Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Day Thirty-Two, A Lovely Email

So it is the first of February, officially onto the second month of my twelve month challenge and I have finally caught the cold!  It is a bad one, I don't feel up to doing anything but I'm pushing myself to do what I can.  I started by heading to my doctors in the morning.  I have lost 11 pounds and 21 inches thus far.  She was happy with my progress even though I did plateau for three days in a row...that was frustrating!  But overall, I'm making great, steady progress.

Dakota and I had a rough day homeschooling...neither of us felt well at all but we can't afford to get behind as I gave him two sick days last week.  Every activity was taking soooo long because Abbey and Dakota kept having chasing matches and hide and seek in between every problem...sigh.  So then by one o'clock he was whining, "We've been studying alllll day!"  Usually we go about three hours, but today, five hours later we still weren't done.  "You enjoy this!" he said, "You love to just watch me work all day, you like it!"  He was getting pretty nasty at this point and I just sighed and told him that wasn't true and he called me a "liar".  Oh boy, I wasn't frustrated because I could see he was really upset.  I told him that he couldn't talk to me that way and I that I don't lie to him.  I asked him to go to his room to read his daily scriptures and to come down when he was ready.  He stomped up the stairs, arms flailing, slammed his door while screaming, "I hate you!" at the top of his lungs.  About twenty minutes later he came down, calm and peaceful and said, "Mom, are you ready to work?"

I'm sharing this because I get comments from people about how "patient" I am and "How do you get the kids to do this or that?" and "Oh, they listen so well, etc"...I want everyone to know how flawed we all are!  Only God is perfect and He doesn't expect or even want us to be.  As a self-proclaimed perfectionist, I can tell you, we are far, far, far from perfect and we have our moments, melt downs and so on.  Homeschooling is not for the faint of heart and it is not easy by any stretch of the imagination, but it is rewarding.

Minutes later the doorbell rang, it was our music therapist.  It is one of the kids favorite times of the week.  She works with Justin first, then Jamie...and we are blessed that she allows Abbey (our budding musician to sit in with her little pink guitar).  We waited for music therapy for over a year so we feel so blessed to get it.  However, recently the state, in it's budget crisis, decided to cut the music therapist's pay in half.  Ouch!  We are so blessed that our therapist loves her work so much she has decided to continue doing in spite of the huge pay cut.  I don't know many that have that kind of dedication.  She has helped Justin go from screaming and crying at every little noise to actively playing dozens of different instruments.  Jamie has a unique talent when it comes to music and she is tapping into that and I dare say it is one of Jamie's very favorite hours of the week.

In the mist of this struggle, our therapist has decided to take on private clients to supplement her new reduced income.  It really has been quite devastating for her to have this happen when she absolutely loves her job and her work, but we all need to eat, right?  So for my gift today, I emailed out all of her information to 100+ homeschooling families in our small town hoping to get her some private client work.  I felt like it was such a small gift and really quite insignificant, but I was feeling so sick and struggling so much with getting through the day that I decided it would have to do.

To my surprise I got the following email from her.  Obviously she didn't feel it was insignificant and the email blessed me so much I just have to share it here:

Hi Desiree

Thank you so much for the lovely email out to everyone!  I'm very blessed to have you guys as a family.  I know something will work out, it always does.  It's just so hard to hear all this negative news all day long and then keep yourself in a positive manner.  Everyday I have to remind myself that there are people in the world, especially Haiti now that are way worse off then I'll ever be. 

And yes, I too, am reading along with your blog.  It's actually a time in my day before bed where I can read what you did for others and I smile, laugh or I tear up for how much love you have for others even despite your physical setbacks.  I always think if you, Desiree, can find time in your busy day with the kids and your setbacks to make the world a better place...I can keep myself in the best positive place I can. I HAVE to be able to keep myself in the positive place.  I've always been a nice person, but since reading your blog I go out of my way to do little things in my day to make someone else's day better...holding a door open, saying hello to the person on the street that just keeps their head down and make them smile, stay a little longer at a client's house to help out with the little kids in the family if they need something.  You've started a movement...a world peace type movement.  I just wanted to let you know that you are making an impression on the world =) And thank you for that!

