Tuesday, December 25, 2012

On December 21 I was blessed with the day off work.  Despite needing to do a million and one things to get ready for Christmas, I answered God's call to retreat.  So after work on the 20th, I went to Camp Lutherhaven in Albion, Indiana to spend an evening and a day away in retreat and prayer. The camp offers this at no charge. I just needed to get away and process all that has gone on in my life in the past 18 months...separation, divorce (which isn't even final yet), three surgeries (one which was an emergency), moving to a new home and starting a new job. I definitely had some grief-work to do as well as to have a time to simply rest in God's arms.

The divorce will be final soon, and I have mixed feelings about it.  Dave insists on telling the kids that his having affairs were Biblically-based.  Heather voluntarily told me that he said in his mind, we were already divorced when he pursued the affairs.  He told her that in the Bible if a man wanted a divorce from his wife, he would hand her a piece of paper requesting the divorce, and it was done.  He said that he had asked me for a divorce for over two years, and that every time I talked him out of it.  Thus, because he requested the divorce, he was free to pursue other relationships.

I pray daily that the Lord would set a guard over my mouth, but I do not tolerate un-Biblical truth.  When Heather shared that information, I simply said, "Heather, I am not going to throw your dad under the bus, but what he did was NOT Biblical!"....and by God's grace that is ALL I said.

He also has some rather unfair ideas of how we are to divide up some debt that we have.  He makes over $90,000 a year, and I make $30,000.  Yet he thinks we are going to divide up the debt equally, which I am absolutely not going to accept.

My poor van is also on its last legs, having needed numerous repairs in the past several weeks.  It is my hope that when I receive half of Dave's 401K that I can cash out some of it to replace the van and roll the rest of it immediately into a 401K that I have offered through my job.

Emotionally, I have my ups and downs.  I resent that I am all alone, and Dave has merrily moved onto a relationship.  Heather and I went to a local restaurant for brunch after church one day, and, to my absolute shock and surprise, we saw Dave with his boyfriend.  Fortunately, we were seated far away from each other with a retaining wall separating us.  

I sat in shock for a few moments after we were seated, placed our order and then went to the restroom to cry.  I came out and put on a brave face for Heather, who didn't really understand what was going on.  I encouraged her to go say hello to her dad, and then I basically ignored that he was there.  He later acknowledged to me that he was with someone of romantic interest and commented that I was welcome to talk to him in public if I saw him with someone.  When he said that I was so dumb-founded that I said nothing.

Fortunately, in the past few weeks I have had the opportunity to tell the kids the truth about Dave.  He is furious that I told them, but, after much thought and prayer, decided the truth could wait no longer.

Thank God I have raised kids whom I have taught not to judge.  They all three feel it is not their place to judge Dave's lifestyle.  They are, however, shocked and bewildered by it, and angry with him that he chose to cheat on me.  He, of course, has a litany of excuses for his behavior and often tells the kids it is my fault for a variety of reasons.   I have repeatedly told the kids that it takes two people to make a marriage work; it takes two people to make a marriage fail; and I am not without fault.  I draw, the line, however, with his adultery.

I am desperately trying to honor Dave as the kids' father, even though it is terribly hard.   I also continue to tithe in the face of impossible odds and high medical bills.  I am doing my best to be obedient to God.  As I was praying and meditating on this during my retreat, God led me to this important verse:

"The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.  He will take great delight in you; in His love He will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17.

It is my hope and prayer that I live a life worthy of God's rejoice!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Thanksgiving Psalm:

Psalm 100 (The Message)
On your feet now - applaud God!
Bring a gift of laughter,
sing yourselves into his presence.
Know this: God is God, and God, God.
He made us; we didn't make Him.
We're His people, His well-tended sheep.
Enter with the password: "Thank you!"
Make yourselves at home, talking praise.
Thank Him.  Worship Him.
For God is sheer beauty,
all-generous in love,
loyal always and ever. 
Thanksgiving Cornucopia

FINALLY...Good Health News!:  

As I write this I can gratefully and thankfully report that my asthma has greatly improved with a lung function of over 90% after lingering at 70% for several weeks.  I no longer have stomach aches when I eat, and I have recovered from the drastic weight loss.  My surgeon has released me to resume normal activities, so I was able to return to teaching swim lessons at the YMCA this past week.  My pastor and leaders of the church prayed for me a few weeks ago, and God is answering their prayers!

