Project 52, Week 45, Part 3 – Trusting through Turmoil

It’s time for Project 52, Week 45!

45 weeks ago, on my 52nd birthday, I began Project 52. Since there are 52 weeks in a year, each week I’m taking one year of my life and blogging about it. This week, I’m covering the year I was 45 — June 14, 2009, to June 14, 2010.

Last time, I got through November. I was still dealing with difficult communications with Steve about visitation and about him wanting me to have my lawyer draw up a separation agreement he’d be willing to sign – but never explaining how that would be different than the one she’d already drawn up. I was still hoping and praying he would have a change of heart and our marriage would be restored – but I was slowly coming around to thinking maybe I should file for divorce in the mean time. I was praying over and over for wisdom, and God was gently leading me.

I was also finding great joy in my job at the library. I’d started attending a new small group on Friday nights, led by John and Lisa Maulella in Herndon, and that group of people was helping me through. That Fall, after a couple years without much trouble with headaches, I’d suddenly started getting the longest lasting headaches of my life.

But there was some other very bad news in November. My Dad had a heart attack. He refused bypass surgery, and they put in several stents. Here’s an email I wrote to a friend on November 15, 2009:

Well, as of last night my Dad was still in ICU, as they try to get his blood pressure stabilized.  I don’t think they’re alarmed — just trying to wean him off the medications that kept things in line when they were waiting to put in the stents.  We think it’s just as well they’re keeping him resting that much longer!
 
But my talk with Becky dropped a much bigger bombshell.  My siblings really think that my Mom may be getting Alzheimer’s.  She’s only 68!  The progress may have been accelerated by the open heart surgery 7 years ago (sometimes that happens), which is why my Dad didn’t want open heart surgery.
 
There have been symptoms for a long time — which we were mostly passing off as my Mom’s little eccentricities.  But they’re getting more extreme.  Becky said that now she does a lot of typing, and she regularly forgets how to spell words.  That is NOT like my Mom.  I guess last week she misplaced a book and was sure someone had stolen it.  She can’t find her way to my Dad’s room in the hospital, which hadn’t been changed and Becky says is very easy to find.
 
Anyway, my siblings out there had a family meeting about ways they can help Mom and Dad, and one thing is they are going to somehow insist that she sees a neurologist.  Those kind of problems are definitely treatable, especially if it doesn’t end up being Alzheimer’s.
 
Now, she’s been seeing doctors for awhile about feeling “yucky” and “like a rag doll,” but I guess she was offended when my Dad suggested she see a neurologist, and thinks she’s just having “senior moments.”  So the first challenge will be getting her to get to a doctor.
 
Sigh.  I had known she was having some definitely alarming symptoms, but now Becky came out and said that the siblings are sure there’s a problem, that her behavior is definitely not normal.
 
It’s probably a good thing, in the long run, that with Dad unable to take care of her for awhile, my siblings were motivated to take action.
 
But today I’m busy mourning the news, trying to absorb the blow.  At the same time, I’m worried about my Dad.
 
But the biggest thing, of course, that’s wearing me down is this headache.  It’s still very low level, but I’m getting more and more of a sense that something’s very wrong.
 
And it’s low level — but at our new location for church they are experimenting with the lighting and are opting, for now, for very dark house lights with bright lights on the stage — and that is just the WRONG lighting for a headache!  So my headache was much much worse during the singing, and that definitely put me in the wrong spirit for church!  (Besides, it’s a series on marriage.  Today was “speaking the truth in love.”  YES, I agree that is important!)
 
There was also a church business meeting afterward, and I tried to explain to the pastor, after that, that the lighting is physically painful for me, but ended up crying.  (I don’t think I convinced him this could be painful to any other migraneurs in the audience, but I think that’s true.  He asked what I do when I go to movies, but I definitely DON’T go to movies when I have a headache — but thought I could go to church.)
 
Tim and I had lunch out after that (too expensive, but tasty and with leftovers), and then went to Barnes & Noble to spend a gift certificate he’d been given.  Then I napped — so much for my day.
 
Tonight I even have a slight fever with it.  This is just not normal for me.  I sure hope the neurologist can hit on the correct diagnosis quickly — and I hope it’s not a particularly nasty one.
 
Meanwhile my other worries are if my job will be targeted to meet the budget — should get a clue about that on Wednesday.
 
