Friday, August 1, 2014

The End of the Endless Summer

It's August 1st, it has been a long hiatus from blogging as I have started my new career path here in Tennessee. My plans to write my book while on my break have been waylaid by life being overwhelmingly busy with the processes of starting again here in Tennessee. Traditionally August is about music, blogging and celebrating life so I decided time to write again about our life and the happenings here in Vol country.

Sometimes we hide what is going on instead of being honest with others outside our inner circle. I have found being truthfully honest as an open book works better. People come to you, they share with you willingly because you can understand life isn't easy all the time.

This summer I have put in over 200 hrs at work, this has been a huge blessing and really kind of exciting for me. For seven wonderful years, I was a stay at home mom whose husband worked 80 plus hours a week supporting me and the kids as he faced major health issues. There were times he barely made it to work, passing out and being rushed to the hospital with blood pressures over 200/100 while waiting for his transplant.

I was raised in a family of working women, I watched my grandma take her nap on the floor each day during One Life To Live, fix her hair and go off to work the swing shift. My aunts Maggie, Patty and Jeanette all went to work and worked hard for their families. My mom has worked since I was fairly young, first as a pre-school teacher and then in her current role for the last 27 years. My grandpa's worked, and my Dad is the hardest worker anyone knows even technically working on his days off to help others. I was raised to be a hard worker, I know no other way. I never dreamed about being a stay at home mom until I had two kids and they needed me. I always knew, it was for me to work.

Marty and I moved to Tennessee for many reasons, we felt called here and without a doubt it was for me to have the current job I have. It is the perfect fit for me, helping others who are in a role that I have spent years in myself. I am really good at what I do daily and this is the job for me.

Marty has a job where he is off for the summer with no pay. So my job this summer was to work as much overtime as possible to try to fill in the gap. Moving took our entire savings until he got a job and we have been slowly re-building this past year. Marty looked for a summer job but in the south, things don't move quickly and his summer job started this week.....he goes back to school on Monday!

Marty has a lot of faith in God's provision and it has been truly amazing for all of us to see God working it out. We have made it through and our bills have been paid, we have eaten and still lived fairly normally with a few small edits to the normal budget ie. no vacations or grand eating out adventures, no shopping for non necessities etc.

Why am I sharing what most people hide? because sometimes people need to hear the real truths in peoples lives. Sometimes they need to know they aren't alone in struggling. I had a wise young man tell me,'' when people see the ''perfect'' family they aren't seeing the whole picture.''

Summer was so fun, my mom, aunt, uncle  came to visit. We went to Dollywood, traveled to see some of our Cherokee history and just enjoyed being a family together. It was so nice to see my aunt and uncle, who I hadn't seen in a few years. It was nice to have my mom here and see family.

We also traveled to my cousin Ben's wedding,  he married a beautiful girl brought a new member into our big family. It was so nice to share in their day, it was very emotional, I cried numerous times. Ben and I danced together crying wishing our grandparents could be there too. I love my uncle's family and being with people who I look like is nice.

Then July, the Tour de France, my favorite event of the summer. It was tough because I worked and couldn't really watch the race. Thankfully my friend Dot drove seven hours to spend the weekend with me watching the finale of the race. Even though I missed a lot of racing, I think this tour will be memorable to me forever because of some really special reasons that have to do with the people of the cycling community in general.

Now August is coming, Marty is heading back to school and life is returning to normal. The kids will both be in high school this year and we have a lot of work to focus on with that. Conner has two jobs, Elizabeth is baking up a storm and making new friends.

One thing this summer, we have been grateful for those friends who have supported us in prayer as we trusted God. So many were there for us, lifting us up and making the effort. As we make new friends in Tennessee, Elizabeth and I have been learning to look forward instead of looking back. Sometimes we get disappointed things aren't the same with the friends we left but then we remember life is moving forward not back. We are thankful for those who make the effort to come visit, to check in and listen to us.

We have enjoyed the beautiful summer weather, lots of really good family time, laughter, happiness and joy. One of the things that happened was Debbie, our donor Jerry's mom sent us a video of Jerry's life and bracelets. I look at my wrist with Jerry's name on it every day, I realize how good our life is because of their gift and how Marty not getting paid is NOTHING compared to where we came from. We are blessed and grateful for our life now, we are really loving our new jobs and life in Tennessee.

As tradition, August is the month I do my ''Music that Takes Me Back'' series.  Summer is always about the Beach Boys. So I will share something Marty has said to me all summer:

PSI have been working on memorizing Matthew 6 this summer:

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.