Torn

tear

verb 

1. to pull apart or in pieces by force, especially so as to leveraged or irregular edges. Synonyms: rend, rip, rive. Antonyms: mend, repair, sew.
2. to pull or snatch violently; wrench away with force
3. to distress greatly: anguish that tears the heart. Synonyms: break, crack, shatter, afflict.
4. to divide or disrupt: a country torn by civil war. Synonyms:disunite, split, splinter. Antonyms: unite, reunite, join, bind.
5. to wound or injure by or as if by rending; lacerate. Synonyms: cut, mangle, slash.

Yesterday was my birthday. Yesterday was also the day I received divorce papers. I knew they were coming…I’ve known they were coming for almost three years. That didn’t change the deep sadness I felt when I saw my name on that attorney’s envelope.
No matter the reason for the end of our marriage, this is not what God intended. When we stood at the altar in July of 1999, the three of us created a covenant that was not designed to be broken. The end of a marriage is a tearing of that covenant that feels very much like a physical tearing, but one that can’t be mended with stitches or an antibiotic and a bandaid. It’s a deep wrenching of soul and spirit, inflicting pain that is not quickly healed.
The first year of our separation, I was a basket case. I cried at the drop of a hat, because for years I had put up a wall that was not easily breached, erected to protect me from the pain of a relationship that desperately needed healing. I woke up each day for weeks feeling my stomach drop seconds after my eyes opened, realizing that it was not a dream…he was not home, the bed was empty and probably would be for years, maybe forever. I counted my blessings on the nights when I actually did sleep, since once I turned out the lights (some nights I didn’t bother doing even that), every sound was seemingly magnified by loudspeakers.  I felt varying degrees of anger, sadness, frustration, rejection, devastation, shame, guilt, furiousness, relief, hopefulness, hopelessness, depression, exhilaration, exhaustion, worthlessness, yet gratefulness and so blessed. The body of Christ came alongside me in so many ways, both physical and spiritual. My heavenly Father used my earthly father to meet many needs. At one point I remember realizing that if I made a list of every problem I had before my husband left, it would no longer apply – He had met every need. I just didn’t have my husband.
The second year of our separation I began to accept it was over and tried to begin figuring out who I was without him. What were my likes and dislikes? How did I want to decorate what was now my home? Who did I want to spend my time with? What relationships were important to me? What were my goals – physical, spiritual, financial? Where did I want to go to church? How was I going to provide for myself? I wish I could say I had succeeded answering these questions. Many of them are still unanswered. I had so disappeared into the relationship that at age 38 I’m now discovering who I really am.
Since March, I’ve been marking time…counting the passing weeks and thinking I was ready, beyond ready even, for those final papers to arrive. I just wanted to put it behind me, to try to move on and stop living in the limbo of being single for all practical purposes, but not actually single. It’s kind of hard to join a singles group when you are in fact still married. I wanted to get the name change behind me, get past those inevitable questions…”oh you have a new last name. Did you get married?” “Well no…I got divorced.” Is there a graceful way of answering that question? I don’t want anyone to feel badly for asking, they have no way of knowing. I’m in no way ready for a new relationship, I just desire to put this behind me and begin living what is now my life.
Yesterday when I pulled that envelope out of the mailbox, I kept waiting to feel the joy, the relief that they were finally here. But I didn’t feel that at all. Just a sadness that this is where we are, so far away from what we intended and promised each other and our Lord on that hot summer day. How did it all go wrong? How did we get so far from the dreams we had? When did we cross the line from love and passion to dread and disrespect?
I don’t have the answers. All those feelings of anger and hurt and sadness that I thought I’d dealt with have come bubbling back to the surface, and I knew they would. Several friends warned me this would happen. I do know that Jehovah Jireh has provided for me over and over again. He has become my husband and He is the best husband a woman could ask for. There is great relief in that reality. And great comfort knowing that He will make beauty from these ashes, and He will use this death for my good, according to His purpose. After all, ‘many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.’ (Prov. 19:21)

it resonates…

i’m not really an oprah fan. her disregard for my Savior means I usually don’t give too much credence to her or her show. But since it’s her last season and you always miss what you can no longer have,  i’ve jumped on the ‘it’s the end of the Oprah show’ bandwagon and i’ve been DVRing her show each day.

