Category Archives: being satisfied

When remembering kicks you in the gut and makes you want to scream… But that sounds negative, so how about this; Remembering; even when it’s difficult there is good to be found…

This came up in my time hop today…  

Soooo..IMG_1169

Looks like my hubby’s cancer has returned.         We don’t know the details. We have an appointment Thursday with his doctor.                                        (She has his results from his pet scan)

I’m not sure how I feel.

I’m trusting God.
He’s trusting God.
Because he’s trustworthy….
He’s faithful, he’s good; He is our Father.

No.  Matter.  What.

We need lots of prayers.
Our kids need them…
This is when it gets real y’all.
That whole walking with Christ thing.

Put up or shut up faith.
He’s my Father. I trust him.
Trusting him with my beloved’s life.

Praying for 40 more years with my best friend;  but I’ll take whatever he gives me…Thanks for praying…

He was gone three months later…    

Fast forward almost four years later…

I remember this….
I remember feeling just heartbroken over it…
IMG_0475I remember asking Robert how I would survive without him…
I remember him looking at me and telling me that I would be okay…
I remember not believing him…

I remember telling him that I was angry with him because he had promised me that he would never leave me and yet he was…

He smiled at me and said, “You know I can’t help leaving woman; it’s not my decision.”  I remember him gently wiping the tears from my eyes, even as he lay in his hospital bed that now resided in our bedroom, as the quiet hum of his oxygen tank silently mocked me…

This just couldn’t be happening to him; to me; to us…                                                                                 But sadly, it was… 

It will be four years in August since he died.

Four years of living each day without him…
Four years without the love of my life and best friend.
The person who believed in me when no one else did.

The person who God used to pick up the broken pieces of my life and turn it into something more amazingly beautiful than I could ever have imagined.

If I’d had it my way, I would have remained single and childless.
My life would not resemble anything near what it does today.
Because even in the pain and loss,
there is immense joy and happiness.

God did that.
I didn’t know.
I had no plans to love him.
To be a mom.
To be a wife.
But God knew.

So though my heart still aches for him;
I’m thankful to God for the opportunity that he gave me to love him.

To be loved by him.
To grow through him.
To understand and experience what love really is and means…

I remember how I felt on our wedding day…
How nervous I was.
My shaking hands and his sweaty palms…

I remember how he accepted this single mom and her 8 month old son with no reservations at all…20140215-163211.jpg  I remember how happy he was when he found out a year later that we were pregnant with our first child together; little Robert…  How thrilled he was with each addition to our family…

I remember being embarrassed when he would introduce me to others as his “Beautiful wife Gretchen,” because though I didn’t feel beautiful, he seemed to think I was….

I remember so many things…

But perhaps the thing I remember most is how much he loved Jesus.  And because of that,  he knew how to love me.

I remember…

I’ll always remember…  

How will people remember you?  

I pray that you’re living a life that is full of amazing memories.

In the end, that’s really all you leave behind for those that love you…
Leave some good ones friend…
Some really, really, good ones…

Be blessed.

P.S. If this has spoken to your heart, please share with those that you know and love.

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Thinking out loud aka Random thoughts from a widow…

I share alot.
Rob always thought I shared a bit too much.
He may have been right in his assumption, I process things by discussing them. img_1789
Since I no longer have my husband to talk to and hash things out, I have a few close friends who have the honor of hearing all of my “stuff…”
Like all the time.
Lol. (Thanks friends)

None the less, I still share here because, well, I’m me…
It’s kind of what I do.

So here are a few things on my mind…
While I am still grieving, I am not drowning or wallowing in my grief.

I have a wonderful life.
I’m extremely blessed.
But the fact of the matter is, I will likely never stop missing my husband.
He was my best friend and the love of my life.
I’m sure this will cause problems in future relationships, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

I will probably always talk about him or post about him on significant days, but I’m not pining for him.
I know where he is.
He was a strong believer who loved God immensely.

But lest you feel sorry for me, know that I’m ok.
I just still miss him and love him.
I don’t know what the Lord is going to do with me, but I trust him.
I don’t know if I’ll remain single or end up married again and honestly, I’m not worried about it.  I’ve always been okay being on my own.
I was before Robert and though I miss him, I’m not going to die being single.

I’ve been single for three years.
I’m waiting on the right man if there is such a thing; and no not a perfect man or a replicated Robert, but someone who loves Jesus and likes Star Wars and the Avengers and hopefully likes to read.

