Saturday, December 26, 2009

It's still December, right?

I just got back from Wallyworld.

The only reason I went the day after Christmas was because we needed some milk and dishwasher soap. Otherwise, I would have never headed into such a mad house. It was crazy with people returning and exchanging Christmas gifts....and spending their gift cards.

But that was not the craziest part. The craziest part was as I walked to the cash registers, I had to pass the card aisle. And do you know what I saw?

Valentine cards! There they were in all their red and pink-hearted splendor, lined up nice and neat where I had just seen Christmas cards a few days earlier.

Did we not just celebrate Christmas...yesterday?!

Craziness I tell you. Craziness.

Hope y'all are having a blessed day-after-Christmas!! : )

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Hoping y'all are having a blessed Christmas day...

Zach and I are here in Alabama with my mom. She came home yesterday and her fractured hip is healing and she's getting around with the help of her walker.

I have so much to be thankful for this Christmas and one of those things is the love and support I have received this past year from you, my bloggy friends. I appreciate you all so very much!

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas! : )

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Look who's here!

Zach flew into Omaha this afternoon and I am one happy mama!! : )

The plan was for Zach to be here for a week and then we would both fly back to California to spend Christmas with Ashleigh and her family. But now with all that is going on with my mom, we will be driving down to Alabama this next week and I will spend Christmas in Alabama. We aren't sure what Zach will be doing. Such is our life...so we hold our plans loosely.

Thank you for praying for my mom (and me!). She is still in the hospital and will be there for the next few days while she recovers from a bacterial infection. It was looking like Zach would fly into Omaha and then we'd leave right away for Alabama. But we are holding off for now, as I will need to stay with my mom once she gets home.

So for now I am enjoying the time with my son. We had a great day today hanging out in downtown Omaha and eating at Zio's Pizza and tomorrow is church. I am just *so* excited to have him here! : )

Thank you again for your prayers and love!! Blessings to you all!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Wondering When the Rain Will Stop

Ash here...

Because you are all so wonderful, so supportive, so prayerful on my mama's behalf... the latest is that my grandmother has had to be transported from the rehabilitation center she's been in this past week back to the hospital due to a myriad of health issues. She now has pneumonia on top of her broken hip and elbow and all the other health issues that have come to the surface the past two weeks.

My mama is exhausted. Please pray for strength... for peace... for wisdom. She has only been in Omaha for a month. It's also been a year this week since Everything Happened. I just don't know how much one person can handle...

I'm thankful for a God who carries her while she carries such a load. It is heavy... but He is strong enough.

Monday, December 7, 2009

My gray is still showing. And may I ask another question?

So I didn't color my hair yet. I was so tired after church yesterday that I actually took a nap instead. For three hours. I guess I was tired, huh? Thanks for your tips and advice. I'll let y'all know what I decide.

Speaking of church...I really like my new church. A lot. I cry every time I go. It's still difficult for me to be at church, even if no one knows me. I suppose that it will be for a while. Healing takes time and the Lord knows that.

It snowed here in Omaha last night. And we are supposed to get more tomorrow. So I am heading out today to run some errands and one of the things I was going to get is a box or two of Christmas cards. Last year, because of the circumstances, I didn't send out cards (although I had ordered cards with our family picture on them to send ::sigh::).

So here is my question: I would like to send a few cards this year, but most of those who I would send cards to, do not know about the divorce. I thought about forgoing cards altogether but we always sent cards, except for last year and a few people contacted me because they were concerned. My question is how do I handle this? Do I put a little note in with the card? If so, what do I say? Do I write a Christmas letter instead? I hate to depress people at Christmas time and this will surely be sad news. The people I am thinking of sending cards to are people who would definitely be concerned to have not heard from us for two years in a row. But I just don't know what to do or what to say.

Suggestions? Thanks!

Happy Monday...stay warm!! : )

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Calling all you at-home hair colorists...

Ok...so for the past few years I have been getting my hair colored to cover my gray.

My hair stylist happened to also be my good friend Valerie and she had been doing my hair for nearly 20 years before I moved. I really miss her. Especially right now, as my gray hairs are starting to show through.

And since I don't need a haircut yet and I am all about saving money wherever I can, I want to try to color my hair myself. Tomorrow. After church.

So, if you color your hair yourself...can you give me some tips? Which brand to you prefer and why? Tell me what I need to know. Please. Because I'm scared. : )

Thanks!!



*Image by realsimple.com

Friday, December 4, 2009

It's 13 degrees outside and yes, I really am ok with it...

No one believes me when I say I like cold weather. I do. I've always preferred cold over hot. I can't stand being hot.

Living through summer in the desert was never easy for me. The intense heat brought headaches, nausea and a nearly non existent outdoor life from May to October. When my children were younger, we homeschooled year round so they could spend more time outside in the spring and fall. Ashleigh had difficulties with heat as well, so it just made sense for us.

So here I am in Nebraska. The high today is supposed to be 32 degrees. We had snow flurries yesterday. And I ran a bunch of errands in the cold. Even went to my storage unit and unloaded boxes while the wind was blowing and little snow flakes landed on my face. I am not saying I *love* wind and cold...but I don't mind it. At all. : )

On another note: Thank you for praying for my mom. She is actually doing quite well, all things considered. She was transferred to a nursing/rehabilitation facility on Tuesday and thanks to my dear friend Mitzi, Mom is all settled in with her tv and cell phone. The facility does not provide these services and when you can't move due to a fractured hip and elbow, tv and phone are vital. : ) She is working really hard at her physical therapy to get home as quickly as possible and I am very proud of her.

