Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Generalized but SINCERE Gratitude

For those "keeping up" with me through this silly blog, THANK YOU so much for your prayers, private messages of encouragement, and the variety of loving acts of friendship. These past several days have been incredibly hard.

The school year is drawing to a close with only 8 1/2 hours left to be with "my kiddos". The end-of-the-year goodbyes are always bittersweet but leaving the district that has been my work-home for the past 19 years is so much harder than I anticipated. I want to go. I'm ready to go but yet another loss has been staggering.

Even though, I desperately want to be, I am not okay. Part of me keeps saying: "It's alright;  just 2 more days...2 more days..." while another part says: "AAAGGGHHH! Only 2 more days then WHAT?!?!

Staggering doesn't seem like a strong enough word. Exhausted. Worried. Wounded. Fragile. Weary. Grief-stricken. Confused. Lost. Maybe all of those put together with incredibly lonely (even though friends are near). I KNOW that this will pass. I would just really like to know when. I am so very tired.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Uncertainties

Not the weekend I was expecting but it's been productive. I've spent at least 14 hours in my classroom and am amazed (and a little ashamed) at the amount if stuff I've accumulated. Headed back out tomorrow for yet another carload. Wishes don't make changes but it sure would be nice to have even a teeny tiny clue on where I'm going to end up at the end of July. I know that all will work out but literally living out of boxes and suitcases is tiring.

As I'm typing, Susan Ashton's song "I've Just Showed Up for My Own Life" started playing---Perfect timing.

I had moments of panic and fear last night that made me long for  something "normal". That's the .1st time since this recent journey began that I've missed anything. After leaving my classroom and truly accepting that the chapter in life there is closing, I was caught off guard by the sadness. I just wanted to go home---to my home.  I realized that my home hadn't been what I hoped for or needed in a long time and that the "normal" I was looking for was gone and that was a good thing. I'm not sure what the "new normal" will be but I am looking forward to it (more times than not),

I'm going out to the house tomorrow to see my fur-babies and to talk with Wayne about whatever the next few weeks will entail. I'm not dreading being with him but the awkwardness is well...just awkward.  Prayerfully trusting moment-by-moment and asking God to give me whatever words I will need.

It dawned on me today that it's almost been an entire year since precious Trenton's accident that cost him his life. I haven't spoken with the family in a few months. CPS took charge of the siblings and they've moved to the Houston area. I pray for Quardell regularly in hopes that they will be fostered and eventually adopted together. That sweet boy has been through entirely too much for any 5 year old. Heartbreaking and so frustrating. I so wish that I'd been able to do more for those children but I know that they are in God's care which is far better than anything I could ever do.

Life truly does not make any sense, at times.


Saturday, May 24, 2014

TGIF!!!

I am so grateful for the weekend and a three day weekend at that!! Woo-hoo! I missed our school Field Day today :(. So disappointed because that one of my favorite fun days but I just wasn't up to the task physically. Sigh, sigh, sigh.

Feeling significantly better tonight and looking forward to the weekend. I'll complete a few more job applications tomorrow along with getting at least one carload of classroom stuff moved out. The moving won't be so much fun but it will be a huge RELIEF. I regret not closing this chapter of life a few years back but onward and upward.

Traveling near Greenville tomorrow night to meet a lifelong friend for dinner then she and I will head to an annual song fest at a congregation in Point. Hoping to meet up with another friend while in the area. I have recently realized how many relationships I've neglected over the past several years because of the shame I felt in all that has (had) occurred. Feeling especially grateful and blessed for the friends who've remained constant in spite of my neglect.

I'm meeting with W. out at our house on Sunday to help prepare the house for the potential refinancing so that I may have rent money. I'm thankful that we are not angry and quarreling but the hurt on both sides is evident and awkward. Praying continually that all will go as smoothly as possible.

Planning on simply relaxing on Monday to prep for the FINAL FOUR DAYS OF SCHOOL!! Love, love, love my kiddos but IT.IS.TIME!! I will not miss the working environment at all so that itself feels amazingly wonderful and freeing.  I just keep having to remind myself that GOD IS IN CONTROL. He's got this ENTIRE situation and blessings will come.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Journey

Sometimes I miss the days where I was fully capable of putting my head down and simply burrow through whatever tasks without allowing any sort of emotional upheaval. I don't really want to return to that mode because I so enjoy the depths of joy and happiness I've experienced since those long-ago constructed walls began to break down. But the depths of sorrow can seem all encompassing and too threatening. I long for a day that tears aren't even remotely on my radar. Apparently, that's expecting too much right now.

