On Monday, Joe slept until 8 and Ella slept until nearly 8:30.  This was amazing to me.

On Tuesday, Joe slept until 7:30 and Ella slept until 7:40.

On Wednesday, Joe slept until 7:15 and Ella slept until I woke her up at 7:30.
Both Joe and Ella took naps.

On Thursday (today), I slept until 7:45 and then spent the next hour pushing the kids through our morning routine to get out the door by 8:45 and get Ella to school.

Why are we sleeping so late?

Perhaps because Ella’s birthday party was this past weekend and not only did she have a ton of friends over for the party, but her Granny Mac and Pop came in town from the Outer Banks and her Uncle Warren and Aunt Rachel came in from Chattanooga, TN.  We had some late nights – I don’t make her go to bed on time when we’re with Warren and Rachel because those times are special… and precious… and just don’t get to happen often enough for her.

We’re actually recovering in a lot of ways… we each find ourselves looking for the dog, too.  Just today, Ella hopped out of the car and dashed to where she could see the backyard gate and called, “MAGGIE!”  It was odd for several reasons – mostly because we rarely left Maggie outside when we weren’t home and when we did it was because it was somewhere between 65-85 degrees and she was refusing to come in.

I think of the dog whenever I’m leaving the house.  I ask myself if I shut & locked the backdoor… I haven’t touched the back door in the two weeks since she died.  No need to.  I don’t even open the blinds on the door most days because she’s not going to be out there for me to keep an eye on and if I do I have to contend with the stupid squirrel who took a week to figure out she wasn’t coming out the back door any longer.  Stupid squirrel makes me want a puppy just to scare the living poop out of it!  …Anyway…  When I get home, I think to myself that I need to let her outside and then remember that I don’t.  It makes me sad and frustrated.  I also miss having her around over night.  She was going deaf and she never was a barker, but had someone gotten close to our door at night, we would’ve known it.  She was pretty good at barking when sounds were out of place.

I’m still recovering from the death of my grandpa.  That feels wrong to put into writing.  It has been years since he passed away, but I drive past Chestnut Grove at least 5 days a week (usually in two directions) and each time I think of how much I miss him.  How much I want him to know that Jeff and I got married… and had kids.  Oh, how he would LOVE these kids.  He loved all children.  He used to hand out dollars to the kids at church.  He also handed out dollars to random kids in restaurants and such.  I’m sure it freaked some parents out, but he just genuinely loved the look of joy that a kid gets when you hand them a dollar.  Grown ups don’t get that look for less than $50.

I’m still recovering from my first marriage.  Hopefully, that doesn’t hurt feelings, but it is the truth.  I made bad decisions going in and coming out of that relationship.  In five days we would’ve been married 14 years.  Don’t think that that doesn’t freak me out.  We were only married for one.  We’d known each other exactly three months and four days between our introduction and our “I do”s.  I’d call that a bit rushed.  We were miserable from the get-go.  I walked a mile in the snow several days of my honeymoon to get to the payphone in town to call my mama.  Who calls their mama from their honeymoon?  Granted, I did call home from  my honeymoon (and each Caribbean vacation) with Jeff – but that was to reassure my mother that we hadn’t died or gotten lost during our hike or snorkeling excursion that day.  The woman is a total worry-wort and it is funny to me.  I should never have told her that time we were going over to snorkel the bay where the nurse sharks come in to have their babies.  Nurse sharks, mom… not great whites.  Anyway – I’m still recovering from that bad decision and how cold and callous I became after I’d tried everything to save it and nothing worked.  I distanced myself and became snarky… a trait that rears its ugly head with Jeff every now and then immediately reminding me where I first started developing it.

Tomorrow, I’ll be recovering from a night out with friends – though I do have to thank whomever makes the decision when a premiere is going to happen.  A year and a half ago, I stood in line PREGNANT for the midnight showing of The Hunger Games.  Tonight – we’re going to the 8:00 premiere.  I may be in bed earlier than last night (when I stayed up to watch THG on dvd).

We’re all recovering, aren’t we?  From loss, from bad decisions, from a busy weekend… 

But that is where God’s grace and provision come in.  One of my favorite scriptures is Lamentations 3:19-24

19 I remember my affliction and my wandering,
    the bitterness and the gall.
20 I well remember them,
    and my soul is downcast within me.
21 Yet this I call to mind
    and therefore I have hope:

22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for him.”

God’s compassions are NEW EVERY MORNING.  Praise Him!  I do not have to live my life in regret and recovery.  I can turn my bad day, my bad year, my bad decision, my bad reaction, my yelling, my slamming doors, my tears, my heartbreak, my regret, my ache, my emptiness, my affliction, my wandering, my bitterness, my desperation, my searching, my hopelessness, my need – all of it over to him and he will pour his love, his grace, his mercy all over it and make us new.  EACH.AND.EVERY.DAY.

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