literally looks like a tornado has struck! So many boxes in various stages of packing. Almost too much to bear.
O Sweet Jesus, pray for me.
So why "Scattered Feathers" ? ? ?
You can read it here