Chad has been in England for the past two weeks, which has given me many opportunities to learn, prepare, and mature as a mom, wife, and soon to be world traveler. This past week especially has been trying and emotional for many reasons, and yes, you get to hear all about them!
I take my hat off to all of you single parents out there, because it is incredibly draining and difficult. To be the sole care-taker of a toddler can be tortuous. On the other hand, it can also be incredibly fulfilling. This week I have tried my darnedest to take the moments that Z and I had and make two weeks of girls days and nights (when did 24 hours become so long?). This worked most of the time in helping me to cherish the moments we spent together, but I will admit there were some tantrums that just made me feel totally inadequate and exhausted. Not even high paid actors can keep a happy face on all the time, twenty-four hours a day, 7 days a week, and neither could I, but I sure as hell tried. And really I am happy with that, I know that I am not and never will be a perfect parent. I am alright with just being a pretty good parent and these past two weeks I think I accomplished that. Zoë is alive and healthy, she is happy, the house is clean and the laundry is done. I think these are things that I can be proud of (when I have the energy to anyways).
In-between finger painting, playing with Zoë’s numerous baby dolls, and watching Bambi (almost every day… I admit I let her watch it almost every day, I sure hope she gets sick of it soon!), I was trying to pack what we are going to keep in storage. Our plan is that once we settle somewhere, we will come back to visit our wonderful family and friends and go through the carefully packed boxes and decide what to ship to our new home and what to get rid of.
I must make a side note here, I am a minimalist when it comes to what I feel is important to keep. I don’t collect anything, I don’t really feel that there is much in life that cannot be replaced, except for the sentimental childhood keepsakes of course, of which I have one medium sized box. Chad on the other hand, has many collections (did I say many, I mean many many many). He collects shot glasses, Magic the Gathering cards, Star Wars collectables, DVD’s, and the list goes on. I have a medium size box of keepsakes, Chad has two medium sized boxes of DVD’s alone. I truly think this is one of the reasons why our relationship works so well, if both us collected, we would be hoarders and not have any money, and if both of us were minimalist like me, our home would be pretty stark and boring.
It’s interesting though how I have been affected by this, not so much the packing of the things we are keeping (I honestly could care less about most of that stuff), but I am getting sad about some of the things that we are selling. I just sold the hiking backpack that Chad used to take Zoë in all over the place for our walks together. Yes, me, the minimalist literally teared up thinking about all the wonderful memories of Chad walking around with our adorable daughter on his back in this backpack, and I wanted to keep it! I wanted to keep something that we will not use again, because of the memories attached to it. I am beginning to understand my (pack rat) husband a bit better now. This has been a good learning experience for me, yes I still sold the back pack, but I can understand attachment to possessions now. This may be the beginning of the end of our uncluttered living situations… Uh oh.
The most upsetting and stressful thing to happen this week (seriously why do so many stressful things happen when your spouse is away?) was that I found out that the person who was going to adopt our two dogs, Whiskey and Soda, is now unable to do so. This hit me like a punch in the stomach. I don’t think I have mentioned our pups in this blog before because I knew that they were going to an awesome person that loves them as much as we do and I felt that in all honesty, they would probably be happier with him. I have become that person (I’m embarrassed to say) where her dogs were her children until she had a human child, and then the dogs turned into dogs and lost couch privileges and had to start sleeping on their own bed etc, etc.. I knew that they would regain their pre-Zoë life with their new person. I just felt so comfortable with the idea of them going to him, that I didn’t even give them a second thought.
So, what else could I do, I scrambled. I have called rescues, shelters, annoyingly blown up Facebook begging my friends and family to share their bios and pictures. I am still hoping, praying, running around, calling, emailing, whatever I can, trying to find them a home. It is heart-breaking and honestly made me doubt that we should go on this trip for a minute. Its funny though, I know this may sound corny, but a song that we were singing for the toddlers in our church nursery this past Sunday kept replaying itself in my head, “My God is so big, so strong and so mighty, theres nothing my God cannot do.” And its true! We didn’t know that Chad would be offered remote work when he went to give notice to his employer, but they did and now we can travel more because we won’t have to use our savings as much. We didn’t know how we would be able to sell or store all of our big items, and our friend came back from her round the world trip and needed everything, not only that but she rented our house from our landlord immediately, so we don’t even need to move anything, so we had an incredibly easy time with that (Thanks Danielle!). We don’t know what will happen with our dogs right now, but something good will happen. We may not even see it, we may have to take them to a shelter, but an even better home will come around for them, I know it.
We have had an incredibly easy time preparing for this amazing journey, and we have run into a rough part. God has seen us through all the good, and he will definitely see us through this difficulty. This is training grounds for spiritual maturity. I choose to make this sad, horrible , exhausting experience a lesson in trust.
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock. Isaiah 26:3-4
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13