For all this and more, I thank you.

How can I even find the words to say?

My Sweetheart, Mr. Wonderful- You pick up the slack. No. More than that. You are the life-blood of our family. Strength. Backbone. Love. Ideals. Morals. Like, I said, I don’t have the words. I wish I did.

I see in you someone who is staying put, in order that I don’t feel left out. I see you settling when what you would’ve done 25 years ago, was to go for it. Somewhere along the way, I put my foot down and now you do every single thing around our home, so that I can do things that I want to.

You’re laying down your life. That’s what you’re doing. And it’s for me. I didn’t see it quite like that before, but I do now. C……… I go around griping and complaining that my feet hurt or that I’m hungry and you take care of me. You built me a house… which I was complaining about earlier. But you reminded me last night that it really is big enough, when we use it properly.

Maybe I used to stay out in the too-small living room because the kids were little and I was worried about them doing what they needed to do. I didn’t pursue any of the things I wanted because I was so busy riding them to make sure they did what they were supposed to do.

I hate being away from you.

I love you and I see what you do for me… for us… for our family together. I believe in you, and I trust your judgment. I pray you chase after what you want with reckless abandon. Because in the end, what God has in store for us is better, and we don’t typically get where He wants us without taking chances that seem absurd to others.

I believe in you, Mr. Wonderful.

The Colors of the Sunrise

Do bear in mind: this is my journal. I post it online and do not care who sees it. But my opinions are my own, as are my experiences.

He Knows My Name

Many months ago, my friend Daphnewood and I were chatting via text message. She was going though a rotten time; unexpected divorce and all the YUCK that carries with it. She mentioned that she’d been studying the Bible and she saw that God has His own special name for each of us. She asked if I had ever heard of this before.

The truth is, vaguely. I mean, I’m sure I heard it somewhere, once, a long time ago, but …. ok… go on….

She said she had been in prayer for some time over this, and that God had revealed to her, the name He called her. It would be wonderful if I could remember it right now. Maybe it was Deborah? And she told me the meaning of the name. We laughed and cried together, because it was all of the characteristics she wasn’t feeling, or hadn’t been for some time. But God said those things were true about her. She felt so humbled and amazed and asked if I’d ever asked His name for me.

The funny truth is, I had a few weeks earlier. See, my given name is Jennifer, but I always go by Jenny. When I’m signing in at the doctor’s office, or at the bank, I’m always formal and sign Jennifer. And one day when I was praying, I was being silly and at the end, signed off as though it was a letter: Sincerely, Jennifer. Uh… do you call me Jennifer? Or Jenny? Or something else?

God laid it on my heart that He calls me Jenny. I thought that was sweet, because I like being a Jenny. So I tell this to Daphnewood, and she asks if I know the meaning. “Look it up. Seriously,” she said. I reluctantly typed “Jenny meaning” into a search engine, and it came up with, “gentle.”

Which is about everything I think I’m not, but wish that I was. I cried and cried because I know He means it, but I just don’t see that in myself when I’m spinning plates, and going 100 miles per hour, making sure everything is ok for everyone else. I get angry with myself, and angry with my family if we let a plate fall.

He said my name was Jenny. I was so humbled and awed.

I didn’t think about it much until last Saturday, when I got up at 5am (on my day off! Rude!) to use the bathroom. I was thinking about that conversation with Daphnewood, and thought how cool it was that God’s name for me and my parents’ name for me was so close. I wasn’t really praying, but clearly, I heard from the Holy Spirit that my parents listen to Him and love Him, and so they took guidance from Him to name me. That was so very true and sweet, and I loved knowing that He was nearby while my Mom and Dad were naming me. It was just so close and such an intimate thing.

I came back to bed feeling just so loved, and I was telling Mr. Wonderful about it. Then I was laying here, in the quiet gray light of pre-dawn, just mulling it all over, when God said to my heart, “The second part of your name cannot be pronounced by human tongues.” As I lay there, I said to Him, “Huh? What now?”

