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Falling Apart while Flying

I read this joke a couple of days ago and it still cracks me up:

What kind of car does Jesus drive?


Answer: A Christler
The degree to which I find this absolutely hilarious may be connected to the degree of fatigue and stress in my life right now, actually…
Next week is my last week of classes for this term. It cannot come quickly enough! I’m already scheduled to work Monday, but I’ve decided I’m not accepting any other jobs. I have got to get this schoolwork done. I have never had a term like this where by the weekend I am so swamped by all my work that I’m up late every Sun. night just trying to get it all in on time. I think I’ve only made it to Sun. night church once this entire term. Not that God is keeping track – he knows my heart. But I still feel bad. Next term has to be easier, right?

I sure hope it’s easier, physically. I have been just a mess since late Dec. when my back went out. My left leg has been numb and aching down to my knee. My shoulders have been killing me. I wake up multiple times a night in pain and have to switch sides, only to awaken hours later and do it all over again. Getting up and down off the floor with my kids at school is just plain hard. My tailbone hurts constantly, even though I have not injured it. My chiropractor says it is all related to my lower back/sciatic issues – even the shoulders, which surprised me. I also have a blister that refuses to heal on my little toe and my bunions are getting very painful. The feet are not related to my back! Actually, I’ve been doing some research on the bunions because the last thing I want is surgery. It looks like essential oils have been found to be very helpful with those, which surprises me. I have it on my to-do list to find out which ones. I also bought some bunion pads and toe separators. I’m guessing regular exercise would be helpful – but when could I do that? And I’m sure diet and stress play a role, as well. But then, I think about how I’m probably going to be alive for at least another 40 years…I really do not want to spend all those years in continual pain, if I don’t have to. It finally occurred to me last night that maybe I ought to pray about it. Then, this morning on FB, a friend in England mentioned how much massage therapy is helping her shoulders and I wondered – is this a sign from God? I don’t know. I don’t know how you go about finding a massage therapist. And I don’t know when I’d find time to go or how I’d pay for it. But, if it would help…

I don’t know. I do not like this growing old stuff.

This morning the girls were watching a cartoon show on the TCT network. At least I think that’s what they call themselves. It’s a Christian tv network – kind of charismatic leanings, but not too bad. I enjoy watching their Sat. night news show. Anyway, it was a cartoon about Jesus and his disciples and Ellie excitedly exclaimed, “Look, Mom! This is back when you were my age!”

David got a job at Fareway – just 10 min. up the road. He’s worked 2 nights so far. He likes it, he says. He does not like wearing a clip-on tie, however. Our neighbor works there. She said she put in a good word for David when the manager was considering his application. Yesterday, when I was working at the school, I was sitting in the Level 3 room with some other associates and one told me that her daughters also work at the same store and they had mentioned that David was there now. Small world. Of course, what this means now is that I have no babysitter. Ugh. In fact, I can’t go to my mom’s group Monday night for this very reason. I may need to find some teenagers before too long that could start filling in.

I was at Younkers on Monday with the Littles. I am so used to not shopping with them anymore that they kind of drive me nuts now when I do have do it. There was no school Monday. All 3 of them are bouncing all over the place, asking questions and touching everything. So, we were standing in line at Younkers and in front of us was this 30ish, slim woman wearing boots, leggings, and a shirt that ended at her waist. My rule for the girls is that if they wear leggings, it has to cover their tush. Leggings are not pants! So, Ellie observed this and with her normal loud voice exclaimed, “That lady is wearing a short shirt with leggings!” I hushed Ellie, only to have her continue, “Doesn’t she know that is inappropriate?!” I don’t know if she heard Ellie or not. My guess is the entire store did.

The other day I saw that Sam had laboriously copied out Matthew 6:14-15 onto a 3X5 card. I asked him why and he said, “I heard about this verse in Patch club and I decided it would be good me to memorize it.” Well, I’m impressed!

I got through Valentine’s Day and our anniversary. It was different this year. As Valentine’s approached, I found myself more “down” which surprised me – normally it’s my anniversary day that gets to me. But it really wasn’t bad. The girls actually gave me valentines. Lizzie’s teacher had taken shots of each student holding letters that spelled out “Love you” and put them into a collage. So each parent got a framed 8X10 of 7 shots of their child holding letters that spelled this out. It’s really cute. And then Ellie totally surprised me. Of her own initiative, she made me a valentine that says,”Valetines day, for Mom” “Mom is making shine up the day!” which I think roughly translates to “Mom makes my day shine.” Or something like that. We had our traditional heart-shaped pizza from Papa Murphy’s and it was a good day. Monday was the 20th. I didn’t have a whole lot of gumption this year to plan a real family day, even though it would have worked well since the kids didn’t have school. I’m just so short of time right now. And, honestly, I didn’t feel an extreme need for it, like I have other years. Three people did remember it would have been my anniversary, so I was thankful for that. The day was pretty normal. I had a meal made for a friend who had a baby in late Dec (I’m behind) so I drove over to her house with the Littles and stayed about an hour. Then, I had to run some errands with the Littles. David needed new pants for his job and I discovered as I visited four different stores that 32X34 is not a common size for stores to carry. We had just some gorgeous weather for several days – by Wed. it was in the mid-seventies. Seriously – the kids were in shorts and I dug out some sandals for myself. Even painted my toe nails. I was not of a mind to dig through all the tubs of clothes to find short sleeved shirts for the kids for the next two days – and, besides, I knew Lizzie would have outgrown whatever she wore last summer. She is a size 14 already. She’s outgrowing the 12s I bought for this winter. But she needs to stuff herself inside them for another few months until it warms up all the way. So, anyway, I just took the kids to Kohls and got them each two new shirts that they could wear for the next two warm days and then they’ll have them for this spring.

