Sunday, July 26, 2015

Daily Gratitudes (compiled)

Sunday, July 19th
1. Caring people at the Animal Shelter
2. Easy to read tire gauges
3. Fun evening at the State Park with my family

Monday, July 20th
1. Grocery shopping with my mom
2. Fish fry at the campgrounds with my family
3. Sharing of memories with Allen and Elizabeth

Tuesday, July 21st
1. Fishing with Kevin, Mitch, Allen & Kaeden
2. Rhyder's silly expressions
3. Riding in the car as Allen & Elizabeth took turns driving
4. Kaeden and the minnows

Wednesday, July 22nd
1. News that Jessica got job in Brady.
2. Uncle Ralph no longer being in pain though my heart hurts for Aunt Wanda
3. Allen and Elizabeth remaining here for a few extra days.

Thursday, July 23rd
1. Emergency Auto Assistance Programs
2. Cuddling with Rhyder and receiving surprise kisses
3. Phone call with Randy
4. Johnson's 50th Wedding Anniversary
5. "Chat" with Amber

Friday, July 24th
1. Payday deposits
2. Migraine medications
3. Reclining lawn chairs

Saturday, July 25th
1. Ability to keep up with 'old friends' through Facebook even when the news isn't happy. Praying for Kristina.
2. Enjoyable evening at my sister's house with my family
3. Time spent with Allen and Elizabeth though plans didn't go as I hoped

Monday, July 20, 2015

Summer Evenings

Kevin and his family came to the area for their last camping trip of the summer. I still find it hard to believe that the twins will be sophomores in high school this year. I can still hear their itty-bitty baby cries in my head and distinctly remember the 1st moment I laid eyes on them. Without too much bias, I can truly say that they are good kids.

Much of the evening was spent in lawn chairs and swimsuits while reliving some silly and fun summer moments. I was saddened to learn that they, even at such young ages, picked up on the underlying sadness of my life. A..W. mentioned how I seemed/acted so different when I was with my husband. E.D. brought up how all she really remembered was husband sitting on the couch except for the one time when he and A were talking about Star Trek/Star Wars.

Those precious kiddos spent at least 4 days and nights with me each summer since they were 3 years old. Of course, last summer was different with the separation and move but that's at least 10 summer trips and their memories of husband are zilch. They didn't dislike him. They simply didn't know him and never felt like he cared one way or the other about knowing them. He was rarely, by his choice, involved in our summer plans, trips, and activities.

I'm thankful that he never discouraged me from the times with my niece or nephews but listening to A and E just further  proved the fact of the majority of my married life was spent as a 'single' regardless of legal status.

While talking with counselors over the past year or so, both strongly felt that I was much further along in the natural-grieving-process of my marriage because I had spent at least a decade in grief before finally removing myself from the situation. I guess that makes sense but maannnn, I'd hate to be on timely grief schedule because this has been hard enough as it is.

Of course as I've noted before, the grief went beyond my marriage alone. Leaving my marriage brought about leaving my town, my job, my friends, my church, my dogs, my neighbors, my extended family and many personal belongings. My whole world changed and it is definitely a more peaceful, satisfying place. Now if only the ridiculously long legal aspect of all would end.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Daily Blessings (compiled)

Sunday, July 12th
1. Day-road-trip to Austin with Amber
2. Outdoor musicians
3. Cold river water
4. Kindness of strangers sharing water
5. Wine-tasting in Johnson City
6. Shared laughter with a much-loved friend

Monday, Tuesday 13th
1. Being reminded of some phenomenal Biblical truths while reading Nicole Johnson's Keeping A Princess Heart
2. Blessed by the presence of wonderful friends who continue to be such an important part of my heart for most, if not all, of my life.
3. Phone call with Leslie.
4. Leslie's safety and well-being after 2 life-threatening accidents in a 2 week time frame.
5. Kind messages from friends through Facebook
6. Good evening with my mom, sister and nephews.

Tuesday, July 14th
1. Becoming an official employee of Blanket ISD
2. A "real" shopping trip at the grocery store
3. Blessings of many sharing in my joy and excitement of a new job
4. Flying craftsy airplanes in an open field with Kaeden and Rhyder
5. Running through a sprinkler with Rhyder
6. Having both boys come over for a sleep-over

Wednesday, July 15th
1. Beginning the day with Kaed and Rhyder
2. Momma going with me out to Blanket
3. Officially signing work contract
4. Visiting with Maranda
5. Watching Little Giants with Kaed
6. Ability to help a stray or lost dog

Thursday, July 16th
1. Mr. Sommer's understanding at my need for rescheduling.
2. Kindness and support from Dr. Schum and his assistant, Kelsie
3. Fun sleepover and day with Kaeden

Friday, July 17th
1. Nice visit with Jessica B.
2. Safe options available for the stray dog currently living the backyard.
3. Leslie passing ESL test

Saturday, July 18th
1. Afternoon fun with Rhyder
2. Good evening with Mom and Sheryl
3. Mitch helping me figure out tire pressure issues
4. Birthday prayers for a special friend
5. Uncle Ralph receiving adequate hospital care

Friday, July 17, 2015


Within the past week or so, I've come to "see" some things that were previously unseen. I didn't realize how much I lost myself over the past several years. I'm not certain whose to blame and it's not even remotely important for me to be able to do so.