It was hard to leave my mom on Sunday. I am so emotional right now (my mom, missing my kids, the holidays, the divorce...you name it and I can cry!), but I will see her again in a few weeks when I go back to Alabama. And I am so grateful to my friend Mitzi who has filled in the gap where I cannot be right now. She has been amazing and a huge help in caring for my mom.

And since it's been such an eventful month...I thought I'd share a few pictures. : )

Packing up the house in So Cal. We had lots of family and friends come to help. Here are the Maldies helping to take down the curtains and rods. Yes, I took them. All of them. :)


While we were all busy packing/loading, Merritt decided it would be fun to play in the ashes from the fireplace. Niiiice.


John and Todd were the official movers. They were such troopers, as I had WAY more stuff than they even imagined. : ) Sorry guys!!



Todd is going to be thrilled that this is the first picture of him I am posting on my blog. : ) But it's too good to pass up! This was around midnight or so, the last night at the house in CA. John and Todd had spent hours loading the Uhaul and they were so tired. Todd found a spot on the floor and literally passed out. Brodie the border collie loves Todd. As do Troy and Merritt, who were obviously still awake at midnight watching a movie. : )


On November 21st Zach celebrated his 19th birthday. For the first time in his life, I was not able to celebrate with him, but Ashleigh, John and boys drove to his school and surprised him. I cannot believe my 'baby' is 19!!


Here is my mom in the hospital. She was *not* happy I took her picture. She would be less happy (but not surprised) if she knew I posted it on my blog! : ) She hadn't seen Todd in many years and was so happy to see him again.


We spent Thanksgiving at my Aunt Pat's. It was a difficult day for me, being so far from my kids and the fact that things are so different from last year. My Aunt Pat is battling cancer right now and she worked hard to prepare Thanksgiving dinner and she did a wonderful job. We took a plate of food to my mom so she was able to enjoy a bit of Thanksgiving.



While I spent the day Saturday at the hospital with my mom, Todd took his boys to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville. This is Todd with his youngest son, Nick.



Nick and his older brother, Tyler. : )



Driving back to Omaha on Sunday we ran into traffic in St. Louis. Since we were hardly moving, it was a good time to take a picture of the Gateway Arch....



...And later to check my Facebook. : )




The Brode-ster. He has been such a trooper with all the traveling he's done this past month.



And I am including this picture because it speaks volumes: Me being silly and cracking myself up and Todd being his more subdued self. (Actually, he does crack up at himself and then I start cracking up watching him. I know. lol)

Happy Friday everyone! : )

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Can I cry uncle yet?

I received a frantic call Monday afternoon from my Aunt Pat in Alabama: My mom had fallen and broken her left hip and fractured her elbow. She was in the emergency room, but was waiting to be admitted to the hospital.

Today my mom had surgery on her hip and I am currently driving through Kentucky as I write this. Well, actually Todd is driving (with two of his boys and Brodie the border collie in the back) and we are making a straight shot from Omaha to Alabama. Obviously we'll be spending Thanksgiving at the hospital.

It's been a rough few days. My Aunt Pat is suffering from lung cancer and my mom has been her caregiver. And as an only child, I am the caregiver for my mom. There are a lot of details to think about and honestly, Monday night I had a bit of a breakdown.

Actually it was more than a bit of a breakdown. It was pretty major. I literally cried my heart out to the Lord and told Him I honestly could not do this...that I could not take another thing...that I was so very tired.

Aren't you glad the Lord can handle our breakdowns? Of course He knows I can't handle this. He's not expecting me (or my mom...or my aunt...or my kids) to handle this alone. That's why scripture says that in my weakness, He is strong and He has shown this to be true so many times this past year.

So here I am once again. Weak. Dependent. Taking one day...one moment at a time. God is good. Always. I believe it.


Thanking the Lord for each of you and wishing a most blessed Thanksgiving Day! Hugs to you!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Settling in...

Setting up my little kitchen

Well...it's official. I'm a resident of Nebraska. : )

And can I just tell you? This is the happiest I've been in a long time.

I made dinner in my little kitchen tonight for the first time. Ashleigh and John have been working hard to help get me settled and I thought it would be fun for them to go on a date and have Troy and Merritt stay the night with me in my apartment. (We've all been staying at Todd's this week.)

So here we are. My two little guys are asleep in my room and I am sitting here blogging for the first time from my little home.

I have peace. I am hopeful. I am blessed.

Thanking you for all for your prayers...

Love and hugs to you!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Omaha bound!

It's done.

With the help of dear friends and family, we packed and loaded up Zach's and my life. It was quite the ordeal, but we got it done.

Said goodbye to the house and town I've lived in for 20 years...gave lots of hugs and of course, there were lots of tears. I walked through the house one last time and then closed the front door...leaving behind wonderful memories of a family that once was and saying goodbye to the awful memories of this past year.

We are making our way to Omaha. This morning finds us in St. George, Utah and then it's on to Leadville, CO today and then Omaha tomorrow.

So if you see a Uhaul truck with a trailer attached, followed by a Jeep Cherokee...with 4 adults, 2 little people and 1 border collie....be sure to wave. : )

Blessings and love to you all!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Moving forward

The other day I was having a conversation with someone and they mentioned that my upcoming move was a good thing...that I was moving on and that was good.

