Yesterday Josh and I went to Menards to pick out flooring. It’s been on the to-do list to replace the carpet in our bedroom with a similar laminate to the rest of the upstairs. Our maintenance man came this morning and got a little more than half of it done. It often seems a project does not go as smoothly as you hoped it would. With this one the floor boards were too tall for the trim, so that’s going to have to be re-nailed. I’ve been wanting to give that room a makeover for a while, so this seems like the chance to do so. There are a few other house things that didn’t get done last winter, which perhaps can get done this one.
Back at the chiropractor this morning, I asked him if he’d seen a lot of sick people. He said he’d seen more sick people in the past two weeks than he’s seen in the past year. While I was there my counselor called to cancel her week’s appointments after testing positive for covid. My husband’s meeting for the high school was switched to a Zoom meeting because they want to limit the people coming into the building. I’m still feeling gradually better each day, but with a caution and illness’s memory still fresh in my mind. It’s like this sober state-of-being that says whatever I just got over, I do not want to get again, or catch anything else.
Homeschool continues to go well. We’ve got a really good routine this year. The boys are really good about keeping up with their work. I bought them each bookshelf baskets to keep their books in this year. It’s satisfying to me to see their books organized in their boxes on the shelf. Every so often I start to worry that they aren’t learning enough, that their math skills aren’t up to par, etc. It’s easy to brush it off during the pre-school and earlier elementary years saying that the play time, life skills, and lifestyle homeschooling provides make up for any lack of division abilities. But as the kids get older I feel that pressure more to make sure they’re learning the things needed for them to succeed not just in life, but in actual school. I do think they’re generally doing quite well, it’s just hard sometimes to not have that gauge or feedback letting me know that I’m doing well too.
This afternoon I took a drive to find the school where I start on Monday. I wanted to have an idea of where I was going, and to find the building for my class while it was still light outside and I could better see the signs on the buildings. The in-person class I have is a night class that goes from 6:30PM-10. By the time I would get there on Monday it’d already be dark. This way I found the building and know where to park and to go.
On the way home I listened to a podcast by a woman about New Year’s Resolutions. She doesn’t believe in resolutions, but believes in setting an intention for the new year through the choosing of a word. Instead of choosing your intention from a place of shame or lack, such as “I want to be more organized”, she encouraged you to imagine what you want to feel more of, and choose from there. She chose the word “effective”.
I wasn’t going to choose a word this year, but after listening to the podcast, if I were to choose one, I decided on the word “secure”. I’m going into this year feeling more at peace and secure in my life. For example, with these classes starting, I’m feeling confident that I can do this, that I do not have to do school the same ways I’ve done it, which included a lot of procrastination and pulling things together at the last minute.
Driving there today was a way of being kind to myself. “Hey Rebekah, let’s take you there so you know even a little more what to expect. Let’s cut down on the stress of driving around in the dark beforehand and being late on the first day because you didn’t know where you were going. Let’s make that extra effort now that will make things easier for you later.” I feel more secure now that I have been there once.
I want to feel more secure in my intimate relationship. We know each other now. There are no secrets between us, no major surprises to be discovered about the other. I’m not trying to impress him and he no longer needs to impress me. That doesn’t mean we have a pass to be complacent and lazy. We have significant growth from last year which we can continue to build on. From this place I would like to write more about marriage.
The high school called at 6AM to say the high school was closed today. Thirty percent of the student body has either been exposed to Covid or tested positive for Covid. Two of the teachers are out with it as well. Since the pandemic, they’ve had a handful of these cancelled school days for everyone to rest and regroup. The kids have been in person this entire school year so far, though there are rumors of going remote again.
It’s chilly here today. The temperature is registering at 10 degrees. That’s not the coldest temperature ever, but you wouldn’t want to be stuck outside at those temps. I had the kids bring in our old cat Ghost. We thought Ghost was dying over the summer. The hair around his neck fell out and he stopped eating. We brought him inside so that he at least could die in the comfort of air conditioning, but then he never died. He slowly started eating again and the hair on his neck grew back. Normally one of our outside stray cats, he lived inside for several months until it was clear that he was better. He has something wrong with his nose where he sneezes regularly, and with every sneeze he sprays nasal fluid wherever he’s sitting. I finally got tired of that and put him back outside. We put the three outside strays in the garage when it gets cold.
We had a small birthday party for one of my sons yesterday. He turned 13 years old, which makes for three teenagers. Winter is our birthday season, with four of the five kids being born in the winter months of January-March. Without going back and reading old posts, it’s hard for me to know how many times I’ve relayed that information during these years of blogging. Certainly I’ve mentioned it here more than once or twice.
The books for my classes came in the mail today. Next week I officially start at Lincoln Christian University in their Masters of Counseling program. The two classes I’m taking are Into to God’s Word and Theories in Counseling. The theories class is an 8-week class that once it is over, turns into Abnormal Psychology for then another 8-week class. That makes for a total of three classes over the semester. I’m actually looking forward to it.
The way it came about is kind of silly. After going back to the doctor to follow up in the fall, he once again recommended anti-depressants and counseling. He says the anxiety has been an issue for several years and he thinks Prozac would basically wipe that out. I wasn’t interested in taking anti-depressants, and after all of last year with all the reading and personal healing I did I really didn’t think I needed anymore counseling (which I did for 2 1/2 years in the 2017-2019 range) or personal introspection. But I wanted to follow at least one of his suggestions. I asked if he had a recommendation of a place to call and he gave me the name of a church that does counseling services. When I called them up, they said they were capped off with a 50 person waiting list.