And even though I was laying down and couldn’t see out the window, my eyes fell on the scene of my front yard…. with the gray and cloudy skies. A mouth-like something, opened in the middle of the sky, and then two things happened. First, the colors of the sunrise spilled out of the “mouth”. White, yellows, oranges, peach, fuschia, pinks, purples. Separate, and then swirling, the colors spewed forth from the mouth. The second thing was the sound of a choir of angels singing in harmony. Just one note, not a song, really.

I said to Him, “What was that?” And He said, “The words you would use to describe the second part of the name I have for you.” I sat bolt upright and I cried and cried and laughed as I was telling Mr. Wonderful about this precious vision He shared with me.

He loves me so much. And He loves you too. Just ask Him to show you how much. ❤

Unflattering Pictures

I hate that I look mad in this photo. We were having a picnic and maybe my mouth was full? SportyGirl was trying to stalk us and HorseGirl kept crashing into me and laughing. We spent the morning together and hung out… I somehow knew that it would be the last good family time before school started on the following Tuesday (after Labor Day).

As I said, I don’t love this picture, But more than unflattering photographs, is unflattering behavior. When we are unkind, or force our beliefs on others, it is unflattering, to say the least. As a society, why don’t we know that kindness matters SO MUCH?

hmmm. I don’t have any answers but I’ll pray lots for the people who don’t get it.

The Father’s House

My hubs is preaching at our church this coming Sunday. It’s been awhile and he’s pretty excited about it. I am too, as I miss Mr. Wonderful giving the message. It’s fun for me because on Sunday moring, I get to hear the end of the week-long conversation we’ve had about whatever he’s studying in scripture.

So he’s chosen the songs he wants sung on Sunday. Since I’m on the Praise Team, I get to put the computer presentation together for Sunday. It wasn’t hard this time, even with new songs, because sweet Katie is better on the computer than I am. She took a 3.5 hour job and whittled an hour off my best time! Woohoo!

My song request is the first song we’re singing, The Father’s House by Cory Asbury. Here’s the bridge and the final chorus:

Prodigals come home
The helpless find hope
Love is on the move
When the Father’s in the room
Prison doors fling wide
The dead come to life
Love is on the move
When the Father’s in the room
Miracles take place
The cynical find faith
And love is breaking through
When the Father’s in the room

The Jericho walls are quaking
Strongholds now are shaking
Love is breaking through
When the Father’s in the room
I said, love is breaking through
When the Father’s in the room

Ooh, lay your burdens down
Ooh, here in the Father’s house
Check your shame at the door
‘Cause it ain’t welcome anymore
Ooh, you’re in the Father’s house

It’s a huge deal to me. There are so many ways in which the enemy of my soul tries to trip me up in guilt and shame, in worries, in disobedience, in not trusting in the Lord to provide me and my family with every single thing we need.

He says, “Check your shame at the door, ’cause it ain’t welcome anymore.” I just want to jump up and down with joy. I experienced some of that joy today while we were out going to a store for supplies. I was watching my daughters finish bites of a sandwich on the grass in front of Mr. Wonderful’s vehicle. I saw the sunlight playing on their hair, and I was suddenly overwhelmed with the knowledge that God’s proclaiming no guilt and no shame for me extends to Mr. Wonderful’s and my decision over where our kids will be schooled this fall, and how.

I’m seriously about to flip out over the choices, and what people (well meaning, all- and friends, most) think Carl and I should do with regard to keeping our kids home and doing school-via-zoom or sending them back to the building which will also house hundreds of other students daily, and who we don’t know if they and their families are social-distancing, wearing masks, working in hospitals without adequate protective gear, etc. It’s overwhelming, to say the least.

We were originally thinking of having them stay home, because probably after school starts, there will be a spike in cases and I-just-know-it, the governor or someone will call off school again. Today, Carl says he really thinks they should go back, in order to touch base with civilization again and get back into the swing of studying and structure.

Literally, I’m changing my mind 2 times a day. And add to that, a bad experience that a friend of mine had with her kiddo who was allowed to attend summer classes in an environment they considered safe. I honestly would’ve considered it safe, too. And a fellow student ended up with The Virus, and now classes are closed for everyone for the time being.