I thought about that comment later and realized I'm not moving on, but moving forward. Both require action, but there is a difference.

Moving on is moving past a circumstance, while moving forward is taking a necessary step.

The loss of my marriage and the life we had is not something I can move past. It will be with me for the rest of my life. And as a child of divorce myself, it kills me to know my children will be dealing with this the rest of their lives. Divorce is an awful, ugly thing.

So I am definitely moving forward; taking a necessary step.

It's hard to believe that in six weeks, it will have been a year since my husband left on what I thought was a work related trip--never to return home.

It will have been a year since I heard those awful words: I don't love you anymore and I don't want to be married to you. My heart and life broke into a million pieces that day. I am not a naive woman by any means and while we definitely had our issues, as all marriages do...I did not see this coming. Not at all. And the destruction has been far reaching.

When I think back over this past year, I remember the very intense, very personal and private pain I have felt while trying to make sense of why this happened. People asked me (and still do) how this happened? Why it happened? And if it happened to Rande and I, then what did this mean for their marriage? I don't have many answers, but what I do know is one of us walked away from the Lord. That is how this happened.

As the days turned into weeks and the weeks turned into months, I realized this was not just a fight for my marriage, but for Zach's and my existence. We found ourselves for the most part, abandoned. I found out very quickly that the legal system is not easy to navigate and some things are just not fair. For the first few months we were left with no income and if it were not for the kindness and generosity of others, I don't know how we would have made it. Eventually I did gain a victory when the judge ordered support and allowed me to continue homeschooling Zach until he graduated, rather than being forced to get a job immediately as was being proposed.

There has been very little communication with Rande this past year. The times I have spoken with him he has been abundantly clear that he has no desire to change the course of his life or restore our marriage. There has been little, if any, communication with the kids... family... friends... no one that once meant something to him.

So what do you do? You pray, you grieve, you hurt. But ultimately you must move forward. And keep moving forward...seeking and trusting the Lord for every unknown, unfamiliar step you take. Because what IS known is that Jesus is the same...yesterday, today and tomorrow. He is my trusted Savior...my Guide, my Friend, my Jesus.

And so with His leading and the support of my family and dear friends, I am moving forward. To a new life. A new beginning. A place where I can feel again. A place where my identity is not the woman whose husband left her. A place where I can continue to heal. I am not running from my pain, as I've had nearly a year to experience it and face it everywhere I look and I need a change of scenery. I have lived in a house and town where the reminders are constant of what was...and what will never be.

My moving forward has also been necessitated by the fact I could not financially continue to stay in my house. I am solely responsible for Zach's school tuition (no complaining, just stating a fact) and while my job at the hospital has been a HUGE blessing, it is not enough to sustain me and make the mortgage payment. I've known for a long while I would not be able to stay permanently, nor did I really want to. It's too painful. And my kids don't live here anymore...so yeah.

I began praying earnestly about 'where' to move this past summer. I needed to think about my mom in Alabama, my daughter who will be making a move after the first of the year and Zach, who is praying/considering continuing his education next year at a Christian college either in Wisconsin or Tennessee. I also needed to live someplace where I would have opportunity to work and go to school for better job training. So as I was praying, the Lord was working in a way I least expected...

As you can imagine, this situation has been very sad for many of our friends who have been close to us through the years. These dear ones have continued to walk this path with us, to check on us, make sure we are ok...have food, money, etc... The Lord has used them (and our family) to meet our every need.

Todd is one these friends. He has been a trusted family friend for over 22 years. And even though we have not lived near each other for years, he has always been a part of our family. When Ashleigh was a little girl she wanted to marry him. : ) He was close to my dear mother-in-law who loved him like a son. He cared about my brother-in-law. (Both having gone on to Heaven.) He remembers my dad and knows my mom. He knows and cares about everyone who is important to me.

He knows the pain of divorce himself and has been a compassionate, kind and understanding friend to me, to my kids and to my family. He has been nothing but a true gentleman and respectful of me and this process I am going through. He has been an encouragement to me in many ways, but mostly by his walk with the Lord and his zeal for God's word.

And he lives in Omaha, Nebraska. : )

I know there are going to be some (maybe most of you) who are thinking...What in the world is she doing? And that is understandable. I would be thinking the same thing if it weren't for the fact that it's my life and I am living it. I have seen the Lord's hand in this from the start and have the support and encouragement from my family and close friends. The decision to move to Omaha was not made lightly or based on emotions. It was a prayerful decision and made with the help of those closest to me. I've not jumped off the deep end throughout this whole ordeal and I am not going to jump now. It's simply the next step...moving forward...because I have to.

I have been very private with this because honestly, while most people are genuinely concerned for my well being, there are those this past year who have scrutinized my life, saying some pretty unedifying things. There are also those who have tried to gain details and information regarding my situation, not out of love or concern, but as a means to appease their own curiosity or to gossip. I understand people are going to have an opinion--good or bad--about my divorce, my move, ect...and that is fine. But please remember...you are reading my blog, which is a just a part of the picture...not the whole picture itself.

So that's the story. : ) I would very much appreciate your prayers as I prepare to move next week. I am ready and have peace, but I am also saying goodbye to family and friends and to a house that was once a home. My home...our home. And with God's grace and strength, I'll make it through and keep moving forward.



