Thursday, March 21, 2013

Who Gets Three Anniversaries a Year?... I Do

One of my many claims to fame is that I was married twice before I was 18.  Of course if you know the rest of the story, it was to the same man.  That gives me two legitimate wedding anniversaries a year.  Today however is our third anniversary.  It is the anniversary of the day Ben came home from Europe and the day that we officially knew that we were going to be married (sooner than later as it turned out).  You see, Ben's family wasn't very excited about our engagement.  By that I mean that they sent him to Europe for 6 months hoping that our less than 3 month old relationship wouldn't make it.  The odds were certainly in their favor but alas... it stuck.  He ended up coming home early (but not before skiing the Alps and staying in a lovely chalet in Switzerland for 3 weeks, cause he's not stupid).  He changed his ticket without consulting his parents (again, not as endearing as one might hope) and flew home three months early.  They were so happy to see him that they told him if he continued to date me, he would have to live somewhere else.  He asked my father if he could live with us until graduation and of course my father refused.  Having a boy live with his unmarried daughter under his roof was not an option.  He did however offer us a compromise.  He would drive us to Idaho (I was 17 and so he would need to sign the papers) where there was no waiting period and get us married.  So, Ben went home for 10 days. We skipped school on Friday, March 31 and returned on Monday morning to school... married.

     Our story is a wild one. This is only a wee glimpse.  We were supposed to be a cautionary tale but instead we turned into the fairytale.  We have watched far too many marriages fall all around us over the 18 years that we have been married and I thank God everyday that He has held us together.  So there it is.  I have three anniversaries every year!  This anniversary is handy for Ben as it helps him remember the important one is in 10 days.  We try not to bring it up to my father however as for him it is the anniversary of when he got the first phone bill from Ben being in Switzerland (we thought Germany was expensive) and realized that for the same price, I could have gone with him!  Have I mentioned lately how great my dad is... and generous... and forgiving... LOL.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

How did I end up in Zimbabwe?

      I have roughly a dozen jobs.  None of them pay in cash money but I work them none the less... and therefore I need (and thankfully have) a good counselor.  About  a year and a half ago I added on another job.  The part that gets ugly is that I didn't want this one.  I really didn't want this one.  Did I mention that I didn't want this particular job? Oh, I did? Good.  The problem with taking on a job that you don't want is that it not only doesn't pay in cash money... it doesn't even pay in the long run.  It does however build resentment, anger, frustration and hurt.  For your average girl that would suck, for a girl with compulsive control issues... it causes relapse.
      I have fought internally over this because the job was a very worthy and necessary one.  There was no one else to do it.  People and children were counting on me.  I felt such guilt that I didn't enjoy it because it was such a wonderful, noble thing to do and it was for the church for goodness sake!  You aren't supposed to resent serving God! What in the world was wrong with me?! Who actually says out loud I don't want to teach the gospel to the children of my community?You know... besides me obviously!
     Although things have been hard for the last 18 months, the last few have been what the laymen might call a breakdown.  In addition to loss of sleep, anxiety, nightmares, marital problems, and lots of crying (which I detest), my need to control some part of my life has resulted in a pretty major struggle for me with my addictions and compulsive behaviors.  For anyone who has had a night of tossing and turning with stressful or frighting dreams, you know that the next day is just... hard.
     I am a dreamer.  I almost always remember my dreams in vivid detail and I rarely have one that I do not understand.  My dreams these past few months have been filled with things like, me being timed to complete a puzzle but when I try to tell them there are pieces missing, they assure me they are all there... so I count them again and they are not and still I must work the task.  Another had me "shopping" through a warehouse with a list and I was not allowed to ask for help to find the 1,000 items and get them checked out before the time ran out.  Are you getting the gist?  I did.  The straw that broke the camels back was me telling someone about my dream from this Tuesday night. I'm gonna guess you can interpret this one too.
      I dreamed there was an earthquake at a large school.  I knew that my youngest son was in a class in the basement.  I kept trying to get to him but the other adults kept telling me that I had to help the other children around me first.  I carried and dragged out as many as I could until my hands were bloodied and I was exhausted.  Word came that they were starting to get the children from my sons class and I was so tired from helping all the other children, I couldn't even stand up to try and go help my own boy.  I woke up sobbing. I'm going to go with... I think I feel like I do not have enough time and energy left for my own family because of all I am doing for everyone else... You think?
     My counselor had this to say: "Amy, I am not a missionary to Zimbabwe.  Does Zimbabwe need missionaries? Yes, I am sure they do but I am not called to be one because I am called to be a mother to my daughter.  If something, even a good and noble thing, is stopping me from doing what I need to do to minister to my own daughter then it is not what I am supposed to be doing. You are called to care for your family.  If this is causing conflict in your marriage (understatement of the year) and stopping you from caring for your own children then you must quit."
    So I am leaving Zimbabwe (not the country... the parallel ministry) because I don't belong here.  I am leaving before I die trying.  I will finish out the year because that is what type A control freaks do even when they are at their flakiest but I will leave.  I quit.  I will still be a wife, mother of four, homeschooling mom, cook, driver, Sunday School teacher, daughter, house cleaner for two homes, book club member, Elk Homemaker, writer and chief boo boo kisser (you know... taking it easy) but I won't be visiting Zimbabwe!