I was looking through pictures from this year and found this one from a couple weeks ago. It made me laugh because I feel like it is the perfect picture of real life at my house.
- Busy 5 year old
- Cluttered dining room table
- Dog in the kitchen where she isn’t technically allowed, but she is actually laying in the one spot where it is OK
- Cabinet doors left open
- And it looks like there is something on the floor by that out of place chair
In my defense, the table isn’t usually quite That cluttered but there is often stuff on it. We are busy. It’s a good place to set things down…like the mail…or to do lists….or My Little Pony dolls… Oh well.
102 days down.
Sometimes I think I’m handling the single-parent status pretty good. Other times I think I’m a failure. Either way, I’m tired.
A defiant five year old mixed with a distant stressed out husband plus the anxiety of waiting for news from the Army and tired of living with uncertainty topped off with the pressure to still maintain some level of normalcy and hold the household together….that sort of emotional cocktail would push anyone over the edge.
I’m not over the edge. Just worn out. Like I need a long vacation except I don’t want to be away from my house or those I love. I just want a few consistent hours a week to have a little Alexia time. So I can think or read or go for a run without the dog or fix my eyebrows without an audience. Maybe in 263 days.
I don’t want to make it sound like it is all bad. Lizzie and I generally have a good time together, especially when we go out. Last time we went to Lake Tholocco we picked wild flowers and even saw a beaver and a turkey. We have shared lots of “long” books so far this year to include: a children’s version of Pilgrim’s Progress, the first 4 Fairy Bell books, Peter Pan (audio book), and starting the Spiderwick Chronicles. There have been others too that I can’t think of. It has been a bit of challenge to find decent chapter books for her age that still have a picture here and there. We might try The Little House on the Prairie next.
But of course we do feel Rich’s absence daily. Thankfully we get to talk everyday and that helps but as Lizzie so often says “It’s not the same.”
I don’t like to wallow in self pity. It isn’t healthy. It isn’t what God has asked us to do. So instead, I decided to make a list of the blessings and positive times we have had in the last 102 days. You know like Humphrey Bogart croons in White Christmas :) When I’m worried and I can’t sleep; I count my blessings instead of sheep…
- Even though so many plants died in the hard freeze we got this winter, the wild flowers that Rich planted for us before he left still came up and are flourishing. I look at them everyday and I’m reminded how thoughtful my husband is.
- I was able to get Lizzie to go to bed without me sitting in her room! This happen sometime after the 48 Days In post.
- Lizzie’s surgery went well. The doctor was pleased with the procedure AND now Lizzie is off medication – First time in 3 years!
- Nothing major has broken. Whew.
- Especially no vehicle issues. Other than tires that I need to buy, which Rich called the tire place for me and ordered the tires and set up the appointment for me so I didn’t have to do any of that. I just have to show up on Monday.
- We have only had one very bad cold and no other illnesses.
- We have had a couple of big trips and have had no incidents on the road or during our visits.
- Rich has been kept safe while flying and all other activities as well.
- Lizzie and I have been able establish a nice routine of activities.
- We have made a few new friends, including new awesome neighbors and a couple at church that invited us over for Easter dinner.
- Lou has been a wonderful companion. This Sunday will be one year since we got her.
- Lizzie can now confidently count to 100.
- I started working on my math again.
- We have a wonderful church family that is so supportive.
- Our pastor’s wife has been watching Lizzie on Wednesday nights so I can go to evening Bible Study in peace. Huge Blessing. I need the time away from Lizzie and it’s uplifting fellowship for me.
- We took one of the pastor’s daughter’s (age 16) to the beach with us. It was perfect. Lizzie loves her and they played in the waves together (I did too). And then she was old enough to hold a conversation the whole way there and back. Great trip.
- We are able to talk to Rich on FaceTime Every Day. We have a schedule, sort of. This helps a lot. Although sometimes Lizzie cries when we get off the phone that Daddy is not right next to her.
- Where we least expect it, we’ve been able to find some unexpected fun.
- Even more than before, I really appreciate all that Rich does around the house. I take care of most of the house cleaning and cooking and errands. But I taking on what he handles, I see how much he does too. (this did not take me 100 days to realize :) just saying)
- I think both Rich and I have had to hand over so much more to God. We are so misguided sometimes thinking we have certain aspect of our life under control. This isn’t true at all. God is in control. His ways are not like ours….thankfully! Because his ways are better than ours. His solutions are better. And he is shaping us and molding us for work in his kingdom. We praise him and thank him for the blessings he has poured out on us. I know there are so many more than I have listed here.
Things are difficult, but God is sovereign over all. And I’m humbled by all he has done for me and my family. As we move towards Easter this week, I’m reminded of his great love for me. In him alone I find peace and comfort. I see the work of his hands in my life and I know, like it says in Philippians 1:6, that he who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
We are 102 days down. That’s 102 less days. I keep reminding myself of Hebrews 12:1-3,
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
I know I can’t finish out the next 263 days alone, but I can do all things through him who strengthens me (Philippians 4:6). One day at a time.
I hope you have a wonderful Easter. Christ the Lord is risen!