For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:11-13

Thursday, October 15, 2009

California, I am going to miss you...

The other night while driving home from meeting Ashleigh to drop off Troy and Merritt, I caught this sunset with my phone camera.

I had the window rolled down, hair blowing, music turned up loud and realized just how much I am going to miss California. I've lived here my entire life. (Except for brief stints in Arizona and Japan, thanks to the USMC.)

I'll miss the beaches and mountains, but most of all I'll miss the people...my family and friends I am leaving behind. But I am so thankful for email, webcams, Facebook and texting. All the technology makes it a little less painful. Or so I tell myself.

I will miss you California, but it's not goodbye. Nope.

I'll see you later... : )

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Ok...so there is a story

Yes, there *is* a story as to why I am moving to Nebraska.... of all places.

It's a good story. A God-has-His-hands-all-over-it story. : )

But I don't have time to tell it right now, because I worked 12 hrs at the hospital today and I work 12 hrs tomorrow. And my children are coming tomorrow night. Zach is coming home from school. Ash, John and the boys are coming after church tomorrow night. We'll be together for 24 hours, but it's going to be busy, busy, busy as we pack up the house.

You can be sure we'll shed a few tears too. While we are ready to move forward...it's because we have to...we must...but it's not without sadness because of all we have lost.

We have weathered much and we'll weather this too. Because we are strong.....in the Lord.

So I'll get to *that* story soon. Promise. : )

Hugs and love to you all...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Me and my girl...

I love this girl...I truly do. I don't know how I would have gotten through this past year without her.

More than a few times she has picked me up off the ground (in the beginning, that was literally true) and helped me to keep going. Both my kids, in the midst of their own pain, have been a continual source of encouragement to me. I am grateful to them both.

Ash came out on Monday, with Troy and Merritt. We were supposed to start packing up the house (more on that in a minute). We had BIG plans. We are always on the adventurous side when making plans. Following through is a whole 'nother thing. : )

We did manage to have a girls night--a movie and dinner at PF Chang's. We had so much fun! I love that my daughter is one of my very best friends.

We didn't get much packing done though. In fact, we didn't get any done. But we did talk and laugh a lot...and take care of two precious, albeit very active little boys.

It was exactly what we needed to do, because in 4 weeks I'll be moving. Moving from the house we've lived in for almost 20 years. And as hard as it's going to be to leave, it's time. One more step in this 'new beginning' season of my life.

And my girl (and John, Troy and Merritt) will be by my side as I make my way to my new little home.
So...Omaha, NE...here we come!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

It's time...

Do you know how many times I have come here, ready to write a post and yet unable to put thought to keyboard and get anything out?

Too many times to count, I'm afraid.

Ashleigh's design handiwork is a great motivation...

but I am still struggling with my blog.

What do I write?...What do I say?...How much do I tell?...How personal do I get?

When Ashleigh and I discussed redesigning my blog, I thought about removing any posts that specifically pertained to my life before December 2008 (i.e. before my husband left). Ultimately I decided to leave them, because that was my life and it was real (for me, anyway) and it's part of who I am and this journey I am on.

In the past 10 months, so much has changed concerning my life and at times it was just too painful to try to write what was going on. It was hard enough just living it, let alone writing about it.

But one thing I can say that has not changed, is who I am in Christ. And I can declare with total and complete certainty that God is faithful. All the time.

And that I am still a mom, daughter, aunt, friend... : )

So it's time to enter a new season of my life and I want to share it with you, my bloggy friends.

My broken heart is on the mend. I am healing. God is restoring beauty where gray ash once covered everything. And for the first time in a long time, I see a new day on the horizon.

Thanking the Lord for your love, support and prayers this past year. I love you all...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A New Season

Hey everyone.

This is Ashleigh, Mishel's daughter. I'm hacking her blog... again.

As you can see, I just put the finishing touches on a brand spankin' new look for Mom's blog.

A few weeks ago, she said she had been trying to write a blog post... but she just couldn't. When she saw her blog, the old look, the old pictures, the old writings, it just made her think of, well, her old life. And she just didn't know how to fit that into the place she finds herself now.

She said she wanted something simple, bright. Something that would reflect this new season... a season of hope. Through Jesus, that's right where she's at.

Because as the theme verses she's always used for her blog, and, well, her life, spell out for us, once she has begun to heal... she can be built up... and then she can learn how to laugh again... and then... and then...

...she can dance.

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven. . .
A time to heal,
Time to break down,
And a time to build up.
A time to weep,
And a time to laugh.
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance...

Ecclesiastes 3:1,3,4

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Turning corners



This is what's happening here at my house tonight.

A young man is setting out on a new adventure. A new season of life, as he put it. (hmm, wonder where he's heard that before!)

Tomorrow Zach leaves for bible college.

But tonight there has been packing, laughter, talking, praying and even some tears.

Another corner to turn.

And so he's off...and he's holding on to his Jesus.

Me too. : )

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

These are the moments...

That make my life worth living...

A day at the beach with my family...playing in the waves and getting salty kisses from my grandbabies. The sun and sound of the waves lulling me to a place where all my cares seem so far away.


It was a perfectly lovely day...a gift from the Lord.

Hope y'all are having a wonderful week! : )

Monday, August 17, 2009

Happiness is...

Dipping your feet in cool water on a hot summer day...after working 12 hours.
To the dear friends who let me enjoy doing that very thing and then fed me a yummy dinner...I love you!
I am so thankful for all my friends... real life and bloggy. You guys are the best! Thank you for your love and continued prayers.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New Beginnings...

