Yeah. I have that. Of course, I think the flow went something more like pregnancy brain to mom brain to grief brain. All are similar. All are annoying. I can't even tell you the number of times I have left my phone somewhere in the last month. And my keys. And my kids. OK, I haven't left my kids anywhere. Yet. But with my brain in this state, I wouldn't rule it out. Focusing on anything for more than 15 minutes or so is virtually impossible. It makes it really hard to have any kind of in-depth Bible study or deep prayer time. The smallest things send me into tears or a panic. I cried about carrying out trash the other night. Trash. Making even the smallest decision is extremely tiring and raises my blood pressure. Do you know how many decisions you have to make when you are a recently widowed single parent. My brain cannot handle it. I do not have the emotional bandwidth that comes with making decisions right now.
If I am being honest, there are times when I don't have the bandwidth for my children. I feel like such a bad mom. A failure. They talk to me and I don't hear a thing they say. Some days it takes everything in me to even want to be in the same room with them. Did I mention that I homeschool? And they are here all the time? Because I decided five years ago that this would be a good idea? Some days I just want to scream, "What was I thinking?!?!?!!?" I actually gave up on finishing any school other than history, science, Bible and math this year. (OK, Ethan didn't actually finish math, but he was really close. I at least intend for him to get the lessons finished randomly throughout the summer. Yeah, based on what I've written so far, the odds of that happening are slim to none. And slim is on a train on the way out of town. But it's the thought that counts, right? We should all be worried about my children's education.) Bedtime, while some days I love the coziness and routine of it, most of the time I just want to push them off to bed and walk away. Go hide in my room with the noise of the TV. I hate this. I so desperately pray that they don't feel that irritation, sense me pushing them away, or ever feel unwanted. I love them so much. I don't know where I would be without them right now. Most days they are the only reason I get out of bed or get dressed. Oh, Father, please let me move past this stage of grief quickly, for the sake of my children. Let summer be a sweet time of fun, relaxation, and bonding closer than I could ever imagine. Wrap them in Your love. Call their names. Draw them to You. Reach down with Your mighty right arm of salvation and seal their souls with Your Holy Spirit as You bring salvation to their souls. Oh, how I beg that my grief won't drive them away or harden their hearts. Protect them. Love on them. Teach them joy in the hard now that will carry on throughout all the hard they will experience during this life on this broken planet.
I have slowly been going through things in the house. If you know me, you know I am not super sentimental and I hate keeping things around I know we won't use/wear/listen to, etc. This process has been hard for me, not because I don't feel like I am attached to everything, but because I am afraid I'll get rid of something someone else may have wanted. I fear people will take my getting rid of things as unloving or that I am forgetting Kevin. I have his closet and dressers cleaned out. (I must admit, while I'd rather have him still with me, I am enjoying the extra space for my clothes and shoes. Shallow, I know.) I've been through the storage area and got rid of about 7 big trash bags full of stuff. (I am thankful for a local church that was doing a missions yard sale I could donate all of those bags to last weekend.) His tools are still all over the place. I don't even know where to start. His office. Oh.my.word.his.office. He had so much stuff! I mean, seriously, how did he even amass that much stuff? There's music stuff, computer stuff, camera stuff, and just stuff. Just walking in the door and looking at all I have to go through raises my blood pressure. I am so thankful that I have people who can come in and look at everything and help me decide what to sell, what to donate, and what to toss. Unfortunately, there's been a bit of a delay in setting up his estate, which means there's a delay in me being able to get rid of those things. I am hoping to be able to sort it as I move it to the storage area so we can turn his office into our school room. After 5 years of doing school at a card table or on the couch or at the dining room table or on my bed, we'll finally have a dedicated school room! All three of us find that exciting! I can't wait to pick out paint with the kids, get bookshelves moved, and set up a little reading nook. It will be a fun project we can do together and it will be fun to find ways to keep Kevin in the room with us. (He has two office chairs that the kids cannot wait to use as school chairs and they are uber excited to be able to use his desktop as our school computer. I'll admit, I am pretty excited about that second one myself!)
One of my biggest stresses is desiring to be a good steward of all that such loving, caring people have given us in the past month. I have never been one who just tosses money around (who can actually do that kind of thing), but I find myself stressing over even the smallest of decisions. Go out to eat? Treat the kids to something special? Planners for school? Visit friends? Donate to those in need? Support missionaries? I want to be a good steward and honor the love and dedication and hard work of those who so generously and graciously gave to us. Father, give me wisdom. Don't allow me to fall into the trap of being stingy or withholding from others while in this strange transition phase. Teach me how to serve You well with all You have provided for us.
Another moment of honesty, I get tired of "counting fish" (keeping track of blessings. Check out this post from Ann Voskamp for the explanation: How to Live Through Anything: The Fish Principle) Sometimes I just want to wallow. I want to throw a pity party. I want things to not be hard. I don't want to find the beauty in the ugly. Can't I just have beauty without the ugly? Some days I really struggle to find something to be thankful for at the end of the day. But, oh, how I need to count those fish in order to keep moving. To see God's hand working. To keep putting one foot in front of the other. To see that He really does make the ugly beautiful. Oh, Father, open my eyes to see Your hand weaving this story together for our good and Your glory. Remind me that, while from my perspective things just look like a mess, You see the whole picture and the beautiful picture it makes.