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Introverted or Idiot?


Monday

This is frustrating.  My computer is slowly dying and has been for some time.  I have been praying that it will last long enough to get me through school, although I am starting to have my doubts about that, even.  I have started this blog post twice already and have lost considerable amounts of writing twice because of the stupid computer.  Grrr….

I also will soon need to replace the kids’ computer.  I had it looked at awhile ago but the cost of fixing was equal to that of replacing, so I am letting it go.  The kids are anxious for me to replace it though, because it is so slow!  I also ordered Ben a new computer this last week for his new place.  I went back and forth on that one.  My first intention was to get him a laptop, but Will suggested it might be better to get a desktop because of Ben’s lack of fine motor skills and his inattention to detail (read: he might easily step on or drop a laptop).  In the end ,I got him a refurbished computer that comes with a monitor, keyboard ,and  mouse.  I normally never order refurbished electronics, but the price was about half and for what Ben will use it for, I think it will suffice.  If not, then he didn’t spend much to begin with and can easily replace it.  But that meant I did have to order him a computer desk.  I recall that an office chair was left in the downstairs of his new house so I’m hoping he can use that for the desk.  But if not, I will get him one of those, too. 

The desk is supposed to be easy enough to put together that I think I can have Sam tackle that.  I know that Lizzie could probably actually do it faster.  She is my “go-to” gal – very organized in her thoughts and just knowledgeable about so much.  None of us know how to operate the dvd player when she’s not around!  I’ve even gotten her out of bed to get a dvd set up for me!  But Sam needs to feel like a man, too, so I try to have him help where he can.

We have a move-in date of Aug. 15 for Ben, although that is subject to change.  I think, for the most part, I am ok with this.  As I told someone last night, this move has the potential for great personal growth in Ben’s life.  But along with that, there is a chance he will be harmed, too.  I think that’s more minimal, especially since he is verbal and has a phone and can let me know when/if things aren’t quite right.  Besides, all his staff is going get very familiar with me, every time they turn around and every time they open up their email (they already are)!  I’m not dumping him.  I have to remind myself, too, that a life that doesn’t involve some risk taking is not really living at all.  We can’t stay safe all the time.

Besides, I can’t trust my emotions right now.  They are just all over the place – mostly on the depressed side.  I really think it’s hormonal.  But I’ve heard that sometimes menopause can take the greater part of a decade – I don’t want to be depressed for that long!  I think I am rapidly getting to the point where I need to seek help.  I’m not sure if that’s going to be in the form of pharmaceuticals, therapy, or maybe just more time in God’s Word.

So, tomorrow my plan is to do even more shopping for Ben.  He still needs a small deep freezer and a lazy boy chair.  I’m going to go to a consignment store for the latter. Oh, and a tv, too.  I also want to send a bunch of paper products to the house to help get them started.  They are starting from ground zero as far as supplies, go.  I actually like this better, though, than Ben moving into a home that’s already established.  I think as they figure out how they are doing things, it will be easier for Ben.  Or at least it would be for me, anyway!

I know Ben is ready to go.  One night recently I announced that I was not cooking supper and the kids were free to forage for themselves.  Ben sighed and said, “Well, at least I’m moving out soon!"
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I was at our local library recently and was kind of dismayed/shocked when the librarian, attempting to say the word, “genre” pronounced it “jen-ree.”  Seriously?!  But maybe it’s a word she’s only ever read and never heard pronounced.  Although, I don’t think it’s all that uncommon of a word!  But I don’t have a lot of room to talk, either.  Last month, I put up a Shakespeare quote on the city sign, “A summer’s night is like a perfection of thought.”  The word, “thought” on the sign always bothered me, but   I didn’t give it a whole lot of  thought.  Until one day last week it suddenly dawned on me that I had spelled “thought” without the second h!  I was SO mortified.  I don’t know if people have been politely ignoring my mistake or if  I’ve been the laughingstock of the entire town for the last month!  Of course, I immediately had to dash over to the sign and insert an h!

Wynter Pitts died suddenly a couple of weeks ago.  She was the 38 year old niece of preacher Tony Evans in Texas.  Her cousin, then, of course, is Priscilla Shirer, and her daughter starred in War Room, alongside her aunt.  She was married and had 3 other young daughters, too, besides the one I just mentioned.  As far as I know they haven’t yet determined a cause of death -  she just quit breathing.  I know her through a magazine Lizzie gets called “For Girls Like You.”  I wonder what will happen to that magazine now?