W and I have been separated for close to 2 months. I still feel secure in knowing that my leaving was the absolute best thing for me to do but the hurt is still there. I don't have the desire to return to the relationship but also don't feel at peace in filing for a divorce. There isn't any pressure to do so but for one who likes closure on all things, this living in limbo is hard. I keep praying for clarity, understanding and the ability to discern God's will. I'm choosing to trust in HIS timing in leading me to take whatever the next step may be in a time that He deems appropriate.

Ending the school year, knowing that I'm saying good-bye to 19 years of relationships and experiences has left me emotionally grasping for air. I hate that I'm leaving under the circumstances that I created but I am so grateful for the experiences I had while being a part of BISD. I have accumulated even more absences over the past 2 weeks because of some scary health issues. My paychecks for May and June are going to be woefully lacking. Trusting that God will meet all of my needs.

I didn't want to cause anyone any more concern so I kept that information to myself until the fear was relieved. Some bloodwork and physical symptoms were leading to the concerns of ovarian cancer. My initial reaction to becoming aware of that possibility was almost comical---I actually said, well, of course that's a possibility---it's damn near impossible for ANYTHING to be simple right now. The poor nurse just squeezed my hand as she wiped away her tears. THANKFULLY, the bloodwork and biopsy came back negative and I now fully know the symptoms and pain of a ruptured ovarian cyst or cysts. OUCH is an understatement!! But I'll gladly accept that rather than cancer. As of this morning, the pain has greatly dissipated. I'm not nearly as pale and able to stand and walk without nauseating dizziness. My poor body needs a break and desperately needs me to better care for myself. Healthy grocery shopping and cementing plans for daily exercise are a top priority this weekend.  I, also, must pack up my classroom this weekend because the craziness of the last week of school won't allow time for packing and organizing and I must relinquish my keys before 2 p.m. on the 30th.

My momma is walking on air because her retirement begins at noon Friday!! I am so happy for her and beyond proud for all that she has overcome. I hate that my situation is somewhat taking away from what is her truly deserved celebration.

Tomorrow will be the one year anniversary of my father-in-law's death. I miss that man but am grateful that all didn't hit the fan while he was here to witness such. W and his family are so on my heart this evening. W and I haven't really talked except through financially-necessary messages. I know that I can't truly be there for him at this time except in thoughts and prayer.  I do care about him and hate that he is hurting. Letting go is also filled with hurt.

Several people that I hold close in my heart are also experiencing marital struggles, marital separations and some imminent divorce. Everyone's journey is unique but all are heartbreaking, breath-taking moments of agony. My thoughts and prayers are continually focused on T and D; B and S; R and S; D and h; C and B; along with J and L. Life can truly be so unfair.

Also, continuing to pray for Corey's family as they are grieving and for Rebecca as she battles cancer with all she has.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Discoveries

This past week has been gut-wrenching yet joy-filled; heartbreaking in the midst of true healing; grief-stricken though peaceful while also being irritating, insightful and inspiring. I've truly been up, down, and all around yet have appreciated EVERY moment because it's the first time in a very long time, that I've felt connected to living in a way that I hadn't even realized that I had lost or allowed myself to let go of.  Totally exhausted and completely in awe.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

"Hope in front..."

I didn't accomplish as much as I wanted to today but what I did do was done without the accompaniment of tears. That, along with a sense of peace and resolve as I head to bed, has to count for something.

Love this song I found by accident on YouTube.

Hope in Front of Me by Danny Gokey

Monday, May 12, 2014

Rollercoasters

I have always enjoyed roller coasters. Starting with the apprehension of the risk, the thrill of the ride, and the euphoric feeling afterwards. I'd head to an amusement park tomorrow and have so much fun but this emotional roller coaster is exhausting and leaves me simply weary.

The day began with the news that Corey passed away last night. His family was with him and his last moments were peaceful. After such a courageous battle with cancer, that he shared so openly, my heart (among so many others) is beyond sad. I'm grateful that he is now at peace but hurt so deeply for his loving wife and their 2 precious children. I can't stand the thought that the only memories that M and B will have of their daddy will most likely be the pictures and stories that will be shared in the days to come. C. led an exemplary life that touched so many others for the better. He was one of the most kind-hearted, giving, loving, fun-filled person I've ever met. Feeling so blessed that he will always be a part of my life.