Add to that, I’m on vacation this week, and our plans were foiled by a sweet Roscoe P. Coletrane doggy who needed a fatty mass surgically removed from his right front elbow. Even if we could’ve financially handled going somewhere after paying for his surgery, we certainly could not leave poor Rosc-y dog with the dog-sitters (even though it’s my sweet cousins who are great with him). Have I yet posted a pic of my pooch? It’s necessary. Hang on while I make it happen.

OK. I think we all feel better after having seen my long, lean doggy machine. He’s about 80 pounds with super long legs. Treeing Walker Coon Hound, plus mutt. That picture business took me 2 hours to figure out. I swear, 47 is too old to figure out this new-fangled technology business.

A bunch of stuff is happening and I am overwhelmed. Too many decisions and too many limits on what we can do and where we can go. I am so tired of this Virus. I am tired of not eating in a restaurant. I am tired of the kids sports being cancelled. I am tired of not going anywhere or doing anything besides being home.

I sound like a jerk. Everyone is in the same boat. It’s happened to us all. And I can’t imagine how horrible it must be for the owners of small businesses, and especially restuarants, etc.

Our Father God is so wonderful as to take our burdens, but He won’t force us to hand them over. He asks us to lay them down of our own accord. It’s a state-of-heart rather than a state-of-mind. When we do that, He frees us from guilt and shame, and shares His peace with us.

  • 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
  • –Matthew 11:28-30

So says the song I’ve poted here, “Love is on the move when the Father’s in the room.” He loves us more than we could possibly think or imagine. And don’t think I’m so perfect that I don’t have any doubts. We all do. It’s part of being human. But when I sat in my honey’s car today and looked at our daughters, I KNEW that God was saying whatever we chose would be good for our family. I don’t have to second-guess myself, because He goes ahead of me and knows how it’s all going to work out. I don’t have to obsess over bussing, and lunches and classes and activities because whatever I choose, along with Mr. Wonderful, in prayer, will be the right thing for us. I truly believe that.

Dogs in the Sky

Oh my soul!

I just finished reading Me, before you this afternoon. I don’t enjoy tearjerkers all that much, unless there’s a happy ending, which there was not. The book was set in 2007 or something, so I don’t feel like I’m spoiling this for anyone.

First thing this morning, I had an allergist appointment near East Lansing, It went fine, and I took the book, just in case I had a 30 minute wait. When I got there, after driving into the sun for several minutes, and walking across the sunny parking lot for a minute, the lady clocks my temperature at 99.5. She almost has a cow. She has to call someone to verify that it’s low enough for me to go to the seating area, which was SO not socially distanced. We were sitting in the building’s hallway, for Heaven’s sake! Everyone has to wear a mask. Fine… By the way, I’m so unbelievably tired of the social distancing thing, It’s just wearing on my nerves. I can understand the why, so I do it. I am just tired of it.

The Chinese lady who walked me back could not understand much of what I said. I have so much heart for those who are a speaking a language other than their native tongue, because I’m currently learning Spanish on and it’s just HARD to make real progress. Every time I think I’m getting somewhere, I listen to real Spanish Speakers and I understand that I know almost nothing. So I made a real effort to help with communication. She seemed relieved and took my vitals, gave me my meds, and I waited 30 minutes to see if there was going to be a problem. There wasn’t.

But I read the part of the book where Louisa is mad at Will because he said that her loving him wasn’t enough to make him change his mind about going to Switzerland. (It’s a big deal, if you’ve read the book. He is a quadriplegic who plans to go to a center in Switzerland to be euthanized.) She left him at the beach after a huge argument and then just quit being his caretaker because of the upcoming suicide.

I didn’t want to finish reading the book there, because the parking lot was so hot and sunny. I had intended to stop and see my goddaughter, FroYo Lolo at McDonald’s and get a sandwich and a soda and then go to the park and finish reading the last 20 pages… but the cars wound around the building and out to the road. Instead, I drove down leafy country roads, took a mandatory detour around Fowlerville High and began playing George Strait music, like I had done yesterday.

