Monday, April 19, 2021

A Little Easier

 

Cosmos growing on the back patio

It feels odd to say this, but the days are getting easier. I sort of feel like I'm betraying my Beloved when I say that, yet it is true. Many of my habits and routines remain the same as they were when Beloved lived here with me while some changes naturally take over out of convenience or practicality. 

blooming flowers on the back patio

I still make the bed first thing upon rising in the morning, but since he is not here to help me with that (as he always did), I pile the pillows on his side of the bed and sleep on my half only. The bed covers are straightened out more easily this way. 

Jasmine has tiny white flowers

A creature of habit, I still make my nutrient-dense green smoothies in the blender but no longer need to prepare other breakfast foods for one who did not fully appreciate the benefits of my healthy beverage. (smile)

Rudbekia (Black-eyed Susans)

One of the biggest changes has been the car trips all by myself to see family and friends who live quite a distance from me. Beloved always did the driving and we were content with that. I didn't know I had the physical stamina to drive for 5-6 hours all by myself.

I've also learned how to respond to phone calls and text messages, hands-free, while driving!

dinner

My cooking has changed drastically. Until Beloved entered the hospital, I prepared a wide variety of menus with my Instant Pot, frequently exploring new recipes. 

Now I count on the fingers of one hand how many times I've used an appliance other than the oven or microwave to feed myself these past few months. Cooking for one isn't much fun. 

I've figured out how to keep myself on an eating plan with a variety of vegetables, meats, and fresh produce. I buy frozen "heat 'n eat" meals and add a side salad. Careful with what I choose to bring home from the grocer's freezer case, this has worked out very well for my evening cuisine.... perhaps a little too well since until last week I continued to lose weight!

my very first Krispy Kreme donut--
it's true!

My kids are trying to bulk me up. They eat nutritiously but are less strict. One morning during a recent visit, I was prepared to make my usual smoothie but quickly found out the plan for the day was to pile everybody into the family van in search of donuts at Krispy Kreme! As a result of that (and a few other more caloric meals), it appears my weight loss of 20 pounds has bottomed out and I'm not losing any  more. 

Magnolia buds, blossoms, and has-beens

Seeking solitude has been my habit for many years, but now I see it differently. Even when I spend the day outside of the house with errands, shopping, church, meeting friends, and such, when the sun sets and the doors are locked behind me for the night, feelings of loneliness are hard. 

I hear loneliness is one of the most difficult obstacles felt with widowhood. It's the cause of some really bad choices. I pray that will not be the case for me.

But even with having said that, I am learning to prize these quiet evenings by myself with more focused reading and watching sermon videos, taking lots of notes and pondering the lessons taught. 

These solitary times alone with Scripture are so comforting and instructional, confirming to me there is a divine purpose in all of this in spite of the fact I'll probably not understand it until I have passed on.

As I close this out, I'll share a special blessing the Lord gave to me today. I was in Hobby Lobby looking for some decor to add to the large flower pot on my front porch. I wanted something that would indicate to anyone at my door that this is a house of faith.  

Hearing the scripture-based music and reading all the cutesy signs about love and romance always triggers tears that leak out of my eyes and absorb into my face mask. Today, in the midst of that, all of a sudden my eyes fell on this:

Hobby Lobby purchase

I stood absolutely still, fully aware that God Himself was speaking to me! The Lover of my Soul, the One who says He is a husband to widows -- He was reaching out to me! 

I picked it up, held it to my chest, and bowed my head. This sign would not be on my front porch. It would move all about my house with me, easily sitting on the kitchen counter, or my desk, or beside the bathroom sink, on my nightstand -- anywhere I needed it to be to remind me it's going to be okay. God's got me in His tender care. He "gave me a sign!"😌

the window over my kitchen sink

Last November when I began to grasp that Beloved's illness was more serious than originally thought, I began posting scripture all over the house. Every bit of that remains. It's on bathroom mirrors, doors, the kitchen shutters, pieces of paper on the nightstand, and even scribbled onto scraps of paper carried in my jeans pocket for quick reference when my emotions feel wobbly.

Clearly, this did not prevent Beloved's death, but these verses are the glue that holds me together. My prayers were not answered as I wanted, but God continues to assure me of His love, His watch care, His power, His faithfulness.

Turkey Pot Pie, Salad, green tea, 
and a teaching video for supper


The days are getting easier as God's Word sinks into the deepest parts of my being, convincing me this will all turn out well.


"Draw close to God and God will draw close to you." James 4:8 NLT

Until next time, grace and peace.