Visiting Zach at camp last month

It's the middle of August (obviously!) and the new school year is upon us. Everyone is getting ready--whether there is new curriculum to organize or new school supplies to buy--it's in the air. Even my little Troy told me on the phone the other day, when asked what he was doing, "I'm doing my school." (Side note: Ashleigh is not making her 3 year old do school. He gets out his little workbooks and asks to do school. : ) )

I always loved the new school year--the planning, the new books--the opportunity for a fresh start. A clean slate. A new beginning.

And while I have officially taken off my 'homeschool mom' hat and hung it up for good, I can't help but get caught up in the anticipation of what this time of year means. New beginnings.

It's been 8 months now since my husband left. Eight months filled with tears and the most unbelievable sadness and heartbreak I've ever known. Tears over being rejected by the one you love and the raw, deep pain that ensues. The reality that I (and my children) will be dealing with this for the rest of our lives.

But there have been triumphs as well. The fact that I've made it this far and have not lost my mind. I've am surviving. That once again, God has shown Himself to be everything I need. I have grown closer to my children, my family and friends. I have reconnected with people from my past, who are dear to me. I am making new friends at work. I have made it through birthdays and holidays and my son's graduation. I have made it through family functions where once my husband stood with me, but now I stand alone. It's been so hard. So very, very hard. But I've made it. And I am seeing for the first time in a long time, hope realized.

I had a major turning point last month. My nearly 24 year marriage is over and that is my reality. What was before December 9th, 2008 is my old life and what is now is my new life...my new reality. And I am ready to start looking forward instead of looking back. I can't hold on to what will never be. It takes two to hold on to a marriage and one of us let go a long time ago.

So it's time. For a fresh start. And I am thanking the Lord for new beginnings.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

In The Valley

In The Valley
Sovereign Grace Ministry
(To listen go here)

When You lead me to the valley of vision
I can see You in the heights
And though my humbling wouldn’t be my decision
It’s here Your glory shines so bright
So let me learn that the cross precedes the crown
To be low is to be high
That the valley’s where You make me more like Christ

Let me find Your grace in the valley
Let me find Your life in my death
Let me find Your joy in my sorrow
Your wealth in my need
That You’re near with every breath
In the valley

In the daytime there are stars in the heavens
But they only shine at night
And the deeper that I go into darkness
The more I see their radiant light
So let me learn that my losses are my gain
To be broken is to heal
That the valley’s where Your power is revealed
© 2006 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI).

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Transitions

I have been wanting to write a real post for a long time...but time is something I don't have a lot of right now. I am not complaining though. It's good to be busy.

It's been 7 months to the day, that I found out my husband no longer wanted to be married. What a horrible, awful day that was. I was completely shocked and devastated. I had no idea how I was going to survive. Literally.

I couldn't see past that moment. I could hardly breathe as I wondered what this meant for my kids...for my precious grandsons and for the rest of our family and friends. The news was broken to me over the phone, as I was told by my husband that he would not be coming home.

And he never did come home. We've never, by his choice, had a face to face conversation as to what happened...what led up to the events that broke our marriage apart. Honestly, that is one of the hardest parts of this whole ordeal...is that I will never have the answers or understanding I am looking for. There is just so much I do not understand.

So I try, with the Lord's help, to move forward. It's the hardest thing I've ever had to do, but I have to. When I look back to where my life was a year ago, I cannot believe where I am today.

A year ago Rande and I were a couple, just having gone on a wonderful trip to the Sierra's, just the two of us...and we were a family, getting ready to go to our homeschool convention and accompany Zach to his annual fiddle camp. I was a busy wife, homemaker, homeschool mom.

Today I live alone and work full time. I am no longer a wife or a homemaker and my homeschooling days are officially over. Life has indeed changed.

Divorce is an awful and painful thing. I can see why the Lord hates it. It rips apart lives and leaves nothing but a gaping hole where (in our case) love once held a family together through good and hard times. Rejection from the one who held your heart and whom you trusted, is the final blow and leaves you wondering if the life you've been living was even real or true. My children are left with broken hearts that I can't fix or mend. Family and friends too, are left with broken hearts and questions I don't have the answers to. The path of destruction has been far and wide.

But even in all the destruction and sorrow, there is hope. Hope in the Lord. Hope in what He can do and is doing in all of our lives. I cling to the same verse I held onto 7 months ago:

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

There is already good I see coming out of this trial. God has been faithful, even when I have been faithless and made mistakes (and I've made plenty). He has drawn my children and I closer together. I get to see my sweet grandbabies often. Zach graduated high school (yeah!) and the Lord has given him a wonderful opportunity to minister to 4th and 5th grade boys this summer. I have the blessing of a job I enjoy, after not working for over 20 years. I have wonderful and supportive (and patient!) family and friends. And a very special thing is that a close friend accepted Christ through this. There is much good to see...and I am trying to keep my focus on those things and the faithfulness of my Jesus.

Seven months. It seems like just yesterday and yet it seems like forever-ago. So much has changed....and yet, the one thing that has not changed is the love of Christ...for me, for my children...even for Rande.