(I know, I’m deep like that)

Life is short.
I plan on living whatever time the Lord allows in the best way possible.
So my plan is to be thankful.
Thankful for my family.
My children.
My mother who is still alive and sows into me still.
My friends who love me and support me.
My Dad Jimmy who blesses the socks off of me.
My oldest sons who drive me crazy and make me laugh so hard until I cry.
My littles, who still enjoy the little things and make me smile daily.
My ten year old who challenges me daily and warms my heart in the very next moment.
The sweet and tender memories I have of my husband.
Our fights, our laughter, our tears and our joys.

All of it.
Everything.

Folks, my life changed in a most horrible way so many years ago. It started with a mysterious stomach ache and led us to live in hospitals and deal with teaching our children an ugly lesson about the word cancer.

Things change so quickly and often without warning.

Because of it, today, I am a different person.
I’m just not the same and that’s okay as well.

The difference in the old me and the me of today, is that I truly realize that it’s not each day that is a gift; it’s each moment.

Seize each moment.
Each boring, mundane, exciting, tumultuous and crazy moment this life offers up to you. Take a picture of it in your mind.
Breathe it in and breathe it out.
Thank God for it, because the moments don’t last forever.

Even the hard stuff. That passes as well, thankfully.

Above all, Remember that He’s always there with you.
Through everything. Every. Thing. Always.
He said he would never leave us nor forsake us, and God is the only one who has never lied to me as far as I know.

Ok.
I’m done now.
You read a lot.
You deserve a treat.
Go grab some coffee or chocolate and then throw some glitter in the air.
It makes everything better!

I don’t want to get over him…

imageI’ve come to realize over the past few weeks, that I don’t want to get over my husband.

While I realize that my statement may alarm my family and friends, stick with me for a minute.

You see, I was of the mind that the only way I would ever get over my husband was by meeting someone new. A new relationship would allow me to get over him, and enable me to move on with my life.

Recently, I’ve come to a new understanding.

I loved my husband. We were best friends. He was everything to me. I still love my husband despite the fact that he’s been gone for three years. I never entered into our marriage with the idea that I wouldn’t love him for the rest of my life.

I understand that he’s gone, I know that he died and that he’s not coming back, but does that magically mean that I’m supposed to tell my heart to stop feeling?

His absence from my life has no bearing on the way that I feel about him.

I don’t want to get over my husband because what we had was real.

We were friends. We respected each other. We loved each other. We genuinely cared for one another. He protected my very fragile heart and provided a safe place for me to rest in his arms.

We were passionate and silly…                    We laughed until we cried. We argued and fussed and made up and cuddled and talked about a future that involved our grandchildren… We dreamed together, and in the end, we mourned that we would not be allowed to finish this life together.

I’m not holding onto the past; I’m simply saying that it’s ok for me to still love my husband and not be interested in dating or starting a new relationship. Yes I’m human, and I get lonely from time to time.

However, to be honest, I’m lonely for Robert.  I’m lonely for my husband.

I miss his deep voice, and the way he called me “girl,” as if he failed to see the gray wisps of hair that had begun to pop up in my head… I miss the way he would complain about giving me foot rubs, but would massage my feet anyway.

I miss a thousand things about my husband.

The way he would get up in the middle of the night and say, “You need to come to be woman, you know I can’t sleep without you.” (I’ve always been a night owl.)  I miss his laughter that always made me smile and laugh and his amazingly beautiful smile that lit up his entire face and reminded me of how much I loved him. We truly enjoyed each other.

I miss my man. He was such a good guy. So yeah, I don’t want to get over him.  I just want to live my life in a way that would make him proud.

I hear him telling me I can do this, as he so often told me when I doubted myself. I imagine his smile when our children say or do something funny…  I hear him telling me to stay close to God and to continue seeking Him.  Until his death, I hadn’t realized how much I learned from my husband. How much my broken heart healed in loving him.

Lest you be dismayed, if God brought someone in my life, I would listen to Him and give someone a chance. But to be real with you, my priority is and will always be raising my children. They come first and I would be okay in choosing to live a life alone.

I have had the kind of love that people write about. The kind of love that movies depict and people dream of…. It was ordained by God and blessed by Him.

Why would I want to ever get over a love like that?  I don’t. And you know what? That’s ok.

Be blessed friends…  IMG_0296

 

I hate my life, which is a weird title, and hate is a strong word, so how about “I’m generally unsatisfied with my current life status…” (Is that better?) 