His death helped solidify my choice of creating a better life than I've allowed myself to have. The changes are terrifying and exciting. The deep sorrow is coupled with deep relief. All seems so much more real in ways that I can't fully explain. My heart feels broken yet amidst the moments of agony, there is a renewed sense of clarity, purpose and hope.

The feelings of guilt weigh heavy. The feelings of failure seem immense but what once was a severe, life-threatening sense of hopelessness is dissipating with each day. Packing up a home and a career are overwhelming but I KNOW that I'm on the right path. I'll keep moving forward with the fervent prayer that God will lead me step-by-step.

I have been neglecting my physical health which is now a top priority. Apparently, my immune system is "shot" and my blood pressure is outrageous. I am in the process of setting up attainable goals for each day. Step 1 is significantly increasing my water intake. I rely far too much on diet sodas and super-sweet tea. Sounds so simple but I'm finding it to be more of a challenge than I imagined. Small steps with big commitment will get me to where I need to be.


Saturday, May 10, 2014

DivorceCare Day 2

'One Day at a Time' from DivorceCare

Click the link below for more info: divorcecare

Why Divorce Hurts So Much
Day 2

"It's pretty natural to expect hurt when a mate leaves, but I was not prepared for the level of hurt or the level of pain I felt," says Steve.

The pain of divorce is much deeper and more soul wrenching than most people can imagine, unless they have been through it themselves. Divorce can mean the end of your hopes and dreams, the end of your life as you have known it, a loss of control, and feelings of rejection, loneliness, and blame. There is anger, depression, helplessness, bitterness, resentment, feelings of worthlessness, and guilt. The list goes on and on.

"I was afraid that once I opened that door, the intensity of what I was feeling would break me into little pieces," says Marie. "I'd be scattered all over the floor in little tiny scraps, and I'd never be able to pull myself back together."

You will not be able to "hurry up and get over it." That is not possible. Instead, start by making a commitment to take a small step forward every day. Marie says, "Gradually God has put the pieces back together, and the pieces that I don't have anymore, the severing of the part of me that was bonded with my husband, God has healed and replaced. He's in the process of finishing that up."

"I cry to you, O LORD; I say, 'You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.' Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me" (Psalm 142:5-6).

*Lord and Savior, the intensity of my emotions is unbearable. Hold me in Your strong arms. Comfort me with the comfort that only comes from You, and guide me in taking one step forward each day. Amen.*

Friday, May 9, 2014

Oh, PLEASE...Let the Healing Begin

And it's done...

all that can be said has been said.
All that could have been done is done.
Attempting to place band-aids on a severed artery will not lead to healing.

Despite the fact that we have been emotionally separated for years, the emotions in this decision are running high. Feeling incredibly sad yet markedly relieved. I HATE that he is hurting but that alone is not enough to build or rebuild a sustainable relationship.

I realized that marriage counseling would only serve as a means of closure, not in an attempt at reconciliation. A healthy relationship cannot exist without an open relationship. An open relationship can't exist without trust. That trust doesn't exist and hasn't for a very long time, if ever.

I don't blame him for everything. I am willing and able, through the grace of God, to take on the responsibilities of my own failures. I KNOW there will be a light at the end of this dark tunnel.

Though my heart is breaking, I am confident that my choice to pursue a divorce is based on the fact that I MUST take responsibility for my life and my healing. I know that the healing will not be instantaneous but knowing that it, indeed, will happen is enough.

DivorceCare Day 1

'One Day at a Time' from DivorceCare

Click the link below for more info: divorcecare

-----------------------------------------------
What's Happening?
Day 1

Divorce is like a tornado---ripping through your life, threatening to destroy everything in its path. The emotional whirlwinds bring fear, confusion, and despair, affecting you, your children, family members, and friends. You will likely wonder *Why did this storm hit my life and why does it hurt so much?*

Dr. Jim A. Talley says, "The reality is that divorce is the most painful thing you can go through because it impacts so much of your life. There's no way around or easy way out. And everybody is looking for a painless way out of this whole situation."

It is easier to clean up the physical damage of a tornado than the emotional damage caused by divorce.

"I hated life," says Ginny. "I woke up every morning, and I absolutely hated it. I hated the pain that I woke up with and the pain that I went to sleep with."