Have a WONDERFUL and Christ-filled Thanksgiving!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Discouraged for the First Time in a Long Time!

Not sure how much more I can take. Surgeon says full recovery will take 3-6 months. My stomach hurts every time I eat, and I am hungry!  

Asthma doc says my lung function is down to 70%~got two shots and more meds today.

Spent $100 on sick cat 2 weeks ago. Just spent another $100 on sick cat. Cat has a severe eye infection & may lose his eye! 

Everyone at work has been asked to take 9 days off without pay between now and the end of the year due to budget cuts~that means I am out over $900!

It is two steps forward three steps back every where I look!  Please, please, please pray for me!

I was thinking and praying about all of this today, and God impressed upon me that I should ask the elders of my church to pray for me and anoint me, so that's what I am going to do.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

God's Blessings, Provision and Healing Continue

I received this beautiful card in the mail from one of my YMCA swim lesson families.  I have taken a short leave of absence from teaching lessons until I recover from surgery, and I miss those children!  Two of the families are Christians and have faithfully prayed for me through the entire ordeal of my recent surgery and hospital stay.

The inside of the card reads:

The One who made us
knows how to mend us.
He is the Great Physician--
the only One who can heal
body, soul and spirit.
His appointment calendar
is never too full...
His schedule is never too busy...
His diagnosis is accurate...
His treatment is gentle...
His results are wonderful!
You couldn't be
in better hands!
Get Well Soon

The healing that this card's verse talks about has happened in my life for the past 15 months...I went from deep despair, depression, anger and unforgiveness toward Dave.  God has taken my hardened heart and has helped me forgive Dave.  I am now filled with forgiveness.  I still get mad at him at times, but guess what?  Jesus got ticked off too when it was righteous to do so!  But I am blessed beyond measure with improved mental health, healing from the recent surgery and hospital stay, financial prosperity and am surrounded by more love and friends than my heart can hold.

The card also included this gift:

And as we all know...God is seldom early but never late.  Before this gift card arrived I was getting a little concerned about finances.  I lost two weeks pay while I was in the hospital because I didn't qualify for Family Medical Leave since I hadn't been with the company 90 days yet.  Stephen and I both had prescriptions that needed to be filled.  He needed some clothes and some food to take back to IU.  Doctor bills have started to come.

And then yesterday God provided me with $500 cash given to me anonymously through my church, The Pointe Church (www.thepointechurch.net).

God just keeps providing, providing, providing.  I shouldn't be surprised.  I am overwhelmed by this person's generosity.  I am blown away that the God of this universe still takes time to make sure my children and I are provided for.

Fortunately, I am still on Dave's insurance, and we just met our deductible from all of my medical bills.  Dave agreed to wait to finalize the divorce until 12/31/12 at my request.  I have several doctor's appointments and follow up check ups, and since we have met our deductible all future appointments and prescriptions are at no charge.  I am praising God for that as recent bills for x-rays were only $49 and for CT were only $25 prior to meeting the deductible..

We also had Amy in the ER for an appendix scare last week.  The school nurse called and told me she was doubled over in pain, nauseated and very pale.  We got her to the ER right away, and I demanded complete bloodwork and a CT.  I wasn't about to take her home only to bring her right back as happened to me.  The CT tech thought her appendix looked bad, and her white blood cell count was up.  I was still not in the best of shape, and I accepted the news very tiredly.  Fortunately, a pediatric surgeon stepped in and thought she just had a virus.  I got his pager number just in case and took her home.  I made her stay home from band practice and made sure she rested.  The next day, she got up, went to school and went to band practice without a problem.  Many, many people were praying for her, and who is to say that God is not a great Healer?

One of my friends from church is a financial counselor at Lutheran Hospital, and she is guiding me through the process of paying the hospital bills.  Right now I owe $3800, but she counseled me to wait until all of the insurance had been applied to the bill.  She is convinced it will be much less.

I owe the asthma doctor about $470, and the office has graciously agreed to a payment plan of about $150 a month for the next 3 months.  I paid the bill this month, and I am sure God will provide the rest.