Today Shania Twain was on the show, discussing her life and her biography, which was published today.

I couldn’t download it on my kindle fast enough.

oh how what she said resonated in my soul. what it feels like to be betrayed by someone you love and trusted. how she learned her husband had an affair, and with her best friend. how she had been confiding in that friend about her marriage, only to learn her suspicions about an affair was valid, AND that the other woman was her best friend.

Now I can’t relate to the specifics of her story. But i can relate to seeing the warped relationship my husband has with his parents/family, and having him deny it. I can relate to being as low as i think is humanly possible…to wanting to go to bed and not get up again. I know what it’s like to wake up and wish you hadn’t, because it means it’s not just a nightmare after all. to swallowing all pride and begging your husband to come home, or in my case, begging him not to leave. to losing yourself in a relationship, completely, so that you don’t even know who you are as a person because everything revolves around your spouse. swallowing any feelings and experiencing so much fear, but not realizing that’s what you’re experiencing. thinking there is something wrong with you, that you aren’t good enough or he wouldn’t have left, that there is something you could have done that would have made him love you more, and made him stay. wanting him to at least be honest and explain why he left the relationship, but never getting the answers or the honesty.

i’m still struggling with a lot of these feelings. like she said, i will always be sad that my marriage failed. it is not what i wanted. i meant it when i said ’til death do us part.

but i was so grateful to see how very happy she is now, remarried and secure in herself. she is such a beautiful woman. she deserves to have a man who is worthy of her love.

and so do i.

The ugly cry

I know I’m a bit behind everyone else in seeing/sharing this, but this little moment of worship sent me into the ugly cry.

Thank you Lord for Your sacrifice, making it possible to spend eternity with You. And hopefully someday sing like this! :-0

spring is here

you can always tell that springtime in Arkansas has arrived when the sky turns green (which I learned this week is actually hail in the clouds) and the tornado sirens are almost constantly heard.

Last Thursday night was a late one, with no sleep until after 3 AM when a line of storms had gone through my area. Just as i had decided it was probably safe to go ahead and go to sleep, a tornado warning was issued for my area. I’ve learned that signing up for one of those WeatherCall services really is worth the $7 a year. They only call if a tornado warning has been issued for your specific address, and it does give me a peace of mind that I wouldn’t normally have.

Then Tuesday night was a repeat of the same, but earlier in the evening and much closer to home.  WeatherCall seemed to be calling every 10 minutes.

There really is something about being home alone during storms like this that I don’t like. Normally weather like this doesn’t bother me in the least. I LOVE storms – the lightning, hail, wind, thunder, rain on the roof…i love all of it. But it’s a super eerie feeling to have herded the dogs into the most interior room of my home and turned the TV volume up as loud as it will go, so I can hear Ed Buckner on KTHV tell me exactly where the rotation is showing up on the radar…until the satellite cable goes out, and the lights keep dimming, and the sky is green, and the wind is blowing, and the last thing you heard is a funnel cloud was spotted three blocks away.

Yeah, this is one of those times that I wish i didn’t live alone.

I realize in the grand scheme of things that having someone there wouldn’t make a bit of difference if a tornado actually hit my home, but there is a measure of comfort in just having someone else there in a time like that.

Thankfully the funnel clouds stayed in the sky, and there were no reports of anything touching down. But this season is particularly active, and I don’t think we’re in any way finished for the spring storm season.

I finally finished my second quilt, a super simple patchwork of layer cake squares sewn together in Kate Spain’s Verna line, and backed with a sheet from Walmart. I wasn’t sure how the sheet was going to work out, but I really love it. And I LOVE the bias binding of the stripes…first time I’ve done a continuous bias binding and while it seemed to take forever, it all worked like magic, just like the instructions said it would, and I really liked not having to sew all the binding strips together or deal with seams. I also tried free motion quilting for the first time with this quilt and while it wouldn’t win any ribbons, once it was washed, you really couldn’t see my multiple mistakes.

Now I’m working on a quilt for my dad, to celebrate both his 70th birthday and also his Christmas gift. I’m incredibly late on this gift and really have no excuse; I need to get it finished and move on. I”m not crazy about the fabric, but it’s something I think he will like, and I found it on clearance so I could actually afford it. It’s a simple layer cake pattern, out of McCall’s Quick Quilts, called “Mom’s Bouquet.” I’m planning on making it for my mom for Mother’s Day out of Verna again…if I ever finish dad’s quilt.