You may wish you could get through the pain quicker, but healing is a process, a day-by-day, moment-by-moment process. In order to experience any level of recovery, you must see it through. There are no shortcuts. But take heart, in the coming days and weeks you will see it is possible to heal and to look to the future with hope.

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future'" (Jeremiah 29:11).

*Dear Lord, my life is ripped apart, and I can't keep from focusing on the devastation and pain that seem to define my very being. Help me turn to You. No one else knows what I am going through. Amen.*

Monday, May 5, 2014

Broken Hallelujah

Last night was definitely a "dark night", filled with hurt, anger, frustration, and fear. When the alarm went off this morning, I felt God pulling me to spend time with Him with no interruptions or expectations. Missing yet another day of work was not the responsible thing to do nor will it help with the already stressed-beyond-reason finances but I am so grateful that I paid attention to that tug on my heart.

I spent the majority of the day in prayer and reading one Scripture after another. I can't say that all is clearly defined and free of fear but there is definitely a sense of peace that I've been lacking. For this I am grateful!

Lisa W. graciously reminded me of Proverbs 3:5-6: "Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek HIS WILL in ALL you do, and HE WILL GUIDE your paths. "

This song seemed especially fitting tonight.

Broken Hallelujah sung by The Afters

I can barely stand right now.
Everything is crashing down,
And I wonder where You are.

I try to find the words to pray.
I don't always know what to say,
But You're the one that can hear my heart.

Even though I don't know what your plan is,
I know You're making beauty from these ashes.

I've seen joy and I've seen pain.
On my knees, I call Your name.
Here's my broken hallelujah.

With nothing left to hold onto,
I raise these empty hands to You.
Here's my broken hallelujah.

You know the things that have brought me here.
You know the story of every tear.
‘Cause You've been here from the very start.

Even though I don't know what your plan is,
I know You're making beauty from these ashes.

I've seen joy and I've seen pain.
On my knees, I call Your name.
Here's my broken hallelujah.

With nothing left to hold onto,
I raise these empty hands to You.
Here's my broken hallelujah.

When all is taken away, don't let my heart be changed.
Let me always sing Hallelujah
When I feel afraid, don't let my hope be erased
Let me always sing Hallelujah.
Let me always sing Hallelujah.

I will always sing
I will always sing
Here's my broken hallelujah.






All seems blurry...

Its hard to type out the words to match my thoughts when tears keep blurring my view.
Everything seems blurry right now---physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally. I am in disbelief that one can hurt this much yet still be breathing.

I want so much to know what is the "right thing" to do but I am not seeing it! I have been studying Scriptures, reading articles, praying continually, listening to the advice of others, etc. Am I not able to discern what is right because God is wanting me to be still or am I simply too dumb/blind to see? The uncertainties and the fears are heartbreaking. The not knowing and conflicting views are frustrating. The hurt is exhausting.

Earlier today, I compiled a list of what I knew with certainty:

God is for me.

I am His daughter and He wants what is best for me.

I am to rely on Him. Moment by moment. Without fear.

It is wrong for me to seek out my needs from others outside of the relationships that are pleasing to Him.

He is my strength.

He is my purpose.

He will make my paths straight.

He will let His will be known.

I am to be guided His love, His power, His wisdom.
Not by my selfish desires. Not be fear.
Not by shame.

I am to wait upon the Lord and continually seek Him above all.

A dear friend, Amber N.  sent me a song through the Facebook newsfeed with her assurance of belief in me .  Her timing to do so was perfect and the lyrics of the song are so powerful. Truly touched my heart and helped me to catch my breath.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Well, at least the day was 'interesting'...

Yesterday was an "interesting day".  I am so thankful for supportive, encouraging, comforting, prayerful friends who are willing to share in the smiles and the tears of daily life.  Turning in my resignation was more difficult than I had thought it would be.  I never imagined that to do so would be easy but I wasn't expecting the weight of grief that struck once those envelopes were no longer in my position.  I am so thankful for Susan, Tracy, Dana, and Missy.  Their thoughtfulness, hugs shared tears and laughter brought joy and comfort to a most uncomfortable situation.