And then I was thinking about how many of his songs are so sad. And then I wondered why I always listen to sad songs. And THEN I began to bawl as though my life depended on it. Hot tears streaming down my cheeks until I had to pull it together, or lose sight of the road.

My work-bestie retired last Friday. We had a potluck for her, and had previously taken a collection and signed cards. She’ll be back to work 2 afternoons most weeks. We’ve worked together over 21 years and I just can’t. She’s a true sister in the Lord and has poured into my life with reckless abandon, has spoken truth over my life, has come alongside me and guided me and counseled me and is so giving of herself, even though she has had issues happening many times herself.

I know I need to get through this, because nothing’s going to change back to the way it was. I need to deal emotionally and then get on with things. But there’s no forcing it. It came out in multitudes of hot tears today. I am the only person in my department at 21 years, The next person is 8 or 9, and the rest are at 2 years and 1 year. So everything’s changed and nothing is the same and I sound like such a whiny baby.

I called Mr. Wonderful for consolation. He was working from home with our daughters there, and talked with me while I drove through our childhood stomping grounds, all the way home. He’s a good daddy and wonderful husband, and my favorite person in the whole world. But that didn’t stop me from grouching at him and the girls. I just had tons of feelings I needed to work out. And our house is tiny and their voices, large.

I finally excused myself and read the last of the book and cried buckets. And after awhile, I came out to be with the family and said I thought I might like to go to the post office to get boxes to send my niece’s (very late) birthday gifts. It was in APRIL, for Heaven’s sake! Mr. Wonderful asked if I wanted to go anywhere else, and I thought I might like that soda afterall, and maybe a little drive.

We’re in the country, about 1.25 hours from Port Huron, down I-69. We were speeding down the highway, and he asked where I wanted to stop. I said, “Let’s set a timer for 1 hour, and then turn around.” As we neared our old neighborhood in the city, we reminisced about when I worked out here in the country town, and lived in the city. The kids were looking at the fluffy cumulus clouds and picking out pictures. We all, at different points in the drive, saw cartoon dogs doing silly things. We saw a unicorn and a space ship wearing a bow-tie. Someone saw an alien doing the backstroke and another saw a running horse. I honestly don’t remember the last time I picked pictures out of the clouds.

Mr. Wonderful quietly announced to me that we were definitely going to Port Huron to see “Big Water.” I smiled and asked why miles down the road and Big Water always erase the troubles from my heart and mind. He replied, “It just does.” He’s wise, that Mr. Wonderful of mine. We were 5 minutes from our destination when his timer went off, I giggled and said we’d have to turn around now, The kids began shouting and we all talked over each other and decided we’d go to the beach by the DQ and then get an ice cream for the ride home.

The best laid plans of Mice and Men, they say, often go awry. What with this covid junk, there were no porta-potties at the beach. No fast food restaurants had their dining rooms open so we could duck in to use their restrooms. The gas station restrooms were closed. We finally found an open restroom at a Rite Aid. Yuck! It was not pleasant. And when we FINALLY got to the water, it was the St. Claire River, rather than Lake Huron. But I didn’t care. We walked down the Riverwalk and checked out the “nursery” where there were pilings and rocks in the channel to create a breakwater so ducks and lots of other marine life could build habitats.

After that, we went to the DQ to get our ice creams, and we headed home because I’m working this weekend. It was altogether a pretty good day, and I am blessed beyond belief to have Mr. Wonderful as my partner with whom to go through life.

Quarantine Craziness

These are the days of Covid 19 Quarantine. My precious daughters have been out of school since the middle of March and we’ve been keeping to ourselves since then… except that I go to work most days. Mr. Wonderful stays home with the sweethearts and is also working from home, keeping kiddos fed, and pets happy. Today he and the kids even put up a smallish swimming pool. Seriously. The Wonderful Family has a swimming pool. I never thought I’d see the day.

