Wednesday, January 15, 2014

My SadOldHome

Yesterday morning I showed up at my SadOldHome to see the adjuster. I don't think he was happy to see me. I questioned him about a few things & basically felt like an intruder. I told him I was losing hope in his company, & he said he was offended. I asked him if he were in my shoes, how would he feel? "Well.." he said,"If I were in your shoes, & didn't know all the people who were working behind the scenes on this case, I would probably feel the same way."

I was disheartened to find out that our case will now go back to management, & it will likely be another few weeks before we have an answer. I'm sure this man who was only doing his job knew I was on the verge of tears. I excused myself, went out to may car, called my husband who excused himself from a meeting, & listened to my discouragement. Ugh!  I let that feeling of helplessness momentarily overtook my soul.

I let my husband get back to work & began to console myself. Deep in my heart, I know that we are okay. I know that a few weeks in the whole picture will be a small stretch when we are nearing the end of this long process. I am ashamed of myself for comparing our situation to our neighbors because, well... comparing isn't really healthy.

I don't know what I was expecting to feel after my drop-in visit, but I was overcome with a temporary loss of hope for our home. This process doesn't make sense to me, & I believe this man thought I was clueless. I, on the other hand, just wanted him to walk in my shoes (at least in thought). As I walked through my rubble, I relived moments that took place in my once HomeSweetHome. The whole thing just baffles my mind.

My home really isn't safe to walk through anymore. The ceiling continues to fall throughout the kitchen & in both staircases. As the adjuster said, "The dry wall is absorbing water like a sponge." Scary, isn't it? On the flip side, we are settled in our temporary home. We really couldn't ask for more. Our needs are met & then some. The less time I spend in my SadOldHome, the less I dwell on its history, the less I live in a helpless state, the less precious memories I painfully relive.

It's hard to move forward when you are in limbo. On the other hand, it's easy for me to embrace life. It's easy for me to think about my grandchildren & dote on them. It's fun to think about my small group reuniting soon. I enjoy dreaming about my new home & how we will enjoy life together. It's fun to imagine my family gatherings with our 2 littlest & greatest blessings of all, our precious grandchildren.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

...not exactly what we first thought.

It's very early morning, & I am awake. My husband is sleeping, & my mind cannot be turned off. So... after an hour of fighting sleep, I decided to move out to our little living room & write this blog. I'm actually asking for prayer. The commentary to yesterday's Daily Bible Verse suggested we share what's on our hearts with others so they can join us in prayer.

So... here goes... Today an adjuster is coming to look at our home which is one of the few houses still standing in our neighborhood. At first glance, it looked as though we had much to be thankful for (& we do, just not exactly what we first thought). We even had people tell us that at least our home was still standing. We didn't lose everything. True (we thought). But... as time marches on, things are playing out differently.

Yesterday, my husband talked to someone I greatly respect. He said that in some ways, the people left in limbo are taking things harder than those who lost everything immediately. I have always believed that living in limbo is one of the hardest places to live. We were one of the first homes to have an adjuster on the scene. We didn't know whether we should be thankful or not that he deemed our house could be repaired.

Now that a few months have passed, our home has continued to self destruct (mainly from the harsh weather elements). It had an ice rink in the kitchen last week. The roof is caving in now in 2 more places. I really don't have the words to describe its condition other than nightmarish. When I walk in this house I once called home, I am haunted & in disbelief.

We are grateful we are alive. We are grateful our neighbors are all accounted for. Even our cat & dog are unharmed (at least physically)! We are grateful we were not at home when the tornado hit. These are facts we will never take for granted. We have worked with a very kind woman making a list of the contents of our home. I have to say... she made that as easy as possible (still a tedious task).

Today I am going to our home to walk through the rubbish with a new adjuster. Yes... this is his second trip to our home which makes a total of 4 visits (or more). Other homes are going up; ours still has not come down. The limbo is wearing on us. People drive by our home & tell us it is caving in. The garage is now slanting toward the living room. It seems to be a no brainer that the home needs to be demolished. I don't usually ask why. I never question the fact that our home was in the path of the tornado.

But today, I ask why. Why is our house not being condemned when it so obviously is beyond repair? If we could get this resolved, I think it would help our frame of mind. I don't believe we are asking for something that is unreasonable. We want our home to be safe. I trust in my Heavenly Father that it will be restored. He has greatly blessed us beyond belief in so many ways. I think of the words to a hymn we sang Sunday in church..."Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, It is well with my soul, It is well." It is well.

Friday, January 10, 2014

There are too many...

Too many people are suffering with cancer. The emotional anguish is worse than the physical aspect (which is awful in & of itself). Every day I pray for my friends who suffer. Every day it seems another person's life is victimized by cancer. In the past week, 2 children have died. Both of them had infectious smiles. I didn't know them personally, but I felt like I did.

2 friends had surgery this week & await results. 1 friend was denied surgery until a mass in his lung is diagnosed. I have 3 friends on chemo. No one is immune to cancer. It seems to come in all sizes & shapes as do its victims. It goes after all ages, both sexes, & never comes at a good time. No... there is never a good time to have cancer.

