Friday, February 29, 2008

Pray for a miracle!

Please continue praying for my friend Trish. I have no update at this time.

In addition to this, please pray for a miracle! GameMaster and I have been praying for a miracle scholarship to a great Christian school. I talked to the First Baptist Academy today to find out the recommendations of the financial needs assessment - that was done through an independent company. The administrator told me that a very high percentage of scholarship has been recommended - so high that she needs to get the board's approval first! And the board meets tomorrow!!

I am taking the completed application, as well as a letter to the board, to her today. Please join us in praying for this miracle! We are praying for a full scholarship!


There are so many passages in the Bible that call us to remember our past. In last week's Bible Study, Beth Moore talked about remembering our former bondage. This was especially good for me to hear. I must remember that He has freed me from bondage! I may be like the Israelites wandering in the desert waiting to go into the promised land. But I need not desire to go back to Egypt! I've been set free.

"In my anguish I cried to the Lord,

and He answered by setting me free."

--Psalm 118:5
What was your "bondage"? Remember...and be thankful.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Please pray for my friend...

Please pray for my friend Trish. She is a single mom with three children. She is having an incredibly bad day (this is an understatement, trust me). I don't have all of the details and we don't need to know all of the details to be able to lift her to the Lord.

Just knowing what I do know (very little), she is so heavy on my heart tonight. Please join my in praying for her and her children.

Wiggly teeth, bad moods, and new glasses!

Today has been a busy running around day.

I took Candy Man back to the dentist (go figure with a name like Candy Man!!). He has another abscessed tooth. Turns out his adult molars are coming in early and there is infection between one of the adult molars and the baby molar. The dentist prescribed antibiotics and said to come back in a week if the tooth hasn't fallen out. So he's been instructed to wiggle, wiggle, wiggle it!

I took him to school late and came home to work for a bit. Then I picked up GameMaster early from school and took him for an eye appointment. His vision has changed quite a bit in a year, so he got new glasses. We fought all the way to the eye doctor and in the office as well. He was so grumpy (and I quickly was too, I admit). So I took him to lunch and that helped a great deal!! (Men when they are hungry!)
Now we are off to karate so he can let off some steam there (I hope!). Here he is with his new glasses:

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I'll live!

I had the CT scan this afternoon. All is normal. I just have a concussion. Not too serious. No bleeding on the brain or anything. So that's good.

My friend Lisa has instructed me to take a nice relaxing evening to myself - including a bath (which my children will tell you is VERY rare for me - I do shower though;). I think I will do that. I'm so tired from this headache! Hopefully it will go away soon!

Brain scan this afternoon...

Short update: Doctor says I definitely have a concussion. I'm having a scan this afternoon to determine what is going on exactly.

My brain hurts!

I've not blogged this week. I really want to though. Saturday night, on my great date, I hit the back of my head on this picture frame (hung too low) at the restaurant. I've had a headache ever since. I've been trying to get through the days, and do okay until mid-afternoon. I keep thinking that it will go away, but it's obviously not yet.

My friend Lisa pointed out to me yesterday that if it were one of my children having the same symptoms that I was having, I would've had them at the doctor already. Very true. So I called this morning and will be seeing my doctor later today.

I just don't have time for this. I know they are going to want to do a CT scan. This is so messed up - but I'm really afraid that something is really wrong, but since I don't have time to deal with it I don't want to know. As if my delay couldn't cause worse problems for me!? I know.

Anyway, I haven't been avoiding you on purpose. I just don't feel good. I'm sorry. I'll keep you updated on what I find out today...

On a brighter (and whiter) note - we got some snow this morning. Of course the worst of it was after the kids were at school. They were so disappointed that school wasn't closed!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

I went on a date!

I had a very special date tonight! I just had to share it with you! We had a very sweet time together!

We laughed. We shared. We had fun. And we had very serious conversations too.

He shared his heart with me tonight and I feel so close to him. I can't express how special he is to me.

I can't wait for our next date. I am certain he feels the same way.

I really care for him. In fact, I love him deeply.

He is my son. My 10 year old son. I am so not ready for a date with anyone else but my precious boys right now!

