Sunday, July 19, 2009

Trip to Alabama

Lately, I’ve been struggling with uncertainty. I don’t know why, it’s not like there’s really anything different going on. Same ole, same ole. We’ve got lots of people in this family so there’s always lots going on. Things change, I thought I’d be used to it by now. About 6 years ago, I really struggled a lot with anxiety and even had panic attacks. The past two weeks, I’ve even had heart palpatations and have had to concentrate on relaxation techniques to keep the anxiety at bay. When I’m struggling, it seems nothing in a day can go right. It turns out to be one hard thing after another- trying to sabotage me over and over again. “Things and circumstances” are there looming over me trying to take my joy away. My focus was blurred…. my eyes were off God. I wasn’t trusting God. I wasn’t relying on God. I wasn’t asking for His strength. I didn’t hand over the burdens. And so because of my own actions, I suffered.

We’ve been talking about this trip to AL for a long time. It was to visit some great friends of ours and to look around. Our destination was Prattville (just north of Montgomery)- ironically enough that was the exact town we looked at moving to before we came to Arkansas. Funny how these things happen. Before we left, both of our vehicles broke down, we had a child with a terrible ear infection, we had 2 house showings the day we were due to leave and I had no prep work done . I was going to stay home- I was fighting off the anxiety. Hubby waited around for me and to see if our car was going to be fixed (it ended up costing a LOT of money and our appointment was for the time we wanted to leave town). I had been putting money aside for 6 weeks, trying to build a nest-egg for future expenses. Because of our car repairs and travel expenses, all the money is gone. But we decided to make it a priority, too many things were against us NOT to go. Oh yea, and when we left horrible weather moved in- the kind that produces tornados. We drove through that weather for over 2 hours, in the dark-blowing wind- lightning and thunder. We pressed through…

**While I’m writing this post, we are in the car driving. Hubby is scanning the radio stations and he just found some gospel station…he busted out into song…turned the volume WAY up…and is now doing some kind of disco-dance to the gospel song (singing at the top of his lungs). This is HILARIOUS!! The kids are looking at us like we are aliens- great moment! Travel delirium has set in…

Anyway, while driving on Friday I realized that I need to rise above this mess. This is nothing different now then what we’ve been through a million times. Our house is for sale and the showings make me nervous. I’m happy but also scared/sad. I’m thinking about moving- how will we do it- when-where?? These are the things that keep me up at night. School is starting soon and we’ve made the commitment to homeschool all the kids. That’s 4 kids+ a preschooler + a one year old-walking-get-in-to-everything-baby. That adds to the anxiety. Especially if we’re moving or living out of our 5th wheel with all of our things in storage. But I came to the realization that no matter where we are, how we get there or what God does next in our life- the common denominator HAS to be God. If that is the same, there’s nothing to worry about. God gave me this scripture so many years ago- 'Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?' (Matthew 6:27). And I have to live it over and over again, practicing over and over. I dip back and then come forward, learning through each different circumstance. So, in the face of these uncertain times I need to focus on God and know that He will never forsake us or never leave us. That alone has to be enough. He has to be enough- over any thing or any circumstance in this world. So my anxiety needs to hit the road- God is my quick fix and my medication for the problem. Always has been, always will be.

I think this is yet another lesson in my learning patience. Hmmmm, I used to pray for that. Now I’m wondering if that was smart! Hehe- I guess He knows I need it and lots more of it. I just said to my girlfriend the other day that even though this seems like a dry, ‘valley’ season- I’m hoping it won’t be for 40 years because that’s a long time. Keep things in perspective, right? This little bit makes me seem like a big whiner! Ok…I’m done.

So, that’s the story. Here’s some pics of our time in Alabama. It was so much fun, too short of a time but we’re so happy we went. The kids had a good time and they’re SO tired. I think it will take ALL of Hubby’s patience to make it home. I keep telling him things like, “What, don’t you want to stay home all day with them? This is my every-day. What, this is stressing you out?” All the while I have a huge smirk on my face. I love it… well, maybe not so much when we’re jammed in the car all day with kids fighting. I wish they would sleep. Why are our bio kids such sleep fighters? Seriously, they will go all day and never fall asleep. Princess needs to be sleeping- more like 2 hours ago. This may be a long rest of the way home (and we’re not even to Mississippi yet).

Ok, pictures…enjoy! During the day Saturday, we visited the Shakespeare Festival museum in Montgomery. They have a (free) hands-on museum for kids. It was awesome!

Does this remind anyone of the beginning of a James Bond movie? Or Charlie's Angels?

'Balancing' a picture.

Printmaking.Ok, now Hubby says this reminds him of the two of us. What? Maybe him, but certainly not me! Ha!
They had a huge exhibit of blown glass pieces. They were all gorgeous, but this was my favorite!

This was made by a 7th grader with small pieces of yarn. We're going to attempt this project!

Now only my husband would think this was hilarious- he was putting the crackers ON his feet to see if the goose would come that close to eat it. It did!

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