Anyway, a few days later I watched part of a round table discussion with Tony Evans and his four kids as they discussed Wynter’s sudden Homegoing.  Tony made the point that bad things are always going to happen in life, whether you walk with the Lord or not.  But when you choose to not have a relationship with Him, you are volunteering to walk through those things alone.  So to say that you refuse to follow the  Lord because He allows suffering is very foolish.  I knew this, but I just liked the way he phrased it.
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The other day I was Menards and bought 5 bags of sand, a light for Paul’s grave, and a disposable paint tray.  The cashier rang up the items and started chatting away to me without telling me a total.  So I looked at the register so I could get out the right amount of cash and to my amusement, the amount read $190, 438.47 – or something close to that.  Finally, I could tell the cashier was waiting for me to fork over the cash, so I nodded towards the display on the register and, of course, she immediately started exclaiming.  Apparently, she’d entered her log in number in the wrong line or something, she said.  But she told me I’d have to go home and tell my husband how much money I had saved that day!  I teased back and  told her I just hoped my kids appreciated their expensive sandbox sand!
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I took the kids to the Pella pool last Friday.  I had been promising them we’d do that all summer long but looking ahead to August and then being able to find a hot enough day that’s open – wasn’t quite sure when I was going to make it work.  We had seen an advertisement for the center last spring.  I didn’t even know Pella had an aquatic center.  I was very impressed by it.  It is just as big, if not bigger, than Cascade Falls in Ankeny.  Ankeny and Pella are equal distances from my house.  But the Pella center was half the price Ankeny charges!  It was nice, although I am figuring out that I am past the age of water slides.  I can do ones where you sit on a tube but I am not doing  the bare bodied ones anymore – those hurt!
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 It's looking a little dark out there – I wonder if we can dare hope for some rain?  Will is outside working on my red van, preparing for his upcoming trip to Wyoming and came in, startling me so that I screamed, telling me I might want to get my laundry off the clothesline.  The first half of summer was so wet, but July was very dry.  Last week I started mowing because I have tried to do it every other week this summer.  That’s really  not enough, but with my life the way it is, it’s the best I’m going to get done!  I was about halfway done before I realized that the grass really was not all that long, like it should be for 12-14 days between mows.  Also, it crunched.  You know things are dry when the grass crunches!  My pumpkins didn’t make it this year.  I’m not sure what happened.  But my flowers I planted out front and have forgotten to water most days, have done wonderfully.  The peach tree didn’t bear any fruit, either.  I wonder if that has something to do with bees.  I heard two men at church talking about how their peach trees were bare this year, too.

Tuesday

I am worn out.  I wonder how many of my posts start this way?  Probably a lot of them.  I’ve been running around all day and I’m finally home.  I had to take Ben to Genesis and then I had a long (cut, color, and eyebrows) hair appointment.  The kids were actually really good for that.  That didn’t last, though.  We then had to go to Menards where I got a freezer for Ben, a shelf for Ellie’s room, and a few other odds and ends.  We got some lunch, which was an ordeal because Lizzie was not feeling very flexible.  We  went to the bank and I realized I had forgotten to include my largest check in the deposit.  And then we went out to Stuff and found a nice recliner for Ben.  I would have enjoyed browsing some more in there, but that will have to wait until the kids are not with me.  And then we went to Kohls and spent forever in there.  I had the kids pick out their first day of school outfits.  Oh, my goodness.  I had Lizzie who kept thinking she needed to choose something from the misses dept, even though Kohls does carry clothing in the girls section in her size.  I had Ellie who couldn’t make up her mind and got very pouty when I tried to hurry her along. In the end she did not go with the outfit I would have preferred.  I think my mistake was letting her know which one I liked.   And then Sam had to lay out his top 10 favorite t-shirts to narrow down the selection.  I was holding my breath because he got it down to a Minecraft shirt (never mind he already has two of those at home) and one with a dabbing Abraham Lincoln on the front (please, no).  Minecraft won out, thankfully.   Good grief.  So then I went over to Walmart, which I hate on a good day.  While I was getting some allergy meds for Ben he called to let me know he had broken off his key in the lock.  The irony is that he was using a special keyholder made for the disabled I bought for him just so he would NOT break off the key.  I didn’t know what to do.  He was locked out of the house and I was 40 min away from home.  I called Will and as it turned out he was able to stop by the house before I got home and got Ben inside.  But nobody bothered to tell me that so I raced like a madwoman through the store and traffic trying to get home and rescue Ben – although he was fine.  The weather was nice and he could sit on the porch swing in safety.  I bought him a tv and by the time I was examining the options, the kids were poking at each other, tattling, arguing and when I told them all “Don’t talk to me – I have to think!” Lizzie tattles on Sam to let me know that he wasn’t quiet when I told him to be…oh, the irony.  We’ve been home for a couple of hours now and they haven’t stopped.  They are all going to bed early. 