My workplace has been extremely supportive.  My boss stayed in touch with me throughout my hospital stay and repeatedly told me, "Do not worry about your job!"  When I returned to work, he told me, "When you get tired, go home.  Do not over do it.  You know how to work from home, and if that's what you need to do to get your job done do it."

My friend, Kerry, is hosting a birthday party for me at her house on October 28 to celebrate my recovery from surgery and my 15th year of being CANCER-FREE!  Anyone who reads this blog is invited.  I have sent many of you an invitation via email or facebook.

I have so many reasons to celebrate!  Am I not blessed beyond measure?

So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”

Friday, October 5, 2012

"...see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it." Malachi 3:10

It is my third day home and recovery is going well.  It is so good to be able to eat real food (I was on a liquid diet for 10 days at the hospital), sleep in my own bed and take a shower.  I am healing well and trying to gain back some of the 12 pounds I lost.

My beloved nephew Evan, who recently graduated from college and is in between work, came from South Bend to take care of me.  He is shopping for me, taking me to the doctor and cooking for me. It has been a fun time with him that I will cherish in my heart forever.  There are not too many 24-year-olds around who would willingly and lovingly care for their aunt!

To fill you in on the details of my hospitalization....I headed to the ER Friday,  September 21 with abdominal pain.  I was sent home with pain and anti-nausea meds.  Saturday, September 22 I woke up to severe vomiting and continued abdominal pain.  Just as I was getting ready to call someone for help, Alice, our worship pastor's wife, rang my door bell.  God's timing is so perfect!!!

She took one look at me and took me right back to the ER.  The ER doc did an abdominal x-ray and said I needed to go home and do an enema (not fun!).  My friend Kerry brought me home and an enema and two suppositories later, I found no relief to my pain.  I went to sleep hoping for a better day the next day.

Unfortunately, I woke up Sunday, September 23 with severe nausea and pain. My friends Sharon and Kerry to me back to the ER.  The ER doc who saw me Saturday was there, took one look at me and said, "You are not going home," which was an answer to prayer because I was going to beg them to keep me.

Throughout this whole process I was in contact with my asthma doctor.  He and I suspected that possibly all of the antibiotics, steroids, etc. that I was on for my severe asthma flair of recent weeks was wreaking havoc with my stomach.  Throughout the weekend we made adjustments and took me off some of the medications, which still did not help.

The ER doc did a CT of my abdomen and found that I had a blockage caused by scarring in my small bowel.  It was caused by the colon resection I had in July 2011.  The doctor admitted me, and they tried an NG tube to pump my stomach hoping that would clear the blockage.  By Monday, September 24 it was clear it was not working so I went into emergency surgery at 6 p.m.  My memory of this time is very hazy and unclear.  Apparently I was pretty hilarious in recovery and said some funny stuff!

The next few days went by in a haze.  My sister, Connie, came from Franklin to stay with Amy and Heather and to take care of me in the hospital.  Connie had to leave Thursday and friends and neighbors kept an eye on the girls for me.  It was my hope to be home that following weekend...Saturday, September 29 or Sunday, September 30....but my colon did not cooperate and the doctors would not let me out until I pooped!  So I had people all over the US and England (literally) praying that I would poop.  To try to get things going the doctors took me off morphine and the IV as I was tolerating liquids and was pretty mobile.  For 5 days I got up, showered, dressed myself and walked and walked and walked the floor trying to get things moving.

While I was in the hospital friends from a high school band committee cleaned my apartment, washed sheets and left fresh flowers and magazines for me.  My fridge was overflowing with food from church for the girls...I was so blessed that my neighbor Dawn and her family ate for a week from what I had in the fridge!  

The best part of the story is still to come....Stephen got a ride from IU and came to see me right away on Friday, September 28.  As soon as he got to my room, he cried.  He said it was so hard having all this happen with him being at IU, and he felt so helpless.  Then he said, "Mom, I have to tell you something.  You know how I have been involved in CRU (Campus Crusades for Christ) at IU, right?"  And I said, "Yes, and you just went on a retreat with them, didn't you?"  He said yes.

He went on to explain that he had been really mad at God for a long time because of his dad's changing theological beliefs (Dave no longer believes in the Trinity...more about that later).  Dave has been asked to leave two churches over the issue and his argumentative attitude.  Stephen said that because of that he thought he might check out a church at college and maybe look into a campus fellowship, but he wasn't real enthused about it.  