And of course Steve’s upcoming retirement and if I should divorce him.  I haven’t heard back from my lawyer yet.
 
Sigh.  So I just want to have a good cry feel sorry for myself for awhile — but I don’t think I really have time for that.  I’m hoping today was enough to brood over my Mom’s condition.  Then, really I can be guiltily thankful that I have plenty of siblings (and even a son!) out that way to deal with it.  Though I am worried.  It is a very, very sad thing.
 
And truthfully, what’s most filling my mind is this headache.  And thinking of the conditions it could be that could keep me from working.  Then where would I be….  But that’s borrowing trouble, definitely.  Thank goodness I have an appointment only 3 days away.
 
Tomorrow I have a day off, too, which is lovely.  I hope, hope, hope I can get some good writing done, and rake my leaves, too.  But rest is good, too.
 
Anyway, forgive me for moaning, but I do feel really sad about this news about my Mom.  And pretty freaked out by the headache.  All together, I just really needed to do a little moaning!
 
Yeah, and for some reason I never thought we’d have to deal with Alzheimer’s.  My Mom’s grandparents didn’t have any trouble with it — well, one grandmother had some mental trouble in her 90s.  And her parents, in their 80s, were sharp as tacks.  My Dad’s parents didn’t have any trouble with it either.  Anyway, that still may not be it….

Well, that was it, all right, as gradually became apparent. First they just called it “vascular dementia.” Today, in 2017, my Mom is still living at home, with my Dad tenderly caring for her. But she no longer talks much and seems pretty far gone. A very sad thing – I didn’t even understand how bad it would get at that time.

Then after that, I got word that I was likely to lose my job because of budget cuts for the next fiscal year, starting in July. Scary, since I had lots of debt and no fallback.

And I began seeing a doctor about the headaches. She was trying various things. Corticosteroids, new preventatives. Looking back, I wonder if it had anything to do with going on birth control pills to regulate my cycle. Since they always were affected by hormones. Or if maybe I had a vertebral artery dissection back then but that time it didn’t cause a stroke. (Though I don’t remember it being as focused on the neck as the one I had when the vertebral artery dissection happened.)

Jumping ahead, in January, we finally tried going back on the antidepressant Zoloft as a preventative – and it worked beautifully, as it had done before. When I first started taking it in 2005, the doctor told me you only need to take it six months to a year, and the effects last. Well, perhaps the effects had suddenly stopped – because going back on Zoloft drastically reduced my headaches, as it had done before. Zoloft’s main side effect for me is completely numbing my sex drive – and I figured that was doing me a favor at the time!

Tim was at Steve’s for the last half of Thanksgiving break. I wrote a fun blog post about making an absolutely perfect batch of brown sugar fudge and eating it all myself. Yum!

I’d already started feeling around, talking with friends, about where I could apply against the strong possibility of losing my job. I had just taken my librarianship as a Sign of God’s Goodness, so this was scary. Though I reminded myself that God had a big hand in every job I’d gotten in my adult life. He wasn’t going to abandon me now.

But yes, I was scared. What if I used up all my sick leave, had to take Leave Without Pay, and couldn’t pay rent? What if I lost my job in the budget cuts? What if Steve stopped paying child support when he retired from the Air Force in February. A whole lot of scary things – and they were harder to deal with when I had a constant headache.

I had my very first MRI done on December 4, 2009. Funny, but it was comforting to see that I really do have a brain! I wrote an amusing blog post about it, talking about how the “loud, rhythmic tapping” they warn you about actually sounds like the red alert siren from Star Trek. It reminded me of the line in Galaxy Quest: “I know that sound! That’s a BAD sound!” It was also on the 23rd day of a headache – breaking a personal record I really didn’t want to break.

That was also when I figured out that Topamax was the WRONG preventative for me. I ended up going back on Zoloft – which solved the problem! My headaches were back under control for awhile.

[I’m pausing here for a moment of thanking God for getting very few headaches for the last two YEARS – since menopause, in fact. HOOOOOOOOORAY!!!!! At the time, it was a very awful thing making a dark time worse.]

And then – my Dad offered to pay for Tim and me to fly out to Los Angeles for Christmas! With Jade (then called Josh) there, the thought was all the more wonderful!

