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I’m not very good at keeping a journal.  Or a diary.  I never have been.  But I do keep certain things – important, impactful things – written down somewhere, so I remember them.  And these comparatively few things are usually the things that I will remember, because I wrote them down.

Yesterday, I was talking to God after a really rough afternoon, and I remembered a post from my old blog:

Psalm 23 (my notes in italics):

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. I will trust You unconditionally and unquestioningly to take care of me.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, I will trust You to bring me good things, to cause me to flourish and be refreshed.
3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. I will trust You to take care of my safety and well-being.
4 Even though I walk through the the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Even when I go through the scariest times in my life, I will trust You to always take care of me. And I will find reassurance in Your authority and support.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. I will trust You to protect me and bring me honor in spite of those who may try to harm me or bring me down.
6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. I will trust in You and Your promises!

I want to make a better habit of writing things down – both the good and the bad – because it is good to remember the things God has done.  The saying, “time heals all wounds,” can be so true.  After so much time has passed, I sometimes find it hard to remember how difficult my previous trials were, and I face my current trials with despair, because I can’t see past them.  But looking back can give me the encouragement I need to look ahead, because now I remember feeling this sad/overwhelmed/angry before, but I also see how God was faithful, and He is always faithful, and He will get me through, just as He did before!

…if you and your two mullet-sporting friends go to Walmart just to gather in awe around the shopping cart escalator.

True story.

Let me explain…

I was at Walmart yesterday, and although it’s a well-known fact that Walmart is like the mother-ship for all things redneck, I’ve never witnessed anything like this!

My friendly neighborhood Walmart has lower-level parking, so there are escalators for customers’ easy car-to-store access.  There are also escalators for the shopping carts (or “buggies,” as they are called in the South) that run parallel to the people-escalators, so you can still take your cart with you and roll right up to your car on the lower parking deck.

As I was leaving the store and pushing my cart full of freshly-purchased groceries to the escalators, I see that it’s blocked by three middle-aged men with mullets and shirts with the sleeves cut off.  They were all crouched with their hands resting on their knees, except for one who was on crutches but was doing his best to duck his head, staring down the length of the escalator.  I thought maybe it was broken (it occasionally goes out of service).  But then one of them noticed me standing behind them and in a perfect Jeff-Foxworthy-redneck-accent exclaimed, “Oh! Fellers, git out the way fer this lady.  I’m sorry ma’am, we’re just amazed at the technology, here!”

I did my best to smile without laughing too much, and as I pushed my cart onto the cart-escalator and then stepped onto the people-escalator next to it, I heard him tell his friends, “Ok, now watch this!  She puts the cart on this here thing, and it rides all the way down…by itself!”  Followed by his buddies exclaiming, “Oh, man!”  “I’ll be darned!”

Another lady had just reached the bottom level with her cart, and it must have been her escalator-riding skills the guys were admiring when I approached them.  She glanced up, and we exchanged smiles, but only for a second, so as not to burst out laughing.

All I could think was…”Where is Jeff Foxworthy when you need him???” 🙂

Since we first found out that I am pregnant, Hubby and I have agreed to when and how the two extra bedrooms in our house need to be re-arranged.  Currently, we have a guest room and an office/man-cave/extra guest room (it’s basically where the office “stuff”, Hubby’s man “stuff” and the futon are kept).  So, The Plan has always been as follows:

I, as Project Manager, will take on, as a summer project, the re-arrangement of the Guest Room and Office/Man-Cave/Extra Guest Room in order to create a New Guest Room and Baby Room by executing the following tasks:

  • Complete all backed-up filing that has accumulated since we sold our house (before we moved here…in November).
  • Purge all office “stuff” and divide into categories of “trash”, “sell”, “keep”, and “storage”.
  • Sell all office furniture.
  • Separate baby “stuff” from guest room “stuff”
  • Notify Hubby when he is to move all guest room furniture into now-empty office/man-cave.
  • Arrange and organize new guest room.
  • Clean now-empty old guest room and set up/organize baby “stuff”.

It sounded like a pretty clear-cut plan when we verbalized it 6 months ago…but now, I’m looking at these rooms…

Man Cave/Office/Extra Guest Room to be emptied.

Guest Room, full of baby "stuff"

Ummmm….GULP!  (The office/man cave picture doesn’t do it complete justice – there is an entire bookshelf, a wall and a half of pictures/decor, and a full-to-the-brim closet that are not shown here.)  So…if you don’t hear from me for a few days, you might want to send a search party, because I’ll probably be buried somewhere under a landslide in one of these two rooms!  Maybe I should tie a safety rope around my waist before I start…then again, it’s probably somewhere in the office/man cave…

I don’t know if anyone else ever goes through that period of “What the hell am I doing here?!” right after they make or experience major change…but that’s how I’ve been feeling lately.  To sum it up, the past 14 months have lead to job changes for both me and Hubby, the sale of our house, a move to another state where we don’t know anyone (putting us further away from family and friends than ever before), and me being pregnant with our first child.  And it’s taking its toll…at one of my last doctor’s appointments, I cried uncontrollably the entire time, just because I felt so overwhelmed with all the changes (especially the pregnancy) and had no support outside of my husband, who needed his own.  The nurse handled it ok, but the doctor asked if I wanted antidepressants.  No!  I just want a friend!  Why did I have to get pregnant AFTER we left all our friends?