Regardless of fault or intention, I allowed "me" to wither away day by day almost to the point of emotionally disintegrating and physically disappearing. I am so grateful for those God used to call me back to LIVING not simply surviving. I hope the folks listed below truly realize what strength, guidance and hope they have been to me. As I list their names, I realize how incredibly blessed I am to have such caring people in my life.

My mom
Sheryl & Mitch
Wayne & Becky
Susan T.
Leslie F.
Leslie B.
Amy B.
Kevin & Angel
my aunt, Susan
Stacy K.
Bobbie A.
David A.
Tommy S.
Tara E.
Jennie O.
Randy D.
Nick & Marvella
Phillip and Donnie
Amber D.
Kara J.
David W
Keith & Vickie
Kelsie E.
Adrian S.
Kimber B.
Diane R.
Jessica B.
Acey S.
Deidra N.
Anne B.
Shirley C.
Merrandie S.
Pam L.

and I'm certain that some aren't immediately coming to mind.

Regardless of the seemingly never-ending legal nonsense, I am ready to begin these next chapters of life. Exciting to think about what the future may hold.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Angering sadness.

While at the chiropractor today, he and I had a side conversation about how it is simply our human nature that leads to worry and how much easier it would be to truly take to heart that God is control.

I know that to be true but I am going to bed so angry tonight after learning that more armed forces personnel were murdered today. These men and women survive situations that I can't even fathom yet aren't safe in the routine day-to-day living in America. I'm grateful that the gunman was stopped but it is INFURIATING that this has happened on more than one occasion and that it more than likely will continue. Maddening and heartbreaking!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Daily Gratitudes (compiled)

Sunday, July 5th
1. Loving, fun-filled memories of my friend, Elaine, who would have turned 44 today.
2. Beautiful drive to Junction.
3. Great time catching up with my dear friend, Susan.
4. Laughable moments in a most pathetic motel.

Monday, July 6th
1. Safe travels for all to and from Junction
2. Interview set up for San Saba
3. Evening with my momma

Tuesday, July 7th
1. Good interview in San Saba
2. Interview set up in Blanket
3. Ice cream with Kaeden
4. Silly games of Uno

Wednesday, July 8th
1. Allen continuing to improve from pneumonia
2. Safety of all during the very unexpected flash flooding
3. New postings for potential job

Thursday, July 9th
1. Great interview with Superintendent in Blanket
2. Assurances from lawyers
3. Kaed playing well at the last baseball game of the season

Friday, July 10th
1. Watching kids perform at CABC Vacation Bible School
2. Good visit with Mr. Sommers
3. Nice conversation with Marcie and Maranda
4. Early bedtime

Saturday, July 11th
1. Peace-filled restful day
2. Sunny afternoon of reading and relaxing
3. Cool showers after getting ridiculously hot

Friday, July 10, 2015

Dear Summer Break: Please Slow Down!

It was near this time last year that my friend, Amber, assured me that I would one day have a true sense of peace in my heart despite all of the chaos, upheaval and grief. I clearly remember crying out in prayer that God would allow that to be true.

A definite shift has occurred in the past 3 weeks. A confidence is building and it's not an arrogant sort of self-confidence. It's more like a feeling of acceptance and honest expectations. I'm realizing what is true and wondering why I didn't see some truths so much sooner than I did.

The sense of fearfulness has greatly diminished. I know, without a doubt, that God is taking care of me. I realize that I never had as much control as I once imagined.

I'm at peace with the people I care about because of knowing that what needed to be said or done has been said and done. I'm alright with each new day being a new gift and potential adventure. And I'm excited to see what God has in store for the future while wondering if His plans look even remotely like what I am able to imagine.

I am interviewed out but I've enjoyed each one and have met some kind and interesting people. There are 3 strong potential places of employment. One place more so than the others but I won't be an official hire until School Board approves. I have really enjoyed and been in awe of how God has moved me through each of these meetings with a sense of peace, confidence and self-disclosure.

My summer plans haven't gone as I had planned but traveling and such just isn't feasible on my current budget.

I can't believe it is almost July 11th again. It was 28 years ago that day that we lost Elaine much more quickly than anyone anticipated. At this time on July 10th, I was reeling from the shock of Kelly's car accident and death and the very next evening, we were helping Elaine's family gather their personal belongings from the Ronald McDonald House and making our way back to Greenville. Each moment of that evening remains so clear in my mind's eye. The days to follow are beyond murky with having to deal with Kelly's sudden death and Elaine's lost battle. Corey's memorial service is truly nothing but a hazy remembrance. Worse.Summer.Ever!

