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I’ve Moved…

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Every time we move, no matter how good the moving company, we’ve come to expect a little bit of damage here or there to some of our belongings.  It’s just impossible to pack and load, and load and unpack all of our furniture and junk (we like to call treasures) and expect it all to come out perfectly.

This year, our, well…ahem.  Okay, MY 2-year-old artificial pre-lit 7-foot beeeeautiful Christmas tree got damaged.  I guess the packers figured it would be a good idea to shove 1/2 the tree in a large box and the other half in another large box.  Only it turns out the boxes were too narrow, the tree was too cramped, and some of the hinges at the base of the limbs ended up bent the wrong way.

It looked pretty shabby, but I figured I might be able to make it work anyway.  After all, the kids had already decorated their tree.  I really needed to get this tree decorated so I could move on with the rest of the house that still needed organizing and unpacking, and placing and such.  But MY Christmas tree just had to get done.  That’s how I work out my OCD and need for beauty and perfection over Christmas time.   I figured I only caused frustration with the kids every time they placed their decorations on the tree and I picked it up and moved it to a “better place.”  They finally got old enough to figure out they weren’t really decorating the Christmas tree!  So we solved the problem with a “theirs” tree and a “mine” trees.

Anyway, I tried to assemble my broken down Christmas tree anyway, because by golly, I was not going to let this move stop me from decorating for Christmas!  But to my dismay, when I tried to insert the very top of the tree into the middle section, it began to wobble and lean.  No matter how many times I tried to fix it, it would not sit up straight, until finally, I saw the crack in the metal and it completely flopped over.

Scott originally thought it would be an easy temporary fix (at least for this year).  We attempted to tape it together and get it to hold, but alas, it was a loss cause.  After briefly contemplating calling the tree an “artsy-modern” tree with it’s sideways top, I figured that project would be even more work, and had the boys help me reload the trees in the boxes they were delivered in and take it out to the garage to discard at a future date.  My artificial Christmas tree was dead.

After all these years of marriage, Scott knows how important Christmas is to me, and that I am big on decorating for Christmas.  I wavered back and forth as he offered to buy a real Christmas tree this year and then, when Christmas was over, head out and get another artificial tree at 1/4 of the original price.  (That’s how we got the last one!)  So, finally, he insisted.  He knows me well, and didn’t want me to look back one day and regret “the year we moved back to Ohio when I didn’t even get to decorate a freaking Christmas tree!”  Yeah, that’s probably how I would have remembered it.

So while we were shopping at Costco one day, he went back in as I loaded the groceries and asked about their $30 Christmas trees.  He found out they were located in the parking lot, paid for one, and next thing I knew, we were loading a “7-8 foot” Christmas tree on the top of our car.

Oh the glorious smell!  We haven’t bought a live tree since our first Christmas in Washington…and for good reason.  The mess.  The pine needles, the pine sap, the water, EVERYWHERE (the dog couldn’t resist knocking it over once or twice!)  But it had been so long, and this year, this live, delicious smelling Christmas tree resembled so much more – starting over (again), not giving up, appreciating the beauty that comes out of hard work.  Yes, this tree was going to be a GREAT thing to do this year!

So we get the tree home and Scott takes off to buy a stand since Costco didn’t have stands to sell.  (Really, Costco?)  When he got home, he had Patrick  help him unload it off the car.  The kids are ecstatic about having a real Christmas tree.  It was something so different!   And as I’m chatting away on the phone with a girlfriend of mine, I watched Scott trim a few inches off the bottom of the tree per the instructions on the label attached.  There’s just something sexy about a man hard at work!

Finally, I get off the phone and the guys carry the tree in, only the tree was too tall.  Did Costco say this tree was 7-8 feet?  How about TEN feet?  We tried to set the tree up in the family room, but the top touched the ceiling.  “I won’t be able to put my angel the top.”  I whined.  I bought a new angel after Christmas last year and she is so pretty!

So we decided to try the sun room.  It wasn’t the ideal place to put it, but I guess it was the only place it would fit, so Scott put it in the base (already filled with water), and the tree did not want to stay up.   “Let’s just go ahead and unwrap the tree.”  He suggested, “I think once the limbs are free and spread out it will help balance the tree.”

NOT.