Or I am.
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David had a chance a few weeks ago to share his testimony about Paul’s death in staff devos.  He had told me at the beginning of summer that he was praying about that and trying to screw up his courage.  He eventually did and said it went well.  I’m trying to remember the details but I think he said he was approached by another staff member who had also lost their father (David didn’t know) and he told David how much it meant to hear his words.
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This morning Sam told me he dreamed last night that he got a tattoo.  I just laughed but then he seriously added, “Actually, I think maybe when I’m 18 I would like to get a tattoo to remember Dad by.”  And then he generously added that he would get one for me, “for when you’re dead, too.”  Thanks…I think.   I told him he should do our faces, one on each of his biceps.  One of my fb friends did that last week with his dead father, actually.  I’m not a big tattoo fan on a personal level, but there is something about seeing faces on people’s bodies where they are not supposed to be that really creeps me out!  Paul’s cousin did both his son’s infant faces on the backs of his calves.  Just…why?  Anyway, Sam said no – he had something more tasteful in mind!  I hope so.  He told me later today he intends to use his dad’s name as a middle name for one of his future sons, too.  Now, that’s a nice idea.  And if he only has daughters, there are plenty of female variations of the name “Paul,” too
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 There is a blog I read occasionally.  It’s called, “Jaimie, the World’s Worst Missionary” or something like that.  She kind of reminds me of a more serious Jen Hatmaker.  She’s a good writer.  From what I understand of her story, she or she and her husband  were actual missionaries at one time but now they’re not.  Her blog has always made me kind of sad while I’ve enjoyed it because it makes me think about Christianity in general.  From what I have gathered, she has walked away from a lot of Christianity, but not her faith.  This is not uncommon, actually.  I’m seeing more and more blogs and I’m meeting people who, at one time, were part of fundamental churches.  And now they might go to church or they may not.  But if they do, it’s a church that falls to the liberal side of things.  If they write they like to say things like how they were raised to be in church every time the door was open and they spent their lives following this list of rules and now…they have seen the light.  There’s enough truth in that to make some say, “Oh, ok – I understand.”  Because, a lot of people my age were raised like that and it was a time when grace was not emphasized as much as actions were and there’s some fall-out from that.  At the same time, though, the word “grace” gets tossed around an awful lot and it often means I-want-to-do-what-I-want-and-still-consider-myself-a-Christian.  In this particular blog the author swears – but talks about her relationship with Christ.  I struggle with that because of verses like Eph. 4:29.  It’s this movement that is really attempting to make those of us who still hold to a more conservative viewpoint look dumb and unenlightened.  Anyway, all that to say this:  this author announced last week on her blog that she and her husband are divorcing.  And she went on to tell her readers that she wasn’t going to say why because “it’s none of your business.”  Well, allrighty, then…But this is what really bothered me.  She then  compared her divorce to Christ’s death and resurrection, talking about how she had to put her marriage “to death” in order to “rise” to the new life He has planned for her.

Whoa – what?  I don’t know her situation.  Maybe the man beat her every night.  I kind of doubt it, but there is that possibility.  But you cannot compare a sinful thing to the most non-sinful thing and think the comparison makes it acceptable and good!  What a world we live in… And it’s no longer saved vs. unsaved.  This kind of thinking and so much more is enmeshed in Christianity today.  It’s sad and it’s scary and it makes me wonder how much longer until Christ comes back.

And then today there was the news about Alex Jones being taken down and banned from Facebook, Youtube, and I don’t know what else.  I think he’s still on Twitter, I heard.  I actually had never heard of this guy until I heard the Today show while I was putting on my make-up.  Apparently, he’s a real nut job – a conspiracy theorist who denies the Holocaust and Sandy Hook.  They also said he’s “racist” but that could simply mean he’s a white man (who are, by nature, racist, of course – just ask the Southern Baptist Convention).  Does this not concern anyone?  If they can ban him, you know it’s just a matter of time before certain Christians and then all Christians are also banned from those spheres for spreading their “hateful” speech.  Yikes!
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 So what else?  Oh, yes…Ellie.  You know, I just don’t know what to think.  I have no reason to believe that she was not sincere in her prayer of salvation.  I know how much and how long she was pondering this. I have quizzed her up one side and down the other and I’m satisfied with her answers.  But  yet – her behaviors!  I don’t know.  When Lizzie got saved, which was at a younger age even, she changed.  It was so evident to me and so very quickly.  Last week while shopping I had a really, really rough day with both girls to the point that I took away their speaking privileges.  I just didn’t want to deal with any of it any longer.  I had to drop Sam off at football camp and since it was the first day I walked him across the football field to the practice field.  I left the girls in the running, air conditioned van.  I got back and found out that Ellie had taken crushed pringles and poured them into my purse and all over my seat.  Lizzie told me that Ellie told her it was for “revenge” because I wouldn’t let them speak.  WHO takes revenge on their own mother?  Well – a RAD kid does.  Later, we were at Walmart and I was still not letting the girls speak.  Ellie was doing her best to be annoying anyway and she did something to Lizzie and then leaned over and threatened her, “If you tell Mom, I will HURT you!”    One day this week she deliberately poured water all over the kids’ kinetic sand, ruining it – even though Lizzie saw Ellie eyeballing my water bottle and, anticipating her sister’s actions, warned her not to do that.  That one was easily solved – Ellie had to use her own money to buy new sand for her siblings.  But it’s the heart behind these actions that really scares me.  And shouldn’t she be feeling convicted about these kind of things and therefore be remorseful and better yet, not do them to begin with?  Or am I expecting too much too soon? 

