|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!
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--|
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
"Draw close to God and God will draw close to you." James 4:8 NLT
Until next time, grace and peace.