I’m not sure what to write tonight, but I feel like I need to write something to update y’all on what is going on in our crazy lives since so many of you keep asking and it is difficult for me to give you a very clear picture as we pass in the hall at church or bump into each other around town.
As you might have guessed from the title, life has been really up and down lately. I often find myself asking God to please just give us a few quiet months, where nothing dramatic happens, either happy or sad so that we won’t either be holding our breath in worry or anticipation or letting it out in a terrified yell or a burst of relieved laughter. I’m just feeling emotionally drained.
I told my hubby the other day (not that he needed telling as I’m sure he noticed the fact) that I have cried more in the last six months than I have in my entire life combined. But not all the tears have been sad. Happy tears are kind of a new experience for me, but I am finding that joy is just as prone to turn on the water works as grief these days.
Take my dad, for instance. A few weeks back he had a pretty serious brush with illness involving a collapse at home, an emergency surgery and a gangrenous gall bladder removal. His subsequent painful recovery was incredibly difficult for my family nearby to watch and incredibly difficult for those of us living far away to feel so helpless and useless.
But this painful recovery was very short lived and he was up and about and released from the hospital far earlier than his amazed doctors thought would be possible. We know how heartily he was prayed for by hundreds of people and it is always amazing to feel that kind of love and support when it comes in the hard times.
And yet, in the midst of all that joy, it was brought home to me stronger than ever the realization that my father is fading out of this life and that his ultimate recovery will not come this side of heaven. And so the ride continues.
Of course, the saga of the house rolls on. This trailer life (combined with a dismally rainy autumn) seems to wear us down little by little so that by every Friday night, I feel as if I just can’t make it another week. But then Saturday comes and another work party and the sight of those good people with their servant’s hearts tromping up through the muddy yard to help us realize our goal makes me feel ashamed for my complaining spirit. And then comes Sunday and the refreshment of worship at a wonderful church and comeraderie with fellow believers riding their own roller coasters and encouraged again, we find the strength for another week.
We have had to give up on the dream of getting into the house by Christmas (definitely some sad tears there) and are buckling down to endure the winter’s cold as best we can, but I am currently snuggled up cozy in my sister’s bed with the prospect of a little house sitting while she and and her husband travel the world to help orphans in far away Romania. A very welcome gift from my amazing and generous little sister.
And let me just say, all of my sisters (and of course my mother) are amazing women and I have cried and laughed so much with them of late- the last few months having impressed upon me on a whole new level that the bearing and nurturing of children takes a special kind of courage that the world will always underestimate. Motherhood ain’t for the faint of heart, folks.
The hubby’s business continues to grow slowly, one step at a time and there are days when my patience wears thin and I want him to realize success all at once- I want to see that all of his hard, hard labor will pay off sooner rather than later. But then I see the evidence of how far we really have come, how much he has accomplished, how people are coming to recognize not only his remarkable talent, but his upright character and integrity as a man of business and I am ready to burst with pride that I get to call him my husband. And his brother is here for an extended visit to help push things forward and lend a hand where needed. Another joy.
My work at the church continues, and although I am often physically drained at the end of a long Wednesday of cooking for 300 and singing in the choir, they are deeply satisfying days for me and I am enormously grateful for a job so well suited to my talents and one that has allowed us (in conjunction with some very generous people) to finally purchase a new and reliable van. I still can’t turn the key in the ignition without ‘feeling all the feels’ as some folks say.
So as we enter this season of Thanksgiving, I can’t say that everything has turned out exactly how I would have planned or wanted but through all the ups and downs, I am above all grateful for a God who doesn’t change and who can be depended on in all seasons of life.
And in spite of the fact that He doesn’t change, he loves us enough to meet us where we are- either rejoicing on the heights or wallowing in the depths and even, in clearer moments, gives us the ability to enjoy the ride.