Warning: This is one of those notes for those with stronger stomachs. If you are about to eat, in the process of eating, or if it is easy for you to "lose your lunch", go ahead and skip this one. You have been warned!
It's Monday. As it is with most Mondays, it's hard to get going first thing in the morning. It's made even harder when a certain smell is detected emanating from a certain child's room. The 16-year-old "youngest" one who likes to save up so that she can blow out her diaper. She is not regular in taking care of business. It's usually saved up over a period of three or four days, sometimes a week. So when she goes, it's a big stinky mess. It's even worse if the deed has been done early in the evening and gone undetected throughout the night. Then, we have caked on mess, mess that has seeped through onto clothes and bedding and carpet. The worst messes are the ones involving the need to pull out the steam cleaner. Sigh.
Fortunately, this mess this morning was not as bad as it could have been, but it would have been better if I'd had the time to get her in the bath before sending her off to school. There was no time for that, so she had to be cleaned up via about a thousand baby wipes and hand gloves. Thank God for baby wipes and hand gloves! Still, it was pretty bad.
I find that it is best to just forget about everything else, put aside "ME" and take care of my sweet but stinky girl. I almost always pray as I dive into the task. Lest any of you think that I am being so very godly and amazing about it, think again. I don't like cleaning up a mega stinky diaper. I wish I could hire someone else to do it. However, the Lord has a way of molding us and making us better people, because as I put aside "ME", I start looking at Keva as if she were "ME". That is the secret of how I deal with The Diaper. I look at her and I picture me in her place. I am the one laying in the bed in my own filth, helpless to do anything about it. I am the one facing any kind of complaint or bad attitude. I am uncomfortable and sore and have been so for several hours.
Then, as I start to the task looking at Keva as if she were "ME", my attitude shifts and I just want to get her cleaned up and comfortable again. My movements are gentle and loving. I start to sing a song to relax her and give us both something to do while I use one wipe after another to remove the mess. I no longer smell the yuckiness. And, as finally the job is completed, I start to feel a bit of accomplishment. The job is done and I don't have to worry about it anymore. In fact, I begin to be thankful that she did not have diarrhea, that she is able to move around with good muscle tone and not stuck in a bed or wheelchair, thankful that her health is robust not fragile, that her lifespan is nearly normal, that she adds to our family an opportunity to serve and love.
Through this, I have followed the Lord's command to love others as I love myself. And then, through loving others, I learn more to love Jesus.
It's been a rough month for us. Lots of changes, lots of decisions, lots of pulling up by our bootstraps to get what we need done.
After several years of struggling to stay afloat financially with our house, we finally had to step away. It's been very painful in a lot of ways. We had big plans for our wonderful house. We loved the neighborhood. We wanted to finish the basement. The kids were established in their schools. I was finished with my Master's program through LaGrange College and anticipating getting a real job! But we just couldn't hang on anymore.
As is God's way, His timing is beautiful. Our church offered Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University right as we were trying to figure out what to do about the house. We decided to downsize and cut expenses to the best of our ability. We were already at pretty much bare bones with other expenses, but the class really helped us to get ourselves together and have FOUR garage sales over the course of the next month. This, in turn, helped us with the expense of moving. We are, in fact, still selling stuff through Craigslist. I finally was able to start subbing just a few weeks ago. And we found a much smaller townhouse to rent and are expecting to cut our utilities in half. Even though our rent is the same as our mortgage was, we will no longer be responsible to pay for anything if it breaks down. We do not have to keep up our yard; that is done for us. We are very close to the freeway for Keith's work and central to the entire county for wherever I'm subbing. The kids are adjusting to new schools, and Kathleen continues to homeschool.
We are thankful for God's provision yet again in a fast paced crazy world!
Now, if we can just get finished with the moving, I will be very happy. I can tell you all that when I packed up in a certain area of the house and take things away, I would come back and there would be MORE stuff to pack up than there was before. I tell you this is completely true. I cannot believe how long this process is taking. Part of the problem was that the house was a disaster when we moved. I had just finished 14 months straight of school and before that six months of a new baby and before that nine months of a pregnancy in which nothing of any productivity (aside from gestation) was accomplished! Now, I'm paying the piper. I have been throwing out bags and bags of trash and boxing up boxes and boxes of things to go to Goodwill (hoping that Goodwill will even want it). The garage at our old house is stuffed with things that need to go to Goodwill. And even as I unpack and put things away here at our townhouse, I am piling up trash and stuff to go to Goodwill. It's crazy!
In all of this, I'm supposed to be finishing up that online class to get my certification to teach at long last. But I'm not wanting to talk about that right now.
Instead, I will write about Thanksgiving. I am so looking forward especially to this Thanksgiving, as we will have our two college kids home for the first time since August! We all miss them so much! Maybe it's because of all the change, but I'm greatly looking forward to having all my chicks under the same roof once again, even though the roof is a different one. Can't wait to hear about their adventures!