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Meat in the Hamburger of LIfe (why is THIS in there?)


Twenty four years ago tonight we were engaged…

It’s been kind of a nutty day. We got back last night from being in Waterloo over the weekend. Will got home around 9 and was surprised when I said something about having been gone all weekend. He had no clue. It wasn’t like I was keeping it a secret!

I set the girls and Ben to tidying up the house this morning while Sam and I ran over to the school for his reading. We did that and then I dashed up to City Hall. I’ve got a situation where a couple in town is divorcing and neither is particularly crazy about paying the water bill, so that necessitated quite a bit of phone calls on my part this morning. Why don’t people just stay married? That would make my job so much easier! I also had to do the billing on top of my normal getting ready for the monthly meeting stuff, so I was up there for quite awhile. While up there I had to deal with a water pit that still isn’t working right and someone else that wanted their water turned on right now (it was raining, too – I told them that if they wanted it on at this moment, then they could go out in the rain and do it. I was nicer than that sounds.). But I did get done. Now I am home, trying to get all the stuff done that I didn’t while I was up at City Hall.

Last week we had our meeting about Ben’s upcoming employment at Hy Vee. It was a good meeting and we got things pretty hammered out. Ben, his job coach (who will be with him on the job for the first month or so), and I will meet with the Hy-Vee manager on the 17th to figure out a schedule. The only potential hiccup has to do with transportation to and from Hy-Vee.


It’s funny (not really). I wrote that line and then decided to check my email…only to discover that HIRTA (transportation service for the elderly/disabled) is refusing to provide transportation for Ben because “Swan is too far.” It’s beyond ridiculous because HIRTA has no problem transporting Ben from Indianola to our doorstep on his Genesis days – a distance greater than Knoxville (where Hy-Vee is) to here.

Oh, I was upset! I immediately began praying and the only thing that kept popping into my head was the verse, “Let not your heart be troubled…” I then had to start class and made it through that. Afterwards, I texted my friend, Maureen, and we had a long talk. Maureen’s daughter has Downs Syndrome and the family has just been wonderful to us over the years. Maureen is very active and involved in disability rights for our county. She told me she would get right on this and start making some calls in the morning. She assured me that this is not right and that Ben is entitled to transportation services.

There’s been a number of email communications this morning between Ben’s case manager and Voc. Rehab and myself. So, I am continuing to pray that this will all be arranged. If God got him the job, surely He can figure out transportation, too!

I’ve been reading in Esther lately and just the other day I was at the part of the story where Mordacai finds out about Hamaan;s dastardly plot to wipe out the Jewish people. The edict is decreed and handbills are even drawn up declaring the coming day of wrath against the Jews. I got to thinking – can you imagine the consternation among the Jewish people right then? They must have been besides themselves! I found that that thought comforting as I deal with this transportation deal with Ben. In the end, the people had nothing to fear because God worked it out.

Sometime last week Ben asked me if I plan to remarry. I asked him if he thinks I should. He paused and said, “Well, Will is probably going to get married and leave home sometime. We’re going to need someone to fix things!” I think so, too!

One night last week I made hamburgers. I asked each of the kids what they wanted on theirs (ketchup, mustard, pickles, etc) and prepared their burger to their specifications before calling them to come eat. I had Ellie’s ready and she saw that thing and threw an absolute fit. “What is there meat in here?” she demanded. I explained that it’s a hamburger – hence, the meat. “Well!” she huffed, “I never said I wanted meat on it!” Oh brother…
I got the results of my Lit test back last week. This was the first-ever test I’ve taken for BVU. One of my classes had multiple choice quizzes every week, but no actual tests. This was made up of multiple choice answers, matching, and essay questions. I really wasn’t sure how I did. But I got 50 out of 50 points! This is what my professor said,

Thanks for the response, Sarah. You did a magnificent job -- so keep up the good work! First test -- wow! Wonderful essay answers, Sarah. I am so impressed with your writing skills -- great style -- love your diction. But even more so, I am impressed with the heartfelt authenticity that is felt in each word.


