Thank you all for reading. I am going to take a break from writing here. My husband believes I make things up. I say that with sadness, but no anger or anything else. Maybe I do. I love to write. But apparently writing is not something that is helping him. He wants me to leave him alone in a way. And yet he wants me to love him for who he is. I still have that to figure out, and I guess I am taking advantage of this last post to do so.
God is good and doesn’t need me to work out His plan. He shall be greater and I shall be less.
Please pray for my kids. My husband says it is ridiculous that I don’t trust him. Maybe so. Maybe he is okay with the kids. But I still am very concerned about their safety, no matter what anyone says, and I will pray and pray and pray for them and their physical, emotional, and spiritual safety. If anything gets me back on here it will be because I need to be their advocate.
Whoops. I just posted something on here that was supposed to go to my private blog. I deleted it, but those who get this by email will still read it. Sorry. I honestly didn’t mean to do that.
I’m asking for prayers. I’m feeling a lot of pressure from my husband to get a job and put the kids in school. I do what I can with freelance writing at home, and I’m not a big spender, but these things aren’t really enough to fix our financial situation. My husband doesn’t seem to feel obligated to get a better job than his current milking position. He has alienated himself from our church and is not listening to those in church authority. I’m in a bad situation right now, and I need to make sure the kids are okay. It’s hard for me to know what to do.
Please pray for wisdom and insight for me. Pray for clear direction. Pray for the safety and well-being of our family. Thank you. I know the power of prayer, and I believe God will use them for good.
Here are some good books I’ve read recently. First, books I read for myself.
- Red Moon by Kim Stanley Robinson, 2018. It’s speculative fiction, and I liked it! It’s about Chinese and American politics, and still I liked it! It’s also about citizens traveling back and forth between the earth and moon, which is a neat concept. And it stars three really great characters, especially when they are together: Ta Shu – an old poet/cloud show host/feng shui expert, Qi Chan – a pregnant Chinese young woman who is a symbol for the billions of Chinese people, Fred – a shy, nerdy American quantum communications expert who has the misfortune to get caught up in a murder on the moon.
- How to Find Selfless Joy in a Me-First World by Leslie Vernick, 2003. Leslie Vernick is the author who most seems to understand my situation. I like all books by her. This book is interesting because it isn’t like other Christian living books. It’s very Biblical, practical, and encouraging.
Now, books I’ve read aloud to the kids.
- Blue Balliett books: Chasing Vermeer, The Wright 3, and The Calder Game. Wow. Why haven’t I read these before? They are great. Adventure, art history, art adventure, detective work, passion for art, passion for learning, puzzle-solving, close friendships, parent-child relationships, cool illustrations, pentominoes, a girl who loves to write… these books were made for me. We’re actually in the middle of The Wright 3 now. (It’s about Frank Lloyd Wright, not the Wright Brothers.) We read them out of order. So far, The Calder Game is my favorite. Chasing Vermeer is just a little bit weird because of the references to Charles Fort, who was this (real-life) wacky guy who believed in weird supernatural stuff. But still… any book that inspires me to pull out my book of Vermeer’s paintings… it’s got to be good.
- Gloria Whelan books: Angel on the Square and A Time to be Silent. Two very different books, but well worth it. We read A Time to be Silent in one day (it was a Sunday, and we had lots of time to read, and yes, my voice was hoarse by the end). Angel on the Square is about the Romanovs and the Russian Revolution, and it’s super interesting. A Time to be Silent is about a teenage girl who chooses not to talk, and her preacher-dad takes her along on his mission work in the North Woods (of Wisconsin, maybe?). Good stuff.
- Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher, 1916. This was a special request by all three children. I believe it is the fourth time I’ve read it aloud. It’s still wonderful.
A few picture books we’ve enjoyed recently.
- William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night by Bruce Coville, 2003. Shakespeare’s sticky situations can be so funny and complicated!
- Pilgrim Cat by Carol Antoinette Peacock, 2004. Cats and Thanksgiving! Perfect combo.
- Fiona’s Lace by Patricia Polacco, 2014. I get to practice my Irish lilt:)
- Because of Thursday by Patricia Polacco, 2016. Cats and food! Another perfect combo.