My other challenge is that I was blessed with an incredible, can’t pass up deal on a new sewing machine, but I am terrified of it. It’s so different from anything I’ve ever used and I’m just really not confident with it at all. I know will love it when I gather the courage to sit down and use it. And the large throat will make quilting so much easier. i just need to get over it and do it.

Personally I’m still figuring out who I am as a single person…well, not really single. Still really very much married, since I’m legally married until this time next year (we have a covenant marriage, which doesn’t allow for divorce unless you’ve been separated for two years with no reconciliation). I don’t mean that I’m in any way functioning in ways a typical single person does. But I am figuring out who I am without a husband, and really who I am period. I was with my husband for 17 years, since I graduated high school, and I really disappeared into the relationship. Everything revolved around him and his wants and desires. I don’t even really know what my wants and desires are, but I am learning.

And praise Him for new beginnings, and a new life in Him, made possible by His incredible sacrifice for us and the gift of new life in Christ! We will celebrate this gift tomorrow, Easter, and I’m praying that I will be mindful of new beginnings daily, not just once a year.

My love of cooking…

One of my goals for the year is to become a better cook and start using the many available resources I either own (cookbooks and magazines) or have access to, like my Cook’s Illustrated online membership.  I’ve had this online membership for the last two years, and its really a huge benefit. I can access how-to videos, some of them specific to a recipe they are featuring either online or in their magazine; I can browse the current magazine or past issues; and my absolute favorite feature is that I can save any of these videos, articles, or recipes online, and access them at anytime.

The only downside I’ve seen is that I’d love to be able to access the Cook’s Country website without having to pay to be a member also…or some sort of discount for being a member of both. But that’s just me being cheap/frugal. If you use the website(s) as much as I do, or want to, it’s totally worth the $19.95/year fee.

Other favorite sites (and free!) are All Recipes, MyRecipes and Taste of Home.

Getting organized…

So tonight A is off duck hunting, spending the night in MS at his parents, so I’m home watching movies, hopefully knitting at some point and thinking of all the things I need to do this weekend. Did some organizing to-do’s, like loading the Firefox morning coffee add-in, and programming some pages for it. Now I need to research Evernote and OneNote, and see how other people are using those two programs. Personally I love OneNote…it might have been the most important factor in buying MS Office Home and Student version last year. I love blank paper and blank notebooks, and it’s like an electronic version of the best possible spiral notebook you could ever create.

What I’m liking about Evernote is that you can access it anywhere…email notes to your notebook from your phone or work or whereever, and it’s added automatically. I could access files I need to work on at home by emailing them to my notebook from work, since I can’t log on to my network from home. This could really come in handy someday. And it’s free…there’s a limit on the amount of stuff you can upload each month, but I’m not even close to it at this point and my usage will probably never be more than the free amount. But if it was, I could easily afford the $6 a month for more storage space.

I really do need to become more organized…and I can always learn from others’ ideas and ways of using things like this.

Diary-wise today, I wanted to murder my dentist. I woke up at 6 AM with an excruciating earache. One of the teeth I had a root canal on a week and a half ago has been hurting for several days. I called them on Tuesday, but no one called me back, so I called again yesterday. They called in antibiotics, which I expected. But I did NOT expect the pain this morning…I’ve never had a tooth hurt like this after a root canal when it was supposedly not that infected when they did the procedure. So I called them first thing and told them it was hurting all the way up to my ear, and they basically told me oh well…they didn’t have time to look at it today, and to give the antibiotics 24 hours to work. This time I told them to call in some pain meds ’cause it’s Friday and I’m not going to wake up like this tomorrow. This was at 7:45 AM…they finally called them in at 1:15 PM. And thank goodness, because the tooth is still hurting. I’m hoping I’ll wake up tomorrow feeling much better. I’d wanted to leave work early today and just go home and load up on meds and get some rest, but I sucked it up and stayed. That 7 hours of overtime this week will come in handy the end of the month.

Goals for 2009

I think I’m beginning to accept that procrastination is a huge part of my personality. For instance, it’s almost halfway thru January, and I’m just now getting around to thinking thru my goals for 2009.