No matter how hard we tried, we could not get the tree to not fall over.  After multiple attempts, I looked at Scott and said, “I give up.  I don’t care.  Do you want to just throw it on the front curb and put a “Free to good home” sign up?  I’m sure somebody else would love this thing!”

“I did not get this far to give up now!”  Scott was determined.

So, Scott and Patrick took the tree back outside and Scott sawed about three feet off the base.  At that point, the tree was short enough to fit in the family room, so we moved the base back in the family room and he put the tree back in.

But the tree still didn’t want to stand on it’s own.  We tried and tried, and finally, Scott got it steady.

“It’s leaning against the wall.”  I said.

“No it’s not…the needles are just…touching the wall.”  Scott protested.

Whatever.  I don’t care.  We have a tree!  But by the end of that fiasco, I did not have the energy required to decorate.

Three days later, I finally got around to stringing the lights on it.  And that was all I had the energy for that evening.

The next day, I finally got around to finishing the rest of the decorations.  Ribbon, pretty glittery balls, and my favorite Christmas decorations – my snowmen!   Finally, the tree was done…slightly leaning  touching the wall, but unless you were looking for it, I’m sure you would be polite enough to never notice.  Right?

Over the next week, I took time to water the tree every day.  We had a trash bag under the base to catch any water spills, but I noticed that the bag was always really wet.  I started to put rags around the base, and each day, the rags were soaked too.  After waking up in the middle of the night worrying that we were going to mold up the carpet underneath, I finally told Scott my concern.  I let him know I was actually starting to lose sleep over this!  I didn’t want a stupid Christmas tree that we I just had to have create an eyesore on the carpet for the rest of the year.  Then I’d just be annoyed about having a real, live Christmas tree because our artificial tree died because we had to move again!

So my awesome husband went back took a look.  He removed the trash bag from underneath, inspected for leaks, and moved the tree over so the carpet could dry.  “We’ll leave it overnight so it has a chance to dry up.”  He told me Friday night.

When we headed downstairs the next morning, Patrick showed us the mess.  The tree had fallen over, caught by the arm of the couch, but half the decorations were scattered across the floor.  The ribbon was disheveled, and pine needles were every where.  Ugh.  Now I have to fix the tree AGAIN.  Is it not enough that we are still trying to unpack and get the house looking like a home on top of decorating and shopping for Christmas while homeschooling and my husband starting a new career?  I am so over this!

But I had the kids help out a bit after Scott moved the tree back to the corner.  He got it “standing up on its own” again, and after we arranged the decorations back on the tree, we started our Saturday morning.

Later that afternoon, we hear a whoosh!, a clingy crashing sound, and Patrick yelling, “Whoa!”

Then, “The tree fell over again!”

I’m so glad we had him there to interpret the sounds for us!

So Scott went back in, picked the tree up…leaning it ever so straightly against the wall, and I?  Well, I took one look at the decorations scattered across the floor and said, “Well, kids…you go ahead on this one!”  Then I walked away.

So here it is, MY Christmas tree:

My real, live Christmas tree, ever-so-slightly leaning against the wall!

This pretty much resembles the state of my life right now…chaos, messy, and not quite orderly! It makes me crazy, insecure, and I feel a little unstable right now, but that’s okay.   Sometimes perfect isn’t what we need!  We all have phases in our life where everything isn’t perfectly in it’s place.  And just how the tree is currently depending on the wall for a bit of support, I am so blessed to have my awesome husband, church family, friends (whether near or far), and most importantly, God, to help me through the times I’m feeling a little disheveled.  I tend to tell myself I am weak for needing help and support, but I’m learning that is not true.  God created us to need Him and each other!

So I’m thankful for my Freaking, Frustrating Christmas tree, because even this silly story gives me a little perspective into how life can be.  When we can’t stand on our own, it’s okay to lean on the support of our friends, family, and God – it doesn’t mean we are weak, it just means we need a little help every now and then.  And even if things aren’t quite perfectly in place, we can remember to take time to appreciate the little blessings that can so easily be missed if we all we do is look at what isn’t working!

So this year I am practicing (though I have not perfected) the art of taking time to smell the pine-scented needles and appreciate the season of our life for what it is – it’s a time of change, growth, & establishing new relationships for us…It’s also a time for me to stop and appreciate the amazing husband who didn’t give up on getting me a Christmas tree even when I was ready to throw my hands in the air!