- The Water Hole by Graeme Base, 2001. Search for all the hidden animals. We check this one out often.
A couple weeks ago I was doing something at the kitchen table and my son comes in looking for a plastic container with a lid which he could punch holes through. I ask suspiciously, “Why?” He says, “It’s for Tom.” At this point I’m thinking caterpillar, but I can see my son is holding back something, so I ask, “What is Tom?” Turns out Tom is a cute spider on the bathroom wall. Reddish-orange. A little hairy. I immediately instruct him to kill Tom rather than put him in a container. So, my son and youngest daughter (who is not squeamish) spend about twenty minutes throwing fly swatters at Tom, who has sought refuge on the bathroom ceiling. Finally, I suggest a broom handle. That does the job. Tom dies.
Tonight, I was picking up some stuff on the family room floor and I come much too close to a big black spider. Immediately, the non-squeamish daughter comes up and says, “We’ll call him Fred.” She and my son spend a lovely few minutes talking to Fred before they smash him to bits. And then my son cups his hands and walks toward me with a big smile on his face. I know that Fred is dead. I know he has nothing in his hands, but I can’t stop screaming and shivering when he pretends to throw something at my head. And then he laughs. And does it all over again. And I order him to take his bath. Now.
Sigh. I’m glad they can kill spiders for me. But I also wish they could be a little more like their sister, and then spiders wouldn’t have names and I would never suspect them of chasing me with a spider in their hands.
I have a private blog where I discuss my marriage problems in-depth to a few caring people, but I wanted to provide a general update here as well. I am on depression/anxiety medication now, and it was rough at first, but my body has adjusted to them. I’m definitely experiencing more even emotions without the roller-coaster ups and downs. And yet, depression still hits, like when my husband of 12 years doesn’t know that I need my glasses for far away (I’ve only been near-sighted for most of my life). And when I’m making financial decisions based on the fact that we have no net income, and my husband tells me I can spend as much as I like (because he knows I won’t spend too much). He doesn’t understand how confusing and frustrating that is. I want to get a job, but I have three kids to take care of.
And then there’s the whole trust thing. It doesn’t work. I find myself starting to be able to meet his eye, talk back to him, and then he says something that sets me back to where I was. I hate it. I actually find myself hating my life.
In Christ, I am loved. In this house, I am loved by my children. Desperately loved. Hugs and kisses every hour or so. I kind of get sick of it, but I am grateful, too. Why do I need to be so affected by my spouse’s lack of faithfulness and love? I wish I could get over it. I wish I could pour my energy into an art project or writing project, and use that as therapy, but all that seems too frivolous for these desperate times. I would feel guilty for being artistic when I should be practical. I find myself hating who I am, too, and I know that’s wrong. It’s hard to talk myself out of these thoughts. What is that called? Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Change the way I think.
I’m not telling you all this so you can see how low I get. I’m writing because I need to know myself, and then I can work on praying about the specifics. And you can pray, too. Because God is in control, and He listens and understands.
How is it that last night I could write about the beautiful promises in Isaiah and be all happy about God taking care of His people, and today I am an insecure mess in need of a good cry? And feeling like people will be angry or dismissive of me if I cry?
So I read the promises again. They are wonderful. They are true. And I’m still struggling big time.
I’ve even been doubting my vocation as mother and homeschooler. Maybe I should be working. I can earn more than my husband; support the farm. He doesn’t want to quit farming and the cows are doing awful. Maybe I should be doing that. Or work and homeschool at the same time. It’s been done. Who will take care of the kids? I don’t know. I don’t know anything right now. Except that I’m trying to do everything right; follow the rules, live in integrity. And I feel like I’m doing it all wrong, anyway.
Even my freelance writing; it’s a source of income. But it’s not steady or predictable, or enough to cover groceries. And if I spend too much time on the computer I end up thinking of my husband at counseling saying how I was on “that stupid computer” most nights. But I was taking care of the kids during the day. And this stupid computer is actually one of my favorite places to be. And I don’t think, deep down, that it’s wrong for me to be on here. But maybe it is. Maybe I’m always wrong about everything. Maybe I’m a horrible wife and mother. I don’t think so, but I also do.