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Archive for the ‘Scott’ Category

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!

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Scott headed out for Arkansas earlier this week, and one thing I’m sure of, I am SO thankful for that man.  I honestly do not know how single moms do it! 

Tuesday night I was dealing with Dwight and boy, does he know how to push my buttons sometimes!  We’ve had to keep the house in tip-top shape because we could have showings at any time, so when he let the dogs out and didn’t take his shoes off before tracking mud onto the kitchen floor, I was ticked.  Mostly because I’d just asked him twice if he’d made sure he didn’t let the dogs track mud in the house, and he even went back and checked and told me everything looked good. 

So needless to say, when I went back and found the floor soiled, not just with dog paw prints, but his big fat tennis shoe prints, I was pissed.   And of course, Dwight being Dwight, what does he do?  He starts smiling. 

“Dwight, it’s not funny!  Why are you laughing!  Stop laughing!  This is so irritating for me to have to go over this with YOU, the SIXTEEN YEAR OLD!  This floor needs to be cleaned now!  Why are you still smiling?”

And since he kept smiling, I gave up and sent him to bed.  He tried to stop and explain, but I was in no mood.  “Just go, Dwight.”  I ordered as I cleaned the mess up myself.  That boy, we are just so different, I don’t get him sometimes!

So the next morning, when I saw the sticky note on the table (a sight that always fills me with dread because you never know what the boy is going to write), I prepared myself for his explanation. 

But oh.  Let me tell you…the entire note was of no importance, because what I read in the first sentence was enough…

Dear Mom,

I’m sorry for laughing at you… 

At me?  AT me?  Oh no…he was laughing at me?

Nice.  Apparently I was the funny one. 

Not that the little mud on the floor event ruined my week, but I did find it amusing.  My teenage son thinks I’m funny, only not when I’m trying to be.  No, it has to be at the most inappropriate times that I am funny!

Tonight however, was a bit rough.  I thought we were doing good.  Kids were in bed, America was asleep too, and just as I was about to put her in her swing (because right now we have no crib to put her in and the swing keeps her buckled in safe and sound and asleep!), Joshua comes out of his room crying. 

“Moooom,”  He called as America started to stir.

“Whaaaaat???”  I whined.

“I threw up.”  He squeaked.

I sighed.  “Where?”  I asked.

“On the bed.” 

America was awake by this point, and I headed up to the room.  Sure enough, dinner was sitting in a neat little red pile where Joshua was supposed to be sleeping. 

“Joshua, why didn’t you go to the bathroom?” 

“Because I didn’t know I had to throw up.”  He cried.  “I woke up coughing and it just happened.” 

I sighed (and groaned, and moaned, and whined), again and took America to the boys’ room.  I told Dwight and Patrick to watch her since they were awake anyway, and then went back to pick up Madison and moved her to my bed so she didn’t roll into the…ummmm…half-way digested dinner.

I went back and removed the sheet, took it down stairs, rinsed off dinner down the drain, then threw the sheet in the wash.  Back up the stairs I went as I rummaged through the closet to find a new sheet.  I walked into the room to throw the clean sheet on and as I went to Joshua’s side of the bed to straighten out the sheet, I was surprised by another lovely pile of salmon patties and watermelon nestled in another pile on the floor.

“Joshua!  Why didn’t you tell me you threw up on the floor too?”  I whined as I headed for the closet hiding the steam cleaner.  

“Crap!”  I shouted (And I wonder where my two year old got that one from today)!  I never emptied out the steam cleaner from the last time I used it.  It was mostly the detergent and water, but it still looked gross and I wanted hot water for this mess.  So I went to the kids’ bathroom to pour it out and when I lifted up the toilet seat…eeeeewwwwe! 

“Dwiiiiiiiiiight!”  I shouted.

He came running and I gave him the speech he’s heard a thousand times.

It’s his job to clean the bathroom.  The toilet is disgusting and looks like it hasn’t been cleaned in months.  Clean it, NOW.  Hey, if I was going to be up cleaning puke anyway, he could do his chore! 

