Planning for the unexpected

There are times in life when the notion that God never gives us more than we can handle is severely called into question. We are coming out the other side, I do believe. But it has been a trying few weeks.

We stopped homeschooling. We prayed about it and discussed it and felt it was the right decision. Autism/ADHD is a challenge. Depression is a challenge. Together plus rowdy little ones and homeschooling became too much. It is a decision with deep disappointment and sadness for me. A grieving to the death of the life I imagined and desired. But maybe it is the grieving that leads to a greater appreciation of the life we have been blessed with.

My husband found a lump. Scary for anyone. Terrifying for a person hoping for continued remission from cancer. We didn’t even need to discuss it to know that we couldn’t tell our families. We couldn’t terrify them until we knew what we were dealing with. We fretted all weekend. Got an appt for Thursday. Asked prayer from a few trusted people. But that day would not be as simple as getting an answer.

Tuesday, Joseph and Katie Rose had well child appts. They were coughing and sniffling a bit. I explained that I wasn’t sure if we had a cold or mutual allergies. They got lots of medicine for ear infection and bronchitis (or something like bronchitis).

Thursday morning about 3 am, John Micah woke complaining of a headache. At 6am, he was vomiting and having trouble breathing. I was worried about missing an IEP meeting for our oldest. My husband went to work as I gave breathing treatments and tried to get him to drink a few sips. As Mike came home to allow me to attend the IEP, I had decided this was a dangerous situation so as I headed with our youngest to the IEP meeting, I instructed my husband to get JM to the ER now. He admitted later that he doubted me. He wondered if it was just a stomach bug or something. After getting to the ER and hearing the nurse practicioner’s prediction of pneumonia, he was reminded “momma knows.”

I got to the IEP meeting and resolved to sign forms and get through it as quickly as possible. I was relieved when she told me she had basically copied his IEP from last year when we had planned to go to middle school but went back to homeschooling instead.

She told me how well he was doing. He was charming and making friends. He impressed his teachers and was flourishing in honors classes. She said that she told his teachers, “That’s a lot of momma right there!”

And that’s where I lost it. All the sadness and grief and worry and pride and relief flooded me. I explained through my tears all that we were dealing with in health scares and how relieved we were that David was doing well. She printed off the forms I needed to sign, promised prayers and got me out quickly.

The rest of the day became a balancing act. How to get kids from school, get Mike to his appt, and stay with JM in the ER? JM ended up being admitted. Mike got some words of comfort but a scheduled test to confirm for the next day.

I stayed with JM in the hospital. His oxygen levels kept dropping that first night so another day in the hospital. Mike’s test was at 3pm so it had to be moved to the next morning because one had to be with JM and one had to get home for the bus. Yay for tests on Saturday. I got the kids off the bus that day when I went home to shower and nap a bit. I threw a load in the wash to work while I rested and made Rice Krispy snacks for the kids. Amazing how 1 hr in your own bed is more restful than 5 hrs in a hospital bed.

On Saturday, Mike had his test and had to get to work so I had all five children in the hospital room. Late that afternoon, we were discharged and we got medicines, donuts and Redbox movies. Came home and reveled in bubble baths and the comforts of home.

I had started with a sore throat Saturday. The headache and cough worsened. Tuesday, I walked to the mailbox and threw up when I got back home. Tuesday and Wednesday I lost my voice. Today I feel better other than a throbbing headache so I am hopeful this is the end of it.

We got the official news yesterday that the lump was just fatty tissue. Nothing to worry about. So grateful for the prayer warriors that had our backs through this.

One thing that was a great help is that I had started dividing outfits for kids into Hefty 2.5 gallon bags; shirt, pants, socks, underwear with the name and day of the week. Even doing it for myself, cleaning clothes for Monday, outting clothes for Tuesday, etc. I wondered if it was silly when everything only took a moment to grab from drawers and closets. However, my husband really appreciated the convenience of that. I couldn’t have predicted the hospital stay. But having things in order even possibly obsessively so in some areas gave our frenzied minds one less worry or challenge.

Block 5 Simple Simon

I have done the first two blocks. Then I began cutting fabric for the rest of the next five blocks. The color combo I chose for block 5 intrigued me so that is what I pieced next. I definitely need to take more time matching the seams. I end up going too fast cause I want to see the finished result. A couple pins and a minute more time would have made a big difference.

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I have seen some participants using a binder for their patterns. I like that but I don’t want to print every pattern. I only need to print the ones that have a pattern piece to cut out. Those that use measurements for the squares and rectangles can be left on my iPad. But I want to keep the patterns so I set up a folder in Google Drive. I can keep them, print what I need and reference what I don’t need to print.