My dear friends in Bloomington, the Fredericks, invited Stephen to their church, and he said, "Mom, I love my church!"  Then he cried and spilled out the most beautiful story my mother's heart had so longed to hear.

He said he and his friends were out in a courtyard for an IU Welcome Week party, and there was a tornado warning.  The students were all sent to the basement of the nearest building.  While they were in the basement, some Campus Crusades for Christ students came by and started handing out info cards to get students' contact info and asking them to check boxes if they were interested in learning more about Christ, joining a small group, etc.

Stephen said, "Mom, I filled out the card, but I wasn't going to check any boxes.  The next thing I knew all the boxes were checked.  It was if God checked them for me.  I went to the small groups and meetings, and I loved it.  After everything that has gone on with Dad, I thought I would only find God at Cedar Campus (our Christian family vacation camp), but Mom, God found me at IU!  He took a tornado, a piece of paper and a basement, and HE FOUND ME AT IU!"

Of course, we were both sobbing with joy.  I wept so hard, I could hardly talk.  He went on to show me the CRU website and told me all of his friends were praying for me.  I told him to tell them to specifically pray for poop, and bless his heart, he got right on his phone and started texting away.  Those beloved students began right away to join in prayer for me to poop!

Stephen then began asking some very pointed questions about the divorce.  He knew there was more to the story, and he said he wanted to know everything.  Sensing God's timing, I said, "OK....I will tell you.  Dad wants you to know most of the story.  We are just trying to figure out when and how to tell you.  Please don't tell Dad I am telling you.  I am not saying that out of disrespect to him, but we are no longer under his spiritual leadership."

Then I told him that Dave had cheated on me multiple times, and of course, Stephen cried.  I very quickly said, "Don't hate him.  I have forgiven him and have let it go, and in time you will too."

Stephen replied, "I am so glad you didn't tell me until you had forgiven him.  You have done an amazing job not throwing him under the bus, when you had every right to this past year."

Stephen then had to leave, and I told him we would talk more later in the weekend.  Saturday he went downtown to see the Fort 4 Fitness race, hung out with some band buddies, went to the band competition to see Amy perform and had a very late night.  When he returned Sunday before he had to go back to IU, he was very weary and tearful.

I asked him what was wrong, and he said, "I was up until 4 in the morning talking with some friends.  We have a friend in the military, and he is having a very hard time, and we were trying to figure out how to help him."  Bless his precious ministering heart!

Then he said, "Mom, I know there is more about the divorce that I need to hear, but I don't think I can take it right now."  I said, that was fine.  Then I mentioned this blog, which would tell the whole story.  He asked if I could send him the link, and I told him I would sent it to him when I got out of the hospital.

I said, "You can only read it under a few conditions.  Pray before you read it.  Don't read it late at night.  Don't read it all at once...and don't read it alone."  

He had to leave then to catch his ride back to IU, but before he left, he said, "Mom, I don't think Heather should know everything." 

I replied, "You will have a couple of weeks to read the blog and process everything, and then you will be home for fall break October 12-October 14.  That weekend Dad, Amy and Heather will be at a band competition, and you and I can continue to process the blog, pray and figure out how to move forward."

With a hug and a a kiss and tears in his eyes, he left and headed back to IU.

There is so much more to tell about how God has blessed me and taken care of me through the whole hospitalization and the surrounding events.  I will share more in my next entry.  

Needless to say, God has surrounded me with a great cloud of witnesses to care for me...He has thrown open the floodgates of heaven and has poured out so much blessing that I do not have enough room enough for it!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Back in the ER and Home Again

Woke up early this a.m. and started vomiting non-stop.  Couldn't keep down meds for pain and nausea.  Just as I was getting ready to call a friend to take me back the the ER, she miraculously showed up at my front door to check in on me.  (Thank you Alice!)

So we went back the the ER, and I was given more pain meds and anti-nausea meds via IV.  They sent me home with a colon anti-spasmodic prescription and an anti-nausea prescription.

They still think that I have C. diffcile, a bacterium that can cause symptoms ranging from diarrhea to life-threatening inflammation of the colon.