But this time, going to L.A. didn’t make us miss all the snow of the winter! In fact, I was in for the most snow I’d seen fall in my life so far! Here’s what I wrote on the 18th:

Woo-hoo!  We’re getting an expected one to two FEET of snow tonight and tomorrow and the next night!  They have already closed the library for tomorrow and cancelled the play I was going to go to.  I hope they will also close the library Sunday. 
 
The last time they got even six inches of snow in December here was in 1982!  So it is quite the storm.
 
So all day we were watching the forecast, and watching it keep saying more and more and more snow.  Now we’re right in the cross-hairs of the middle of the storm. 
 
Unfortunately, the time the storm was to start also got earlier.  Originally, it wasn’t to start until after midnight.  But I went to a potluck tonight and left around 9 pm, and had to drive home through the first couple inches.  It is really coming down!  I’m pretty tense and shaky from my first snow drive of the season.  There was one intersection where I wasn’t able to stop for the light, but there were so few cars, I was able to just turn right and then make a u-turn.  I went much much slower after that!  And I’m reminding myself:  I drove in the snow, and I was FINE.  Of course, that was only an inch or two — and they are expecting a foot or two!
 
So it will be a nice cozy weekend, hunkered down inside watching it snow!  And it is pouring snow!  And this time I don’t have a headache!  YAY!  Maybe I can get Christmas cards written!

And pictures:

Here’s when we cleared the snow as it was still coming down:

The next day:

The yardstick said 20 inches! By far the most I’d ever seen fall at one time. It actually broke records for December snowfall in the DC area.

And this was my car!

Mine is the smaller one to the left of the van.

The path to our house. Tim helped clear it.

And hooray! I really did go to my parents’ house for Christmas! I captured a few random pictures:

Here are Melanie and Wendy, with my Dad in the background.

Abby and Peter:

And two people I love most, my wonderful children, Tim and J:

And the cat, Jeff, and my Mom:

I love this set of Hatches and Eklunds playing the video game Rock Band:

And here’s Becky with her daughter Kristen and son Jason:

It was a short trip, but it was restorative, and good to be with my family.

At the start of the year, I got caught up, along with many others, in the hope that Jerry Pinkney would win the Caldecott Medal for The Lion and the Mouse and “lionized” myself. He did win!

So 2010 began – one of the hardest calendar years of my life. But one blessing was that the Zoloft kicked in, and I stopped having those nearly constant headaches. So that was one less worry.

Steve started communicating more, but he was still trying to get me to pay my lawyer to modify the agreement she’d written in unspecified ways.

And it looked like I would lose my job. Why the county wanted to cut libraries when it was less than 1% of the budget and when we were in a recession and people needed libraries more than ever? I didn’t even know. The cuts of positions would be based on seniority – and I was coming up on just two years working there.

I was still trying to respond to Steve with love, grace, and compassion. I wanted to do nice things for him. One thing I’d done in the past that he had thanked me for was give him pictures of our kids. So I sent him that nice picture of Tim and J. that I’d taken on Christmas morning.

Steve responded, “There was a time I was a husband, a father and a successful Air Force bandsman. Your abusive behavior has taken all of that from me. I think it’s cruel of you to rub my face in it this way.”

Okay, so I realized that there was no loving thing I could do for Steve that would be interpreted by him as loving.

After awhile, Steve started trying to convince me to go to mediation. But the mediator’s site said that mediation couldn’t go forward if one party didn’t bring all documents. Since I’d already presented all my financial documents to Steve’s lawyer in the earlier case he’d filed – but Steve hadn’t provided financial documents at all – I didn’t see a whole lot of point to going. I wouldn’t have minded if Steve had paid, but I didn’t have $450 to spend when I’d already spent thousands on an agreement his lawyer had agreed to.

Finally, I decided to contact my lawyer and file for divorce.

And so began Phase 10: Filing Myself.

Here’s what I wrote to my friends in my small group:

I wanted to write to some of you who were my listening ears and support way back at the beginning of my marriage falling apart, and tell you personally.
 
I made a big decision this weekend.  I’m going to file for divorce, on the grounds of adultery and desertion.
 
Yesterday’s sermon was about listening to God’s voice, and it gave me some moments of doubt.  Was I just taking matters into my own hands and failing to trust God?
 
But I talked with several people after church, and I realized that I haven’t had any trouble listening to God’s voice when He says that Steve will repent some day.  When I have trouble listening to God’s voice is when He clearly tells me, “You need to let Steve go.”
 