Little Sister is now age 12. YES, TWELVE. And she has all the attitude you’d expect to match her age. I seriously get tired of correcting her and following through. Today, twice, I passed her off to her Dad, because I didn’t feel I could remain civil any longer. She’s a strong-willed sweet beautiful blond curly-haired cherub, delivered to us by Almighty God. I remember that, and I defer to one of my old standby phrases, such as, “Ok,” or, “Hmmm. If that’s what you want to believe,” or, “Wow. I wouldn’t have believed that from you,”… you know, things to say to acknowledge her but not to get in the middle of her whirlwind of emotions.

Sweet Darling is so intent on getting a reaction from me, and she acts like nothing NOTHING matters. I dole out a consequence of her actions, and she flippantly shrugs her shoulders and says, “Whatever MOMSTER.” And I want to scream and put her in her place, but I will. not. succumb. to her manipulation and tantrum-makings. Either she has a tantrum, or tries to make me have one. Either way, she is intent on someone flipping out.

I’ll be honest. Today, I did it a couple of times. I threatened. She believed me (because I *always* follow through, even when it steps on my own toes) and amended her actions. Then later, she was showing off in her disobedience for my parents. Then THEY come down on me. I asked hubby-dear to take care of that one. I couldn’t any longer.

—-Have I ever mentioned that this 12-year-old is the then 3-year-old pictured at the top of this blog?

My 13.5 year old daugher, Big Sister, is moody and dark, missing her friends, and obsessed OBSESSED with the condition of her skin. 6 months ago, she wouldn’t shower or wash her face unless you forced the matter. Today, she asked if she could have a pore consultation and an in-depth facial for her birthday, because she feels that her (velvety smooth, perfect and even glowingly translucent, I-can’t-get-my-skin-to-look-like-that-if-I-tried) skin is hag-worthy and downright ugly.

With both girls, I talk them up. I tell them they may wear makeup (at age 13) if they wish, but that they are beautiful on the inside and that shines through to the outside. I tell them that I like their hairstyle if THEY say they like it. I don’t ask them to cut it or let it grow, or keep it curly or straighten it. I tell them that after they are 17, they may have highlights, but no permanent crazy colors unless they are not living under my roof. I tell them double-piercings on their ears after they turn 17, and no tattoos while they live under my roof. I tell them God made them for a special purpose and He delights in them, just the way they are.

I tell them that I like my body. Even though it’s a lie. Because I want to model good habits for them. I tell them that if they change their diet to include more vegetables and fruits, that’s fine, but they cannot eliminate any food group, because life is all about balance. Exercise is fine in moderation, but too much is TOO MUCH. Limiting soda or ice cream is fine, but axing all sugar from one’s diet can be a problem.

I have been told that I am all rules, all the time, but then when they spend the time at someone’s house (our friends, or our parents) they say how wonderful our kids are, and that they are welcome back anytime they wish. We so want them to turn out to be Christ-followers and decent human beings who contribute to society and make a difference in whatever way they choose.

I’m just tired at the moment. Mr. Wonderful is a saint. He’s doing the job I always wished I could do, but I cannot, because I’m working my tail off away from home.

All told, my kids are pretty great. They are funny, and they keep life from being boring. They are generous and caring, and kind *to anyone except each other. My husband is the Dad of the year… husband of the year. I don’t know what we’d do right now without him. I’m truly blessed, but I’m still struggling a bit.

We watched Natalie Grant sing tonight, accompanied by her hubby Bernie Herms on a facebook livestream. That was rather refreshing. And now I’m finishing up the night by blogging for the first time in forever, and watching awesome music on youtube.

I think we can get through this… OK I know it.

Back in December, God spoke to my heart and told me everything was going to be ok and that He was holding me in the palm of His hand, that He wouldn’t leave me or forsake me. I was freaked out at the time COMPLETELY freaked out. And then I forgot about it. Until the 2nd time I was sick, early in March.

Both times I was sick, I thought it was the virus. I still think it was, even though I had an anti-body test last week, which said I was negative. I don’t know. But the second time I was sick, which I truly believe was a reprisal of the first time I was sick, I remembered this thing God had told me. I thought at first that it was a dream, but when I told Mr. Wonderful about it, he said he remembered me telling him this back in December. And THEN it hit me like a ton of bricks. I remembered it all. And in March, the Lord reaffirmed that He alone is my source and my comfort and my fortress and my shield.