And least but not least, it’s a time of celebration and beauty as we approach Christmas day and prepare for all the amazing things God has in store for us in the new year!

Oh, Christmas Tree…Oh Freaking, Frustrating Christmas Tree, Thank you for the insight to my life as it is today!

The Last Two Years

It’s been about 2 1/2 years since we left Ohio for Arkansas. I really wish I would have kept up with my blogging during that period, but maybe it’s best that I didn’t. While I loved living in Arkansas and so many good things came out of it, I have to admit that the period we were there was one of the hardest times in my life.

There were so many changes that occurred during that time, as well as painful lessons, trials, loss, and revelation. Scott’s sister and her children moved in with us briefly as she and her husband attempted to save their marriage. First, it was just her teen son as she arranged for him to fly in and get settled first as she finished up last minute arrangements back home. That was an adjustment period itself and I regret that my kids struggled with some of the influence he had on all of us, as well as the leniency we showed him because we were trying to make the changes he was going through a bit easier to adjust to. I think our kids felt that we were making too many exceptions for him while holding them to a different standard, and I think they were right. We later learned that they had been exposed to some things they shouldn’t have been exposed to when we weren’t around. It wasn’t until he was gone they felt okay to talk to us about some of their experiences. It really got to me to think that my own children didn’t feel that they could talk to me about their concerns.

Finally, my sister-in-law made it in, and her husband promised to help get the family business settled back home and then he and the other three kids would join her and her oldest son. At that time, we were going to a smaller church we’d found and were just beginning to get involved in, but when my sister-in-law expressed that she was not happy there, we agreed to try to find a church that we could all agree on and go to together. And then we ended up not really going to church at all.

Later, when it was clear that my sister-in-law’s husband wasn’t really devoted to making the changes he needed to make in order to save their relationship, and when it was obvious he wasn’t going to move down to Arkansas as promised, a divorce followed and we all said goodbye to our hopes that they would make it, to each other as his sister and kids moved back, and to the hopes that our family could all finally live in the same town and settle down.

Scott and I really struggled during all this as we went through some major trials ourselves that tested our relationship and shook us both up a bit. Scott ended up taking on two separate roles with the company he works for – that is two full-time careers – and ended up in a near zombie-like state. That was miserable for both of us because even when he was physically present, he really wasn’t even there during a time when our entire family needed him as we went through other issues and hardships. When he asked his boss for help, he was promised resolution and assistance but nothing ever happened. Months followed and nothing changed. He and I both tried to deal with this and other issues on our own and in our own way, and that only made things worse. I think we both ended up hurting each other and ourselves in the process.

On top of that, I was already vulnerable due to other things going on, and ended up dealing with major self-worth and body image issues. I was fed a few lies about myself, and because I tend to believe the lies a lot easier than I do the truth, I lost myself. I was miserable inside, and couldn’t help but think that he was comparing me to every other woman out there. I suddenly only noticed every physical feature other women had that I didn’t and felt that there was no way my husband could be happy with me – with all my flaws. My scarred, stretched belly, and broken down body was ugly after having his children. How could he NOT want other women after looking at me? What was I? I was a stay-at-home mom…a housewife. What could I possibly have to offer him that was so great? Suddenly, I found myself striving too hard for my husband’s approval, affection, and interest. I noticed I was spending more time on my make-up, hair, etc.

Next, I contemplated plastic surgery. I even called and made an appointment to see a plastic surgeon for a consult – twice. But deep down inside I knew I would hate myself for trying to cover up the damage with a superficial bandaid of sorts. So I cancelled the appointments both times knowing it wasn’t the answer for me. I knew my problem wasn’t going to be fixed with surgery. I’d still look in the mirror and be the same insecure and lost woman trying to grasp hold of whatever it was I needed in order to feel whole and valued. I didn’t need to fix my body, I need to fix my head and needed healing in my heart and broken spirit.

So instead, I ended up going to counseling.

During this time, Patrick went to counseling too. We discovered he too, was struggling with his own issues. As we took a step back and really looked at the situation, we realized that our whole family was falling apart in a sense, and we couldn’t keep it together on our own. We realized we were relying too much on our own strength to make it through the hard times, and we really weren’t strong enough to make it on our own. We realized we’d kind of put God up on the back shelf and stopped seeking and relying on Him to guide us through the darkness.