I am going to try to get in to see my colon doctor Monday.  I also spoke with my asthma specialist, and he is having me take a break from the antibiotic and singular for the asthma for a couple of days.  I will probably go in to see him on Monday too.

I have a doctor's note to stay home from work Monday, and I probably will stay home.  I am very, very tired.  I have been able to keep down clear liquids today and will start a bland diet tomorrow of toast, applesauce, bananas and rice.

I have been surrounded by friends from church, my neighbors and my friends from band.  So I am in good hands.  Dawn, my neighbor, took me to and from the ER Friday and helped me fill my prescriptions.  Alice, my friend from church, took me to the ER today, and Kerry, a friend from band, brought me home and helped me fill my prescriptions today.  

My other neighbors have a daughter, Rachel, who is in band with Amy, and Rachel drove Amy everywhere she needed to go Friday and Saturday.  Heather is with Dave for a day or so.  Then Sunday I will have the girls all week.  Dave can't take them this next week because he is so swamped with directing the Fort-4-Fitness race, which is next Saturday.  My neighbors have all offered meals, have offered to stay with me and have offered to let the girls stay with them in need be.

In spite of everything, I feel so blessed as God continues to provide for me and meet my every need.

Alice is so worried about me, and all that I am going through right now with Amy, facing the kids learning the truth about Dave, the divorce, juggling a new job, etc.....but God has yet to fail me.  Yes, I have seemingly insurmountable obstacles in front of me, but God can leap over them even when I don't think I can.

Friday, September 21, 2012

In the Emergency Room

I ended up in the emergency room today.  Asthma flare is finally calming down, but I was having severe colon spasms.  I had this problem shortly after my colon re-section in June 2011.  The ER doc thinks it is because of all of the antibiotics that I am on.  Apparently, the bad bacteria is outweighing the good bacteria.  

They gave me IV meds for pain and nausea and have advised me to follow up with my colon surgeon on Monday.  The doctor also gave me meds for pain and told me to take some over-the-counter meds to get my colon working correctly.

I tried all day to get in touch with my surgeon, but she and her staff were out of the office.  I finally got in touch with a nurse at the office, and she advised me to head to the ER.  My dear neighbor Dawn took me to the ER even though she was fighting a migraine.

Amy will be at a band competition in South Bend all day tomorrow, and Heather will be with Dave going to the band competition.  I am just going to stay home and rest.

I have been surrounded by all of my friends, and church friends are standing by if I need anything.

I am so exhausted and am in so much pain.  What I really need is an antispasmodic like bentyl, but the ER doctor didn't want to prescribe it.  She also recommended that I stop the antibiotics.

I have tried to keep working all week, but today my boss told me to pack up my stuff and go home.  I don't have any official time off yet, and he is just having me bring in doctor's notes and allowing me to work from home and work a flexible schedule.

In the midst of all of this drama this week, I was able to schedule Amy's first counseling appointment and an appointment with our family doctor to get complete bloodwork done on her.  She is a vegetarian, and although she eats a lot of protein substitutes, I suspect she is lacking in iron and vitamin D, as I was earlier this year.

Please keep praying for our health!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Just when I thought I was doing better, I had a rough night. My doctor called me after viewing my chest x-ray, and even though my lungs are clear, he was concerned that I wasn't doing better by now.  So I went back in, and he prescribed a new antibiotic and another cough syrup and continued nebulizer treatments.  Next step if this doesn't help is a CT sinus scan and blood work. This is costing me a fortune, but God has yet to let me down.  I am sure He will provide!

Amy's first counseling appointment is Tuesday, September 25 at 2 p.m.  Please continue to pray for her, and for me as I coordinate all of this.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Good news--chest xray showed no pneumonia.  Doctor changed and adjusted meds.  I am FINALLY feeling better.  I still sound terrible though.  My neubulizer has become my new best friend.

Dave and I have an appointment this week to talk to his counselor about Amy.  Still trying to get Amy's appointment with her counselor scheduled.

Please continue to pray for us all.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Amy Update

Dave and I had a surprisingly good discussion with Amy tonight.  She realizes that she needs to go to counseling and is willing to go.  She confessed that she was sad before Dave and I split up, and the divorce just made things worse.  I reminded her that clinical depression runs in my family, and that it is not a weakness to accept help or take medicine if needed.