I have this fantasy of Steve coming back some day because of his loving, faithful, forgiving wife.  Isn’t she wonderful?  She waited for him in spite of everything!  What great faith in God she had!
 
That’s the fantasy I need to let go of.  I don’t think that’s coming from God.  If Steve ever comes back, it certainly won’t be because I held onto our marriage in spite of everything.  And I don’t want to make it too easy, anyway!  I will really need to know that he had truly changed.  And meanwhile, I can be the person God made me to be much better without his poison in my life.  (Lately, he again allowed e-mail, and has flooded me with harsh messages.  He seems to be trying to get me to agree to a settlement where he doesn’t have to pay anything.)
 
Anyway, I am now a 20/20/20 military spouse.  But unless there is a court order, I can’t even be sure that Steve will keep me signed up for benefits.  I definitely won’t get any of his retirement unless there is a court order.  And he is retiring Feb. 1st and doesn’t have a job yet — and he says that means he can’t pay child support.
 
So it’s time to say that’s not okay with me.  (My lawyer says generally the courts will treat it as his own fault he’s not employed and we can figure child support based on what his income was.)  There are lots of laws protecting me — If I file for divorce.  But almost nothing if I stay married.
 
And I think it is time.
 
So — I have an appointment with my lawyer tomorrow morning.  I think we can get into court for child support fairly quickly, but the divorce itself will probably take much longer — It took a year when Steve filed, though we might be able to skip a few steps?
 
I appreciate your prayers for me!  I’ve had trouble sleeping since I decided to do this, but I hope that will pass soon.

And meanwhile, we were getting piles and piles of wonderful, beautiful, glorious SNOW! In fact, I was in my first “official” blizzard! 26 inches in Centreville the weekend of February 5-7.

The next morning:

My car’s in there somewhere!

Here’s our house:

Looking at the front walk:

These beauties were shining outside the window above my shower (at the top of the house) in the morning.

Here’s how the neighborhood looked in the sunshine:

Digging my car out was a long process!

Here’s where “extra” snow was getting thrown – this mountain was actually flat ground.

The path to our house:

Believe it or not, we got more snow the next week! When I finally went back to work, I brought my camera and took some pictures of the snow-covered Herndon Fortnightly Library.

The Herndon Town Green became the “Town White”!

And meanwhile, we were still trying to convince the Board of Supervisors not to try to squeeze water out of a stone and cut Library funding. I bought a t-shirt.

And I made a display at my library about School Library Journal’s Battle of the Kids’ Books, and won a t-shirt for blogging about it!

Then in March, I had a breakthrough in my thinking about the divorce. Here’s how I explained it to my friends:

Dear friends,
 
I thought you’d be interested in a breakthrough that came for me this morning from Hebrews 11, which our Life Group is going through.
 
You know that I had decided to file for divorce, and I really thought it was the right thing to do, and how God is leading me now — but I still wondered if I was showing a lack of faith.  With all this talk — at church and in my Life Group — of hearing God’s voice, I wondered if I was ignoring all those things I heard from God about marriage restoration.
 
Yet I think I heard from Him about divorce, too, so how could that be?
 
Here was my reasoning:
I really believe that God had revealed to me that one day Steve will repent and have a change of heart and one day our marriage will be restored into a thing of beauty.  So is my filing for divorce an action in keeping with that belief?
 
Then this morning, I was reading Hebrews 11, and I’ll highlight the part that leaped out at me:
 
“By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice.  He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, ‘It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.’  Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.”
 
If Abraham were reasoning like me, he would have said, “I really believe that God promised me that my descendants will inherit this land through Isaac.  So is my sacrificing Isaac an action in keeping with that belief?”
 
No, I think it’s time for me to give up my ideas about keeping the marriage and offer it to God.  If He really wants to restore it, surely He is able to resurrect it from death.
 
And that thought was very comforting to me.

Meanwhile, despite trying to negotiate a divorce agreement, despite fears of losing my job, despite applying for new jobs and hitting dead ends – Spring bloomed as beautiful as ever.

Here are the trees next door:

And on the other side:

And I went back to Bull Run Regional Park to enjoy the Bluebell Trail.

I bought another t-shirt: “Cutting Libraries in a Recession is like Cutting Hospitals in a Plague.”