The darkness – it was so, SO dark. Even as I read this, I can feel the darkness, the desperation, the helplessness, the sadness, the emptiness – all of it, attempting to creep back in.  I never ever want to go back to that dark place again.

But somehow, by His patience and grace, we made it through as truth was revealed and healing set in.  We learned a lot. Our dependence on God has grown as we realized how easily we slipped into a state of self-reliance. We now realize how He truly is the only one holding our family together.  It is not us!

We are weak without Him, and we will never make it if we try to do this on our own. It’s humbling and inspiring at the same time, because through all of the darkness, we’ve had a taste of His goodness.  He didn’t let us down, even when we were letting Him and each other down.

So here we are now, just as life was finally starting to get back to “normal.”  Just as I was finding myself again.  Just as I was truly establishing relationships and just as we were enjoying life even through the craziness…we suddenly are called to move back to Ohio.

And as I type all this out and reflect on the last couple of years, I am thankful that God had the patience and grace to work even in the darkness to reveal His truth to us.

It’s funny too, because it seems that God wants to make sure I don’t forget.  He seems to be speaking to me through my 3-year-old a lot lately.  Just last night she asked me a very serious question as she was coloring in her book, “Mom? Do you need Jesus?”

“Yes, America! I DO need Jesus!”

“Yes you do!” she replied enthusiastically.

The truth is, we all do.

YOU DO.

He is not just a free ticket to Heaven, He is so much more.  He is a loving God who wants us to be free from the things that hold us captive in our lives.  We do not have to be slaves to our sin, our past, our pain, nor weaknesses.  Where we are weak, HE is STRONG.  If we are willing to give ourselves to Him and totally rely on Him and walk in obedience, He will rescue us!  But we have to be willing to rely on Him to meet all of our needs.

He truly is a good and loving God, and I need Him!

Back To Ohio

So…we are back in Ohio. We moved about three weeks ago. The movers unloaded our stuff on Friday, and we were on the road the next Saturday for Florida! (Because we are crazy like that!) No…we didn’t move to Florida a week later. We took a much-needed two week vacation with some dear friends. And Sunday we drove the 16+ hour drive back to cold, gray, rainy Ohio.

And once again, I find myself getting homesick. It seems that just as I am getting settled into one place, it’s time to start packing for the next. I don’t feel like I ever truly get to settle. It’s hard to accept that for now, this is the life God has planned for me, because it’s the most uncomfortable thing I could do – move every two years. I just start to warm up to people, establish relationships, and then I have to leave. But I can’t say that I haven’t learned some very valuable lessons on this never-ending journey. I can’t say that I haven’t come to know some amazingly awesome people either. So there are definitely blessings I never would have received through all these moves, it’s just that I’m stuck on doing the hardest part of moving right now.

So yesterday morning – the morning after that 16+ hour drive home, reality set in. It’s time to get started all over again. The same emotions that I feel with every move are kicked in and overwhelmed me. While this move is slightly different because we have lived in Ohio before, I still feel that loneliness, the homesickness, the longing to not have to do this ever again. I don’t want to have to work on establishing new relationships. I don’t want to have to keep putting myself out there and make myself vulnerable to someone who may decide to hurt me. I just want to be me with the people who know and appreciate who I am – people who understand my twisted sense of humor and laugh along with me.

But that is not where I’m at in this point in life, so I guess it’s time to put on my big girl panties and face reality. Florida is warm, sunny, and bright. Ohio is…well, it’s pretty much the opposite of that right now, but it doesn’t mean that my outlook on starting over has to be. So here I go…on to another adventure!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH! Sorry. I just had to get that out – For the 20th time this morning. Yes, it’s been one of those mornings. One of those mornings where I prayed someone from this small town in Arkansas didn’t pull up to the lane next to me and recognize me as I was bawling my eyes out at the stop light. One of those mornings that still, despite my efforts, ended in failure. And here I am. Back in the blogging world to share my pathetic little adventure of the day, prompted by the one and only Dwight.