I was fairly open with her a few weeks ago about how depressed I was last winter.  That really paved the way for some good discussion this evening.  I was again reminded that God uses our own suffering to help others...never did I think He would use my struggles with clinical depression to help her.  

He is an amazing God!  Thank you all for your emails, phone calls, texts and prayers.  I have the best friends in the world!

Dave, Amy and I Need Your Prayers!

Dave received a very disturbing phone call from Amy's school today.  A friend of hers anonymously reported to a counselor that Amy was cutting herself.  Amy's counselor then followed up on it.  He called Amy into a meeting, and he asked her to show him her arms.  She refused and stone-walled him for a very long 5 minutes.  He told her they would sit there as long as it took.  Worried about missing class, she finally relented and allowed the school nurse to have a look.  She has 12 old scars, 14 fairly new cuts and 1 really new cut.

Dave and I are, of course, devastated.  We are planning to talk to her tonight while Heather is at church youth group.  Dave has agreed to let Amy come home with me (the girls are with him this week) if she wants and that she can stay as long as she wants.  As I wrote earlier, she has expressed a great desire to be with me full-time.  Dave feels that it doesn't matter who gets the kids when and what is fair between us...and I agree...it is not about us.  It is about the kids and what their greatest needs are.  Please, please, please pray for my precious, beautiful girl.  Please pray for wisdom for Dave and I as we talk with her this evening.  

Amy's Color Guard Photo
To top it off, I went to the doctor today, and I am much more ill than I thought.  Right now we are trying to keep me from going into pneumonia.  I received a steroid shot and am taking oral steroids along with singular (a drug for asthma), an antibiotic and am using a nebulizer every four hours.  Please pray for healing.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I Need Prayer

I need prayers...I am starting to get sick.  It all started Saturday night with a sore throat and then coughing.  Today more coughing, and now I have lost my voice.  I am preparing to race in the Fort-4-Fitness 1/2 marathon (www.fort4fitness.org) on September 29, and this is really going to put a kink in my training.

Not only that, I am starting to become very overwhelmed at work.  I am still learning, and my boss says I am doing a good job....but I feel like it takes me forever to handle some of the various processes that I am supposed to be taking over.  My boss, a wonderful Christian, often reminds me, "You must crawl, before you run."

I have a huge presentation to prepare for that is due in about three weeks, and I haven't had much time to work on it.  It requires writing, long-term planning and a lot of thinking....something that I don't often have time for while sitting in the hot-seat of the purchasing desk.  Just today I met with four suppliers and had to handle several hot issues that came up.  I feel like I often don't have time for the "big picture" thinking that this presentation requires.

I am also struggling with juggling a career with being a single mom and being the spiritual leader of our home.  It is so hard to find balance and to take care of myself.  Please pray for me as I walk this tough walk.  My boss, who is also a pastor, reminded me that God is my husband; God is a father to my children; and I am not in this alone.  Pray that I remember that!

On the plus side, Heather was baptized on Sunday by our junior high pastor.  It was awesome to see her take this step of faith.   I love the trusting look that was on her face as Todd baptized her.

Please pray for her as she continues in her journey to follow Christ!  She is such an encouragement to me.  I don't know what I would do without her.

Dave and I are meeting with his counselor on October 6 to discuss his telling the kids that he is gay.  I am going to the meeting not to support Dave, but to learn what he is thinking and what he is expecting from his revealing his story.  

Please continue to bring this issue before God in prayer.  I will need all the help I can get as these events transpire.

Monday, September 3, 2012

It has been a while since I have posted as I have been very busy with my new job.  As a purchasing analyst I am in charge of purchasing and maintaining the stock of many, many items used in the manufacturing plant where I am working.  I am learning about all of the raw materials and developing business relationships with over 50 different suppliers.  

I am learning how to use a huge data base that tracks supplies, work orders and work in progress as I determine whether or not we need to purchase a certain commodity at any given time.  I also am analyzing current suppliers and comparing them with potential suppliers to determine ways to save money.  Soon I will also be working on some grant writing for what my supervisors and I hope will lead to funds for workforce development.  It is a lot of responsibility and my days are very hectic, but I really like it.  