Take care and thank you for everything,
 Thank you to everyone taking this journey with me.  The emails I have gotten from you have inspired me and kept me going.  I can't imagine how difficult my circumstances would be without your support.  I imagine I would be negative and self pitying...I imagine I would feel hopeless and alone.  But I don't, thank you for that gift.

OK, so for my Love Dare.  I guess I went into this feeling a little "full of myself" because I wasn't concerned at all with the first challenge to "not say anything negative to your spouse," ironically, it ended up being a significant challenge after all!  After our computer got a virus, Tim put everything onto a jump drive that I keep on my key chain, he then wiped out the system completely.  I saw the jump drive sitting there next to the computer and I said to him before I went to bed on Sunday, "Please, please, please put that back on my key chain when you are done, it has pictures from the past ten years on it and every document I work with every day."  He agreed and I went to bed.  Well, when I got going Monday morning and Tim was long gone to work I went to grab my key chain to do time sheets for my respite provider and lo and behold, it wasn't there.

I rolled my eyes as I head to the computer to find that it wasn't there either!  I called up Tim in a panic and said, "Where is the jump drive?"  He said, "It's right where I left it sitting next to the computer."  When I told him it wasn't there he responded with, "Well, I don't know where it is then."  I felt like one of those cartoons where the face turns red and steam is coming out of the ears...I thought I was going to burst.  I refrained from exploding to say "good-bye" but I didn't respond to his "I love you" as I might have went off on a tangent about if he really loved me he would have but the stupid jump drive on the key chain before Abbey had a chance to get a hold of it and hide it!

I spent an hour looking for it, my respite providers needed to get paid and all the info is on there.  I dug through trash cans, I looked in everyone's shoes (which is where Abbey likes to hide things), I moved the whole computer desk and dug in the cracks behind was no where to be found.  I was fuming.  I was thankful Tim was no where near me as I just wanted to say all kinds of negative things!  I'm giggling about it now, but I was seriously irate.  Partly because I was tired and sick, partly because Dakota was giving me such a hard time, and finally because I asked him to put it away so I wouldn't have to go through this!

I was still angry when he got home hours later that night, no jump drive in sight and Dakota still hadn't finished his homework.  Sticking to my Love Dare I resolved not to say anything negative, which resulted in me saying "nothing at all"...Tim could sense something was up and innocently asked, "So who are you mad at?"  I told him about my struggles with Dakota and he sat down and gave him the "You Are So Lucky You Get to be Homeschooled speech"...when that didn't make me feel better he said, "You're not mad at me, right?  I can't just sit here and wonder if you are mad or what I did..."  He was totally clueless.  I took a deep breath and pulled myself together.  I wanted to shout at him, "I'm doing the stupid Love Dare so I can't tell you..."  then maybe stomp up the stairs and slam the door like Dakota had displayed earlier (I wonder where he gets it from, lol).

I spoke very slowly and intentionally, "I'm struggling finding the jump drive."  Period, that was it, nothing more.  I was satisfied that this was not "negative" but a simple fact.  "Oh" he said.  He went over to the computer desk and I thought to myself, "Good luck" dripping with sarcasm.  He appeared minutes later, handed me the jump drive and kissed my cheek.  I didn't say anything, just felt a sense of relief.  I didn't ask where he found it and the night went on as usual.  God challenged me.  I believe that because I didn't flip out, God made it perfectly easy for Tim to see when I couldn't find it anywhere.  It doesn't matter where he found it, what matters is I learned a deep lesson.  I need Tim, I need to love him unconditionally, and I need to stay patient and kind.  Yelling at Tim wouldn't have made me feel better and it certainly wouldn't have made the jump drive magically appear.  But trusting in God and following His word did make it magically appear.

I told you the "Love Dare" is fabulous!  I'm hoping my friend doing hers will update us in the comments section on how her dare is going.