And then that night we went to the Machine Shed for supper with Will and Arien. It was nice. I love that restaurant, but it’s a treat to go since it’s kind of pricey when you’re feeding 8 people. And that’s how I spent what would have been my 24th anniversary – and I was ok with it. The nice thing about being so busy is that there is not a whole lot of time to think. But you still feel.

A couple of weeks ago I was in the elementary, working, and at the end of the day we were in the school psychologist (or behavior superivisor or something – I’m not sure of her role. Some of the kids on behavior plans have these charts that she goes over at the end of the day and then they are rewarded accordingly). A couple other associates were in there and one asked me, “Now, are your girls adopted?” I could NOT resist. I looked at her and deadpanned,

“What gave it away?”

There was just this stunned silence in the room for a moment and then it erupted into laughter while the associate, laughingly, sputtered how she was just wondering if they were foster children or my own. It cracked me up!

Another day, one of the full time associates said to me, “I can tell you have such a good relationship with your kids. You talk to them so nice!” Hopefully, she will never follow me home… she also said once that she gets a “good vibe” from me.

I found out David has been listening to old Adrian Rogers podcasts. He even ordered one of his devotional books recently. I’ve been a fan of Adrian for about 12 years, ever since one of the early Bible studies I was involved with used one of his studies. I don’t know if David found him on his own or if he overhead me listening to one at one time or another.
The other night I was studying Sam’s profile as we worked on his division flash cards. I realized that he has a large bump on the bridge of his nose. I’m not surprised. In fact, when he was a baby, I commented to a friend that I thought it looked like Sam already had a larger-than-normal nose. She informed me he had a “cute” nose. I didn’t disagree, but I could see the signs of what was coming. So, I sat there, looking at his nose and wondering if he got that from me or his dad. And I suddenly realized that I could not remember what kind of nose Paul had. It used to be that I could think of one of his body parts and instantly bring it to mind – how it looked, felt, smelled. And now I’m losing that. He’s slipping away even farther.

We had parent-teacher-kid conferences Tuesday night. I really don’t care for the fact that the school thinks it’s necessary to drag in the parents two times a year. And the second conference is student-led, which kind of prohibits you from discussing any real concerns with the teacher. All three are doing fine and have already passed the end-of-year goals set for them. Now, everything is so computerized so you get all these data sheets that assess your child. Ellie had one her teacher showed me that declares Eleanor Heywood is a “college-bound student.” Five years old and a computer can already tell her future – imagine that!

Lizzie’s teacher shared a journal entry Lizzie had written. Apparently, the kids are given story starters and then they have to take it from there. One recently was “If I had a million dollars…” Well, Lizzie wrote first that she would buy herself a go-cart. But from there she said she would like to give some money to her church and then some to Will and Arien to help pay for their wedding. Her teacher was so impressed by that and said you don’t see that kind of generous spirit among typical second graders (really?). She also told me that the theme of “family” keeps coming up over and over again in Lizzie’s writing. I thought that was really interesting, as did she.
I did not get the marshall position with BVU. For being as neutral as I claimed to be, I was still awfully disappointed when I got the news. But they did say they are going to send me a $30 gift card to the bookstore, which is almost as good. There is a BVU sweatshirt I’ve had my eye on for awhile there.

I bought something this week – something I didn’t need. But it makes me smile. I spied it a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. It’s at my new favorite store I’ve written about before, “Altar’d State” out at the mall. It says, “With Brave Wings She Flies.” It reminds me of myself. Not because I’m brave, because I don’t feel particularly brave. But because of all the new and different circumstances I’ve had to face in recent years, especially. And now I’m focused more on the future with my schooling and plans to work and even working some now. And maybe it can apply to my writing that I hope is more of a constant in my life once I’m done with school. Anyway, I’m going to hang it above my desk.

Just to remind myself.

Even if I feel like I’m faltering and flying crooked, I’m still flying.


  1. Sarah, I'm so sorry about your back. The other friend of mine who is a widow named Sarah is also having major back problems. That is really rotten. Maybe your chiro can recommend a massage therapist? Mine actually has a massage therapist who works in the same office. And my previous chiro also had a working relationship with a massage therapist. I will pray for you. I, like everyone else, don't know how you do it. I guess it is one step at a time, one day at a time, one week at a time. I'm glad your term is nearly at an end. God bless.


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