As I look back on the past year, I have been given a new perspective on what I thought was a dry, unproductive spell in my life.  While the year seemed long as I looked and looked for a job, it was during that year I was given time to heal and get back on my feet.  All the time that I thought God was not hearing my pleas for a job, He was using that time to help me recover emotionally, physically and spiritually.  As some of you may recall, I had major colon surgery June 13 of last year; Dave filed for divorce in June; and I moved out mid-July--more than enough stress!

Last year I also had a short work day and was off during all of the kids' holiday breaks, so I was more available to them when they really needed me.  They, too, were adjusting to the the divorce and living between two houses.

Needless to say, a year ago...even six months ago...I was in no shape to take on the work responsibility that I have now.  Now in retrospect I see what God was doing...He had not forgotten me...He did hear my pleas and prayers...He still had me in the palm of His hand.  In my stubborn way I refused to see what He was doing...it was if He pushed a "pause" button on my life to give me time to catch my breath.  I have been fervently reminded that "My times are in your (God's) hands..." Psalm 31:15a.

That being said, I have yet another hurdle to overcome.  Dave has decided that he wants the kids to know that he is gay.  I pushed for him to tell them the truth last year, and he refused to do it.  Consequently, Amy blamed me for the divorce and treated me rather brutally.  She has since done a complete turn around, and she has asked to live with me all the time.  She is beginning to see a lot of Dave's flaws, and she is very frustrated with him.  While I would welcome her, I don't think being with me full time is in her best interest....her relationship with Dave is a very important one, and she doesn't realize that right now.

Dave and I have an appointment on October 6 with his counselor to discuss the best way to handle this situation.  I was afraid he was going to push to tell them right before Stephen left for IU-Bloomington in August, and I didn't want him to drop that on Stephen at that time.  Then Dave discussed Christmas as an option, but I didn't think that was a good time either.  I am pushing for the week of Thanksgiving...the kids will all be with me that week, and Stephen has the entire week off.

Dave's reasons for wanting to tell them is as he says, "I am ready to move on with my life."  When I asked him if it meant he would be bringing home people for the kids to meet, he said, "Yes."  Gay or not, I don't think the kids should be exposed to our significant others until things are pretty serious.  I cautioned Dave about this and asked that he not parade all of his "first dates" in front of the kids.

I am sick with worry about how this is going to affect this kids.  I have no way of preparing them for this, except to cover them in prayer...which I am doing daily.  Please, please, please be in prayer for my beloved children...that God would protect them and their relationship with Dave.  Regardless of his sexual orientation, he is still their father.  

And somehow in this mess, I must be their mother.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Unbelievable Ways I Have Been Blessed This Past Year

As of August 6 I will be employed by as a buyer for a small manufacturing company.  The pay is EXCELLENT, and I will receive benefits.  I even have August 13 as a day off with pay to move Stephen into the dorm at IU-Bloomington.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I GOT A JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As of August 6 I will be employed by as a buyer for a small manufacturing company.  The pay is EXCELLENT, and I will receive benefits.  I even have August 13 as a day off with pay to move Stephen into the dorm at IU-Bloomington.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The kids and I had a wonderful week at Cedar Campus last week.  If you have never been there, check it out at www.intervarsity.org/cedar.  It is a beautiful place to get away for awhile and connect with God. 

I had an opportunity for a private meeting with the women of Family Camp 3 to fill them in on all that had gone on in the past year.  It was a time of great healing and prayer.  I was so blessed by their loving response and support.  When I looked out into the group of women as I spoke, I knew it was a picture in my memory that I will forever treasure.

My heart continued to heal from the divorce throughout the week, and I have a peace that I haven't had in a long time.  Strangely, I do not miss Dave or miss being with him.  I do miss being married and being part of a family.  I miss having someone cook dinner for me at the end of a long day.  Yet I have a strong sense that I have moved on into a new chapter in my life that has great possibilities for me. 

When I was younger and single before I met Dave, I tried to embrace being single and embrace the opportunities that being single gave me.  I could go on mission trips, manage my own finances and follow God's leading where ever it took me.  I realized this week that I have been re-gifted the gift of singleness, and it has opened up a whole new world for me.  I have always had a heart for missions, and Dave did not.  Perhaps in time God will use that desire in some way that He could not have while I was still married.  The last kid could go off the college, and God could call me to India for all I know.  It is such an exciting realization!