I googled and found another local Christian place, but it stood out to me that there was that high of a demand. I’m kind of tired of spending money on myself. This particular place bypasses insurance, which we don’t have, and pro-rates the prices based on income, which helps a little. It’s still $100 every time I go. I’ve gone three times so far and have been spacing them out to about every three weeks, not including holiday weeks that have happened in there. The girl I’m going to is a recent graduate from this Lincoln University. After one of our visits I came home and looked up the program.
The counseling program is offered through their seminary, which I think is funny. Because of that I have three theology class requirements, hence the Intro to God’s Word. The other two are church history and systematic theology. I actually was wishing the other day that I could take more theology classes and less psychology ones, but that’s okay. The MA in Counseling requires 60 hours and would be a very practical degree. Lord-willing when I’m done with it, I want to go back to the Hope Counseling Center with the 50-person wait list and apply for a job. If that doesn’t work out then I hope to be able to use it to somehow serve the people in my local church community. Things like grief support, marriage encouragement, and basic mental health care are practical health and human services I feel important to provide for our Christian communities when possible. These are all services I wish would’ve been more readily available to me through the years. I know others could’ve benefited greatly as well.
This morning I woke up from a dream where I was in a deserted hallway of my old elementary school. Before the hallway I’d been in the bathroom. There was a demon in there, which happens occasionally in my dreams. I was in the bathroom trying to get water to quench my thirst, and then a woman (the demon) came in and said something complimentary to me. I don’t remember what, it just gave me the creeps, like I knew something wasn’t right. It doesn’t take me too long to figure out when it’s demons talking in my dreams. They make it so everything goes into slow motion, and I get the feeling that they’re about to charge at me. This time she didn’t charge at me, I was just suddenly in the school hallway, looking at the door of the school bus, which actually looked like a long train. I grabbed the step railings and did not have the upper body strength to pull myself fully into the bus. I woke up before anything more could happen.
Saying goodbye to the big kids this morning, I remembered my daughter had an appointment at the health department. We’ve been going once a month to get caught up on immunizations. There was a point in Hoyleton where I basically just quit taking the kids to the doctor. Instead of doing their shots at the well-baby appointments, I started doing them at the health department. I liked that better because they let me spread them out instead of stabbing my kids with three or four shots at once, which had really started to bother me at the time. Doctors really don’t like when you mess with the immunizations. I don’t like when doctors don’t appreciate my questions.
Well, at some point I stopped taking the kids even to the health department. We’d been going there regularly for several years, when I simply stopped going. They were the place I went for child check-ups and WIC appointments, which they always combined so I wouldn’t need to make more trips than I had to. I usually looked forward to these appointments. The nurse and receptionist lady were kind to me. You never got the feeling they were judging you for being “poor” or on WIC. We had stimulating conversations, and the nurse always seemed particularly curious about pastor’s wife things and parsonage living. When I stopped going, I kind of thought they’d be proud of me for stopping, like somehow it was showing I was getting back on my feet again and becoming a more productive and less draining member of society. My husband was making money at a real job. Even though we still would’ve qualified, we didn’t need government money for milk and cheese anymore. I could buy that myself now.
Every day I feel a little better. Before getting sick I had actually been feeling really good physically and had had some great months towards the end of the year. At one point I’d walked a section of the lake trail by myself and at a fairly normal speed. The lake trail is pretty hilly and rugged, so I remember feeling like to walk it was a pretty big deal. Cardiovascular-wise I still can’t lift too much, but that is slowly getting better as well.
I had a visit with the chiropractor yesterday. I’d taken an “urges” quiz back in November that I hadn’t been back to find out the results of. My two highest urges were creativity and self-expression, and that those two were extremely high. He said I need to find ways to express those, though I’m not fully sure what the difference is between the two. To me, I’ve been needing to find ways to give of myself more to the outside world.
A few years ago I started reading the blog Small Things by Ginny Sheller. She’s a mom of I’m not exactly sure how many, at least 8 or 9 kids, and she recently just had a baby. She’s a catholic mom who homeschools and runs a little online shop with small things she hand makes like dyed scarves or goat soap from the goat they have. I always enjoy reading her blog even though she’s not writing about anything extraordinary, just the normal things of life, including showing pictures of the puzzles she does. I remember thinking that if readers show up to see pictures of this woman’s puzzles, then I’m not going to worry about what I’m writing here and just write about more basic things too.
Thankfully whatever flu illness I had seems to have passed, but nearly two weeks of fevering leaves one feeling quite weak and ill still. So, I’ve just been resting, and have been at least relieved to see sunny skies instead of those dreary grey and dark ones.
I’m needing God to bring some focus or friends or something into my life. I know these things don’t just fall out of the sky and that I need to be proactive, I just honestly don’t know what more I can do. Lord, I really need this one to be a good year if possible.
I saw this snow this morning and wanted to blog. The snow reminds me of writing for some reason. Blogging was always something I could do to capture and share whatever beautiful thing nature was doing that day. It gave me joy to do so and still does.