I’ve seen this around blogland, and I’m feeling the need to document things this year, both in my personal life, spiritual life and in my crafty-life.

Personal/Home:

  • Get Direct TV. This is not a lofty goal, more of a to-do; and prompted by the fact that I’m trying to watch the Golden Globes and my digital tuner keeps cutting out. REALLY frustrating. I read in today’s paper that the government coupons are all gone…and this is something I’ve wanted for a couple of years now, so I think I’m worth it. DH may not agree – he feels that when we have cable TV, we tend to watch too much of it, and in different rooms, so we don’t spend enough time together. I would agree, but I think if we did have it again, especially when he gets back to working days instead of nights, we can cuddle on the couch while watching Turner Classic Movies.  (in the time it took to type this one paragraph, my TV still hasn’t tuned back in to NBC. UGH!)
  • Get my house clean. REALLY clean. I don’t mean spotless, I just mean out of the CHAOS state it’s been in forever. I plan to use Flylady to do this…babysteps. This is beyond frustrating for me because I want it clean NOW, but I keep reminding myself that it didn’t get into this state overnight, and it won’t get clean overnight. But I would like to be able to have friends and relatives over by March and not cringe when the doorbell rings.
  • Begin meal planning and cooking again.  Most days cooking feels like a chore to me, especially after a long day at work, and that’ s a shame because I really enjoy cooking. And I really enjoy homecooked food, instead of the frozen stuff we eat most nights. And we need to save money; it’s ridiculous how much we spend for food each month. I’ve got a literal ton of cookbooks, many of which I’ve never made a single recipe from. I want to change that.
  • Get daily/weekly/monthly/biannual/annual cleaning routines into a calendar I will use on a regular basis. I don’t know if that will be one in Microsoft Works, Microsoft calendar (or whatever is on my computer) or Google calendar, or something else.
  • Begin using technology to my advantage – using OneNote, Evernote, Google Docs, etc. Find out more about what technology is out there and customize it to my needs.  Find more ways to use my computer to my advantage…I know it can do so very much to help me organize my life, and I’m not utlizing it to its full advantage.
  • Buy or have A build bookshelves and other items around the house that are desperately needed…like a kitchen table, instead of a pool table, in our dining room.🙂
  • Begin keeping a binder of decorating ideas and really planning how I want our house to look – in terms of paint, linens, curtains, furniture, etc. Maybe hire a decorator or artistic friend to help me with this.
  • Start maintaining regular contact with my friends. I’ve been a real slacker lately in terms of emailing my good friends, and I never call my best friends, which is awful.

Spiritual:

  • Begin having a regular quiet time. I’m terrible at this; I want to do it in the morning so the rest of my day goes smoothly, but I hate losing sleep. I’ve read and reread Laine’s letters and know how much I would grow spiritually and how much both my life and my husband’s life would benefit if I would just make the sacrifice to do this.
  • Begin going thru the many, many bible studies I have. Like Beth Moore’s studies, Elizabeth George studies, Experiencing God, etc. I want this year to b e a year of spiritual GROWTH, instead of the a stagnant life .
  • Find a church (whether a new one or the one where we are members) and begin attending regularly. I’d like to get involved in a women’s study if possible and meet some women my own age.
  • Read thru the entire bible this year.
  • Make it my mission to have a significantly better marriage by the end of the year, by praying for my husband daily and attending a FamilyLife Weekend to Remember marriage conference.

Crafts/Hobbies:

  • Set up a studio at home for quilting and knitting. Get my yarn organized and put away.
  • Get my yarns photographed and put into Ravelry.
  • Get my Ravelry queue in order and cleaned up. I didn’t take advantage of the ‘favorites’ feature as intended when I first joined, so I have tons of things in my queue that I won’t actually knit.
  • Try my hand at colorwork.
  • Finish or frog my UFO’s. And there are MANY.
  • Finish the Christmas wall hanging quilt I’ve started.
  • Complete at least two of the other quilts I’ve purchased material for.
  • Make at least 16 pairs of socks this year.
  • Make a pair of mittens.
  • Knit one classic cardigan that I will actually wear.

New year, new adventure…

I’m hoping that I can be a little more regular with posting in 2009. Someday I’d like to be able to look back at what I’ve written and take a trip down memory lane.