I was so frightened and so very sick. My chest x-rays showed “something, but we’re not sure what.” The way it was described to me was like covid pneumonia was described. (Except the fallable antibody test says otherwise. Whatever.) I used the CDC’s symptom-checker daily, to see if I should go in to get tested. But then I remembered that He said I was safe and He would take care of me.

It was everything I could do in those moments to trust in the Lord, and not be scared out of my wits. We slept apart to be safe, and then we couldn’t stand being away from each other. When I got feeling a little better, we just slept back-to-back and prayed a bunch.

Tomorrow the pool-water comes. We are doing well currently at weeding and watering our many different marigolds and lilies and tomato and pepper plants. I think it’s going to be ok, I just needed to let off steam,


Still Here

It’s hard to believe that I come here so infrequently to write anymore. Something that once took so much of my time, I haven’t done in years.

These days are taken up with kids volleyball and basketball games, with singing in church,  laundry and grocery shopping, and too infrequently, seeing family and friends.

I’m still at the pharmacy where I’ve worked for …. 20 years next month! Wow. I remember driving home from there to write my first blog post about a truck so old and that I could smell it had a carbuerated engine. It reminded me of my dad.

In the last year I have focused on getting my body strong and healthy. And listening to Bible devotions while I work out. And listening to sermons. And I discovered praise music by Charity Gayle.

I began baking bread with my older daughter yesterday. And I began loom weaving with my younger daughter. Life is busy and full and never what we expect. But full of God’s love and kindness.

I’m blessed.

Open Letter to “H”

I’m sitting here this beautiful Saturday morning, up before anyone in the house. We were all exhausted last night (Mr. Wonderful graduated college with his Bachelor’s of Business Administration! Whew!) The coffee is about to be made, and orangey sunlight is streaming in the open windows. Laundry is tumbling in the other room. Kids sleeping, hubby sleeping, cat prowling. All is right in my little world.

Something’s been on my heart, recently. I didn’t believe it would happen. My former Pastor said it would, so I kept my eyes and heart open to it. But I did not truly believe that forgiveness would come in waves: a deluge of gratefulness. So without  contriving it, I’m going to write this open letter from my heart.


Dear H,

Thank you! What a wonderful gift you gave to my family! You sought to ruin our lives but were unsuccessful. God always had His hand on us, and we emerge victorious. Yes, we experienced short-term worry and pain, but now I’d love to share with you the gifts you didn’t know you were giving:

  1. If I ever doubted it before, I never doubt the presence and the goodness of Almighty God. He is with us every single day, and fully made known His presence in the darkest hours. Moments when I could do nothing but take a deep breath, I could feel God next to me, holding my hand, giving me peace until I could cope.
    And not just me, but Mr. Wonderful and our girls. You taught us what years of our faith had prepared us for: to rely on God for everything, even our next breath.
  2. The love of family and friends. H, do you know what you did? Hundreds (yes, HUNDREDS) of people rallied around us and our family. Prayers, dishes of food, help in moving (twice), monetary support, childcare, use of vehicles, mowing our lawn, scrubbing, painting, installing blinds, moving walls within our home! H, I have never experienced such love in my life. And it’s all thanks to you!
  3. A Stronger Marriage. I bet you didn’t know that you threw Mr. Wonderful and I into a stronger marriage. We had been on a very busy road, and this caused us to reset. I’ll use that word a few more times in this letter… reset. Because it most accurately describes what happened. We were pulled back from a possibly-destructive path and reminded exactly what God is asking of us as a married couple. Our marriage has never been more fulfilling and beautiful than it is now. So thank you!!!!
  4. Our Financial State was reset. We thought we were poor then! But when Mr. Wonderful lost his job, we nearly had to move in with family. Yes, we drained retirement accounts. Yes we racked up debt. But in the end, we spend TONS less than we did before.
  5. Mr. Wonderful went back to college! He wouldn’t have chosen this path without you. Now he’s got many options in front of him… including the same type of work that he was doing back in 2013. Just that now he has the piece of paper that everyone wants.
  6. Less discord, more harmony. I remember the day, several weeks before you pulled your stunt, that I walked out of my house and turned back to Mr. Wonderful and said, “You’ve got a pretty good gig going here with this job. We don’t agree with the politics and much of what’s coming down from the hierarchy… but we’re staying for now. And if God wants us gone, He’s going to have to shake us out of this tree. Because we’re pretty blessed right here.”
    I didn’t know what was about to happen. But I thank you, because NOW we’re in a place that we agree with a whole lot more.
  7. We never had to go through the Flint Water Crisis. Your actions insured that we were not living in Flint when the Water Crisis began. Our babies never had to drink the tainted water.