This looks weird. I know… 

But it’s how I’ve been feeling lately. As if I’m walking through life with my eyes closed… Afraid to look at what’s happening around me, paralyzed and unable to really participate in my own life. 

The truth is, I know I’m very blessed. Like really really blessed. But there are moments when it all just seems like too much. Its not just being a single mom, it’s all of it. All of life.  More succinctly, all of life without Robert. 

It’s been almost three years since my husband died and there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t miss him. I feel like I’m walking in the dark without him. I’m playing at life without really being a part of my own life. 

I feel like I’m almost sleepwalking through life. 

I’ll be honest with you… I don’t like my life…  I realize that sounds bad.  Let me clarify… I don’t like my life without Robert. It just doesn’t seem right with him not here. 

He was my best friend. He was my person.  He was the person that I shared everything with. Every thought, every emotion, every pain and every joy. 

I miss that. A lot. 

I envy people who are married… I envy those whose husbands come home at the end of the day… 

I miss my five o’clock kisses in the kitchen. His deep voice asking me about my day. His texts to say that he loved me just because. I miss us laughing together and our long deep conversations.  I miss our long talks after church discussing the sermon of the day. 

I miss him. 

My best friend, my husband, my heart, my boy, my man…

My everything rolled up into one person. 

I don’t like my life without him at all. I’m just being transparent here.  I wish I could magically change the past and make the last five years disappear. However, I know I can’t do that. 

So here’s what I’ve decided to do… 

While I don’t like my life without Robert, I’m going to trust that God knows what He’s doing despite my feelings.  

I’m going to create a life that I love.  

I’m going to raise my kids and enjoy them. I’m going to dance in my kitchen and laugh at myself…  

I’m going to go on long walks and stay up late on the weekends and camp out in my backyard with my kids…  I’m going to have the life with my children that Robert and I talked about for so many years. 

I don’t like my life… But I’m going to learn how to love it anyway. 

I know that’s what my husband would want me to do.  I know that’s what God wants me to do. 

I know that’s what I need to do. 

So excuse my weird picture…  And my ramblings. Here’s to walking through life with opened eyes… Here’s to creating a life that you love even if you don’t like your circumstances… We can do this… God says we can, and he like; knows stuff.   

I double dog dare you to love your life.  😘😉

Be blessed… 

I don’t go on dates…

I know. Weird title. I guess it would seem obvious. After all, I’ve only been a widow for eight months. But that’s not the kind of dating I was referring to…

Sometimes while scrolling through the wonderful world of Facebook, I’ll see a friend post “Date night, yay!” It never fails to shock me. It reminds me that I used to go on date nights. Most weekends actually. Even if we stayed at home; Robert and I spent time alone without the kids. I’m happy that my friends are dating their husbands, but for some reason seeing those words just seems to paralyze me. I guess the bottom line is that I really enjoyed spending time with my hubby. I miss that time together.

I miss him.

But because I try to see the glass half full instead of half empty, I have started dating myself.

Again; I know…
Sounds weird…

Because I’m with my kids as a homeschooling mom every day, all day; I need time to recharge…

Have I mentioned that I’m with my kids everyday?
All day?

Don’t get me wrong, I have some absolutely wonderful kids. They’re pretty awesome if I may say so… But you know how it is… You know; those days where you’ve had a very rough day and you can’t wait for your husband to come and relieve you?

To give you a break?

Yeah; well… I kinda don’t get those anymore.

So, I’m dating myself….

Thankfully, I have a Mom and Dad who are awesome and love spending time with their grandchildren. (Thanks Mom and Dad!) The kids are with them today, and while I’m tempted to go catch a movie that is not a cartoon; I’ve been enjoying a leisurely day in my very comfortable pj’s that I bought as a treat for myself yesterday. I’ve decided to do laundry; which sounds contrary while being child free; but is actually something that relaxes me.

So I’ll watch a movie and fold clothes and drink a cup of coffee at 3 pm in my pajamas and maybe eat some chocolate…

Maybe it’s not a typical date, but since I can’t date my husband, I’ll do things to relax and have fun in a different way. I think that’s what God wants me to do. I could cry and whine and complain; but what would that really accomplish? I would rather be happy that my friends understand the importance of dating their husbands and maybe offer to babysit for them. That would be way more fun than feeling sorry for myself.

