Thursday, October 1, 2009

Breathing Solace

This day will go down in history as one of the worst days of my life turned wonderful. Today I cried like I have never cried before. Wailed would be a more accurate description. My day began with the same old heavy feeling I've felt all week. Though I received much encouragement from friends in the last week, heard verses of encouragement continually, prayed constantly, and "knew" with my head knowledge that it would all work out, God's presence seemed very distant. I kept begging Him to be close, my theme verse being, "The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18

I just couldn't feel Him. We began the day still basically homeless with the thought that we would soon be living in a camper in my parent's pasture or in someone's basement, our closest friends left for Kansas, and I had to take Jeremiah to the doctor for a nasty red lesion on his leg that looked majorly infected. Alathia was very naughty, hurting her brothers all day long causing the loss of many of her favorite priviledges and getting many consequences. About the time she informed me that Jer had had an accident on their bedroom rug, I noticed for the first time that she had snuck a pink marker into her room the day before and had decorated a 6-foot section of wall, her sheet, and her legs with pink. So that explains why Jer's face was pink yesterday too! I thought he had done it while they were coloring at the table. After getting out our carpet shampooer and cleaning up the wet mess, I did many loads of laundry while trying to keep track of Justus who is always pulling everything off my pantry shelves or digging in the trash. Today was no exception as someone left the bathroom door open again and of course he was splashing in his brother's potty chair. Ick! Next, I tried to clean up the saltine cracker disaster they had made in the kitchen. A while later, I discovered Jeremiah had not taken a nap at all, but had put his swimming trunks on, taking his nap-time diaper off in the process, and had pooped in his swimming trunks. What's worse is that he didn't tell me about it and tried to wipe himself and clean up, which resulted in poo on the bathroom floor, the crib, etc. I put him in the bathtub for his second bath of the day. He's been doing great with potty-training recently but today was definitely an off-day. As I cleaned up poo I absolutely lost it! It's not even PMS week either!

I wailed hysterically, probably scaring my kids into thinking that poopy messes make their Mama crazy! I felt like I had hit rock bottom and could absolutely not handle one more thing. I know there are many folks out there with much worse problems, but with everything going on, I felt completely crushed and weary. I begged God to help me get through the day. I pleaded with everything in me and told Him I couldn't handle it. That it was too much! Anguish.

After cleaning up the mess we drove to the pharmacy to get his prescription for his bump. Everywhere I drove in town reminded me of places we had gone and things we had done with our friends who are now gone, bringing many tears. Back at home I then served the world's most unhealthy supper. Ramen noodles with white hot dog buns with cheese on them (leftovers from the Youth Group's hot dog night). Don't forget saltine crackers too. No kool-aid or twinkies though. After supper Josiah went to pay our rent and talk to the landlord about when we would need to be out.

When he returned, there was peace. Twenty thousand pounds. That's how much lighter I felt when he reported that Paul had decided to wait until April or May to raise the house. He had realized how limited our options were and decided to give us a break. He even offered us first dibs on buying this house when the foundation is done.




Tears of joy.


As I headed to the public library to read my new Homeschooling magazine and soak in some quiet and thankfulness this evening, I felt like a soldier returning from a battle. The exhaustion of the day lingered but a joyful shakiness welled up inside. Looking up at the denim-blue night sky I saw one twinkling star. Nightime stars have always seemed like valentines from God to me. I felt Him whisper, "I was here." Even when I couldn't feel Him. Even when He seemed to be silent while we struggled, even while I wept, even while door after door was closed. He knows what He's doing and what He has planned.

Though I may not understand this side of Heaven exactly why hard times are allowed to come, I do know that they build endurance. Sometimes broken-hearted is the best place to be if it makes you pray as you've never prayed before. The Word becomes life to you. You find out who your friends are. You get to see the kindness and generosity of those around you extended in so many ways. You get to be a showcase for God's awesome power before unbelieving friends and relatives. You become more thankful for the basics, and are reminded not to take them for granted. Life becomes much simpler. You are humbled by your desperation and need for God and for others. Your kids learn that God does answer prayer. You can better empathize with those who are truly suffering and have much worse problems than you.