I tried once again to 'get through' to husband for the sake of his clarity and ended up so angry and ridiculously aggravated.  The counselor gave me a 'checklist' last week to look for in his conversations and responses.  I shouldn't have been but truly was SHOCKED that all she said did prove to be sure (though I almost missed some of the subtle innuendos).  I am through talking about the situation in specifics. At this point, it does nothing but add fuel to the flame.  We could spend the next 18 years pointing out one specific after another of areas in which we both failed in this relationship but doing so isn't accomplishing anything productive so I am choosing to stop. 

I am meeting with a friend who is also a lawyer next week and have already begun to pack.  I also bought a book on what to reasonably expect in the process of a divorce (emotionally, physically, financially, legally, etc.)  Praying that all of this doesn't get ugly.  Surely we are capable of getting through what is to come with no unnecessary drama. I have a feeling I will hear more from him this weekend.  I remain in awe of what he cannot "see" but apparently, that's simply the common tactics of someone struggling with an addiction.

I loved the words that Lysa TerKeurst with the Proverbs 31 Ministry: "Sometimes relationships grow stronger through conflict.  But other times relationships end.  Because I can't control the other person, I must keep focusing on the good God is working out in me thorough this and leave the outcome with Him".  AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!


Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Bundle of Nerves...

I am longing for normalcy.  I'm not sure what my "new normal" will be but this waiting for whatever is to come is difficult for one who likes to plan so far ahead.  Desparately and prayerfully trying to grasp the Godly concept of "BE STILL..."  

I am walking right along feeling secure in the situation with the assurance that I am following God's Will then within moments, my mind is racing along with my heartbeat as I feel an attack of "what if..." thoughts cascade through my soul.

I turned in my letter of resignation this morning. Thankfully, I was simply able to drop it in the appropriate mail slots because both the principal and superintendent were off campus today.  They are kind, compassionate people but I'm doubly thankful that I was able to do so without an emotional reaction on either side. I've developed a simple daily chart to tackle the sorting through and packing up of 18+ years of teaching materials.  I am in continual prayer that these few remaining weeks of school will rush by.  My nerves are shot.

I miss my friend.  I know the right decisions were made concerning contact but regardless of such, the missing remains.

I am spending the evening cheering on some of my classroom kiddos at their T-ball games.  Being with the classroom families, outside of the classroom, has always been so enjoyable.  I am praying that God will open the doors one day so that I may teach again.  I can't imagine doing anything else career-wise but I will do whatever He is calling me to do.

I took my students to visit the kindergarten classrooms while the kindergarten students were on  a field trip.  Their looks of excitement and anticipation make my heart swell with joy.  I am clinging to these moments of joy because the moments of feeling such loss take my very breath away. 

Baby steps...

This week has been hard. The realization after 18 years in my respective ISD coming to a close has been bittersweet. My heart breaks when I think about how I won't have the opportunity to see "my kiddos" grow up from grade to grade. As grieving as that is, I know, with certainty, that God has His hand on all things.

I went out to the house today and finished packing up my essential belongings. There are things left in the house that I would like to have but now just didn't seem the time. I'll be living in another's home for a while so there's not a need for decorative items and keepsakes. If I end up losing what I left behind...it's all just "stuff". The memories those items invoke are tucked safely in my heart.

The weather was absolutely gorgeous today and it was so nice to spend some time with my fur-babies. I'm thankful that they are being well taken care of despite the situation though I miss those goofy lil dogs like crazy!

I will be staying where I currently am through most of the summer so that I can continue the personal counseling that has already proven to be so beneficial.  My mom will be leaving for Brownwood in June but the rent here is paid thru the end of July so that gives me time to close things out efficiently.

A new beginning is an exciting and scary concept but as each day passes, I feel more and more at peace with the circumstances being as they are. I didn't realize the implications of the state of Texas not offering the option of "legal separation"  until today so I'll have to soon make decisions based on that fact alone.

I've decided to go to my sister's when the apartment lease is up and search for a job in that immediate area. Her home and town have long since felt more like home than true home actually did so I'm looking forward to that through the anxiety around such. That will allow a safe, supportive environment as I get back on solid ground and continue in the healing process.

Despite the beauty of the day, my heart aches for all of those affected by the horrifying tornadoes and flash floods. I cannot even imagine what those families are going through and am in continual prayer for those who suffered such loss. I also pray for those who are caring for those in need. One can't be that close to such tragedy and not be changed by it.

Grateful for the allowance of one foot in front if the other rather than a giant leap into the unknown. Slow and steady seems to be the pace to keep right now.