Banana Peel

It’s what’s inside that matters…

Coming “Home” July 12, 2009

It’s been almost 10 years since I packed up all my things and left the smallish suburban/farming community I grew up in for the small Bible College in the biggest City I’ve ever lived in. I married my hunk my 5th year of college (yes it took me an extra year, I transfered) and apart from visits have never been back to my hometown.¬†All that changed two months ago the week of my Red-Haired Girl’s first birthday.

I moved “home”.

It’s been different–everything is the same but everything has changed. I left here a young girl just starting out in the world and I now return a woman, married with children. It’s strange. I’m not sure how I fit in here anymore. Do I find new friends who share my beliefs and ideas about life now or do I try to rekindle friendships with those I knew before?

How do I relate with my family? I’m no longer the visitor, in town for the weekend or holiday. I live here now, and I’m not sure how to fit in anymore. All the rules have changed and no one has given me the revised rule book.

We’re living in my Dad’s house, with my 20-year old sister. We don’t really have a place, all of our stuff is in a storage garage 200 miles away, and I don’t know, I guess I feel sort of displaced. I feel like I want to make this our home, but I can’t because it’s not our home, it’s not our stuff. I’m constantly making sure the kids aren’t messing up anything and feel like I can never relax, or let them relax and just be their funny little kid selves.

The Blue-Eyed boy is regressing. He’s wetting his pants for the first time in months. He’s hitting and biting and kicking and acting like a baby. I feel lost sometimes. What am I doing wrong? I’m not sure, I have some ideas but nothing concrete. I think it’s probably a combination of living here and the attention his sister gets for just being a baby. I feel like I’m too hard on him all the time, and all I do is tell him don’t do this, don’t do that. don’t don’t don’t. I’m like a broken record.

I know I sound depressed this morning, and maybe I am. I have every right to be–our life has been turned upside down. But just because I have the right doesn’t mean I want to be. I have every right to run around the yard in my underwear, but that doesn’t mean I want to. There are good things about living here. We’re living rent free, only paying utilities. We’re a short 10 minute walk to the beach, and I’m getting an awesome tan for the first time in my life (well as tan as a fair-skinned, red-haired, Polish-Irish girl who lives in Michigan can)! But today I needed to talk about the rough side. Maybe then I can move on. Maybe then I can stop feeling so damn sorry for us and just be content with what we have now. Maybe I could be happy again, or “fix” my son. So I could feel like doing more than checking out and watching T.V. all day. I could be a better wife and mother.

We do have so much, so many blessings.

I just can’t see it right now. And that scares me.

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Ready to run? February 26, 2009

We got the news today. And I’m not sure how I feel about it. I wrote it on the calendar, ah my beloved calendar. I thought about not writing it on there. Maybe if I didn’t then it wouldn’t be real. It wouldn’t actually be the end. I wouldn’t have to mar my beautiful calendar with such depressing news. I wouldn’t have to worry about how we will pay our bills. I wouldn’t have to worry about where we are going to live. I wouldn’t have to worry. Life could just go on. We’d be happy and content in this house (even if it is too small and crappy). We would have bellies full of good food. I wouldn’t watch my children play in their happy oblivious ways and wish with all my heart I could give them more, but feel oh so thankful that they are too little to remember or even comprehend how poor we are.

But I had to write it on the calendar, it can’t be ignored. March 8th. The last day. The store closing. 10 days from now my Hunk is done at Circuit City.

March 8th the Muskegon Michigan Circuit City store is no more. 5 days before we are kicked out of this house. What. a. week.

I’m slightly terrified at the prospect of my husband being out of work. But at the same time I am so full of relief that he doesn’t have to go to that hell-hole anymore that I could dance a jig. I asked him how he was feeling and he said “ready to be done”. Ready or not, we are done.

There is a day care by our home that puts interesting bits of wit on it’s sign (unlike the church right down the street that just puts stupid things, but that’s a different story for another day). A while ago it said “Panic Productively”. I love that! I decided right then and there that I would adopt that as my new motto in this season of uncertainty.

I have been panicking productively for the past month or so. I got our taxes out of the way as quickly as I could. I then used our tax refunds and paid off three of our biggest debts to reduce our monthly payments and still have enough money saved that we could live off of it for 2 months (The Hunk also gets a staying on bonus which will extend our savings to 3 or 4 months worth of living expenses, but we have no idea when he will get it, so I’m not banking on it). We have some wonderful friends who are going to let us move into their basement. There is only one snafoo with that: they have three cats. I’m TERRIBLY allergic to cats. I don’t even have to touch them and I turn into a mass of red, itchy, water eyes, with a sneezy itchy nose and throat. So now we are trying to find out if I can take Claritin or Allegra or something. (If anyone knows if there is an allergy medicine that is safe to take while nursing a baby please let me in on the secret!)

All in all we’re okay. We have enough money saved up that we should be fine until the Hunk starts getting unemployment. We have somewhere to live. I really don’t have that much to worry about. It’s just the big unknown “where to now?”. I wish the good Lord would let us in on the secret. Not even the whole thing. Just a glimse, a flash, a small revelation of what is to come. Will we be okay? Yes. I know this because He is there. He is here. Even though He doesn’t let us know the future He will walk along with us and take us through the unknown. And believe me that knowledge is all that keeps me from pulling my children to my chest as tight as I can and crying out “why us?”. Instead I cling to my Maker, my friend, my Savior. And the peace that passes all understanding comes soflty and slowly and quietly into my heart.

I read a wonderful quote today and I am going to end with that:

I will have nothing to do with a God who cares only occasionally. I need a God who is with us always, everywhere, in the deepest depths as well as the highest heights. It is when things go wrong, when good things do not happen, when our prayers seem to have been lost, that God is most present. We do not need the sheltering wings when things go smoothly. We are closest to God in the darkness, stumbling along blindly. ~Two-Part Invention by Madeleine L’Engle

Amen.

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Cancer December 5, 2008

It’s a word that strikes fear into the hearts of everyone.

The dreaded diagnosis. The worst case scenario.

It makes you question. It makes you worry. It makes you want to cry out in anguish at a God whom you know loves, and yet allows such devastation to occur.

It keeps me from sleeping and makes me over-eat.

It brings me to my knees in prayer over and over.

It causes me to feel extreme amounts of helplessness.

My Mother-in-Law, truly my second Mom, went to the hospital on Saturday. No one knew what was wrong with her. Yesterday the diagnosis was confirmed—multiple myeloma–a type of blood cancer. Her chemo starts tomorrow.

The doctor is optimistic. I’m scared out of my wits.

I want my babies to know their Grandmother.

My husband needs his Mother.

I need her guidance and friendship.

I’ve been to the hospital everyday since Saturday. I wish there was more I could do than sit by her bed and chat about stupid things like teething babies, and toddler tantrums (not that babies or toddlers are stupid). I wish there was more that I could do than paint her toenails and bring her crossword puzzles. If I could remove those vile cells with my own two hands I would. If only I could bring the color back to her cheeks and clear the tiredness from her eyes.

Yet I am reduced to a spectator.

And as a spectator I wait and watch and pray for the happy ending.