Loreal Extraordinary oil

No one has paid for or even suggested this post. I just love it! I saw the commercial for the shampoo and thought it sounded helpful for my hair. My hair is long and thick so I figure if nothing else it could help tame some of the stray hairs.

Couldn’t find the shampoo at Wal-Mart but did find the oil treatment that you leave in your hair. It is so marvelous! My hair is soft and shiny. My scalp doesn’t feel as dry and irritated. I had been using a deep conditioner from the ethnic aisle but it didn’t last but to the second shampoo.

The oil is fragranced and makes me think of Queen Esther. I can just imagine her putting the oil and perfume in her hair in preparation to meet the king. And now I don’t risk smelling like a salad dressing with plain olive oil.

Found the shampoo on Amazon. Bought to decide that Wal-Mart isn’t worth all the walking and headaches when they are out of stock.

Daily memorization

Scripture Typer has changed my daily habits. I have started a group called Cover to Cover – The Whole Bible Project. I had originally thought of making a list of all the key verses to help me recall passages. Then I learned how I could memorize whole chapters and review them as a unit. This eliminates the scripture reference after each verse and the delay in loading the next verse so that review takes half the time. Plus it allows me to redo a single verse without having to redo the whole passage. This is helpful as I tend to make more mistakes towards the end of a long passage.

I have added the New Testament to the group and am slowly adding the Old Testament and memorizing a few verses from each chapter and scheduling to review and add more verses in a year. It varies how many verses I add originally. In Exodus 20, I can easily add 17 verses because I have the Ten Commandments memorized. In chapter 31, I am adding about how God filled Bezalel with the Spirit of God to be a master craftsman in the building of the temple. Its a reminder of how God prepares us for our tasks. He isn’t like Pharaoh telling us to make the bricks and gather the straw. He gives what is needed to accomplish His will.

By memorizing, it gives more time for meditating. I had never noticed how God waits for Moses to look at the bush before He speaks in Exodus 3. Its a reminder to us to keep looking for Him.

Do I think I will memorize the entire Bible? I don’t know. There are some parts in the Old Testament that are really rough. But I believe now at 3508 verses memorized so far that it’s possible.

We are still having weekly meetings to set goals. We started with just a weekly goal which varies by individual like add a particular passage or number of verses. But sometimes we would cram in a day or two and accomplish the goal and then not be as motivated the rest of the week. We started adding daily goals. Some of us add 1 verse a day, some add 3 and some add 5. The daily goal keeps us consistently persistent.

Would love to have you join us in Cover to Cover and/or hear how you hide His Word in your heart.

What do I want to do today?

Seems like a selfish way to start the day. Is a mom and wife even allowed to start the day with that question? Maybe only after tending to everyone else’s needs?

I guess I didn’t think it appropriate. I thought I struggled with motivation. So I was talking with a friend and said, “I need to do the dishes and clean the floors to vacuum and sweep. But I did the same thing yesterday and I will have it to do again tomorrow. I just can’t seem to motivate myself to get started.” They told me, “Then don’t!” I first thought well that isn’t exactly motivating me, now is it? But it isn’t the end of the world if I took a day off and caught up tomorrow. I do that with migraines more often than I would like. So I wondered if I could do anything I wanted, what would it be?

The first thing that came to mind was going to the yarn store. Well by golly, that is just what I’ll do. So I told my oldest to finish his schoolwork so we could go before the bus came.
What to do in the meantime? I like to cook and I needed to restart my sourdough starter. So I did that. But what do you know, cooking is better when I have clean dishes so I washed the dishes and the counter. Half my work was done and I did it with a smile.

David was still working on his schoolwork. I was excited about looking at the beautiful yarn. I had energy. You know, I really don’t like stepping on crumbs! So before I knew it, the floor was vacuumed.

I went to the yarn store and got some helpful tools for keeping up with my place on cable knitting projects.

I decided I needed a shower. Today is my day so instead of fussing at myself for not getting one earlier or postponing it to later, I got a shower in the early afternoon. I got way more done by thinking first of what I wanted to do because from a place of love, the things that need to be done will get done.

It struck me that this here was the difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. The old gave us the Law and told us what to do. But we’re human and we just hate being told what to do even from the part of ourselves that is saying, “You know you have to do this!” The New gave us grace and the commandment to love. Because when we love, we don’t want to steal or kill. When we love, we do want to wash the dishes and clean the floor.

I have been reading The Introduction to the Devout Life by St Francis de Sales. So very good! The best part so far is his explanation of devotion. He says that first we are given grace which is Divine Love. I love this because it shows that we do nothing good without God. When we put that love into action, it is called charity. When we do these acts of charity over and over again until it becomes effortless and second nature, that is devotion.

Moms, these tasks that never end are potrayed by our world as drudgery and menial, but from a place of love, it becomes numerous opportunities for devotion. Now that’s a reason to start the day with a smile.