But despite protests and despite many job applications, on May 11, I got a notice that I was going to be part of the Reduction in Force and lose my job at Herndon Fortnightly Library. I was the most senior Librarian 1 getting a RIF notice, but I indeed got one.

Here’s what I wrote in my journal a few days later:

Tuesday I got my RIF notice. I’m scared and sad, and I’ve been having headaches. But friends are pouring out their love & support.

God gave me three forms of encouragement right away, plus one before.

A few days before, when I was thinking about the RIF, God gave me Psalm 34:32-34:

“The wicked lie in wait for the righteous,
seeking their very lives;
but the Lord will not leave them in their power
or let them be condemned when brought to trial.
Wait for the Lord
and keep his way.
He will exalt you to inherit the land;
when the wicked are cut off, you will see it.”

On the morning I got the RIF notice, a song was going through my head:

“Be strong in the Lord and
never give up hope.
He’s gonna do great things,
I already know that
God’s got his hand on you,
so don’t live life in fear;
forgive & forget,
but don’t forget why you’re here.
Take your time and pray.
These are the words I would say.”

That evening, when my CD finished and the radio came on, they were just beginning that very song.

The second thing that same day was on a card my branch manager gave me. It echoed almost exactly what Heather had said in the Mother’s Day sermon – be still and listen to God.

Here’s what the card said:

“All the truth
and beauty.
All the peace
and strength
you are seeking
are right there
in your heart . . .
Be still
and listen.
Be brave
and believe.”

Finally, the third thing was a message from Mabel that echoed what I’d been thinking – that this emphasizes that getting through this will be all God. I was proud of dealing with my divorce by getting my MLS and a librarian job. But there’s nothing I can do to keep it! It is all in God’s hands. And offering up my marriage, marriage restoration is also in God’s hands.

Here’s the verse Mabel included: Revelation 3:8 — “I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.”

Thank You, Lord, for all this encouragement.

I went hiking again on May 30, at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park in Centreville. It was actually a Sunday. We didn’t have church and were told to take a Day of Rest, so it was a Prayer Walk for me.

All through May, I was still afraid I was going to be jobless and out of money. And at the same time was trying to negotiate with Steve about a custody and visitation agreement. But in June, I got God’s answer to tide me over. I wrote an update to my friends on June 13, 2010, so that’s how I’ll finish up Week 45’s post.

The big news is that I am employed!
 
Now, in case you don’t know why that is big news:  I’ve known since November that the proposed library budget cuts would probably mean I would get a laid off as part of a Reduction in Force for the county.  Sure enough, although people advocating for the library meant they “only” cut the library budget 12.68% instead of 15%, in early May I got a RIF notice.
 
It was definitely a blow.  I’ve applied for jobs 22 places, but no nibbles yet.
 
And living as a single Mom so long now, I have no savings whatsoever, but plenty of debt.
 
However, my job was a total gift from God in the first place.  I don’t believe that He has abandoned me.  What’s more, if God can bring good out of my losing my husband (and it’s more and more clear that He is doing that), then surely it’s easy as pie for Him to bring good out of a trivial little thing (comparatively!) like losing my job!
 
Anyway, the first step in the RIF process is to look for vacancies in your same job class.  They offered me a half-time Librarian I position.  I had to do a little agonizing.  Is half a job better than no job, since I’d be needing unemployment either way?  But since I can’t live off a half-time job, I decided to say no.  When I went in to the Government Center to sign off that I was not interested in a part-time placement, the HR rep went ahead and moved me to Step 2 of the RIF process — and showed me two job vacancies at my same pay grade, but at different county agencies.  Both were Management Analyst I positions.  One was the Fire Dept and one was Family Services.
 
Anyway, to make a long story short, I decided to take the job at Family Services.  It’s in the Office for Children, Provider Services.  That department licenses hundreds of child care providers in the county, processes USDA grants for nutritious lunches, and all the paperwork for being licensed.  It sounds like I would mainly be managing data, as well as some visits to Head Start and School Age Child Care programs to be sure their paperwork is in order.
 
When I went to meet the people they were super nice.  They were excited to have someone coming who likes numbers!  🙂  And they were already thinking I might want to get involved in the provider training to speak up for the library and early literacy.
 
Of course the best thing is the hours!  8:00 to 4:30, and only about 15 minutes from my home.  During the school year, I would actually leave after Tim left for school and arrive home before he does (his bus ride is so long).  With budget cuts, my schedule at the library would have been just awful — 9:30 to 6:00 most days, but 12:30 to 9:00 pm twice a week.  Plus working every other Saturday.
 
