Do you ever get to a point in your life where you just have to slow things down and take a deep breath? I’ve had to take a break from writing for the past month because life happens. I think back and wonder, “How did we do it?” From December until now, Sam and I have been dealing with constant stress. Just when we thought we would catch a breath, something else would fall into our laps. Some of it was exciting and others just heartbreaking. In the midst, you just learn to keep moving.
We moved back to Minnesota just before Christmas. Moving all of our stuff out of state twice in one year was exhausting enough. Do we regret moving to Montana? Not at all. In fact, we still talk about our time there and it will always have a special place in our hearts. In a previous post, (How I Decided to Rehome my Cats) I wrote about finding a new home for my cats. That was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. We could no longer afford to keep them and I made the decision to let them go. I have to trust God that they found good families and are well taken care of. But it doesn’t take away how much I miss them.
Once we moved back, I was getting settled at my job and Sam was back with his employer. We were facing big loans and big payments. It was intimidating to say the least. We had heard about the Financial Peace University plan and thought “What do we have to lose?” So, we decided to jump in with both feet. We sold a lot of stuff that was just sitting around. It was exciting to see our bills decrease! Slowly as we got the hang of our new budget, sold some things, and paid more bills, the weight on our shoulders started to lift. The burden wasn’t as heavy and we could breathe.
In February, we got the most unexpected news, Sam’s mom was diagnosed with cancer, Stage 4. Since then life had been in limbo. On top of receiving this news, he had been forced to work a few times. On his days off he took her to appointments, dealt with logistics, and tried to savor whatever time he had with her. It was emotionally exhausting. I hated watching the stress build up on my husband and not being able to do anything for him. I wish I could’ve somehow been able to power sleep and transfer the energy to him. I told him that I would rather work overtime just so that he could have the time he needed with his mom.
Meanwhile, we still tried to live life normally. In another blog post, (We’ve Got a Surprise) I also wrote about how we found our new house. We were so happy to find such a gem and we truly believe it had been waiting for us. Once that was all settled and we were unpacked, we felt we could fully focus on his mom. It was difficult to see her in such pain and at times I almost didn’t recognize her. I am so grateful of the time we had with her though. About a month before her passing, I felt an urgency to write her a letter and read it to her. Every word I said was from my heart and I will forever cherish that moment. We had a special bond and she treated me like her own daughter. I know the words I said to her meant a lot. I only wish I had more time with her.
The days leading up to her death was emotionally draining. We are glad she is home with the Lord and pain-free but we are sad that she is no longer with us. Sam and I were both able to get bereavement which was so good for us to rest. We didn’t have an agenda and took life slow that week. Now that we are back at work and are moving on, we are focusing on what we want to do. So, we started renovating our kitchen and that has been keeping us busy. If you’ve ever done any renovation work in your house, you know how weary it can be.
During my devotion time one day, I felt a very strong peace that God has led me to a valley. I realized in that moment that he led me to quiet waters, just like in Psalm 23 “….He leads me to quiet waters, He restores my soul.” I’ve learned that being in a valley means it’s time to rest and that’s exactly what I’ve done. I was busy caught up on my own unmet expectations, such as, working out, keeping up with my blog, having a routine, etc. But God has shown me that he led me to quiet waters to restore my soul. It’s time to rest and recharge. After all the stress and events we have faced, it feels good to let the expectations go and allow things to fall into place. I also learned to be patient with myself. Sam and I would not have been able to walk through these storms without God’s grace and His strength.