The morning started off fairly well, despite my latest personal health issues (IBS symptoms that seem to be especially active in the a.m. and at bed time). The kids made it off to school okay, my stomach hurt enough for me to decide to avoid the much-desired cup of coffee, but breakfast helped! America woke up in a good mood and Madison was sleeping in. It was nice and peaceful and though cloudy, NOT RAINING!
I only had two things on my agenda to take care of today. 1) Grab a few groceries for dinner for the company we are having over tonight, and 2) Get to my doctor appointment so I can discuss next steps since my blood test results came out pretty good and we still don’t know what’s causing all of my health issues.

Then I got the phone call. “Oh…Mom? Oh! I’m so screwed. Today is the mock trial day. Oh, I’m so screwed. I forgot my dress clothes. Could you bring it to me? It starts at 9:00.”

“Dwight. Why did this happen?” I asked.

“Because I didn’t plan it out. I’m so screwed!”

We went round and round as I tried to get him to the point. What I ultimately made him admit was that “Planning it out” means using the tools we’ve given him, coached him in, and begged him to use. Heck, we even took him to counseling to have the counselor try to reason with him. That worked for a month or two… But to this day he still insists that he doesn’t need these tools. To use these organizational tools is to admit to weakness in Dwight’s eyes. (Even though we’ve told him that his dad and I both use these same tools to stay organized!) All he had to do was use his planner and check it every morning and every evening to be sure he was set for the day. But noooooooooooooo.

I told him I will call him back as I started to throw on some clothes. I knew in the end I was going to bring it to him, but I wanted to make him sweat a little.

I texted him a couple minutes later. “If u can come out to the car when I get there, I will bring your clothes. What do u need?”

His reply: “What time will u be here?”

This. Is. Killing. Me. Did I mention I have little patience with things like this? Here I was, giving up my peaceful little morning in order to start driving the girls into fast-forward get-yourself-dressed-so-we-can-scram mode, and he’s going to answer my question with a question!

“Dude, I’m running like a mad woman trying to get myself & ur sisters out the door. Do u want to waste my time or do u want to tell me what u need so I can get it to u on time?”

Finally, the answer, “The black pants and shirt. Dress shoes and silver tie.”

So as I scrambled around trying to get myself, America, and Madison, (who’d just woken up) dressed and out the door with Dwight’s clothes that took a while and a few more texts to find. Did I mention I had to buckle in Madison’s car seat because I’d taken it out a few days ago and didn’t go back out in this wretched rain/flood since? And as I’m running out the front door with his clothes and car seat in hand, he calls. “Where are you?”

“REALLY, DWIGHT?” I cried…well, I shouted and cried at the same time. He thinks I can get the girls and myself dressed find his clothes stuffed in random places, and buckle the car seat into the car in 20 minutes!? Craziness!

“I am STILL AT THE HOUSE. I told you I’d text you when I got in front of the school! Now let me get this stuff and your sisters loaded up so I can get it to you in time!”
Funny part is, I only thought I’d told him I’d text him when I got there. Turns out I never really did. Ummm…heh heh…oops. Brain malfunction! But regardless…I was in a hurry, panicked…trying to be Super Mom.

Soooooo…
I wrestled with the car seat, threw in the clothes, then remembered I forgot the shoes. I told the girls to go outside and wait by the car while I ran upstairs to grab some dress shoes. I ran back out, locked the front door to the house, threw in the shoes, buckled up the girls, then ran to the other car to get the GPS so that I could be sure to take the quickest route possible. Only the GPS wasn’t there.

I’m pretty sure some cussing commenced about this point. I called Scott to ask him if it was in his car. Of course it was. And here I thought we’d be fine sharing a GPS! So I get in the car and start heading the long, but safe way towards the high school because I didn’t have time to spare or chance that I might be able to remember the faster route to his school. As I was half-way there, I get another phone call from Dwight.

“Ummmm, never mind. We are leaving for the courthouse now.”

“What?!? Dwight? Why didn’t you tell me you were going to have the mock trial at the court house? I thought it was at your school! WHERE. IS. THE. COURTHOUSE?”

He fumbled around with his thoughts as he tried to tell me, but of course he doesn’t know. Finally someone in the background tells him it’s by a local restaurant.

“Where. Is. THE RESTAURANT?” I ask. I was already out the door and on the road. My relaxing, stress-free morning was ruined. I was going to accomplish this mission I was on!

He fumbled with his words again. Finally, a woman takes his phone, “Mrs. Wallace? This is Mrs. ‘Teacher.’ The courthouse runs parallel to (names a street). It’s by ‘Restaurant.’” But don’t worry about it, he’s fine.”