I got the steam cleaner put back together, with hot water and detergent and got to work.  I start spraying the solution onto the carpet as I ran over the salmon/melon mixture and waited for the machine to start sucking up the yuckness.  Only there was no sucking, just a soggier puddle of solution and puke.  Great.

The stupid thing was spraying the water great, but for some reason, it didn’t want to suck anything up.  I tried switching the setting from “hand tool” to “floor cleaner” several times, but it did nothing.  Finally, I, cussing up a storm at this point, grabbed the hand tool and started scrubbing away with it.  I could hear the baby crying on and off in the background, and Madison, with all my cussing and carrying on, came walking in.  I told her to stay out of the way, so Dwight, who finished cleaning out the toilet bowl, picks her up and follows me, “Mom, do you want me to put her on the couch?” 

“Oh sure, Dwight, like she’s going to stay downstairs by herself!” 

“Do you want me to put her on your bed?” 

“No, Dwight!  She’s not going to stay there by herself either.”

“Where do you want me to put her?”

Seriously?  She was perfectly fine where she was.  Why did he think he had to put her anywhere? 

“Dwight, just go to bed!”  I finally ordered.  Frustrated, I stopped the cleaner, took it back apart, and found a filter that was somewhat clogged up.  I cleaned it off, and sure enough, that did the trick.

“Thank you, God!”  I prayed.  Because surely I couldn’t have handled trying to clean up that mess with the hand tool much longer!

I spent another 20 minutes fretting and cleaning the redness out of the carpet that will be cleared of any furniture by Thursday of next week.  This was just what I needed, you know, red puke to stain the carpets right before we move out!  I think I got most of it out, but it was a chore. 

It’s just funny, how ironic things can be.  Like earlier today when I was thinking about how I can not handle my kids getting really sick right now – not in the midst of a move, and how God must know that because they seem to be doing okay even though they’ve been exposed to some nasty stuff over the last couple of weeks.  And then later when I thought about the sick sense of humor God has at times. 

I think God was just using His sick sense of humor to make a point (or two) – I apparently can handle the kids getting sick right now, even with my husband away!   Yeah, I had to laugh.  I have a sick sense of humor too, and when God shows his funny side, well, I just can’t help but laugh AT Him. 

Wait a minute…Me?  Laughing at God and His ways of pointing out my mistakes and misconceptions?  It’s funny how different my perceptions can be from the truth!

So that’s what it’s like to laugh at the parent who is trying to make a point.  There is something funny when we realize our misconceptions couldn’t be further from the truth.  Like Dwight saw a “clean floor,” I saw a circumstance I thought I could NOT handle.  The truth is, I’ve made it through much harder situations than this!   I was a bit surprised that I was being proven wrong, and I’m sure Dwight, was a bit surprised to see the mud on the floor after he checked.  How else does a person respond to a surprise, but to laugh?

I may not always get his sense of humor, but I’m starting to realize, maybe Dwight and I aren’t so different after all.  But the difference between God and me, is that I’m pretty sure He doesn’t mind that I am laughing at His ways of getting my attention or pointing out the mess I’ve made in my own little head.  I guess as the parent, I need to learn to laugh along with my son, because I swear I could almost hear God laughing with (but of course, not at!) me as I realized in my own way, I was acting just like my teenage son!

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Hilariosity

I got a few good laughs yesterday and just had to share. 

1.  I saw hubby whack his face into his car door.  It knocked his hat sideways and everything.  You know I had to open the door and yell, “I saw that!”  It was so cute.  Kind of reminded me of our so-called “first date” when he walked right into a pole at Applebees. 

2.  Scott and I went out to pick up some Chinese and rent some movies last night when Joshua called. 

“Mom, Dwight is being mean to me.  He’s yelling at me and he cussed at Patrick.”

“What did he say to Patrick?”  I asked.

Josua paused and then asked…”Ummmm, am I aloud to say it?” 

