|What You Do For Yourself Dies With You, What You Do For Others Lives For Eternity|
Thank you for last month's miracle, but unfortunately I now need the miracle of a new furnace and heat. If you can donate please go here right away!
If you are reading my blog for the first time please read the following blog updates to understand fully what has happened before reading the rest of this blog post:
I have been meaning to write a blog post for the past two weeks-to give you the update that thanks to all of your prayers, donated money and small loans we were able to make it to Labor Day. Honestly, EVERY SINGLE DAY THAT MY STORE IS STILL OPEN IS A MIRACLE.
Business has thankfully started to pick up, but so have the bills to make that business happen (like ordering more boxes, paper for print jobs, etc) and now I have had to start paying on some of the big debt that a few companies were willing to postpone until September so that I didn't have to close the store. I still haven't cashed a paycheck since July. I am trying to pursue some peer lending sites for a personal loan that way since due to unfortunate circumstances I still don't have signed divorce paperwork almost two months after our final divorce date. This means that I still can't refinance and IF that miracle ever happens the paperwork process to make that happen takes 6 LONG WEEKS......and it will be cold by then........
We need a new furnace in order to have a warm house. The dual coal/wood burner that we have needs to be fed wood or coal every two-four hours.....if you spend 1-2 hours stoking it in the morning you can sometimes get a burn that will last maybe 6 hours without having more coal or wood added......but I am gone 12-14 hours a day. I also do not feel comfortable asking my aging mother-in-law to risk getting burnt each day to keep a fire going......Since the CPS investigation is being kept open until either Jason's trial is complete or he makes a plea deal I cannot run space heaters or propane heaters in the house....I need a new propane furnace and additional duct work asap because it will be freezing cold sometime within the next six weeks.
I asked two of my best friends what else I should write you because I am so tired of humbling myself and begging for help. I have also officially went from "adrenaline crisis stage" into "grief stage".......I am grieving the loss of the life that I once had and that can never be again. I try to fake a smile each morning and be cheerful to get my children up for school each morning, but I cry with them at times that I can't stay at home and teach them anymore-that I have to take them to the wonderful schools they are enrolled at so that I can go to work and try to help put food on the table, clothes on their back and a roof over their head. It is a lot of change for ALL of us......we lost our complete way of life along with a father, husband and best friend.......and I have the added "benefit" of knowing each day how close we are to losing the business to help take care of my children. Like last month when I begged for help we had less than $100 in the bank with both payroll and a $2, 000 UPS weekly shipping bill to pay.......My grief is exhibiting itself in the form of "forgetfulness"-like leaving my cell phone somewhere seven days in a row and small things making me cry.
So, this is what my best friends told me to tell you about:
|Stephanie with a the rental brush hog|
They told me to tell you what I have completed in the last month while working six days a week:
Labor Day week was thankfully only a five day work week for me.....But I paid to get my butt kicked by a pull start walk behind brush hog. You see, unfortunately, the land around my mother-in-law Debbie's house was never leveled out after her house was put in. I have been promising her a yard for the past four years-and starting this summer my children have been there every day.......It took me two months, and tons of asking with rejection, but I finally found two different families willing to risk their brush hogs to help get the 6 foot tall weeds knocked down back in July to surprise Debbie as her birthday present. It had been six weeks and some of the weeds had regrown up to 3 1/2 feet tall. I am stubborn and was honestly so tired of begging people for help that I didn't call to ask either of the two families to come back. We tried mowing it with our regular lawn mower, but the ground is too uneven.....so I spent FIVE hours on my day off pushing this heavy mower around-getting stuck a few times and having my Joey help me pull the mower out......And I have since been scolded by several people for not asking for help again......my muscles hurt for several days even with several epsom salt baths. I WILL ask for help next month to get the weeds knocked down one more time-or spend the same amount of money to PAY someone to do it instead of getting my butt kicked physically again....Now I know that yes, I can do it for myself if I have to, but I know how well spent every blessed dollar for brush hogging truly is. Hopefully next spring we can afford to have the ground leveled and then we can just mow it with the regular mower. Joey has been diligent about doing all the regular mowing and weed wacking.
In August Joey helped me for several hours to finish cleaning out Jason's apartment on my Sunday afternoon off. We gave stuff away to several neighbors and a charity and figured out what tools to bring home to use for ourselves and started to figure out which ones to list for sale. The next weekend we started working on cleaning out the garage which we also have worked on for the past three weekends as well in order to help make things easier for the new furnace installation. Hopefully we will have the garage finished in the next week so that the furnace can be installed in the next few weeks. Besides the furnace we have several other major things that need to be fixed so I have had workers out for those projects as well, giving me estimates and then starting the work. My hope is that as soon as a plea deal is made we can have one last inspection and have the CPS issue firmly in our past. Now if only things would stop breaking so that I can have some breathing space.