But there is some knowledge.  The other night she cracked me up.  We had a surprise birthday party at church for our new pastor.  Some of his family had come into town for the weekend because it was his 60th birthday.  They prayed for the cake and ice cream and gave him a card and cash and then said that Pastor and his family would go through the line first.  Ellie pouted and whined out loud to me about why they got to go first.  I explained it to her and she was quiet for a moment and then she said, “Well, if we’re saved, we are brothers and sisters in Christ – that means that we’re part of Pastor’s family, too!” 
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 Last subject and then I need to get back to Romeo and Juliet:

Introvertedness

I’m not sure how deep I want to get into this tonight.  I have sensed for several years now – well, known, not just sensed – that I am becoming increasingly introverted.  I haven’t been sure if it’s because of age or widowhood.  But home is my safe place.  I get very anxious when I have to spend time with others, particularly groups of people.  But yet, sometimes I feel so lonely when I’m at home, too, and wish I could spend more time with friends!  I don’t think I can have it both ways.  I think this is some of why I’ve put so much time and money into my house the last 5 years, too.  It’s my cocoon – my place of safety.  I walk in the door and I immediately feel better because I’m home and I don’t have to talk to anybody.  Last week a widow posted a question in my young Christian widows group.  She asked if any of us have found that our ability to enjoy social situations had severely diminished since our husband’s deaths.  She talked about how just the thought of getting involved in social things at church drains her and how much worse of introvert she seems to be now.  I’m thinking this must be a lot of it, still.  Apparently, a dose of introvertedness comes with the bill from the funeral home.  I like people, but I’d just as soon not have to be with them.

But yet – I’m  struggling with this.  Our church does this mandatory hand shaking thing as part of the Sun. morning service that I have always hated, even when I was married.  Our last church did it, too.  Why do I need to shake hands with people when I already smiled at them as I walked in?  I know they’re there – they can see me, too, I assume.  That’s plenty of exposure. What is the point of having a time to shake hands?  Side note:  I have a friend – a writer friend, actually, which might explain it – who is currently searching for a new church with her husband after their last one folded.  She is detailing their search in a weekly blog that’s very entertaining.  But right off the bat she said any church that requires her to shake hands with others is getting crossed off the list!  I’m not alone, apparently.  So every Sunday for the past 25+ years we’ve had this time where we’re supposed to wander around the church for 3-5 min. shaking peoples’ hands.  I have always refused to do it.  I mean, if someone turns to me and sticks out their hand, I feel kind of obligated to shake theirs and I do.  But I’m not leaving my pew.  Meanwhile Paul when he was alive (obviously) and my slew of kids are dashing through the church as if they are getting a dollar for every hand they shake before we start singing the next hymn.  I have not raised them right…

But lately – I’ve started to feel kind of dumb as I stand there and wait for people to come to me.  Is it because the practice is dumb or is it because I’m being dumb?  Am I just being stubborn?  Is it pride because I don’t like handshaking time so therefore, I refuse to participate?  And then last week I was listening to Wretched Radio and the host mentioned, in passing, that being introverted can be sinful because it can have to do with pride.  And that’s all he said.  I’ve been mulling that over since.  I don’t know if I agree but I don’t know that he’s wrong altogether, either. I’d like to hear more of his thoughts on the subject.  Some of it is just personality, obviously.  For me, it’s been exacerbated by widowhood and all the other stuff going on in my life.  But for the first time, I am starting to feel uncomfortable with it.  For the past two Sundays in a row we’ve had fellowship time with food after a service – those have never been my favorite times, ever.  Too much stress, too much noise, too many needy children.But both these times, all my kids ran off to be with their friends and I was left sitting alone.  I knew that all I had to do was plop myself down by somebody and I’d soon have someone to talk with.  Instead, I painfully sat by myself because I was too scared to make the first move.  But both these times nobody came to sit by me.  Perhaps I have been so aloof that people think I prefer my own company, anyway.  More than likely, they just didn’t notice and it’s not their job make sure that I don’t have to be alone in social gatherings.  If I was still married I would at least have had Paul to sit by me.  But he could be pretty sociable, so the chances are good that he would have left me at some point so he could go talk with some other man.

I don’t want to spend the rest of my life in a prison of my own emotions, pride, and fear. 

Maybe this is next on God’s “Things I Must Change About Sarah” list.


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