“Yes, Joshua, for the sake of telling me, you can say it this one time.”

“He said, ‘Shut the heck up.'”

“Let me talk to Patrick, okay, Joshua?”

Patrick gets on the phone and I ask, “What’s going on, Patrick?”

“Well, Dwight got ahold of the Sharpie and colored all over his face.  He was trying to draw a beard and moustache and now he can’t get it off.” 

(Control yourself, Melissa.  Don’t laugh yet). 

“Okaaaaaay, but Joshua is calling and saying Dwight is being mean.  Is that true?’

“Well, kinda.  He yelled at Joshua, but now he just went to his room and said he’s not going to clean anymore because he thinks he’s in trouble now.” 

(We told the boys to clean up and we’d play a game when we got home).

So we get home and Scott is asking Dwight what is going on.  They get to the end of their conversation and Scott asks me what I think.  “I just want to know why Dwight thought he was in trouble if he didn’t do anything wrong.”  I said. 

Dwight was at the sink doing dishes and Scott told him to answer my question.  And when he looked up at me and started talking, I didn’t hear a word he said.  I was to busy trying to contain myself.    But it was no use.  “Pfffffffffft!  ha ha ha haha ha!” 

I saw faded marker all over his chin and under his nose.  His skin was red from all the scrubbing he did while we were gone.  And then, do you know what he asks me just a few minutes later?

“Mom, which color do you think looks better on me?  Black or red?” 

I stopped and looked at his face.  “Ummmmmmmm…it’s really hard to say right now.  (Giggle) I guess I’ll go with the black!”

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Life has been rough the last year.  Real rough.  I’m not even going to pretend it has been easy!  Life with Dwight has been SO HARD.   He has really been struggling and there are days I think that he’s pushed me past my limits.  Maybe that’s why I finally got him enrolled in some counseling!

I’ve heard the expression that “God will not allow you to go through more than you can handle.”  But I have to respectfully disagree.  If God didn’t allow us to go through more than we could handle, why would we need Him?  I have been going through more than I could handle without Him…but because of Him, I am making it through, and I’m growing, and I am learning about new areas I need to completely rely on and trust and seek after Him.  I am at a point in my life where I can no longer be independent.  I NEED GOD.

And even though it is hard, it is such a liberating feeling to understand this and accept it!  I need Him!  Maybe it’s because I know that He will not let me down.  At the same time, it’s so humbling. 

I have just really been going through something the last couple of days that has humbled me.  Knowing how much I need God, knowing that we are going through some hard times right now, yet at the same time, God has continued to pour His blessings on me.  I’m honestly overwhelmed.  Here I have this teenage son who has so many issues and requires so much more than even the average teen, and it is so draining.  Most days I feel like I am giving, and giving, and giving!  I told my mom that he takes up about 85% of my energy and 50% of my free time.  Probably a slight exaggeration!  But the truth is, without him, life would just feel a bit empty. 

And then I look at each of my children.  They all require something of me, but they also bring something special to this family.  They are all different, but they all test me and suck me dry nearly every single day.  But I am so blessed.  Never in a million years would I have imagined I’d be living the life I have now.  I get to be the mom of Dwight, Patrick, Joshua, Kelly, Madison, and America!  Not only that, but I never thought I could have a husband who really gets it – who still treats me like a queen and tells me the things I need to hear on a daily basis.  After 11 years, he still makes me feel special – unique, like I’m THE ONE AND ONLY. 

Yes, things are hard.  There are moments I lose it and I want to pull my hair out, but WOW.  I am just so blessed to be the one who gets to live this life, to be the mother of these awesome kids and the wife to this amazing man.

I may be giving a lot lately, but God is giving so much more.  I am so thankful!

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get ready.  This is the kind of stuff they’ll do!Door

See how the door is sticking out more on top than on bottom?  That’s because Dwight and Patrick pulled the door off its hinges.  Yup.  Dwight thought it would be funny to shut the laundry room door on Patrick while he was in there, so Patrick tried to get out. 