Again, the glass half full deal…
I think I’ll go check out my favorite bookstore or just stay in my pajamas Who knows; either way, I’m going to enjoy myself…

Be blessed friends…
Gretchen

 

Blog Envy and other related madness…

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I’ve been sitting here for quite some time now, trying to choose a different blog theme.  Yes; because much like the way that I feel the need to rearrange my furniture at least every six months, I was getting bored with the theme that I already had.  The theme that I might add, that I paid for… My blog was too dark, and the colors that it allowed me to change were too dark, and for only $30 more dollars, I could have the colors that I absolutely loved.  The new color scheme made me very very happy…

But…

I’d already paid money for the theme that I had; so it was a matter of principle to not pay more money.

I suppose it makes sense to somebody somewhere in the world that I’m not using the theme that I already paid for…  

I just needed a change.

I looked at a friend’s blog and it was pretty and bright, and made me all happy on the inside when I read it… And then there was mine; you know; the one I paid for…  Even though my blog contained my two favorite colors in the entire world, somehow hers looked better to me.

And I’m pretty sure hers was free.

So I’ve been sitting here for hours looking for the perfect theme.  The perfect balance of color and light and whimsy…  I must have previewed over thirty of them.  You would think that with five kids, two dogs, and graduate school, that I could find something more productive to do.  I chose one that I absolutely fell in love with, but the placement of the widgets were off to me.  Bummer.  I really liked that one.  I chose another and it was perfect except for the font of the title that I couldn’t change. Ugh.  Then there was the one with all of the pretty colors, except for the one color that messed it all up for me.  Finally, I chose this theme, not because it was necessarily my favorite, but more than that, I was just tired and didn’t want to keep the old one.

The paid for one.

Then I started thinking…  I tend to do that from time to time.

Isn’t that how we tend to live our lives sometimes?  We’re not happy with what we have… We’re not satisfied with what God has blessed us with and we look at other people’s lives and stuff and err, blogs, and want what they have; when really, what we have is perfectly fine…

I’m certainly guilty.

I used to complain about my husband and his constant procrastination and his lack of rushing for anyone, especially me… I used to compare him to my friends husbands because they had better jobs, or they were craftsmen and he wasn’t or you name it.  And if you knew my husband you would know that he was pretty awesome despite my trivial complaints.  But at the time, I thought that what I had wasn’t as good as what my girlfriends had.

(shakes her head in silence)

I’m so glad that I corrected that thinking early in our marriage.

While my husband didn’t end up being the engineer that he had planned on becoming, because apparently God had other plans for him; he did end up being an amazing husband to me and a wonderful father to our children.

We can miss out on what is right in front of us if we’re too busy looking at what other people have. However, I think our time could be better spent appreciating the blessings that God has given us.  I’m very thankful that I didn’t waste a lot of time complaining about my husband and not appreciating the many gifts that the Lord gave me in him.

If I had done that, I would be living with a great deal of regret right now.

I thought we were going to grow old together.

While we did grow older, I certainly never imagined that I would be a widow at the tender age of 42.

For my 40th birthday, my husband surprised me with a cruise.

I was shocked.

Especially since he knew I was terrified to go on a cruise.

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(Have you seen the Titanic?!?!)

He assured me we would have a blast.  Once I was convinced that we were not going to die after a day or so, it proved to be one of the most fun times we’d ever had together.  Today, that is one of the most precious memories that I have of us.

(In particular, the way we laughed at the parents who brought their kids on the cruise)

(Don’t judge me.)

(Smiling from ear to ear at the memory)

I could enjoy him and our marriage, because I stopped comparing our marriage to other marriages.  I stopped comparing him to other men. He was right where God wanted him.  I’m just glad that God let me love him for 20 years, and that I didn’t mess up the blessing of our marriage by not appreciating him early in our marriage.

I hope you can look at whatever situation you’re in and find something good about it.  I hope you won’t look at others and compare what you have, or where you live, or who you are…  It’s a recipe for disaster.  That’s not how God wants us to live.

Now, I’m still probably going to change my blog again in about six weeks or so; the same way I used to rearrange our furniture constantly and frustrate my husband.  Poor guy never knew what he was going to come home to…  But it won’t be because I have blog envy, looking at my friends blogs…  I just like to keep things interesting; and I kinda get bored looking at the same thing all of the time.  And… I’ll probably still like the blogs of my friends more than mine, it’s just human nature.  But I’ll be satisfied with what I have anyway, and thankful that wordpress has so many free themes to choose from. I hope you can do  the same. Be blessed friends!

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