“Well, I’m already on my way with his stuff.” I persisted. “I’d like to get it to him. I had no idea it was at the District Courthouse…I thought I was going to be able to get to the school before 9:00 . He didn’t tell me you all were leaving the school.” (She obviously had no idea what I just went through to just call it quits now. But, I was pretty sure the courthouse was closer so I was determined to get there).
Turns out it was a mistake to vent to the teacher about my son. “Did you not get the invitation I mailed out two weeks ago?” She asked. Buuuuuuuurn. What a clever and subtle way to let me know that I need to be more involved in my son’s fine educational activities.

Well, of course I got the invite…but I was not going to bring the 2-year-old and 4-year-old to the courthouse knowing I’d they’d whine and cry about how bored they were the entire time. Besides, Life has been too crazy lately, and my body doesn’t seem to be handling stress so well, so I intentionally chose to not add anything additional onto my agenda until I can get my body under control!
Besides, with Dwight, he never expressed a desire for us to come. I forget that when these things are important to him, which in retrospect, this mock trial was, it doesn’t necessarily mean he wants us there. He could care less. Just like he could care less about senior pictures, getting his senior year book, or sending out graduation announcements.

At this point, I was feeling flustered, stressed, and praying and hoping all this stress was not going to bring on another round of stomach pains and nausea, so I just replied to his teacher, “I may have.” Did I really need to explain anything to her? Why did I suddenly feel like a little kid?

I got off the phone and pulled over so I could Map Quest the exact address of the courthouse. I was almost there…I’d stopped the tears. I was going to hand him his stuff, and move on with my day.
But, Damn! I couldn’t help but feel that teacher was judging me! I couldn’t get this out of my head. I imagined all the things she was thinking…how I, the parent of this high-functioning, yet special-needs child has remained uninvolved in his life. How sad it must be for him to have to make it out there on his own. How cruel it was of me to yell at him over the phone. How just investing a little bit of time into him would make a world of difference.

“She doesn’t know me.” I thought. “She doesn’t know our situation. She has NO IDEA how much money, therapy, and time we invest in that boy (more time on him than the total time we invest in the other 5 children!)…only to end up in situations like this because he REFUSES to change. His emergencies become my emergencies!”

And then I knew what my husband would say if he were here with me that very moment. “Why do you care what she thinks?”

Why do I care? I don’t know. Maybe because I am a pleaser by nature and I feel like I’ve disappointed my son’s teacher! Maybe because I want some understanding. Maybe because I feel like I’ve made so many sacrifices for this kid and since he never acknowledges or even notices the pain and frustration, it would be nice to feel that those also involved in his life get it and don’t judge me.

I hate feeling judged.

But I decided to shake it off. Okay, for real now, I’m going to move on with my day…just as soooooooon as I hand him his clothes, I’m going to shake this off and move on with my day.

And I was there – FINALLY, I was at the District Courthouse. I made it with 10 minutes to spare before the mock trial began. Close, but maybe he could run out and grab his clothes and throw them on real quick. I pulled into a parking spot and grabbed my phone, tapped on my phone and waited for it to ring as my eyes darted back and forth waiting for any sign of students or buses to appear.

And my call went straight to voicemail.

No. No, No, No, No, NOOOOOOOOOOOO!

I texted him. “R u there?”

And then I texted again, “I’ve tried calling u. I’m here but can’t find you.”

No response. So, I made one last attempt to call again. And again, the call went straight to voicemail.

Defeat laughed in my face. But by that point, I was so numb I couldn’t even cry. I’d planned on discussing his lack of communication from the beginning…like when he never mentioned he was leaving the school at 8:30 and that meeting him at the courthouse would be faster and the only attainable goal since he didn’t actually even call me until 4 minutes til 8:00…but now? Now I will definitely have to mention how rude and inconsiderate it was of him to not call or text me to tell me it was time to turn off his phone. Just a little call or text would have at least had me turning around and heading home a little sooner…and not waiting in the parking spot for my son to come out and grab his clothes as the girls whined about how hungry they were. It would have brought me to the realization a little bit sooner that my efforts to help him succeed had failed, and my morning was wasted on yelling, texting, running around like a mad woman, and starving my poor girls as I threw them half-dressed into the car…because…Dwight’s emergency became the family’s emergency.