We still need $15, 000 to fix the furnace and other repairs to the house......please donate if you can.
|My $5 thrift store picture to remind me it's okay to relax and take care of myself|
It says, "Le Bain, Cherish Life's Simple Pleasures"
I have lost over 30 pounds in four months, which equals the last seven years and three pregnancies worth of weight. I forget to eat and even with medication I still have trouble sleeping for more than four hours at a time. But I try.....one friend pointed out that I have been diligent about taking care of myself. If I feel like I am getting sick I make myself rest and take some medicine. I make myself go to bed at a decent hour every night (even though the "to do list" is NEVER complete) and even if I only sleep for a few hours. I make myself take baths to help relax and help heal all the sore muscles of working at a UPS Store since I can't make it to the chiropractor as often as I would like. I make myself take the anxiety medicine that my primary doctor wants me to take until we get through this crisis. I try to remember to take my other medications and eat, but all too often I send the employees to lunch and maybe eat once a day. With the grief I rarely "feel" hunger anymore. It's not until I start to feel shaky that I realize that once again I have forgotten to eat.
But mostly when I'm not learning new things at work: like completing my first two freight jobs and designing in less than 24 hours my first 24 page program book from start to finish I do this:
|Anna and Katie with Libby photobomb: Pokemon and Pirate themed birthday party|
Making sure my kids are happy!!!
Last month through the generosity of some friends we gave a combined birthday party for Katie and Anna at a local park since their birthdays are only six weeks apart. The park we had it at has a splash pad so the kids got to run around while getting wet and then the teenage brothers and sisters started a game of kickball on the baseball field. We played "pin the pirate on the pirate map." Later today we will celebrate Anna's actual birthday that is later this week with the special menu she planned: home made taco casserole with chips and ice cream. For breakfast it's Captain Crunch Peanut Butter cereal and pizza for lunch after church.
|Joey and Jessie playing "Hungry Hippos" in the back of the store after a lunch break before Saturday soccer|
Joey and Jessie both play soccer on their high school teams. In one week between just those two teams they had 7 games. I try to see part of each home game, but don't go to any of the away games. Several friends and family members helped me to get all the littles ready for their school year by helping to purchase their uniforms and school supplies. One family member is helping so that three littles can still take dance lessons and that the middle two can see a reading tutor. We are starting two more children in counseling sessions this month. All these things help to keep "life normal" for them. I make myself sit down on the couch to be in the same room with them which is hard for me to do when I know that so many things need to be done around the house. I try to watch a movie with them each weekend via library, rentals or Netflix-with both my big and little kids....that means that I have to try to NOT fall asleep with the littles on a Friday or Saturday night so I can spend time with Joey and Jessie. Since the three littles are still in crisis mode and are afraid to sleep by themselves, I make myself lie in bed even when I can't sleep so they can "feel my presence"-so they can reach out and still touch me or cuddle close. I am gone so many hours (averaging 12-14 hours per day) so I know that right now they need that quiet reassurance at night that I am still here and that "I won't stop being their mommy" which was their fear when I told them about the divorce. They are afraid that I too will one day go to work and not come back.
We celebrated Chris' 40th birthday with a candle and prayers. Anna got up in the morning, looked at the calendar and then immediately sang "Happy Birthday to Mr. Chris".....I miss him so much!
|Picture of Chris holding Joey on his 1st Birthday-Happy 40th Chris!!!|
So, there you have it.....same story as last month. I know that God has some amazing plan for me and the kids......and for that matter for all of you. Thank you for being a part of my journey........"But by the Grace of God Goes I"........Words cannot describe the thankfulness in my heart for all the prayers AND the money that has been donated to help us stay in business AND to pay the bills at home. For those that have given small loans, THANK YOU-thank you for believing in me-That I can do all this and provide for my kids.
Since I can't get financing before it gets cold I beg you now-hopefully one last time-for help to make the repairs around the house and to provide heat for my children. I hate asking since I know so many people are in need. In just the last few weeks I know of a family whose house burnt down, another one where the father was burnt at work and another one with the diagnosis of cancer.......but God keeps saying, "Ask for help" and friends keep reminding me that this is my year to let others help me.......so, Please donate if you can and pray.....hopefully this leg of the journey will be done soon and true healing can begin for all of us.
Wishing you a blessed fall and knowing the warmth of God's peace,