That kind of helps take the sting out of finding out this week that my college education is going to end up costing me double what I thought it was. Ugh. But like Will said, “What choice do you have?” If I think I’m going to find a job that gives me any sort of flexibility for the kids, I have to have a degree! I just hope I live long enough to pay it all back. My advisor reminded me, “This is less money than you’d pay for one year of college at some universities.” I know, I know…just didn’t know it was going to be quite this expensive!

So, I went to this CBF reunion last Sat. It was kind of weird, this internal “push” I felt to go. Since Paul’s death, I really have about zero desire to go anywhere. Just today I was chatting with a widowed friend of mine as I am nailing down a few final details about our family (sans Will) vacation in a few weeks. I was telling her that the only reason we do stuff anymore is because of the kids. If I didn’t have the desire to make them happy and to provide memories for them, we’d stay home all the time. She said it was the exact same way for her. So, in a lot of ways I had no desire to attend this reunion. But yet, something was compelling me to go. I didn’t know why. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I needed to be at this thing.

So, I went. As it turned out, my friend, Don, who used to pick me up for CBF nights all those years ago was in town for the reunion and he offered to come get me for old time’s sake. He even had the song cued in his car that we used to always listen to on the way to the meetings so many years ago (“Sugar, Sugar” by the Archies). I was glad he was there at the reunion because I felt kind of out of place. I did see some people I knew, but I feel like I’m not so good at making conversation sometimes. I’d rather just sit and listen. Although, I found that kind of difficult, too. I just cannot hear well anymore when I’m in a crowded place.

After we ate our meal (definitely not worth the $20 we had to pay to attend this thing) we eventually went to the auditorium of the church and sat. They had a program of testimonies, slides from the early CBF days, and singing. I could have listened to those testimonies all day long.

I’m thinking that’s why I was supposed to be there.

It was so neat to hear stories of individuals who had come to college unsaved and, because of the ministry of CBF, had found the Lord and gone on to serve Him in the decades since.

It’s no secret I’ve been in a real “funk” all summer long. There was one testimony that truly spoke to me. It was by the wife half of the missionary couple that served CBF when I was involved. Both she and her husband were saved in CBF and her husband eventually became a pastor, serving with CBF for a few years there. But life hasn’t been all roses just because they gave their lives to God. Not all of their children have followed him. One has a disability. A couple are recovering addicts. And one son died in a tragic, freak accident a few years ago.

She referenced a book by Jerry Bridges on suffering that I’ve had several people recommend to me in the past 3 years, but haven’t acquired or read yet. She said this statement, that, apparently, is from the book, and it really resonated with me Saturday. She said something to the effect of the reason we have suffering in our lives is because God knows that the suffering is better for us than keeping what it is we have lost.


This – the loneliness, the grief, the constant struggle, dealing with Ellie – is far better than not experiencing any of these things. That seems so counter-intuitive – unless you know and trust God. It’s really what Romans 8:28 is talking about.

I’m glad I heeded that inner voice and made the effort to go Saturday. I needed to drive two hours to hear that!

Well, this is all I know. Today I’ve been home all day and I’ve been using the time to finish my Tom Sawyer book. I’ve only got this week and next to research and write a paper on some aspect of it, as well as produce a power point presentation. If we weren’t going on vacation, I’d have more time.

Tomorrow, I think I will take the kids shopping for school supplies. I am not looking forward to that! But once it’s done it’s done.

Thursday the moms I got together with last week are meeting again for a picnic lunch and/or at the Pville pool. There’s a city council meeting that night.

And then Friday I have to drive up to camp and retrieve the high schoolers. I think I can do it without the trailer this time, though. I do have to hustle home because Will has to be at a wedding rehearsal early that evening. He’s an usher. David will turn around and go back to camp again Sat.morning. I talked to him last weekend and he said he just wants to come home, though.

The days just keep bleeding into one another. Such is life.


  1. It was really fun to spend the afternoon like old times' sake! You've always been a special friend to me. If you ever need anything, just let me know. Take care!


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