Last night was definitely one to add to the record books. A found a great deal on a 4 wheeler (from a friend of coworker) and bought it late yesterday, then loaded it up on his trailer and headed to MS to duck hunt with his dad and brother. Duck season only lasts two more weeks, so he’s trying to take advantage of it. This trailer is a homemade trailer he’s been working on for weeks, poor guy, but this is the first time he’d used it.

So he’d gotten just past the Kerr road exit on I-40, just outside of Little Rock, when he lost a tire off the trailer. Thank God, he made it to the side of the road and didn’t lose the trailer or the 4 wheeler. He called me just after 6 PM to ask me to load up some ramps and grab some tools, then drive out to meet him. I got there a little after 7 PM. We loaded the 4 wheeler in the back of his truck and headed back to the house.

A little background – A had worked all night long Thursday night and had had about 90 minutes of sleep all day. To say he was tired would be an understatement.

By the time we got to the house, he’d gotten a second wind and was ready to grab a jack and some tools, go buy a trailer tire and head back out to fix it…so that’s what we did. We got to Lowe’s just as they were closing, but the nice girl standing guard at the door let us in to buy a few bolts, lock washers and nuts, along with some Lock Tight thread stuff. We ran thru the Chick-fil-A drive thru and headed out.

By the time we got to the trailer it was around 10 PM. A grabbed the jack and learned it had picked last night to stop working (it’s a pneumatic jack he’s had for years). So he had to lift the trailer every time he had to put a bolt in, and I had to try to turn the tire and line things up. It took more than just a while to get it done, and neither of us were very happy by the time we got on the road. The trailer was wagging from side to side and we were both worried it wouldn’t make it back…we stopped twice to try to fix it but finally found if we got above 60 mph, it was fine (it was an empty trailer at that point; we’d left the 4 wheeler at home.

On the way back, A was saying he felt fine, wasn’t tired, and would probably try to leave the house about 2 AM to go on over to MS and meet up with his dad and brother to hunt. Now keep in mind that he’s not going to actually hunt, because he doesn’t have a MS hunting license and it’s pointless to buy one with 2 weeks left in the season. This is all about using the new four wheeler and spending time with his family.

I begged him to stay home and told him I would strap myself to the front of the truck if necessary, but I didn’t want him to go anywhere with everything that had happened and him not getting any sleep. He didn’t want to do it, but he agreed. By the time we got home, it was 1 AM. He took a shower and started playing video games; I went to bed.

I woke up at 2:30 AM because my phone was ringing. He had decided to go anyway, but this time he only made it 15 minutes from the house before the tire came off again.

It was hard, but I was able to bite my tongue and not tell him AGAIN that GOD DIDN’T WANT HIM TO GO TO MS THIS WEEKEND.

So I’m barely awake, but I put on my shoes and jacket to leave to meet him again, wondering where on earth we’re going to find the money to buy another tire since the one we just blew $60 on is now by the side of the interstate, and I can’t find my keys. Why can’t I find my keys? Because A has them…since I drove when we went to fix the flat on the trailer, he’d just left them in the ignition and used them. And…drumroll please….he has his keys too. I have no way to go and meet him.

So he drives his truck down an embankment to try to level the playing field between his tailgate and the ground, so he can drive the 4 wheeler off the trailer and back into the truck. Thank God it worked…but the truck then got stuck. At 3 AM. Fortunately a really nice guy stopped and somehow helped him get unstuck so he got home.

But the trailer is still sitting by the side of the road…less than a mile from the central Arkansas State Police Headquarters. I figure it’s either been towed by now, or there’ s a nice ticket on it. Or maybe they mail those to you? Who knows. I guess we’ll know soon, though…

A has been asleep all day long. It’s now 7:30 PM, and when he does wake up, he says we’ll go buy a new tire, get the trailer home, then return the tire and get our money back since he won’t be using the trailer again.  Which sounds fine and good…but now I’m sleepy.🙂

edited to add: we went to fix the trailer on Sunday morning and it was still there…no ticket, no note from the state police, nothing. And no trailer tire…which means another $60 down the drain. VERY frustrating. We got it home…where it will stay for the indefinite future.

better late than never…

Wish I could get the hang of this blogging thing once and for all. I’d just like to have something to go back and look at sometime in the future, but I can never seem to find the time to actually post anything.

