I was so gung-ho about a blog. I was excited, motivated, and had lots of things I wanted to write about. But then this week happened.
I will not go into details, but basically, this has been one of THE most challenging weeks I can remember: spiritually, emotionally, physically, financially, parentally, vehicularly, worldly, and teacherly. And I’m certain I’m missing some other -ly in there. I can really only think of 2 or 3 weeks in my adult life that were harder. I am drained. Completely emptied. I have not felt joyful.
Talk about testing my “Lift my eyes to the hills” challenge. Finding my joy? Ummm…. we won’t go there.
So I’ve decided I need to write. Because I need to focus on the moments that did bring joy – even if there weren’t many and they were short lived. And as I am spending a lot of my week trying to remember where my help comes from – because I’ve needed that help sooo much – I also need to be thankful to Him who is the giver of all good things. So here are this week’s “good things” in no particular order:
1. My husband. Wow. What a rock he has been. I am so grateful.
2. Jacob. Oh man. I could go on and on about the joy this kid brings. But one of my favorites recently is when he gets super protective and tells off someone who touches me. Daddy, the chiropractor, you name it. He scowls. And with his furrowed brow, he says, “No do dat!” or “You no kiss my Mama!” (That second one was to daddy, just to be clear.) I also love when he bursts into song then pauses and says, “I singing, Mama! I singing! Sing too!”
3. An unexpected visit at some family/church family/friends’ house. We laughed, were entertained by Jacob’s singing, and enjoyed our time immensely. Up until the last 5 minutes when “Parentally Hard Act I” took place. But such is life.
4. Mom home from Indonesia! Phew! 3 cheers for being able to talk on the phone with my mom when I want to! (Which is daily. Sorry, Matt.)
5. Our pastor’s wife bringing Jacob up front during church to help her make an announcement about the nursery expanding. I’m pretty sure he knows when he’s doing it, but he completely melted my heart when he waved and said, “Hi, Mommy!” Because in all the whole congregation, I’m the one he’d want to go to.
6. Celebrating my brother-in-law’s birthday. Because Tom is a cool guy and, well, chocolate cake is always good. But more importantly, it was nice to visit with Matt’s family. We haven’t done that in a while. And we got to see Matt’s mom’s new business. She is the new owner of Curves in Lynden. The remodel is astounding! It actually makes me want to work out. (If you haven’t seen it, you should like it on Facebook and check out the before/after pics!)
7. Valentine’s Day dinner. Not the whole day. Just the dinner. Well, the evening following the dinner was nice too. We just won’t discuss the earlier part of the day. It had something to do with “Parentally Hard Act II: And You Thought It Couldn’t Get Any Worse.” But the dinner… pink heart-shaped pancakes (Leesie’s fav) and sausage (Jacob’s fav – and pretty much the only protein he likes) made for a pleasant meal with the people I love. No arguing about how many more bites needed to be eaten. No asking for something else to eat. No “I no like it. It YUCKY.” from Jacob. Ah. Peace.
8. Dinner was followed by my favorite moment of the week – singing with my girl. We rehearsed in the car all week and surprised daddy with a duet – her idea. If singing with an adorable and joyful girl – a song about God’s faithfulness and love – doesn’t cheer you up, then what will? Am I right?
9. In one of my toughest moments – this time at work – my partner and friend showed up, on her day off, to help me get through it. She stepped in to the teacher role so I could step out. She brought Valentines to share. And she prayed for the hurt. How wonderful to be cared for and to have a work partner be so kind-hearted. And what a blessing that she loves Jesus, too.
10. My students’ faces as they excitedly gave me my Valentine’s gifts and cards: Lindor truffles in a heart box, a single red rose, a stuffed dog, a note pad “because teachers like note pads and that kind of stuff,” a few hand-made cards, and a smashed homemade pink-frosted cookie from an adorable boy with a huge smile. There were other things as well. And each face was full of joy in the giving.
11. The Ferndale Levy Passed!!! WAHOO! I will have a job next year. Probably.
12. Twice today I received a text from someone I love. Each person said some encouraging words and ended the text with “Peace be with you.” How much I needed that peace. I am so grateful for the love of family, friends, and Jesus. It is enough.
Peace be with YOU.
Oh yes. Some of you have asked how to follow the blog. (If you choose to, I promise they will not be as heavy-hearted. Lots of laughter to come from the kids.) But if you want to, click “Follow” on the right side of this page.
7 thoughts on “Tested”
Holly, how very blessed to have you in my life. My prayers follow you in your day. Love You–that other Sister Renee
Renee, I feel the same about you. We ALL do. You are a blessing to our entire family.
Sending you virtual hugs for those challenging weeks and lots of encouragement to keep writing – I love reading your words. 🙂
Thanks, Jess. I love reading your blog, too! Not to mention seeing the pics of your adorable Lyla. Melt!
I can relate to those tough challenging times in life when its hard to find the “joyful”. I’ve been going through it on a different level for quite a while. If it weren’t for the love of Jesus, and the prayers of loved ones, I don’t know what I would do. Your blog is very encouraging and when we count our blessings and reasons for joy, it puts the “bad” in perspective. Blessings and peace to you Holly in abundance, pressed down, shaken together, that you can’t contain all the good things God has in store for you!!
Thanks so much, Bennet. And to you, too! I’m sure you have lots of joy moments with your little grandsons!
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