Did I have you going for a moment? Or were you on to me?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

GameMaster will have an MRI

I just got online to start reading about the possibilites of what could be going on inside of GameMaster's brain. Not a good idea. I'm not going to go there.

We have returned from seeing a child neurologist today (finally). He feels like an MRI needs to be done. Even though the pain is sporadic and not as severe now, there is a cause for it. If the MRI shows nothing, then we may never know what the cause is. If the MRI detects something, it probably won't be a good thing.

So, we will wait for the testing. He said it will take a couple of weeks to get in for the test.

Meanwhile, the kids are out of school today and tomorrow for illness in the schools. So we have a four day weekend!! Too bad it is cold and dreary outside.

I'm taking GameMaster to a Martial Arts class tonight. He's never been before. A close friend's teenage son takes classes there and has recommended it for GameMaster. So we are going to check it out. This sweet teenager is going with us to help GM feel better about it.

We had a little breakthrough this morning. GM and I were talking and I told him that he couldn't do anything until he got his schoolwork done. He got angry with me about that and said, "I'm mad at you!" I got so excited! (It was really kind of funny. He didn't know what to do.) I asked him why he was mad and he told me. We talked about it and ended up hugging! I told him how proud I was of him for expressing his anger, instead of stomping off and letting it boil within him - and taking it out on one of his siblings. He felt really good about it and we were all cool. We will keep working on it...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Oops! I did it again!

I've done it again! I broke my toe yesterday! Again! If my feet weren't so dang long this wouldn't happen to me so much!! So, I'm freezing my toes off today in flip flops (it's 38 degrees right now). I can't find a shoe that will work.
I was singing to my ducklings this morning, "I'm so blu-hu-hu, blu-hu-hu, blu-hu-hu-huuuuuu! I don't know what to do!" (You know - from Veggie Tales Madame Blueberry.) Of course, I'm not blue, just my toe is....
I'm off to Bible Study!!!

Monday, February 18, 2008

A lot to say...

Where to start? Where to start? I need to review everything that I've learned about myself over the last few days. If I don't, I'll just forget it and move on without it changing me!

I learned that my oppression during my children's sicknesses is caused by none other than ME! I completely lose hope - as if the world has ended and I'll never be able to do anything again. Last week, after being home with Princess (with strep) from Sunday until Tuesday, and then finding out on Thursday that she also had the flu. I gave in to the depression and decided that I wouldn't get to do all of the things over the weekend that I was so looking forward to! I didn't even wait to see what might happen. Then when Princess woke up fever-free on Friday morning, I didn't know what to do with myself. It was all I could do to pull myself back out of the pit and look forward to the weekend again. I'd lost momentum and given up! Then when everything was restored, I wasn't!

Lessons to learn: Don't ever give up! Live one moment at a time. God is in control and has the best plan for my future. Don't try to figure it all out ahead of time.

At the Single Mom's Conference I learned a couple things...

Brenda Warner was the speaker. Her story of being a single mom (in low-income housing, on food stamps, with 2 children, one of which was severely disabled), her parents dying during this difficult time (in a tornado no-less!!), and her healing and new life as Kurt Warner's wife (You can read their story here.) was very encouraging and uplifting. It made me feel so much better. Even in the mistakes that I am making, God will use those for good - for me and my children. I've been kicking myself so much for every little thing that I haven't been for my children, or myself!

Lessons to learn: God is in control. He wants to work for our good. I must trust in Him, that even in these times He wants to bless us, provide for us, and prepare us for our future. Which leads to...I don't have to know what the future will be.

In a Breakout Session at the conference I attended a talk on Forgiveness. This was very good for me, but even better...God used it to open my eyes about what GameMaster is going through. One of the statements was... "Unresolved hurt and anger lead to many types of defenses: exaggerating, a critical attitude, rationalization, excessive shyness, perfectionism, workaholism, or pleasing others. The breakdown of these defense mechanisms results in a life-style of depression, bitterness and excuse-making." I am better able to see what is going on inside him now. We've talked twice since learning this. It will take time. He has so much hurt and anger, it is hard for him to get past the last incident that hurt him (which may be as simple as his brother looking at him wrong). I feel better equipped to help him forgive.