Best of all, they did this on Scott’s birthday!  Happy Birthday, Dad!

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Monday, Monday

Ahhh, it’s taking some time, but maybe today I’ll get this birth story posted.  I don’t know what it is about Mondays since the baby has been born, but this Monday was just as hectic as last Monday!  Scott called me at 8 a.m. to tell me that he was rear-ended (but was okay).  Good news is that he only suffered some soreness.  I can’t imagine what I would do without my husband right now!  The other good news is that it was the minivan that was hit.  Would you believe that our Kia Sadona has been hit 4 times now?  What are the odds?  We bought it 6 years ago and it has been hit 4 times! 

It just so happens that Scott took the van yesterday morning because the car seat base was in the Expedition and I had an appointment for the baby’s first pics.  So he took the van instead of messing with switching the base out.  If he’d taken the Expedition, chances are that it would have suffered more damage since it rides much higher and then we wouldn’t have a car big enough to transport our entire family!!!  Our minivan miraculously has only some bumper damage this time around.  The lady’s car, however, looked totaled.  (She’s okay too, by the way) 

Anyway, Scott was okay but made an appointment with his doctor just to be sure.  In the meantime, I took the baby for her pictures, thinking it would take an hour tops to go through the entire process.  Two hours later, I was in pain (forgot to take my Motrin), especially after all the sitting, and I was starving (forgot to eat breakfast in my mad rush to get out of the house in time)!  I couldn’t wait to get out of there! 

Mom, Madison, the baby and I loaded up in the Expedition, went through the drive through for a quick lunch, and then headed home in time for me to get ready for my doctor’s appointment, which I had to schedule because I discovered I am suffering some minor complications (don’t want to give too much information, but it isn’t pleasant!)

So, Scott drove straight from his appointment to home so he could drive me to mine, and we were there for a good while, mainly because I had to stop to feed the baby twice between my visit.  So needless to say, we were exhausted by the time we got home! 

Thank God for my mom who is still here helping out.  I don’t know how I would do this without her and I hope she’s not wearing herself out trying to keep up with all these kids!  And thank God for my husband, who still fixed us dinner after his accident the same day! 

It was another eventful day but we survived!  I think that next Monday we are going in hiding!

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First, an update:

My mom made it here and Madison was pretty much all over her.  Yes!  So were the other kids, and I wanted MY turn!  So I talked her ears off for a while…telling her about the last week.  I probably should have let her talk more…  Good thing she’s here for over a month!

Scott is soooo close to finishing the kids’ swingset.  Woo hoo!  Too bad it started pouring rain on him this afternoon!  But he’s working his butt off to get this done for the kids – Such a good Dad!

I discovered today that I can do my squatting excercises all by myself – without Scott’s help!  It made me feel good, like maybe I’m more prepared for the labor/childbirth experience than I realized. 

I guess only time will tell.  I’m off to dreamland…only to dream, I’m sure, about the impending labor.  That’s all I seem to dream about lately.  That and tornadoes and oh yes, my husband being involved in some church mafia!  Who would have thunk it?  My husband as a church gangster!  Ha ha! 

No really though, the dreams are quite stressful.  I was trying to figure out if I needed to save him from the other mafia guys because something bad happened within their secret business and they were blaming him.  I knew this because I was in the same room as them when he told me to grab Madison and get out of the room so they could talk in private.  I knew that something was up, that he was either in real deep trouble or that he didn’t want me to hear how they were going to resolve the issue.

I wasn’t sure if they were about to do something to him, but I waited on a balcony where I could see the door, just waiting for gun shots or some sort of sign that everything was worked out.  Thank God church started because they all had to get into the service and didn’t have time to hurt my husband!  Whew!  Close call!  Now I just had to figure out if I could somehowe get him out of this mess before the service ended! 

Ah yes, CRAZY dreams.  And I know it was just a dream, BUT I WILL be keeping an eye on my husband during the service tomorrow morning!!!  No secret meetings, ya hear?

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