I do wonder if this is part of God's plan to get us into home ownership. Our town has impossible prices (three times higher than homes in my husband's hometown), and because we are cautious and saving slowly due to a low income we may have never started looking at real estate without this trial. But because of viewing lots of fixer-uppers these last two weeks we have gotten a taste for what we are looking for and what we can afford and my hubby is prayerfully considering a project that might bring about a home for us. If it works out, we could work on it while living here until the spring, but if it doesn't, at least we have 6 months to "house-shop" and won't be pushed into buying a junky home we really don't like out of desperation. Was all of this part of God's way of answering my recent prayers for a home of our own? Maybe! Someday we'll know for sure.

The ache of friends gone is still very real, but I know we will stay long-distance friends and that God is our comfort in this loss. He has not left us without friends. This difficult time has made my church family that much more precious to me.

So, we're breathing much easier tonight. Tomorrow will be a day of joy and praising God for the home we have to live in for the next 6 months. Saturday I will unpack boxes and take Ali on a mother-daughter date to spend time with her as her behavior has been showing she is feeling the strain of these last two weeks. Monday we will be back to homeschooling (hurray, we've missed it!) after a very chaotic week and a half off.

For those of you who prayed, offered basements or campers, called with real estate tips, or encouraged me in some small way, thank you. It meant so much to us. It was amazing to me how my brothers sought to help me too in whatever ways they could. Wow!

If there is anyone out there experiencing a trial, big or small, that's got you flat on the floor, would you please let me know so I can pray for you? Also, this sermon really blessed me the other day if you want to listen to it. It's called, "When My Heart is Overwhelmed."


Rachael said...

I am so happy for your family. I think the hardest part about being a SAHM is that we carry the burdens and feel the weight of everyones emotions in our family when times are hard, its not just how something will effect you but how it will effect everyone, and since we are at home we are faced with the problems every minute of the day, its easy to feel much more burdened with things. I truly hope that you and your family can find the right home in the coming months:)

All in a Day said...

Hang in there! There are lots of tough days with little ones, but they get better. I'm SO glad God has provided a winter's "rest" for you!

Kristin said...

This post brought goosebumps to my skin and tears to my eyes. Our God truly is an amazing God.

Rejoicing with you...

Meredith said...

Lindsey, thank you for sharing your heart in this matter. Would you please pray for me, as I approach the birth of our third child, weary, sleep-deprived, and so, so impatient with my two-year-old who screams, most especially through every meal we eat. It is wearing me down, I'm wondering how I will do when we welcome a new one, and I'm struggling to put this all in God's hands. Today started well, but I have lost it enough times already to have me feeling very down and discouraged. I would so appreciate your prayers, and I will include you in mine as I log off here shortly for a few moments of quiet prayer. Thank you.

Thia said...

Flat on the floor is a good way to put it. Curled in the fetal position. And it's becoming one of those days, despite my efforts to halt the downslide.

I AM very happy to hear of the mercy of the landlord and the extra time you guys have.

LS said...

I am so sorry Thia. What's going on at your house? Still no jobs on the horizon for your husband?

Thanks for sharing your struggles. I will be sure to put you at the top of my prayer list. Two-year-olds are a major source of trial, at least in my mind! Pregnancy is so tough too. I will pray that you have the strength to get through it. I noticed that once I had Justus, I was able to deal with the endless demands better because I was no longer as bone-weary as I always am when I'm pregnant.
I can't wait to see pics of your new baby!

Randall and Rachel Beita said...

Wow! I have had days liike this. God is so faithful. I am praying for you!

Lesley said...

Praise the Lord!! I am SO HAPPY for you that you don't have to pack up and move anymore!! Sorry I haven't commented as much as I should but I've been praying along with you and for you in this journey and am so glad for the outcome. God is faithful!! Enjoy NOT packing anymore! :)

Anonymous said...

i found your blog thru money saving mom's. a few minutes ago i just sobbed hard and louder than my kids ever heard me. to keep from further breakdown :) i went to the computer. I can't believe the Lord had me happen to read your blog. WOW.

from one tired but joyful mama

LS said...

Anonymous who just found this blog:

Please, please know that I am praying for you in whatever trial you are going through. Please send me an e-mail at heyalethia (at) hotmail and let me know what's going on.

I'm so glad God blessed you through my post in such a big way. I write for my own enjoyment, but when others are blessed by what I write, I am filled with joy!

Momma Bear said...

So glad to hear this!! That's a lot on your plate. A lot of my days are chaotic like what you explained here and I could not imagine going through this. So glad it worked out for you guys.

Pin It
Pin It
Pin It