In addition to this... I took another Breakout Session on Peace in the midst of Pain. I wish I'd taken this one a year ago!! God revealed the root of my self-pity and the other problems that it has been causing me! My self-pity was really rooted in anger. I realized how mad I have been at Martin for allowing this to happen and for not feeling more sorry for me! And to add to that (and this is more hard to admit), I've been mad at you (yes, you) for not feeling more sorry for me. I was feeling so sorry for myself. I just couldn't understand why no one else felt sorry for me. Then when someone actually did show their pity, I spiralled into greater self pity - I was validated! What a mess!

Lessons to learn: God will always guide me and show me how to help my children. I need to spend time with GameMaster - frequently - and help walk him through a path of forgiveness. I need to pray and ask for God's help for him daily. I need to forgive Martin. I need to forgive you. I need to forgive my church (what was my church during this time). I need to take my thoughts captive and not allow myself to go down a path of self-pity! I need to learn to be content with God alone. I need to learn that God is enough to sustain me when all else might fail me.

And then I went to small group at church on Sunday morning to the "DOK - Daughters of the King". Our leader talked on taking our walk one step and a time and how God will sometimes just show us the next step we need to take and how sometimes He shows us farther down the path. We read many scriptures on letting Him guide us, trusting Him and waiting on Him. Like:

"A man's steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand his own way?" --Proverbs 20:24

"Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!" --Isaiah 30:18

I don't know what my future looks like. The only things that I know are for this year:

1. God has ensured me that I am to be a worker from home right now and that He will provide for us.

2. I know that I am to be seeking Him and opportunities to grow closer to Him - through church, quiet times, Bible study, small group, Christian relationships, service and any other possibility that He may send my way.

3. I am to continue to provide a stable home environment for my children. I need to spend frequent time with GameMaster and help him to overcome what he is struggling with.

That's it! That is all I know right now. And I'm perfectly okay with that.

Lessons to learn: God is in control. He has my future all planned and all I have to do is wait to see what it will be. I need to seek after Him to guide me and show me His path for me. I need to be content with what He shows me and what He doesn't show me.

So, I think that is enough. Don't you? How is that for an open book? Anything else you want to know about me? If I know, I'll tell you. Sometimes I think that other people know me much better than I know myself. I'm just not very in tune with myself. This weekend helped me to see inside myself quite a bit. Now I just need to grow through it!

Friday, February 15, 2008

It's looking good...

Well, it's looking good for me to get to attend the Single Mom's Conference afterall!!
My friend Elisabeth was looking at going to the conference by herself, so she asked her mom to keep my Princess for me! She said yes! She's bringing a mask and Lysol with her! This all happened last night.
Now, Princess is up this morning - fever-free! If she remains fever-free, she can just go with us and the weekend is back on! I kinda don't expect this though...
What is really strange about the whole thing is how I went through all of the phases of acceptance yesterday. By the end of the day, I had accepted that I'd be home all weekend and was prepared for the isolation. Then Elisabeth called with this idea and now I'm having to work up my excitement about it again. I'm so strange. It's like I'd given in to the isolation. Now I'm having a hard time getting back out of that pit. That fast! Isn't that weird!?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Well, Princess has the flu!! Poor baby! Strep and the flu! She feels lousy!

I'm so bummed! I had plans tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday! Saturday is the Single Mom's Conference!! I needed that so bad! It's only once a year. I hate to miss it! Sunday is my single mom's small group and church. I'll have to miss it all!

I'm just plain old mad about it!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Poor GameMaster...

I just got a call from GameMaster from school.

He whispers, "I need to come home. Some stuff is happening."

I respond, "What is happening?"

(I've been working on the computer all morning listening to Nashville's Christian Radio Station and it is snowing and icing there. I've gotten confused a couple of times hearing about it before realizing that I'm listening to another city's station! So at first I think it's weather related. What an air-head!)

He whispers again, "Mom, please."

(I remember that the weather is fine here and think more like a mom. I think something bad has happened at school. His teacher is in one of her lovely moods. A student is bullying him. What?!?)

I ask, "Honey, what is happening?"