I’m sure there are a great many more reasons why I’m thankful to you. I didn’t think this out ahead of time, so I just went with the ones bubbling to the top of my heart this morning. I just want you to know that we FORGIVE you, H. We know you must be hurting to be mentally able to do what you did, and we pray that the real culprit be brought to their knees. We pray for every aspect of your life, and your children’s lives, that God make Himself known to you and show you His loving-kindness.

I thank you. Truly. Because without you, I wouldn’t be happy and fulfilled as I am today.


I may need to work on that if I’m ever going to send it to her. There might be a bit of sarcasm that I should filter out.

But my point is, that we feel great thankfulness that our life is the way it is now. We have reconnected with friends and family. We are crazy-busy but loving life. And most importantly, our feet are set on solid Rock.

Sky So Blue

I’m turning 44 tomorrow. Most people don’t like to talk about their age. I don’t really care. I don’t like how it adds up so, but really, it’s a number. It happens to everyone. What’s that saying about death and taxes? Yeah. Happens to us all.

We’re in Hale, MI this weekend with our friends, The Brain Trust. It’s sunny for the first time in WEEKS, and the sky is so blue. I’m sitting in between TWO door walls (sliding glass doors) and the light is heavenly. The gas stove is behind me, and I’m watching my little girls play with the Brain Trust girls across the room. Brain Trust Dad is watching DIY-Nerd Videos on youtube, and his awesome wife is taking a nap. Mr. Wonderful isn’t doing school-work at the moment, because I’m using his laptop. Maybe he is just reading his textbook. I don’t know.

I have happiness to overflowing in my heart. The best birthday gift, ever.

Some amazing things have been happening lately at the Wonderful House. Good things. Things that make me happy, and take away all those sad things that happened before. I’m fighting the urge to get nervous that the good things will all go away at once. Really. Because our family’s recent history ISN’T that everything goes well. To use a phrase my Dad says, it’s often one cussed thing after the next.

  • There was a huge sadness in my heart from a relationship that I wasn’t able to fix. That seems to be less of an issue anymore. I’m thankful for that. I have prayed at great length for a breakthrough in my relationship with this person, and pray for them constantly.
  • I never stressed completely out during the holidays. I sometimes do, but I decided not to do a few things this year (like cards, sorry if you were expecting one from me!), and it made things much more pleasant for me, and for those around me.
  • We had a huge reduction in a bill, which resulted in us getting paid back quite a bit more than we were ever expecting. Twice in the last month.
  • Mr. Wonderful is doing wonderfully in school. He makes me so proud. And whatever he ends up doing in life, he is going to be a good one.
  • There are many more, but I don’t have the actual time to list them all here. Suffice to say that it’s been good here lately, and I’m happy.

Sometimes the grass is greener on the other side. Sometimes you hurt and it doesn’t ease up for a long time. Now, here, today… I realize that Mr. Wonderful isn’t the broken man he was after his job loss. He’s not broken by RA, and sinking into a depression anymore. He’s strong, vital, and a great husband and Daddy. He gets the job done. I’m happy to see this change back to being himself.

The crazy awesome part? I’m feeling like my heart might beat again. I’m feeling like I’m coming out from under a blanket of clouds that has been over me since June of 2013. I have much less bitterness in my heart toward the situation, and see the good things about having moved back home to our Stomping Grounds.