Unexpected changes on the legal front. At least, they were unexpected to me. My lawyer isn't the least bit surprised and for that I am grateful.

My teenage nephew has been in my thoughts and prayers continually as he continues to fight against a high fever and pneaumonia. My heart also goes out to those affected by the torrential downpour of rain that led to serious flash flood issues. My heart breaks for the Veteran who is still missing. The community and surrounding towns really pulled together and the presence of Camp Bowie soldiers was truly felt.

After a rather eventful week, I'm looking forward to a routine task weekend and attending worship services on Sunday. It's been way too long.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Summer 2015 Thus Far

Summer 2015 has been interesting thus far.  
The time of rest has been most welcome and the time to simply “be” has been fabulous.  

This time last year isn’t much more than a blurry memory.  I was still in Tyler but in the midst of moving me and Momma to the Central Texas area.  To say that the move did not go as planned is an understatement. 

Once the moving was complete, I hit the ground running in preparation for what ended up being an exhausting, trouble-filled school year in which I was more than ready to say “good-bye” despite the love I felt for my students and their families.  I was blessed to witness and work with some amazing educators but when that door was closed, it felt ‘freeing’ to hear the door shut behind me.  I had never been in the position to be under the authority of someone who wasn’t trustworthy and it was a definite learning experience. Sad to me that someone can appear to be one way but in reality is a totally different person and others pay the cost but that’s the reality of living in a fallen world so moving on…

Here it is 11 months later and I’ve still yet to unpack all of the boxes though progress in being made.  The health concerns that have plagued me for the past 2-3 years have been figured out with remedies for such in progress.  Yay!Yay!Yay! for hormonal therapy, thyroid medication and simple fixes for anemia.  I was beginning to think that I was half-crazy with the constant fatigue, dizziness, cravings, insomnia, frequent migraines, digestive issues, etc. but turns out that there were PHYSICAL reasons behind such. I’m not grateful for illnesses but I am grateful for the discovery and the remedies and am especially thankful that the end results are not life-altering or life-threatening.  Yay for the improving health which in turn will lead to more restful and peaceful times.

Dr. Schum has been a God-send and my back, neck and legs are significantly better.  The anemia is also to blame for the leg pains and the adjustments have helped tremendously with everything else.  Repercussions of a strenuous move, lack of proper bedding for months on end, picking up children and the natural effects of scoliosis.  Dr. Schum has also been a timely and encouraging support as the legal matters move on to the next chapter.

I am still in shock that husband has made this process so complicated and drawn-out.  His attitudes and actions have been hurtful but have helped to assure me that the decisions that I’ve made thus far were the right moves for me to make.  Too bad that it being “right” doesn’t mean it’s been easy or pain-free.  The pain lessens with each passing day but the grief towards all that has been lost/changed still catches me off guard at the strangest of times.

I’m thankful for the shared wisdom of the people in my life that have been through this journey before me.  I know the path won’t always be onward and upward but onward and upward is the goal so if any back-tracking is to take place, I’ll just have to re-focus, rest up and move on.  The best is yet to come and for that I am grateful.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Daily Gratitudes (compiled)

Sunday, June 28th
1. Supportive friends & family who understand the tough moments
2. Balancing my checkbook
3. Eric and Brooke getting married
4. All bills paid

Monday, June 29
1. Good interview in Coleman ISD
2. Appt for interview in Zephyr ISD
3. Finally hearing something back from lawyer
4. Lunch with Mom, Sheryl and boys

Tuesday, June 30
1. Test results from doctor that FINALLY make certain things make sense
2. Getting half of garage thoroughly cleaned out
3. Sweet visit from neighborhood children
4. Taco Casa coupons
5. Encouraging email from principal of potential job

Wednesday, July 1st
1. Follow-up interview being set up much quicker than expected.
2. Fun, fun time with the boys at the city pool
3. Wonderful pharmacist who shared insight and wisdom
4. Phone call with my brother
5. Increasing sense of peace and hopefulness

Thursday, July 1st
1. Cool breezes on a hot day
2. Two enjoyable interviews
3. Time with my momma
4. No side effects from new medicine
5. Confirmation of an email that was difficult to send

Friday, July 2nd
1. U.S. flags being placed at every mailbox throughout the entire town
2. Talking with Leslie
3. Helpful perspectives from friends who teach 3rd grade
4. Jacks becoming more obedient at coming when called and riding in car.

Saturday, July 4th
1. Quick relief from an allergy-induced migraine.
2. Great fireworks show out at the marina
3. Good conversation through messaging with a much-respected friend, Trey