Thank you for your continued prayers for us. Please also continue praying for my kids, as they have much to deal with...and for Zach and he seeks the Lord for direction this next year. Also...my dear Aunt Pat (my mom's sister in Alabama) was diagnosed with lung cancer last month and is currently going through chemotherapy. She knows the Lord and has a wonderful attitude. I am hoping to make a trip out there next month, Lord willing.

Thanking the Lord for each one of you...

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th!


I'm here! : )

Life has been extremely busy as I adjust to working full time.

Zach is having a blast and working hard as a camp counselor to 4th and 5th grade boys at Camp Ironwood.

We're doing well and most importantly, God is still on the throne...leading every step of the way.

I'm heading to Ashleigh's for the weekend and so looking forward to watching fireworks with my precious grandsons. May you all have a fun and blessed 4th of July! : )

Blessings!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

From homeschool mom...

To working mom. Yep, that's me! : )

I got THE job!! The foot-in-the-door job!

Now I get to shop for these. There are so many cute styles to choose from, don't you think?

The hospital job is 12 hour shifts and considered full time. The department store job is very part-time, so for now I am going to do both. And I am actually really excited!

While this may not be what I had planned for my life, you know what? God is indeed faithful and His timing and provision are perfect. Always. The same week Zach graduates and leaves for the summer (working as a counselor at Camp Ironwood), I will be starting this new phase of my life. And I am so thankful for the opportunity to finish out our homeschooling years without interruption.

See? The Lord is with me every step of the way. He goes before me and gives me grace and strength to take the next step, which often feels like I am in a foreign country with no map and unable to speak the language. Sometimes I just stand and wonder...where am I? How did I get I here? How do I get back home?

And that is when my sweet Jesus reminds me He is my guide in this very strange and sometimes scary place I find myself. I am not alone.

So thank you for your prayers regarding the job(s). Today I go to fill out paperwork for the hospital job and tomorrow I start training for the department store job. Oh...and plan for a graduation party next week and get ready to send Zach off for the summer. Lots going on for sure! : )

Have a great day! Blessings and love to you all....

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Job hunting

I got a job!

It's at a department store and it's very part time...but it's a job!

I have another interview this afternoon and I am a tad nervous about it. This particular job would be a very good foot-in-the-door for me. I'll keep you posted.

So in a matter of days I will go from homeschooling mom to employee. Who would have thought? Certainly not me. But God is good. Always.

Thank you for your prayers...I love you all! : )


*Painting: Job Hunting

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Girlfriends, I know you've got my back...

And I want to thank you for it.

Whether you are my sweet precious daughter, my sister-in-loves, my nieces, my dear friends who text, email or call to check up on me...

To my friends who are helping me find a job and putting in a good word for me...

To those of you who give me hugs at church and tell me you are praying...

To those dear ones who faithfully send me cards with words of encouragement...

And of course, to my bloggy friends...


Thank you for praying for me and standing with me through this. The past two days were so difficult in so many ways, but praise the Lord, I got through it and I'm still standing (although a bit wobbly). I was completely buoyed by your prayers and in my hardest moments I thought of you, my support team, and knew there were prayers being lifted up on our behalf.

You ladies are amazing! And I love you all. : )

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Today

"Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me. I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God." Psalm 69:1-3


Today is the day.
Today is the day when the final pages are being written in a story that began 26 years ago.
Today is the day when my husband comes to pick up the last of his things that pertained to what we called "our life".
Today is the day when I feel like my heart is breaking more than I can bear.
Today is the day I am clinging to my Jesus with everything I have in me...because I if I don't, I will surely sink.

But as for me,
my prayer is to you, O Lord. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness. Deliver me from sinking in the mire; let me be delivered from my enemies and from the deep waters.
Let not the flood sweep over me, or the deep swallow me up, or the pit close its mouth over me. Answer me, O Lord, for your steadfast love is good; according to your abundant mercy, turn to me. Psalm 69:13-17


Today I am praying for a miracle.

Monday, May 11, 2009

I am blessed

Mother's Day 2009...

A delicious breakfast made by my super-special son-in-law

Thoughtful (and funny) cards and gifts given by my children to make their mom smile : )

Going to church as a family and hearing an awesome message

A relaxing lunch back at the house, followed by an even more relaxing afternoon

Snuggling with my precious grandbabies during naptime

Feeling so very loved by my family


Thank you Zach and John for making this Mother's Day special with all your thoughtfulness and care. And thank you to my sweet Ashleigh for once again, giving so much of herself to help her mama through these hard days. This was her day too, but her concern was not for herself and having a day 'off', but instead on what she could give. I love you my baby girl.

I am blessed indeed.




Hoping all you Moms had a wonderfully blessed day too! : )

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I did it!

Today I filled out and dropped off my first job application in over 20 years. Yikes!

It's not for a specific job, but if I got my foot in the door at this location, it would be a good start. And goodness knows, I have to start somewhere. My days as a homeschooling mom are numbered (only 20 more to be exact) and it's time to enter a new 'season of life'. So here I go...

I'll keep y'all posted. : )

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Night To Remember

Zach graduates from high school in four weeks. I can hardly believe it!

Each year our church's school hosts a dinner for the high school students and their parents called, A Night To Remember. It's a time for everyone to get dressed up, enjoy delicious food at a nice restaurant and good fellowship.

Zach and I drove to the dinner with his good friend Brock and Brock's parents. They have been so gracious and kind to us during the past few months.