I’m still knitting, and am now quilting also. I’m taking a beginning quilting class at a local fabric shop and I really like it; though I can’t really say too much about it because I’ve only been to one class. I’d planned on going back two weeks ago, but missed, and then was supposed to go back today, and missed again. I have a really good excuse for missing today’s class – I had two root canals yesterday, and the first one went fine, but the second one didn’t – the tooth was badly infected and just kept draining and draining and draining. I was in so much pain by the time they were done; I asked them to numb it up again before I left, but whatever they did didn’t work. I’ve never been afraid of the dentist, but I may have nightmares when I go back. By the time I got home and took pain meds, both prescription and OTC, plus something for nausea because I almost lost it in the chair, it was hurting not just in my tooth, but my entire cheek, up by my ear and into my sinuses. I have a pretty darn high tolerance for pain, but I was pretty much ready to go to the ER, or go back to the dentists’ office and demand that they numb that entire side of my mouth. I finally fell asleep, sometime around 2:30 or 3 PM (I’d left the dentist’s office at 1 PM) and when I woke up this morning, my cheek is so swollen, I look like i have gauze stuffed in my mouth. There’s a big knot in my cheek too. I can’t smile, I look like a freak. It’s not good. I’m hoping the antibiotics they gave me kick in and make it return to a normal size before Monday; I don’t want to go to work like this!

Getting the hang of this…

So it’s only been a little over a week since my last post…I’m finally getting the hang of this posting thing. (insert stupid joke here).

It is almost 9 PM here in central AR, and it’s 83 degrees. It’s barely June, and its already miserable. We were trying desperately to not have to turn on the A/C in the living room/kitchen/great room until at least June, but we really didn’t make it; we turned it on over the holiday weekend for a few days. Since it in effect triples our electric bill, I think this year we’re going to try to just turn it on during the day, and turn it off at night. As long as I remember to turn them (they are window units) on before I leave for work, they shouldn’t have to work too hard to cool it off; and since they don’t ever turn themselves off, that’s quite a bit of electricity that we’ll be saving…which means we can just put it in our gas tank. Prices here have reached $3.75/gallon in our area, and in some places I’ve seen it as high as $3.84.

Just this morning, I realized that we are within $100 of spending the same amount of money on gas that we pay for our house payment. Ridiculous. I really hate to do it, but I think I’m going to have to consider looking for a job closer to home. At this point, I could afford to take a bit of a pay cut and it wouldn’t make a difference; in fact, it might help. If V gets either of the jobs he’s hoping to get, he will be driving farther, and we’ll be spending even more than we do now; unless he gets the job he was initially turned down for – then he’ll be carpooling with a couple of other guys, and we’ll actually save money.

The story there (on the job) is that he applied again for two different positions within the company and they called him to come to a job fair on Saturday for an interview. I’m praying fervently he gets the job; it’s a no-pressure, take-your-time kind of position that is PERFECT for him. He went to a separate company today and filled out an application – hopefully he will get a phone call back to come in for an interview sometime soon. He knows someone who works there, and got a chance to speak to him today. The guy told him that if he’d come in last week, he’d probably have been hired on the spot. But things have slowed down now, so he said he’d call him if something came up, and he put his name on V’s application. The only thing that concerns me about that job (besides the long drive) is that V found today they use the computer for most everything…and V doesn’t have a lot of experience with computers. Web surfing is pretty much it for him, so I don’t know how well that would work out. But God is in control and has a plan and He will work it out for the best for him. I just pray it is SOON, because the heat is just too much for him these days.

As for knitting, I’ve been working on about five different projects that I haven’t touched for a REALLY long time – the On Deck Pullover, the Zig Zag pullover, and three different socks – jaywalkers, simple stockinette socks, and the embossed leaves socks from Interweave’s Favorite Socks book (all Ravelry links). I think I’ve finally come to accept the obvious – I’m a process knitter. I don’t think it matters much to me if I actually finish anything, though I’d love to have some of the many, many projects I have long admired and that are currently on the needles; but I just love to knit, and no day is really complete without it at this point.

Now if only I could apply the same discipline to my spiritual life and my physical fitness, life would be almost perfect.🙂