He responds, "I'm having a hard time concentrating on my work. I'm seeing flashes of green and my eyes hurt."

How do I tell my sweet baby that he has what is called 'stress' with a great deal of 'mom is working from home now, so why can't I just stay home with her?'. My heart hurts for him. He's absolutely hating school. He's beginning to get mad at me again, because I'm the bad guy who makes him go.

Oh, how I need wisdom as a mother!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

It finally broke!

Princess' fever was still 103 early this morning! But it is gone now. And I do not find it a coincidence that her temperature was 96.7 (lower than usual, I might add) at noon - the exact time that my Bible Study was over!!

My sweet friend Lisa, whom I am taking this study with called to check on us. She helped me "fill in my blanks" in my workbook. She also shared with me the encouragement I would've received had I gotten to go this morning (which of course is why I DIDN'T get to go!). It turns out that our group leader was a struggling single mom for awhile too. We have two other single moms in the group as well. Anyway, two of them shared today about trusting God through that. Don't you think that would've been really encouraging for me to hear that!?

Oh well. At least she is doing better...

Monday, February 11, 2008

Did you expect this?

How many times have I told you my biggest disappointments come when my children get sick? If you've been reading my blog from the beginning, then you've heard this many times before. I've probably blogged about this more than any other topic in fact!! Ha!

Should've seen it coming! Did you see it? I didn't see it, but I should've expected it! The enemy attacks once again! (As if he doesn't know that my Savior has already won!!)

Princess has strep. She's had a very high fever (as high as 104 at times!) - poor baby. She's puny, to say the least. But! Seeing how the flu is going around and that would last way longer than strep, we'll take it! I'm honestly relieved that it isn't the flu. She started the antibiotics today and should be feeling much better by tomorrow evening.

Meanwhile, I've stocked up on girly princess movies for her to watch - like this, this and this! We've got the most-liked bubble gum flavored Tylenol and Motrin, as well as the nasty-flavored white-chalky (no choices on this one!) Augmentin. So we should be just fine!

Except of course, tomorrow is my Bible study day! Of course I won't get to go. I had a lunch date afterwards too. So, bum!

I still won't let this get me down!!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

New group, New faces, Old feeling!

I went to a new small group this morning. It is for single women. The group leader has a special heart for single moms. It was wonderful!

I will never forget the very first women’s small group that I went to (at another church). I cried all of the way home. It scared my husband to pieces when I walked through the door crying. I just couldn’t believe how great the group was and how nice they were and how safe I felt. I didn’t say a word during the group, but held it all in for the ride home and him!! (Thank you Heidi, January, Maria, Lynn, and Becca - I will never forget that night!)

That is exactly like I felt today! I didn’t say a word. I did have to fight crying several times. I just can’t explain what it felt like to feel safe with them. To hear the verses they were studying. To sit by another single mom. I just felt embraced by God in these ladies presence. I don’t know how else to say it!

I really enjoyed the church service more too. It was nice to sit in the middle of a row surrounded by these new friends. I look forward to going again and getting to know these ladies more! What a blessing!

Friday, February 08, 2008

God is my everything!

Do I believe that? Honestly? No. I just can't figure that one out.

I do know that I wanted my husband to be my everything. Obviously he could never fulfill that expectation. And so I was in constant disappointment over him and his lack of fulfilling me. (Not fair to him. I know.)

So, now who or what can be my everything?

In today's Bible Study, Psalm 121:1 says:

"I raise my eyes toward the mountains.
Where will my help come from?"
My paraphrase is, "I look at all of my problems. Where can I get help? Who will help me?" I used to want my husband to help me. He didn't. He couldn't. He wouldn't. I certainly can't even look for him to help me now.
Who will help? I certainly need help. I think my biggest need right now is that I need someone to help me encourage my oldest son at school. He is discouraged and just trying to get by in his schoolwork because he doesn't like all of the work. He's bored with all of the busy work. I can't get it into his head the importance of his education. I think he needs a man in his life as an example of this and teaching him this. I'm his mom. He doesn't want to hear it from me anymore, you know? He is so discouraged and he needs more than just me.
Well, it is no one elses responsibility to be this for my son. I am doing the best that I know to do. I'm talking with his teacher almost daily. I'm talking with him daily. I'm praying all day for him. What else can I do? Who else CAN help?
Psalm 121:2 says,
"My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth."
So, I get that. My help comes from God. GameMaster's help comes from God. What does that look like? How can God help him if he doesn't want God's help? I think this is my bigger concern anyway... It seems like his heart has hardened so much over the last few years. This saddens me more than anything else!! He used to be such a happy, expressive Jesus-follower. Now, his faith is hurt. I've encouraged and encouraged and prayed and prayed (and will not give up praying and encouraging...).
Psalm 121 assures me that God is my Maker and my Protector. I even believe that for myself today. I must believe that it is true for my GameMaster too...please protect him and bring him back to you, God.
Who (or what) is your everything?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Woe to me?

Oh no! I've been saying that for too long! No woe to me anymore!

That is the title of yesterday's bible study: Woe to me! We studied Psalm 120. She gave us permission to have a "woe to me" moment with God concerning some of the things we've been enduring. I guess I'm done with that, because all I could do was praise Him through this Psalm!!

Psalm 120 is about asking for God's help for deliverence from a liar and deceiver; and God's punishment for them and protection for us. She told us it was okay to complain to God. Well...been there...done that.

All I could think was that He has delivered me from a liar. Listen to the first two verses... This was the cry of my heart for the last two years of my marriage...

I'm in trouble. I cry to God,
desperate for an answer;
"Deliver me from the liars, God!
They smile so sweetly but lie through their teeth."
You know what? He answered that prayer! So what have I been complaining about? Here's what... MY PLAN was for Him to answer that prayer by making my husband into the man of integrity that I longed for him to be. Well, I guess he wasn't willing to be that. So, God delivered me anyway. It just isn't what I thought it'd look like. I haven't really and truly realized this so clearly before this week.
God set me free.
Now, my life may still be hard. I may still be poorer than I've ever been. I may still be a single parent with three children and not enough time, energy, arms, eyes, laps, instructions, advice, etc..., etc... to meet all their needs. I may still get so lonely. But I can still rejoice in the fact that...
God heard me.
I honestly didn't think He was listening to me anymore. Now I understand. He heard me. It may not look like what I wanted, but it's still okay. I have freedom in Christ. Freedom from the bonds of deception and lies in my own home. And I can praise God for my circumstances!
(Somebody remind me of this post the next time I get on the self pity kick...)

God is working on me!

I am almost overwhelmed! I am realizing so much about myself, about my situation, about God right now. It feels as though my eyes are opening again!

I'm scared! First of all, I have been in a pit for the last two years. And I wanted to stay there! Seriously! I haven't realized it. But somehow it was comfortable and safe. But terribly miserable at the same time! I have felt so sorry for myself. But see, if I stay at the bottom, then I can't get hurt or disappointed or let down. I have no expectations of things being any better. It is just miserable, but that's okay...cause at least I can feel sorry for myself!

Well, for whatever reason, God has let me stay there and wallow in it! Maybe to get it out of my system? I've just not been ready to get out yet. But that has changed! I feel myself becoming more alive! More on fire for Jesus again! I'm ready to receive His grace and love!

I have to tell you more later about what He has shown me in the last few days through this new Bible study that I'm doing. I'm so amazed and I think you will be too! Who knows!? You'll probably be like, duh! That was so obvious. Where have you been? Ha! (I was in the pit, remember?)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Rainy Days and Mondays

Okay. I know it's not Monday. It's Wednesday. But the kids were out of school yesterday and it feels like a Monday. Back to work. Back to school. Back to laundry. Back to tiredness. And it has rained all morning. Even our sweet energetic Duncan feels it:

Game Master update

Several of you have been asking about my oldest and how he is doing. I'm not sure what to say exactly...

His pain was pretty constant there for a couple of weeks. It comes and goes now, but seems more tolerable.

