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My mom’s mobile home is in “sale pending” mode and we are going through the dreaded: inspections, appraisals, finding a new place for mom to call “home”, sorting, packing, down-sizing. It is just a dreadful process. During the inspection phase we found out there was a “raw sewage leak” under the mobile home. Literally, “shit happened”. My mom, her realtor, and I … were ALL working on responding with our best efforts … but, of course … some miscommunications prevailed and some “words” were said (O.K., O.K., so the words were said by me ……. But, you KNOW they were thinking them also!). After a stressful 24 hour period, the leak was repaired.

Meanwhile, my back/leg found its way to quite a pain flair while trying to maneuver extra physical demands.

Meanwhile, my daughter is moving from a rented room to a full blown 1 bedroom apartment. My husband and I are ecstatic to have her “stored” items move to another location. Little did we realize, however, how much work sorting this stuff out was to become. Stored in our garage and small attic are boxes, furniture and articles of hers. Also present are boxes, furniture and articles belonging to my mother-in-law … and of course boxes, furniture and articles that belong to us … some of which have not been “peeked” into from TWO houses ago! WHY DIDN’T I LABEL BETTER? I am the label queen! I ask you WHY?

Meanwhile, I am now having a difficult time getting out of my recliner/bed. I am not sleeping.

Meanwhile, we receive a call from the wonderful caregivers that care for my mother-in-law. It seems that her “sundowner” episodes now include trying to escape the house and “aggressive” behavior. We make the necessary medical appointments which include a 4 step process; step 2 being a psych evaluation. I begin the process of researching “options” for what “could be” … having learned that waiting lists for good affordable care are often the longest.

Meanwhile, I decide that it is completely acceptable for me to go in “shut down” mode. The only information spewed from my lips is generally technical, organizational, necessary and/or is completely unfiltered.

Meanwhile, my BFF gives me a call to see how things are going. Such a precious woman of God she is. Aware that I am having great difficulty reading my Bible, she offers to help order me a Giant Print Bible. The tantrum begins … “I don’t want to be a Giant Print Bible person … I don’t, I don’t, I just don’t!!!” She then “redirects me” and offers to help in any way she can with “stuff” …. Yet, before I hang up the phone I hear a voice, very similar to mine, STRONGLY STATING …. “I just want to be alone!”

Meanwhile, my daughter, returns from a Youth Winter Camp unknowingly aware of “the state of mom”. Words are said by both parties. Both of us are in shock at what just took place. Not even in the “teen years” did such venom spew.

Meanwhile, an apartment becomes available in a senior complex nearby. It is not a perfect fit … but seems to be the provision I, and all my prayer peeps, have been praying for. I financially have to commit to this apartment for my mother (or loose it) before we get final verification the buyers are approved for their loan.

Meanwhile, my husband arrives home from work with a fresh bouquet of bright yellow daffodils and deep purple stock … … … I can’t deny their cheerfulness. It almost makes me mad that “cheer” is creeping its way back into the alien being I have become.

Meanwhile, my brother-in-laws birthday arrives. The family used to gather together often, but for various reasons … we seem to be unable to even celebrate most holidays together. I desperately miss that crazy bunch of characters … But, I also don’t feel like making the 1 ½ hour drive it takes to be with them. After church however, I/we … do it anyway. What a refreshing day full of dialogue and laughter.

Meanwhile, my daughter insists on a “talk it out” phone call. Though the initial situation may have caused the deepest pierce in my heart for the week … the “talk it out” phone call we had will likely prove to be one of the greatest blessing over my lifetime. She truly has become such a wise and rich woman of God.

Meanwhile, my Giant Print Bible arrives. I guardedly open the box. It is beautiful. As I flip the pages, that are sticking together, I see … SEE … the Word of God without any difficulty. The words are so familiar … I get that same feeling I get when walking in the door from a long road trip. I am home.

Meanwhile, I begin to see a “light at the end of the tunnel”. There seems to be more tunnel than light at this point. I am not even sure which tunnel I am walking in, where I am going, how many times I will stumble before I get to the end … but I AM certain that light will not be extinguished. Being in the middle of a study on the book of Revelation helps me to see that light as “The Rider on a White Horse” whose “eyes are like a flame of fire” (Rev 19:12). Eyes that I can’t escape … familiar yet terrifying, full of mercy & tenderness yet, also wrath & justice. Infinite, all knowing of both the good and evil in my heart. They are the eyes I look into when I am joyous or mournful, when I am certain and when I am unsure. They are the same eyes I see when I am in pain and the same eyes I will see one day when I am not … this side of heaven or that.

Meanwhile … what I do know is …. Hope is a process that begins with suffering and those fiery eyes are my focal point through the process.

“We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us”. Romans 5:3-5

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2