Mr. Wonderful told me about this song some time ago. I wasn’t ready for it then, but I am now. It worked on me for months and now I’m ready to be done with this… attitude of feeling like God didn’t do what we needed Him to do when we were at our lowest. All I have to do is look back on this blog from June 2013 on, to see how people helped us with moving, with finances, with groceries, with LOVING on us until we couldn’t possibly feel unloved anymore. God was there every second and He’s here now, too.

Beginning. Just let that word wash over you. It’s alright now. Love’s healing hands have pulled you through. So get back up. Take step one. Leave the darkness, feel the sun. ‘Cause your story’s far from over, and your journey’s just begun.

The sky today, is SO BLUE. Snow has been lazily falling off and on all day long. The dappled light of the sun is making funny shadows on the skim of snow in the yard. The kids are now working small leather crafts, and it’s time for me to get off the computer. I just never EVER want to forget this moment. These people. This love.



What Will I Do?

I’m at a crossroads. Well, Mr. Wonderful is at a crossroads, and I am as well, but not with our marriage, it’s with work. Plain and simply, HE needs a job, and I’d like one where I make (quite a bundle) more money.

Seventeen years ago, I quit college to be a good aunt and stable force in my niece’s life. We had her on weekends and did everything together.She lived with us off and on for the next 8 years. She was definitely our “first kid”.

Now she’s 25 and we have 2 kids. Mr. Wonderful did his dream job for about 7 years (and lost his position 3 years ago… I often refer to it here) and is currently holding a seasonal position… where he’s basically unemployed for the whole summer.

I am frustrated because I’ve wanted to go back to school since before we got our girls… I knew once we became foster parents that it’d be tough for me to be in school again with kiddos, but I wanted to try. And…. it’s been out of the question for the last 10 or so years.

A friend contacted me today and we talked about online universities vs physically showing up, as well as going to school when you’re way older (we actually went to college together the first time and quit about the same time, too). We both just want a degree in “whatever is the fastest way through,” him for a promotion at work, and me, because I just want something, ANYTHING that will afford us a lifestyle that allows us to….. make repairs when we need them. (See, our house is tiny, and I could ask for a million things right here… but I don’t need crazy-awesome stuff… just my family and friends and especially my hubster, Mr. Wonderful, and maybe the thought that I don’t have to keep working until 2050.

Much of my degree was in Accounting, but I am not so interested in that as I once was. I had become very frustrated at my job and went to school to get a job where I didn’t have to work with people. That’s silly, though. I LOVE working with the public. I am energized by my current work… I adore my customers, and don’t mind my job. I mind the pay, though. It’s not bad for my actual job title, but it’s nothing near what I want to be doing.

And I’d like to note that I would love to be in a job where I can help others. Not social work, probably. I get too stressy for that.

One thing I know I can do well is write. I’m not exactly a novelist or anything, but I can convey what I’m feeling pretty well. In fact, my friend even said on the phone tonight that I have “the writing part down in spades.” Which is super-cute, because that’s exactly how I would have said it. We do that a lot… use the same word or phrase for things. But then we’ve known each other since I was a child of 14, so it’s not that strange… we’re all super old now… I’m 43!

Sidetracking myself, it was hilarious this last weekend, Mr. Wonderful and I spend time with the same friend and his wife. Their kids are teens and would say something to their dad, and a couple of times I’d say his joke line before he did. (Most of his jokes cannot be repeated here, but it was funny that I knew many of them, and because *I* use them daily.)

So, I have some thinking to do… what will I do when I grow up? I dunno. I’m an OK writer, but I don’t see myself doing creative writing for a living. So then… there’s the accounting degree I forsook. Yuck! And the psychology study that I abandoned because it freaked me out. The teaching degree I only worked on for a year. But I’m supposedly in my junior year. At least I was when I was last in school… buy who knows of my credits even transfer anymore.

Something that bugs me immensely about all this is that people come into my work and assume that because I’ve worked there 18 years, that I’m stupid and never went to college. It’s annoying and wrong, but the truth is that I hold no degree and apparently people are allowed to judge on that these days.

I’m tired of not having enough to make ends meet. I’m exhausted with being supportive. And I don’t want to wait anymore to realize this dream of mine… to have that slice of paper and be recognized.