We had a big talk about a week ago (after he missed almost two weeks of school). He admitted to me that he does have the pain, but that he was using that as an excuse to stay home with me. I have been working from home since they returned to school in January. He didn't understand why I wouldn't let him stay home with me and home school him. Of course, he'd never asked or expressed himself in this way... I explained to him why I had to work and that I wouldn't be able to spend the time with him that he needed. We discussed his fears for middle school and I shared with him that I've been praying and looking into the possibilities of sending him to a private Christian school next year. This made him feel a lot better.

He complains much less now about the pain. I will decide later this month if we still need to go to the neurologist on the 21st.

Meanwhile, I'm giving him some extra TLC and making sure to hear him out more. I'm praying for a miracle scholarship for him to attend this very special school that I feel would be so perfect for him!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

I'm stepping up!

I'm so excited to say that I began my first Beth Moore Bible Study today. I have done many studies, and always wanted to do one of hers, but really never had the opportunity! Of course, I've heard so many good things about her studies. At one point, there was one woman in my life who talked more about Beth Moore than she did about God. That kinda turned me off, I admit.

I have been visiting another church for the last month. I found that they have a small group for single women that meets on Sunday mornings before church. This appeals to me greatly (both the single women part and the Sunday morning part)! I have a neighbor and good friend that attends this church and she invited me to this Beth Moore Bible Study with her. I was thrilled to be able to go. It helps me so much to be able to go with her too!!

We are doing her new study, "Stepping Up: A Journey Through the Psalms of Ascent". I learned so much from just the introduction today. I'm really excited about digging into the word of God with a group of women! I learned the basic idea that our life is a pilgrimage. We will not be in our current circumstances forever. (whew! what a relief!)

More than anything, I was encouraged and motivated to do this to the full extent and grow from it. I'm really looking forward to it!! It's been so long since I've felt like I could commit to a study like this!

On a related note, this sweet neighbor and dear friend of mine...I want to say an 'old' friend of mine, but please understand that we've been friends for a long time and I'm not referring to her age in anyway!! It seems that God has put her in my life at certain times for specific reasons. I'm so blessed by our friendship and so thankful that we can always catch up quickly and take off where we left off... Old friends are really the best friends, aren't they? I'm praying for you, my sister.

Monday, February 04, 2008

I met her.

Okay. So I met her.

It was really no big deal. I feel sorry for her, actually.

The kids were nice to her. They didn't make eye contact with her though. Princess asked her and I what we would do if our boyfriend broke up with us. (where did that come from?!??) Her cheerleading coach was standing nearby and came to the rescue with "buy new clothes and get a tattoo!" I just laughed!

In the words of Forrest Gump, "I don't have anything else to say about that."

Friday, February 01, 2008

I have to meet her.

Well, I knew the day would come eventually.

It looks like tomorrow is the day.

For months, ever since the kids found out that their dad was getting married, they've wanted nothing to do with her. They wouldn't even talk about it! They just weren't ready.

Martin began pushing for them to meet her. I told him that I was not going to make them. I know he felt like it was me who didn't want to meet her. Certainly there is truth to that. Who wants to meet their husband's new wife!? But this wasn't about me. It was about my ducklings.

In November, I recall telling him that the children would certainly be ready to meet her long before I would. I told him that when they were ready, I would not hold them back from that.

Well, they've let me know they are interested in meeting her. And thus... Now it is about me!

Martin and his bride will be attending part of the kid's basketball games tomorrow. We will all get to meet her.

This could be a big turning point in our relationships. For the last year, the only times Martin has seen the kids has been in my presence (court order, as well as the children's request). They are becoming more comfortable around him again. If they are comfortable around his wife, then they may feel ready to visit them at their home.

Okay. Stop right there. There are two things to say about this. One: is my selfish side. I have had very little "time off" as a mom in the last year. There is a part of me that likes the idea of the kids going to spend a weekend with their dad every once in awhile, you know? But it is a dreamy wish...I must admit. Because...

Two: I've worked so hard in the last year to help my children heal and grow into strong human beings again. I'm scared. He has not been a very good father. I don't know how much I want them to be around someone like him. I think it'd be a hard recovery time every time they went to see him.

And yet, he is their dad. What do you do?

Oh yeah, pray.

I realize I'm jumping way ahead in the process. For now, we are just meeting in a public place for a brief time. It is just another step in our journey...