Monday, February 6, 2012

His name is Ben.


It's the moment when the girl meets her prince and the room swirls around them. Except, this moment doesn't stop. It's when the fireflies have already led you out of the darkness, and you are comfortable, but then out of nowhere, fireworks start, unexpectedly, and they're synchronized to music that surrounds you even more fully than the firefly river that brought you there. It's awe inspiring, beyond beautiful, and magical. At the same time, it's normal. Not the boring sort of normal, but the sort of normal that screams "this is how it's supposed to be!", like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Everyone knows that you can have different toppings, but unless it's jelly, that peanut butter isn't in its truest form between the layers of bread.

His name is Ben, and we are keeping him. From the start, I constantly prayed and examined to honestly know if there was anything about him that I wished was different. Any part of who he was or what he stands for...Neither of us were interested in dating for the sake of dating, and holy smokes, with two kids involved, extra care was needed to make sure things were solid and not wavering. Well, there is nothing I would change about him. He truly is the perfect fit for our family, and I think God must love me an awful lot to give me my Ben.

The first things I learned about him are some of the things I love the most. The first, is that he is a Christian. Truly, a man who has changed parts of his life and set the relational boundaries before I even had a chance to so that sin isn't a part of his life or our relationship. Talk about healthy protection! He loves Jesus, and it's personal, important, and the driving factor in his life. Mix that with his strikingly handsome looks and amazing voice and it's enough to melt right there. However, God even went beyond that.

Ben is a fire chief, has a degree in fire science, is an EMT, and is currently is school for his R.N.. He also sings and does ropes (rappelling). If you know anything about me, you know that these things fit my academic and social interests perfectly. Instead of stifling the desires God put in my heart, I now get to share them with the person I love!

He prays over me and my children. He tells fantastic bedtime stories. He cleans so the kids can have my undivided attention. He roughhouses and throws the kids in the air because I am too cautious to do it myself. He isn't afraid to wipe Timmy's snot away with his finger, to drink the concoction Amara made for him in his drinking glass, or to listen to a crying kid for an hour at a time. He also isn't afraid to love a woman with an unselfish, whole love. To do what is best for her. To build her up. And lastly, he isn't afraid to be himself. He knows who he is, and he is peaceful in that knowing.

I love how he loves me, and I love loving him. I love that my children are the most at peace when he is at our house and we are a family. I love that when we go out, even to church, everyone calls him my children's father, and my children don't correct them. I love that Amara calls him all of the time, and he talks to her. I love that Timmy cries when he leaves. God grew us all in each others' hearts and we didn't even realize it until we knew each other.

I prayed for this man before I knew who he was, and his name is Ben. And we are definitely keeping him.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Dear Blog, I am Miserable.

I just need to complain for a moment. I'm sure as heck not going to do it on Facebook (I hate that), nor am I going to call Ben just to complain some more (I've done that enough this week)...but...I am near the point of a breakdown, so need to vent. Hence, the blog.

Dear Blog,

I want nothing more than to be wearing comfortable jammies, snuggled in Ben's arms in my bed right now. With kids elsewhere so I can rest and not always be on high alert and in demand. I am SICK and my emotional control capacity is near zero. My respiratory system is stuffed and stressed, my muscles hurt, my joints ache, and my skin is overly sensitive (happens whenever I get a bad cold or the flu). I tried so hard to not get sick with all of this crap going around--I even made two of my patients wear masks earlier this week! But here I am, and I have to get up at 4:30am tomorrow morning so I can go do a 17 hour shift at work followed by leaving for class five hours after my shift ends, driving two hours, sitting through 8 hours of class, driving another two hours, getting kids, driving home, and getting everyone to bed. I don't feel as though I can handle all... or maybe any...of this right now.

I am overwhelmed with the stuff in my life--trying for months to get insurance for the kids just to finally be told TODAY that my county is not served by the company I have been working with (I cried on the phone with the insurance representative), I have hundreds of dollars in medical bills as a result of all of that. I am nervous about the ridiculous drive I'll be doing for school, plus the work hours that may not allow adequate sleep around my class day. I am so far behind on house work it makes me want to either throw my entire house out or throw up because there's no way I'll ever get it all done. Every errand I make, I have to bring two kids with me...which meant I had to go through the lines and metal detectors and stairs TWICE today because once I'd gotten everyone back and buckled in the car after visiting the county treasurer's office, I then realized I had left the paper that I'd gone there to get in the first place up on the treasurer's counter! Go figure.

My phone doesn't even charge, so John is coming over to sit here for a few minutes while the kids are asleep so I can run to Walmart and buy an alarm clock since I won't be able to use my phone's. (this is actually a pretty big deal that he is willing to do this). Ugh.

Cheerios are ground into the floor, there is red popsicle on the white couch pillow, and I still have two loads of laundry to fold, one in the dryer, and one still to start tonight. That's after the three loads I just folded and put away. :-|

Amara isn't in bed yet. I haven't slept well in days. This is partly because I've gotten out of work late (got us home after midnight two nights ago), and partly because Amara hasn't slept well which means I'm dealing with screaming, crying, and kicking. Which is fine, but sleep is a good idea, too.

Yeah. Oh, and I feel totally gross about my body. I hate being fat. And then I hate myself because I am not working out and I'm not starving myself. So I guess I deserve to be fat, but then I think, I DON'T deserve to be fat. I breastfed my two kids! Mom's who nurse aren't supposed to stay FAT after giving BIRTH!

Whatever. I'm in such a rotten mood I don't even care right now. Totally overwhelmed and not happy with any tax or healthcare system available to me right now. Childcare. That's another issue which I will leave alone right now.

Speaking of which, I need to stop my rant so that I can get Amara to bed before John gets here and I get into trouble for her being up before he gets here. God forbid that should happen, because I don't know what might come out of my mouth if he dares complain...

Love,
Rachel

365 Days Later

One year ago tonight, my children and I slept on the futon of my sister's house. We lived the next few days with our belongings in laundry baskets, me attempting to keep things "normal" for the kids and to keep myself from having a heart attack from the terror of leaving John. It's been 365 days. Tonight, I will sleep in my own bed. Like when I was married to him, I will get up at 0430 hours tomorrow and get myself and the kids around to leave so I can go to work. I will do it on my own, clean off my own car, shovel my own driveway, and pack everyone's stuff. I will still stay up late tonight so I can clean after the kids are in bed.

But this time, this year, things are different. I will be able to turn on the light when I get dressed, I won't have to worry about a child's cry waking him up, I won't get into trouble for using the blender to make my breakfast. Tomorrow, as I work, I won't have to try to balance a bazillion text messages and phone calls asking what I'm doing, where I am, who I am with, and why my tonal inflictions are they way they are. Thank God that stress is gone! Today, I celebrated by taking every single piece of lingerie and other "things" I learned to loathe to the dump. I loaded my van with the few remaining objects in the house that had been damaged in fits of anger and threw them into a deep pit of garbage They are all gone now, never to be looked at by me again.

Today, I've deemed to be Freedom Day. It's difficult to uproot your life and leave a situation even when that is the only option left. Being free, though, is worth it.

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