Recently I was deep in thought about the impact of cancer on my own life. I know I grew so much from this journey, yet I could never wish it on another soul. When I learn that another person is walking this journey, I try to offer comfort. I know that they will meet God in a whole new way, but it will only be because of their suffering. It's sad that it takes suffering to find God in a way we've never known Him.

So... when I am told someone has cancer, I pray that he/she will know God's presence. I pray that they will realize that His grace is sufficient, that He truly is all we need. When one suffers from so many unknowns, they begin to grasp the fact that this world is a temporary home. It' seems like forever but truly, our life is just a vapor in the wind. Yesterday a small child with a magnetic smile died of cancer.

A dear friend said she doesn't know why this happens. I had to agree. There are no answers. I don't know why little ones are taken Home. I don't think I could bear such a loss. All I know is that each little life is fragile, & perhaps this keeps us from taking their precious lives for granted. If they were invincible, maybe we wouldn't treasure them in the same way.

If this life on earth were forever, if loved ones lasted forever, if we were never sick, if we only experienced mountaintops, if we never suffered, I'm afraid we would be shallow human beings. I'm afraid we would take our loved ones for granted. I'm afraid we would miss out on a relationship with Christ. I'm afraid we would have no need for Him. I'm afraid we would have no faith.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

just around the corner...

Today had a kind of retro feeling... I accompanied my daughter & her precious newborn daughter to the Pediatrician. Yes... the very same Pediatrician I took her to. In some ways, it seemed like yesterday when I took my 3 daughters there. I don't know how it could when you consider how many years have elapsed in my life, when you stop to consider how our lives have changed since the good ole days of child rearing.

I made many visits to this Pediatrician in my day. We had lots of ear infections, runny noses, & a whole host of other troubles. He always comforted me & cared for each of my children. Finding him was a Godsend. After all, he listened to what I had to say. So now, some 20+ years later, he will do the same for my daughter. Again, a Godsend.

Our lil one is so precious & tiny. She was born early, & her adjustment into this world has taken a little more work than usual. However, she is growing. She is getting stronger, & looking more like a newborn everyday. It's amazing how anxious you are to have your baby, but once the sweet little bundle arrives, you become keenly aware of the importance of each day spent in the womb.

My daughter's OB said that each day in the womb is worth 4 in the NICU. Wow! That's incredible. As much as we can do medically for a premature baby, there is nothing quite like the perfect balance of the mama's womb. So... I stare at my lil grand daughter (so precious & so tiny), & I can't help but marvel at the fact that she should still be in her mother's womb.

She has a beautiful covering of strawberry blonde hair. Most of the time, she is swaddled up in her receiving blanket like a little peanut. When my daughter changes her or tends to her needs, I look at her little hands, her tiny feet, her precious & small face. I watch her move, & I usually find myself stuck on 2 thoughts. #1  She is so beautiful. #2  She is so tiny. I am mesmerized by both of these qualities, her beauty & her tininess.

I look at this little treasure, & I thank God for her. I see the look of love in her parents eyes, & I remember those early days. I watch her parents care for her & for each other. I sit in silent awe.
I feel as though I've been allowed something very special. It's my honor, my privilege. 2 years ago today, I was haunted by making one of the biggest decisions of my life concerning surgery. Little did I know what precious days God had for me just around the corner.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

It is not in vain.

Since the week before New Year's, I have been pondering what a worthy resolution would be for me this year. Today it came to me. I'd like to lose some weight, but I don't consider that a worthy resolution. Yes... I need more exercise, but again, that doesn't qualify. These goals are worthy, but I want my resolution to be of a spiritual nature. I always do...

As I was swimming laps this evening, it came to me. I want my resolution to be to pray diligently for my loved ones & friends in need. Quite simple, but the list is a bit extensive. I have 8 friends who are navigating a journey with cancer. Yes... I want to pray for each of them specifically on a daily basis. I don't want to be a person who says I will pray & then forgets to pray.

I have 2 grandchildren that I want to cover daily in prayer. They are so precious to me. One is a beautiful little preemie girl & the other is an adorable 7 month old baby boy. These 2 little beings add so much meaning to my life. Being their grandma is by far the best thing that happened to me in 2014. Their innocence and cute facial expressions warm my heart. Just the mere thought of them makes me smile.

I have many friends who are suffering from the tornado. Their burdens, their depression, their sadness is real. I am sad for them, & I want to remember them in my prayers too. As time goes by (it's been over 2 months now), life is still bleak. Many of us still stand in limbo waiting on our insurance. Limbo is one of the most agonizing places to be. We miss our homes, our neighbors, our former lives.

These are just some of the requests on my daily prayer list. I want to enrich this aspect of my life. I want to pray with meaning, with expectation, & most of all with diligence. I love that Our God has provided us a direct line to him through prayer. I love that prayer changes things; it is not in vain. I love that our God is ever-present. I love that He is full of compassion & that His eyes constantly are on those who love Him.