|Jesus Christ Welcome Home Hug|
Tomorrow, Sunday July 25, will mark 8 months since Beloved left the bonds of earth for that heavenly realm. In all truth, I wish I could have gone with him that day, but don't worry, I'm not making any plans for my demise.
They tell us in my grief group that anything we do to express our grief is okay with the one notable exception of suicide.
As awful as grief is, I do not want to step outside of God's will for my life. His will is the safest place for me to be. As long as I have a pulse, I have a purpose, and He is the air I breathe.
Since writing my last post, I haven't taken a lot of pictures. After making the decision to not continue with the building of the new house, I have been at peace about that. But then I can't help but wonder, what is next? What are my goals? What am I aiming for?
(smile) My biggest goal is to just stay out of trouble!!
Don't go on any spending sprees.
Don't go places by myself after dark.
Refuse friend requests from unknown men on Face Book. (yeah, that comes with revealing widowhood on FB -- beware)
Remind myself I'm a single gal now so be wary of masculine attention (not psychotic, just wise). I've got a reputation to keep in tact.
Wear my wedding rings to discourage unwelcome attention.
You get the picture. It's unsettling to be single again after 50+ years, especially since I married young. In conversation with Surfer Girl about my decision to not build the house, I shared I was embarrassed that I had pursued the project as long as I did.
Surfer Girl stated that I had not run away to Italy, did not buy a villa sight unseen, nor married a guy I'd known for only 3 days.
Conclusion: don't be so hard on myself.
So what am I doing? I read a lot, have my fav TV shows on TBN (I do watch local television news just long enough to be aware of any tropical storms brewing during this hurricane season). I clean house, do periodic maintenance with appliances, pull weeds, have tended my potted flowers on the back paver patio and had a neighbor inspect a bush that I thought was dead.
|quoting from The Princess Bride, |
Turns out it's NOT dead and advice was given, which I am following.
|Bakers Rack on back porch|
I bought a bent-up Bakers Rack at a reduced price from Hobby Lobby. It adds welcome color to the screened-in back porch with both real and artificial plants.
|Tilapia, Brussel Sprouts, and cheesy grits|
T2 and I continue to visit via FaceTime about 5 times a week. We always talk about what we plan to have for supper. In addition to being "my personal shrink," he is also pretty much my accountability partner on meals. That's not a bad thing at all.
|Carnita inspired by T2|
Sad as it is, I am finding that friendships with other recent widows helps me (and them). It is nearly uncanny how we share the same thoughts, experiences, and even conclusions. It's like they've read my mind: the impressions, fears, doubts are the same in many cases. As they share their story, tears dribble down my cheeks unashamedly. It helps to have people cry with us, even new friends.
If Beloved were to visit me now, he might do a little double-take due to my weight loss and new hairstyle. Unfortunately I got a horrible haircut (extremely short!) while he was in the hospital and as a result I resolved I'm done with that style FOREVER. But the day came when I needed to get my longer locks tamed into some definition. I did that yesterday.
This was my 3rd attempt at a selfie with the camera on my laptop. It's not perfect. My style looks lopsided and too tall -- it's better in person, you need to understand. But hey -- I'm wearing jewelry again, can put on some lipstick now that my mask is tucked away into a purse pocket, and can even manage a smile most days. The photo isn't doing my eyebrows any favors, either. Again, they look better in person.
Last February or so I may have mentioned the weighted blanket I sleep with. A friend who has counseled PTSD patients suggested it. It is a Godsend, no exaggeration here. Somebody asked me if it's hot because of the weight. Yes, it is. I sleep with my feet exposed and the ceiling fan on it's lowest speed. That works for me. 😆
|my Bible study desk|
Something else that gives me great comfort is Bible study and Christian study books. A couple of weeks ago I rearranged furniture in my bedroom so this corner can be devoted to my current studies. It's like a private retreat -- which sounds strange when I live in this house all by myself. Anyway, it's adorned with my current favorite books, study aids, and reminder notes (pinned to some of the quilts made during that season of my life) -- I spend hours in that chair. Yes, I go through a fair amount of tissues, but also come away with godly inspiration that gets me through my days.
|purple pencil notes|
During the earliest days of my grief, insanity was kept at bay with the help of a coloring book from Sue that featured the Psalms. Since then I have migrated with my colored pencils to marking with purple every word/phrase that describes God, His character, His actions.
Now when I am at a low ebb, I can turn to one of these pages and be reminded of how God relates to me, how much He loves me, how He wants me to continue in relationship with Him. I don't have to search hard -- just let my eyes fall on the purple highlighting.
Well, it's time for me to bring this post on my coping mechanisms to a close. A friend and her husband have invited me to a potluck/game night at their church this evening. I want to make a peach cobbler for that. This way I can enjoy the recipe without having to feast on it for the next two weeks here at home.
I am looking forward to the social interaction with other Christian adults.
I close with the "pocket verse" from yesterday that continues to bless me today: ("pocket verse" is the Bible verse I scribble onto a scrap of paper and carry with me all day for encouragement. I pull it out throughout the day, a habit helping me more than words can describe.)
You [God] will show me the path of life:
in Your Presence is fullness of joy;
at Thy right hand there are pleasures forever more.
Grace and peace to you.