15 comments:

  1. Oh Barb! What a powerful post, full of the promises of our Lord being fulfilled, as we see how He is caring for you day by day, giving you strength to carry on and faith to sustain you in each new situation thrust upon you. I LOVE that sign you found! What a gift from God at that particular moment! I love it when God does such specific and direct things to get our attention and show His love for us. Thank you for sharing that with us. It gives us all hope and comfort. I am glad you are trying to put a little weight back on as you make your meal choices. I am sure you will get back to a healthy weight and then be able to maintain better as you grow stronger each day. You are in our thoughts and prayers every single day, seriously...we pray for you by name each night before we go to sleep...and God reminds me if I should forget...with these kinds of messages that show me that all the prayers of so many are working...and don't stop! May God continue to guide you and bless you and give you great peace. Amen.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is not an easy journey, but you are showing the way for many others. I know all those things we have done for years and years have to become new routines. There is a reason they say you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Change is hard! Krispy Kreme's are hard to resist. I can inhale far more than should be if they are hot. I don't go near the place save once a year. I usually allow myself to have two around Easter every year. I look forward to those flowers blooming. The magnolias will be showing off soon.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a precious post Barbara. That sign!!! Such a gift from the Lord right at the moment He felt you needed it! How loving and kind of God to do that just for you. Eat that donut girl....They good for ya! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

    ReplyDelete
  4. I cook mostly the heat n eat meals too. It works for me. Those donuts look delicious! You have a super day, hugs, Edna B.

    ReplyDelete
  5. You've been so good to share your experience and personal feelings with all of us. I know it will help so many that face this journey. I'm proud of you for driving and getting out to do things you enjoy. Sometimes it feels easier to just stay at home but when you are active, you are more tired at the end of the day. And I agree...that is the time that is the hardest when you are alone. Thank you so much for showing us what is working for you. You are an inspiration and a wonderful example of a woman being led by God's holy spirit. Take care my friend. You are always in my prayers.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Beautiful, powerful post, Barbara! How wonderful it has been to see God care for you every painful step of this journey. What a blessing for others who are facing (or will face) this same heartache, to see how God has guided and cared for you. Thank you for your honesty and transparency in sharing this journey with your readers. You are in our prayers. God bless you. And I love the sign that He gave you!

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a perfect reminder of God's continual love and care for you, one that "found" you just when you needed it, Barbara. I love that, and I love that you are taking good care of yourself in the midst of this difficult journey. Yes, I remember all too well those overwhelming moments of loneliness - it's all a part of the grieving process, and like you, I leaned heavily on the Lord to get me through. He did for me and he will continue to do so for you.
    Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Your post was inspiring and thought provoking to read this morning, Barbara. I love the sign with that verse you picked up at Hobby Lobby. The Lord has a plan for you as he continues to take care of you. The photos of your potted flowers along with your jasmine and magnolia are beautiful. How do you like those Healthy Choice steamers? I have seen them, but haven't stopped long enough to read their boxes. Thinking of you.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh, this makes my heart smile. You have blazed this unchartered territory with such grace and have been such a testimony to God's faithfulness throughout your journey. May you continue to go forth as HE leads you. Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have told you before that your choice of words are always spot on and said so much better than I can articulate. You do have a gift. Our God is always faithful and I agree that we don't know why our husbands were taken from us but we will understand one day. God is always in control. God is leading the way. I am so glad you are doing so well and love that Psalm. I am changing my refrigerator's white board right now! Thank you for sharing your journey here and know that I am praying for you every day. Love you, dear friend! xo

    ReplyDelete
  11. I read this out loud to my Dear and when I got to that sign I choked up and his eyes teared up, too. After a few pauses I was able to finish reading the post to him. It's good to know that our loneliness needs to be guarded from bad choices and mistakes. Next time I'm in Hobby Lobby I'm going to search for that sign and buy one for my sister. Glad your weight loss has halted.

    ReplyDelete
  12. ...what a beautiful post, Barbara...and thank you. Keeping in prayer.

    ReplyDelete
  13. You know, Beloved would be very happy to hear you are doing better and would be so proud of how you have handled this, and what a testimony you share.
    I love all your verses, and am so blessed by the sign God gave you!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Love your blog. I have lived alone years, and I always make home cooked food...vegetarian of course for me. I don't want much processed food and find that cooking healthy makes me happy. you will get to that place. Easy to do...enough for two days at a time or some in the freezer...you have done so well...I am sorry you lost your husband so early...I am not sure of his name, but I prayed for him.

    ReplyDelete
  15. As I have mentioned before, my dearest longest best friend in the world lost her husband last year...on the first anniversary, they sent up white balloons with messages as they all met at the grave site...her family lives close to her and are there often. She became quite independent during his illness which lasted quite awhile...after the first anniversary, she has started some changing in the house and is packing things away...he was adorable and so wonderful...

    ReplyDelete