So, I decided to take a break from my pity party to do some actual reflection.  I came across two songs that said it all (don’t you love when that happens?).  The first is Painting Pictures of Egypt by Sara Groves, which draws a great parallel between how I’ve been feeling and how the Israelites felt when they were going through the desert in their escape from Egypt.

The other song is If You Want Me To by Ginny Owens.  I’ve stopped feeling sorry for myself and accepted that God knows things that I have no way of understanding.  There’s a reason for everything.

I also remembered that I went through a similar phase when I moved to our previous state.  I left everything I knew and was in a place where I didn’t know anyone.  I spent 2 or 3 years openly expressing how much I didn’t like it there and my home state was so much better.  But eventually, I found a purpose, along with many great friends, and now I really miss that place.  God was faithful, and He will be again now and forever.

Isaiah 49:1-13

In anticipation of our firstborn’s arrival, I have grown to appreciate the experience that Hubby and I have had in raising two wonderful pets.  Really, they’re like our first “kids” – the sort-of-practice-run for things like keeping another living being alive, establishing routines (sort of), and learning that training and disciplining doesn’t mean creating perfect little soldiers/robots.

Also, if you need to practice patience and grace, offer to dog-sit a puppy that’s in the middle of potty training (I wouldn’t recommend diving right into ownership unless you’re really committed).  You’ll also learn humility, because there’s nothing like cleaning up someone else’s…um, mess…especially when they can’t do it themselves and haven’t really gotten the hang of what else to do about the situation.  All good things to practice for having children…or so I’m told. 🙂

But seriously, we love our doggies!  And I think I should brag on them a little.  Our “oldest” is Baily – she’s a gangly dog with funny-looking ears that flop up and to the side, rather than straight down.  As far as we can tell, she’s a Labrador-Whippet mix…she came from a “whoops” litter and the mama’s owners had no idea where their dog had been before she came home knocked up.

We got Baily when she was only about 6 weeks old and could practically fit in my hand.  Actually, Hubby was the one who went to pick her out before he picked me up from work.  He said there were only two puppies left – one that liked to snuggle and sleep a lot, and one that liked to run and pounce and play.  I like to joke that he picked “the crazy sister.”

Baily can run and jump like nobody’s business (she once cleared a 6-foot privacy fence), loves to wrestle with Hubby, and absolutely ADORES kids and babies.  She turns into a totally docile dog when there’s a baby in the room.  Melts my heart.  In fact, I’m betting that our baby will have her wrapped around his tiny little pinky finger as soon as he comes home from the hospital.  🙂

Baily

Our second dog is Molly.  We adopted her from another family a year and half ago, and she is exactly one year younger than Baily.  She’s a Maltipoo and weighs about 10 pounds right after a good meal.

We never thought of ourselves as small-dog-people.  In fact, we were hoping Baily would be as big as a Lab when we adopted her, and were planning to get something like a Retriever or German Shepherd for our second dog.  However, it turns out that Baily only seems to find puppies and small dogs agreeable.  She’s gotten much better at tolerating other dogs that are her size and bigger, but overall, she’s a small-dog-dog.

Enter Molly!  It was actually love at first sight for these two.  The previous owner brought Molly over to meet Baily, to make sure we were all a good match for each other, and they instantly sniffed nose to nose and took off running circles around the yard together!  They pretty much haven’t stopped, either.  They’re completely inseparable – they freak out if only one of them gets taken somewhere and the other has to stay.  Sometimes they even share Baily’s bed.  Anything Baily does, Molly has to do it too!

Molly is an expert snuggler and is not afraid to play with the big dogs (in fact, we’re pretty sure she thinks she’s huge).  She is also good with children, and is a real trooper when they try to pick her up and carry her, which really turns into putting her in a half-Nelson and dragging her around.  She’s got a go-with-the-flow personality…either that, or she really doesn’t know what’s going on…we can’t tell, but either way, she’s a sweetie! 🙂

Molly

Oh!  And I just realized I never officially announced it, but we are having a baby BOY!  We’re all very excited (of course, we would’ve been excited either way – we’re just happy to know more about him)! 🙂  And it’ll be good for Hubby, too, because with all these girls in the house, he’s been pretty outnumbered for the past few years… 🙂