While at Cedar we were also blessed by anonymous monetary gifts throughout the week.  I walked in our room one night and found this envelope with $100 in it. 

At the end of the week I went to the Honey Pot (the camp snack bar) to pay our tab and found out that someone else had anonymously paid our bill.  Misha, the student working at the Honey Pot that week, was so happy to be a part of that blessing.  She just grinned when she told me the bill was paid anonymously.

I went out to the van the day we were getting ready to leave, and I found this envelope with $200 in it stuck in my driver's side window.

Another couple gave me a $100 that they were given for speaking at a funeral.  They said they didn't need the money and would like to give it to us.

We went to Mackinac Island for the day with the Kubias and Klatt families before we headed home on Saturday and had a great time.  The Klatts even bought our lunch for us! 

My dear friends, Thad and Sharon McCallister from Fort Wayne, have helped me with car repairs and have been my go-to for help with the van this past year.  The Thursday before we left for camp, the starter in the van began to go out.  I was able to make it safely to and from camp, and Thad is replacing the starter for me this week for $75.

The Frederick family from Bloomington were so excited that Stephen is going to be at Indiana University this fall.  They even invited him to church and to their church's college youth group, and Stephen said he would like to go!  I wept when I heard about that.  Stephen has not gone to church for almost two years!  Stephen and Jerry Frederick (the Frederick's dad) spoke several times throughout the week, and I could just see Jerry pouring himself into Stephen's heart.  I will be forever grateful as Jerry is doing something for Stephen that I can not do...and that is show him strong male Christian leadership.

Amy and I had some wonderful moments, which was a great blessing.  This past year has been very difficult with her as she saw me as the one at fault for the divorce.  She has felt that because I moved out that I broke up the family and that I broke up our home.  Things were very rough between us.  This week she learned to check the oil in the van, gas up the van and even drove on the way to Cedar.  She was so helpful as we checked the oil and added oil.  It was nice to have someone else do that with me as the van has a small oil leak that I have to keep an eye on.

Heather had a blast with her friend Lydia.  The two of them spent most of their time sailing.  They have become quite proficient at sailing and have even given sail boat rides to other campers who don't know how to sail.  She was so excited to see Amy warm up to me during the week and to hear that Stephen is planning to attend church in the fall.

Needless to say, I was completely blessed the entire week!

And today I was contacted by two possible future employers for second round interviews!  I have an interview at 10 a.m. Tuesday and an interview at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

I know this post is extremely long, so I will end here.  Thank you all for your many blessings and continued prayers.  I treasure each and every one of you!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Many people have tried to stay in touch with me via email and Facebook about my pending divorce and what is going on with my life.  There are details I want to share, but I would also like to keep those details private and out of email and off of Facebook...so I decided to start this view-by-invitation-only blog.

It would take volumes to get you up-to-date, but I will try to be brief.  Dave is holding off on finalizing the divorce until I find employment with insurance.  He does not want me to be without insurance, and I am grateful for his support.

He filed for divorce last June, and I moved into an apartment in July.  Finances have been tight, but God has been good.  My church has helped me with some car repair bills and some medical expenses that insurance didn't cover.  Some dear friends helped pay my lawyer retainer fee, my apartment security deposit and several month's rent until I could get on my feet.

I am still working 35 hours a week at our local high school, and I am paid hourly...so when school is not in session I make no money.  Fortunately, I received a very large tax return this year and that, along with part-time work teaching swim lessons at the Y, have been paying the bills this summer.

All summer long I have been teaching swim lessons, networking to find work, attending workshops at a government job placement agency, rewriting my resume, interviewing for jobs, getting Stephen ready for IU-Bloomington in the fall and trying to be mom to Stephen, Amy and Heather.  Needless to say, I am exhausted.

The kids and I are going to Cedar Campus in Cedarville, Michigan this month.  It is a break I sorely need.  Dave has graciously given me the money to pay for the kids' expenses, and the camp has given me a scholarship for my expenses....so all I have to come up with is gas and food expenses to get there and back.

There will be more to share in the days to follow.  Please continue to pray for my job hunting efforts.