So on my way home, I didn’t cry. In fact, I almost laughed, but the numbness settled in and I couldn’t do that either. This is my life. This is my norm. These little Dwight adventures happen to me all the time, but I still get worked up about it every time. And I think that the numbness might have been a good thing this morning…because usually I’m able to manage to bail Dwight out of his situation.
But not today. Today was an absolute FAIL. And Dwight will never understand the amount of effort I put into this morning, trying to be a good mom to him. That part frustrated me the most. In his eyes, I should have left the house sooner to get him his clothes. Instead, I was mean, insisting he stop asking me when I was going to be there because I was too busy trying to get ready to go. I should have read his mind. I should have known the students were taking a trip to the courthouse. I am not the hero today.

But, in my attempt to stay positive, I can at least say this: My stomach didn’t react to all this stress thrown on me this morning. (Thank you, Lord!) There’s a small victory…not one Dwight will appreciate, but certainly one I am counting as a blessing!

I know I haven’t been able to keep up with my blog like I would like to, but I will get back on track. I have been a busy mama!

I have so much to write about, but now isn’t a good time. (I said I’ll get back on track…I just didn’t say when)! :)

Until then, I’m excited to share that I have been painting! I started taking classes last Fall and am starting to get my artwork set up on various websites online! I also included two of my “nude” drawings from a classical drawing art class I took when I was in college.

Anyway, here is a link to one website with my artwork. :) I will be adding more paintings soon!

http://www.redbubble.com/people/mlwallace9

Catching Up

Wow…it’s been over a year.  I suppose I have some catching up to do! 

First things first…life has been crazy.  The adoption process has been put on hold, and Scott and I have both been stretched beyond what we can handle on our own.  I know, I know…many Christians out there say that God won’t give us more than we can handle, but I disagree…and this post here explains my thinking on this topic.  But I won’t get into this one right now…

I’ll just focus on summing up the last year:

1.  Started the adoption process.  We completed the classes, turned in all the paperwork, completed our home study, and waited for the phone call from the adoption specialist.  Instead, after finally calling the office myself and being told our file was in order (after they found it…yes, it was lost, then found), we get a letter in the mail stating that we were still missing information and needed to send it in.  Frustration settled in, I lost motivation, and didn’t even bother trying after that point, which turned out to be okay because…

2.  Scott’s sister and oldest son ended up moving in with us.  It only lasted a couple of months, and it was a very hard, trying, learning experience for us, but God has taught me so much through everything that happened and I am thankful that God knows me better than I know myself.  He knows what’s best for our entire family and I trust and am thankful that He is in control of all things…even when things don’t make sense!

3.  Scott has been working two roles (equivalent to TWO JOBS) for his company the last several months and it has been very, VERY trying and hard.  IF we’d had a child placed in our  home during all this other stuff we’ve been dealing with, we would have certainly failed.  However, God has continued to stretch, grow, and teach us through all of this…and I feel that Scott and I are closer than we’ve ever been.  He is still working both roles, but I’m confident that the company is going to finally start transitioning him off one role so we can stop living in survival mode and get back to living our lives with direction and purpose!

So…where does that leave us?  That leaves us back where we started over a year ago.   Several days ago, Scott felt that God told him that we are still supposed to adopt.  I felt the same thing, but didn’t really say anything to him until he mentioned it one night.  For me, it was just confirmation.  I don’t think it’s going to happen overnight…it may be another year before we have a child placed with us.  And I know my husband is still dealing with too much with work to pursue this, but I am going to take the first steps towards getting the ball rolling again because I know that even if I do my part, it’s still going to be a very long process! 

So I’ve found my motivation and am going to turn in the rest of that paperwork.  The state may make us start completely over at this point…and we may even decide adopting through the state isn’t the way we want to go…but for now, it’s where we are at.  Dwight is heading off to his first year of college next fall…and I don’t think we will have a child placed in our home before then.  But God’s timing is perfect and I am learning to just be patient and let God’s plan catch up with me and when I think things should happen.  So I am just going to be obedient, do what I can do, and let God do the rest.  If it all happens in three months…then okay.  If it takes 10 years, I’m okay with that too.

Trying to force things into my timing never works anyway!

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