(I wrote this July 1, 2019 and forgot to publish it. I just noticed it in my drafts. I was drained then and now I find myself emotionally drained again. I’m so grateful for my faith and Paul’s testimony gives me what I need to remember: “…That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”)
It’s been tough to blog since our lifestyle change – which has been very good (transition from full-time RVing to a house), but yet, it has left me emotionally drained. I can’t explain everything, but suffice it to say, buying and selling a home in a months time by itself can take a huge emotional toll on anyone. Then add to it a death in the family and numerous other family situations, and you may start to get the picture. I’m not at liberty to share all as they are not mine to share – but I will toss in three situations that are mine:
- Bill’s amazing mom has been declining these past few years. Each time we visited her in Mount Vernon, Illinois, we thought it was the last time we would see her. She has not recognized him (although once she said she knew who he was – for a fleeting minute) let alone, has not been able to talk to him. For 9 years (2004-2013), we lived near her. We were her main lifeline to the outside world as she had given up driving. Bill took care of her home and yard while I took her to her appointments and we took her to church. She and Bill talked for hours each week – in person. About everything! Her mind was still sharp although physically, this once very active and independent woman was in declining health. She needed us to do most everything for her. Thankfully, five years ago, we were able to move her near Bill’s brother and his wife – both are Registered Nurses (RN). His brother is a Certified Register Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) and his wife is currently working in a Surgery Center where she does everything an RN is needed in the operating room environment. All this is VERY important as her health and mental capabilities continued to decline. She just passed away on June 20, 2019 at the age of 98. I will write a separate blog post about this WWII 2nd Lt. Army Nurse (RN)! She was a nursing supervisor at the local hospital until she decided to get pregnant. She returned to work as a Private Duty Nurse after they started school. She was at the bedside of many patients in their last weeks, days and hours. She knew how she wanted to die – or not die! Sadly, she was in hospice care her last month – and died how she didn’t want to go -but thankfully, she was at peace and in no pain. But it pained us to not be able to be with her – we had the responsibility of caring for our two grandsons this summer….which is next.
- The main reason we moved to Myrtle Beach and decided to settle down was because of our grandsons. There is much more to this, but in a nutshell, Bill wanted the boys to spend summers with us. For one, it was his childhood fantasy! His family spent a week at the Jersey Shore when he and his brother were young. They stayed at the same cottage each year. The grandmother owned it and her grandson stayed all summer. Bill was so envious. So now he finally has his dream, a cottage at the beach (ok, our house is a house and we are three miles from the beach but it’s close enough) – and grandsons! Our daughter and son-in-law reluctantly agreed. After all, it meant the boys out of day care so a huge financial savings to them (and to use the time and money for remodeling). We have had to push ourselves to get our home ready for their first visit with us – over Spring Break for 9 days! And then after they left, we had a month to finish getting ready for their summer long stay. Their parents brought them over a long Memorial Day weekend. It started off with a bang! So far, they are both fish – loving both our community swimming pool and the beach; they are mastering their bike riding; have enjoyed putt putt golf; bowling; events at the Nature Center (ok, so their attention span wasn’t the best, but they got to pet a snake); unlimited bounce house fun (I highly recommend Fun Warehouse in Myrtle Beach for 10 years and under); lots of Arcade games; hiking (Colin says since not in the mountains, it’s not really hiking); movies, popcorn, ice cream….I can’t remember all we have done with them (I am making them a photo book to capture the great times). But it has all been with a toll on our aging bodies….thankfully, they sleep between 10 – 12 hours a night! We get to recharge our batteries but are still pretty exhausted. They both have upcoming birthdays. The oldest turns 6 and the youngest in 4 in August. And in August, we will return them to their parents after a week there.
- Finally, a little about my mom. If you know us, you know we relocated my mom, now 95, from Florida to Virginia last July. She is now two hours from our daughter’s home in Virginia. While I can’t get there enough to see her, I am helping my one sister – her caregiver, by taking care of anything I can remotely….While mom is in assisted living, mentally she is very sharp, physically, she has limitations. She is legally blind and has to take medicine to control her erratic blood pressure which is precarious. However, the place we had her in had not been ideal – so this weekend she moved into a newer and better facility. It’s all a big task for my sister who has a few other family obligations to also manage. Thankfully our daughter and son-in-law plus my two nephews helped my sister.
All of this collided and culminated with my mother-in-laws passing. Although, all I can say is that God’s in control and HIS TIMING is perfect. Our daughter and son-in-law have physically been able to drive to help my mom and sister the past three weekends. Initially, we had hoped the boys would have a long weekend with their parents but due to mom’s move, they helped her….so we did our best to keep them fully entertained….
This blog is about my faith journey. I try to share any great new insights I may glean in this life. And I have gleaned so many things this year….
As I shared how drained I was, my precious sister-in-law who has so much more going on, ministered to me. So, in addition to helping her husband with the caregiving of my mother in law (they also just sold their home, are changing jobs, moving, etc.) she could help me! So maybe as we share how drained we both are and how we are looking to our Lord for our sustenance, perhaps it will help you!
I have to admit, I was a very lost at several points in my life. I’ve shared part of my testimony here, but there is still so much more to share. In all my sinful and lost ways, God keeps showing up and blessing me in ways I can only PRAISE and WORSHIP Him! Because of my past, which included Bill’s and my divorce and remarriage, we are now faithful church members. I started another blog to share about this. If you aren’t familiar with our story, start here.
Because of extensive Bible reading and Bible study, I pretty much “know” the Bible – but am I following what I know? Oh, no, I fall so short….However, I am trying. Bill and I are both so excited about our new church and the Biblical teaching we are under. Perfect messages each week for us to grow together and closer to how our Lord would have us live. But yet, still so weak….
And here is the GOOD NEWS!!!! When I am weak, He is strong! Do you remember that song as a child? I have been weak so many times – and He has proven His strength to me time and time again.
To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 CORINTHIANS 12:7-10