Brock and Zach.... These two are so funny together. Brock spends a lot of time at our house, which is nice because it means I have a reason to cook real food. : )

This is Rebekah (or Bek as we call her). Isn't she so pretty? She is our pastor's daughter and just the sweetest girl. She's also my snowboarding partner. : ) I love this girl! I thought those of you who used to live in our town and attend our church might like to see how much she's grown up.

Miss Terri, my pastor's wife (and lil' ol me). You can see why Bek is so pretty, huh? I love Terri...she is a true gentle spirit and prayer warrior.

Zach, Brock and Randy...the Three crazy Musketeers.

Some of the high school students...looking so handsome and pretty.


I'll be honest. Zach and I weren't overly thrilled to be going to this dinner. It had been a very rough week. It's hard for me to suddenly be a single parent. It's hard for Zach to not have his dad here. It's just hard.

But as with so many things right now, we just did it. We went and were glad we did. We need to surround ourselves with those who love us--and we are so grateful for each one of you. Thank you.

We are making it. One day at a time. : )

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Blessings of love...

A few weeks ago my sister-in-love, Sheri (aka my Sissy), called and asked what I was doing. I told her I was getting ready to take a bath.

I was home alone and decided to light some candles and relax in the tub with a book--something I hadn't done in a LONG time. The only problem was I didn't have any bubble bath, so I told Sheri I was using Troy and Merritt's Cucumber Melon baby wash for bubble bath and it was working pretty good.

Well, the other day my Sissy stopped by my house with this sweet surprise. It was a basket filled with goodies from Bath and Body Works--all things for making a soak in the tub that much more relaxing. There was even a rubber duckie! : )

But most importantly, there was a beautiful hand-made card with the verse from Matthew 11:28:

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

Sheri had no idea that I had had a very hard and emotional morning, dealing with attorney's and others. She had no idea just how weary I was feeling at that moment. She had no idea how much I needed to be reminded of Who I can go to when I feel like I cannot take another step...or make another decision.

But the Lord knew. He knew.

So thank you, my Sissy (and Tiffy, my sweet niece who was in on this blessing), for your gift of love.

And thank you to those of you who still pray for me, for my children...for Rande. I cannot tell you how much your prayers mean to me. I am sorry I haven't responded to all your emails as I should, but I do appreciate them. It's just very hard right now.

God is faithful and His grace is sufficient, this I know. While the outcome of my situation is looking to be far different than anything I could have ever imagined for my life, for my children and my grandchildren, I am completely trusting my Jesus to see me and my family through. I have to or I will crumble.

Thanking the Lord for all of you....

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Finding my way




"The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps." Proverbs 16:9






“To get through the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping.” Chinese proverb


Resurrection Sunday. Easter. The day we as Christians celebrate the glorious risen Lord--our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Normally this day would be a flurry of activity for me. Sunrise service at church, the Deacon's Breakfast and the presentation of the choir's Easter cantata in the morning service.

The afternoon would be spent with family and/or friends (depending on whether Rande was working at the fire station or not)--eating ham, stuffed eggs, scalloped potatoes--and all sorts of other good eats that are essential for Easter dinner.

There may or may not be an egg hunt--with Ashleigh having the honors of presenting the Gospel to the little ones hunting for plastic colored eggs stuffed with candy and symbols to help them better understand the reason we celebrate this special day.

But that is how our family used to celebrate Easter.

This morning I find myself, not at church as planned, but sitting in my comfy chair in my bedroom...Bible in hand, heart turned toward my Jesus...asking how? Why? What next?

There is just so much that does not make sense to my finite mind.

From the huge things like how in the world did my life take this turn? How did I get here...to this place? Why did my husband forsake everything and leave his entire life behind?

To the little things...like why did I accidentally hit a button on my computer this morning, deleting a long email to a searching friend telling of why Jesus died on the cross, why He is alive today and the way of salvation. I spent an hour on that email which was filled with scripture (could it be it was not just for my friend...but a reminder of what Jesus did for me? For Rande? For the other woman?).

Then because we only have one car and Zach went early to church to help with the Deacon's breakfast and get ready for the cantata, a friend was going to pick me up for the regular service. I got ready and waited. And waited. I called my friend, but there was no answer. (At this point I am still not sure exactly what happened.) I sat down on the couch, a bit discouraged to not be going to church, feeling dependant, sad and alone.

I felt bad too, because honestly, the night before I didn't have a great attitude about going to church (for many reasons; none having to do with the great preaching and being with my church family). Isn't it funny though, how that works? The minute you take something for granted and it's gone or you can't be a part of it...you appreciate it so much more. Interesting.

So I asked the Lord what He wanted me to do since I obviously wasn't going to church. I sat for a long while. In my nice dress and strappy spring heels, hair and make-up done...I just sat. Quiet. Just my Jesus and me.

It was so nice to just sit before Him. I thanked Him for the change in my morning plans; for the opportunity to just "be" with Him on this Easter morning. To rejoice not in my circumstances, but in the fact that Jesus is alive--in my heart and life. He is alive.

And then I prayed for Rande, for her... ::sigh:: Such a hard thing to do, I'll tell ya'.

Life is hard right now, no doubt about it. The divorce proceedings continue and my husband still wants nothing to do with me, his family...anything pertaining to his old life. He just wants to be done and free to live his new life. I have many decisions to make regarding selling our home, where to live, a job and helping Zach figure out his future.