But my emotions are definitely in a mess.  I’m very very sad to leave my job.  I loved being a children’s librarian, and I love the people I work with.  And I got a Master’s in Library Science so I could be a Librarian, not a Management Analyst!  (And the Management Analyst position only requires a Bachelor’s degree — kind of points out that Public Librarians are underpaid.  But anyway, all the other librarian jobs I applied to pay better.)
 
So I’m still looking.  But this does take away the urgency.  Now I have the luxury of only accepting a job that I am absolutely sure I will love.
 
Meanwhile, I don’t know if everyone knows that I did file for divorce last January.  Although I still believe that God is telling me that some day Steve will have a change of heart and come back to God, and God will restore our marriage, I felt that God was telling me it was time to file for divorce.
 
I didn’t understand, but it did seem necessary to get some issues settled.  Anyway, I kept asking God, “I thought you told me You’re going to restore our marriage.  Does this mean I am lacking in faith?  Am I really hearing You right?  How can that be possible?”
 
But God was gracious.  He directly answered my questions — using one of my longtime favorite chapters, Hebrews 11…. 
 
So by filing for divorce, I’m putting the whole matter in God’s hands.  He can surely resurrect our marriage if that is His plan.
 
Meanwhile, God is blessing me and drawing me closer to Him.  I’m excited to see what’s going to happen with my next job, and grateful that He is providing for me while I’m looking.
 
This week, on June 17, we have a Scheduling Conference for the divorce.  They just set the dates for trial, etc.  I very much hope that, now Steve has a lawyer, we can get a Custody/Visitation Agreement signed.  If we can sign one before the Scheduling Conference, that will save us a whole trial — they schedule one for Custody/Visitation and one for everything else.  I think we mainly agree about Custody/Visitation, but my lawyer has written up 3 different agreements, and Steve has not been willing to sign them, but has not told us how to change it.  I’m hoping that now he has a lawyer, his lawyer can draw up something that he would sign.
 
Anyway, with all this going on, my emotions are going crazy.  So sad about leaving Herndon, so sad about my marriage ending.  Yet so happy that God is clearly coming through for me and I have a new job that it looks like I will really like.
 
Today God was especially gracious.  In the morning getting ready for church, I asked God for some encouragement.  I knew my emotions were volatile.  Started thinking about the divorce and got discouraged….
 
Well, encouragement came in a way I didn’t expect.  Now, the background is this:  Many, many times, whenever Steve mentioned getting a lawyer or taking legal action, God would send me the verses Isaiah 54:15 & 17–
 
“If anyone does attack you, it will not be my doing;
whoever attacks you will surrender to you….
No weapon forged against you will prevail,
and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
and this is their vindication from me, declares the Lord.”
 
Today the worship leader was teaching us a new song (Desert Song, by Hillsong), and there in the middle was the line — “No weapon formed against you will stand”!  Right when I was thinking about the divorce….  It reminded me that God is paying attention to my emotions, and He is looking after me.
 
As if that weren’t enough, the song after the next one had the words of a hymn we sang at our wedding!  I reflected that those words were committing my marriage and my life to God, and I don’t want to take it back, despite how it is turning out.  God has been faithful, and I want Him still to have my life:
 
Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my moments and my days —
Let them flow in ceaseless praise,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.
 
Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love;
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee,
Swift and beautiful for Thee.
 
Take my voice and let me sing
Always, only, for my King;
Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee,
Filled with messages from Thee.
 
Take my silver and my gold —
Not a mite would I withhold;
Take my intellect and use
Ev’ry pow’r as Thou shalt choose,
Ev’ry pow’r as Thou shalt choose.
 
Take my will and make it Thine —
It shall be no longer mine;
Take my heart — it is Thine own,
It shall be Thy royal throne,
It shall be Thy royal throne.
 
Take my love — my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store;
Take myself — and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee,
Ever, only, all for Thee.
 
Amen! 
 
So — that’s why I haven’t written much lately.  I’m kind of overwhelmed with getting out applications, and all kinds of things going on.  But God is being good to me, and I know I’m going to make it through this.  Life is still full of reasons for Joy.

Next week I’ll get to talk about my new job that started June 21, and Steve signing the custody/visitation agreement on June 19.

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