And that is just the practical side of things. I won't even go into the emotional turmoil we all face daily. As you can imagine, when you've lived and trusted someone for 23 years, believing your life was a certain way, only to find out it's not and relationships are severed--severely and harshly--the damage in far and wide. Like a friend said...it's as if Rande threw a grenade at his family and left me to pick up the pieces.

It's very, very hard. And I am just trying to find my way--step by step--in this new and very unexpected season I find myself. I'll be honest...it's scary.

But this I know: Jesus in not asking me to find my way on my own. He is not asking me step somewhere where He has never been. He goes before me and reaches His hand back for me to take hold. He promises to never leave me or forsake me. He is safe. He is my trust and my hope.

So on this Easter morning, I am taking hold of my Jesus' hand and I am not letting go. Ever.

Blessings to you...

Zach and I are going to Ashleigh's this afternoon to enjoy a yummy Easter dinner she has prepared--and then, Lord willing, we'll be in church tonight. : )

**Image by allposters.com

Monday, March 16, 2009

Hide-n-Seek

I had a house full of boys this weekend--big ones and little ones. Ashleigh is in Washington for a friend's wedding, so John came with Troy and Merritt to spend the weekend with us. And Zach had friends over as well. I loved every minute of it!

It brought a sort of normalcy to my life as I made a TON of food--panini sandwiches, lasagna, mac-n-cheese, pancakes, egg sandwiches, cookies--all stuff my guys love. It was so nice to cook for a crowd.

So were hangin' in there, yes we are! : ) The Lord is good. All the time.

I hope y'all had a blessed weekend too!


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Thank you...

Thank you all for praying yesterday...and for your words of encouragement. I read every comment last night and thanked the Lord for each of you. You are truly a blessing to me and my little family. Thank you.

It was a long and emotional day to be sure. But the Lord was definitely in the midst. There were some very difficult moments, as you can imagine there would be when you are trying to sort through 23 years of memories and 'stuff'. It was hard, but it was good. Sometimes facing reality makes you think, you know? Rande and I ended up having a very good conversation before he left--the first since he left our home back in December. No matter what happens, I am so thankful for that conversation. It was very much needed.

I have no false hope, but I do know that Zach and I succeeded in showing Rande the love of Christ yesterday...which was exactly what we prayed the Lord would allow us to do. As I told Ashleigh last night, it was almost supernatural and definitely not 'us' that we could be in any way nice, when our hearts were breaking inside. But Jesus--I can do all things through Him--gave grace and strength and we just tried to love Rande.

God is so good isn't He? : ) And today is a new day! Thank you all for praying...please, please don't stop. I know God is working.

Much love to you all...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Please pray...again

I feel bad asking for prayer yet again, when I have been less of a friend/bloggy friend to you all these past 3 months. But I know going to the Throne of Grace works. I believe it with all my heart. So...

My husband called this morning and is coming to get the rest of his things. I feel sick. Nauseous. I cannot believe this is happening. But it is. It's really happening.

Please pray for Zach and I today...that we would remain calm and non-confrontational. As you can imagine, there is a whole lot we'd like to say and questions we'd like answered. But my husband is so far away from the Lord right now that he has no desire to answer to anyone. He's made that very clear.

Of course pray for Rande most especially. At this point, I pray the blinders would be torn from his eyes and he would SEE clearly, the devastation that has taken place because of the choices he's made...and continues to make. I pray he his heart would be grieved and he would turn to the Lord. I know my husband. At some point, maybe not for years down the road, he will wake up and be a very sad, lonely man...and he will realize what he has lost. And it will be too late. The most important thing I pray for him at this point, is for his relationship with the Lord...no healing can take place until he turns to Jesus.

Thank you all so much for praying and hanging in there with us...we need you and appreciate you all.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Finding Joy

Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.
Let your moderation [gentleness] be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
Be careful [anxious] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:4-7




I made it through the court hearing on Friday. Thank you so much for your prayers...the Lord's presence was definitely felt in that courtroom.

It was a sobering moment to see my husband--the man I married 23 years ago--looking so unlike himself. He didn't look awful, just not the man I've known all these years. And what an odd moment when our eyes met, for the first time since December and all I could squeak out was a very small, "Hi."

Of course what I wanted to say (or more like scream) was....Why are you doing this? To God. To us. To our children and families? Why? Is she really worth it?

And I'll be honest, I've been in sort of a funk since Friday. I've been focusing way too much on negative things--on all the what if's, the lies, the hurts, the uncertain future--and trying desperately to figure out the answers.

So in the quietness of this morning, my Jesus met me. He reminded me of His unending love for me, His mercy and His sufficient grace--even in the face of rejection from the man I've loved for so many years--my Savior loves me. That will never change.

And because of that truth, I can rejoice today. I do not rejoice in my circumstances, but I rejoice in the One who loves me and died for me. The One who sees each tear and holds it. My Jesus. I rejoice in Him.

The reality is I have so many blessings and so much to be thankful for...I just have to look around...

My sweet Zach...


My baby girl...Ashleigh. And her awesome husband. John has been amazing through this whole thing!

Troy and Merritt...they always bring a smile to my face. Always.


The love and support from family...


And good friends.

Beautiful desert mornings...with snow covered mountains.

And gorgeous desert sunsets.


Making pancakes with Troy...

And if I could post a picture of all of you--my bloggy friends--I would. Y'all are such a huge blessing and bring me joy. Thank you so much for your prayers, emails, cards and support. God is using you and I am thankful.

Blessings and love to you...