Hi from Ft. Wayne, Indiana. We drove the 280 miles last night, arriving at 11 PM, so that Gregg could buy Kaylee a Fierro. She’s 14, and he plans to spend several months rebuilding it with her, teaching her all about the inner workings of a car. By the time it’s finished, and she’s old enough to drive it, she’ll be in a classic 1985 sports car that’s safe and gets good gas mileage. He is so excited.
You can make schedules all day long. The challenge comes in implementing the schedule. Here’s the way I’ve looked at it: I’ve thought about how a hired housekeeper for a large home is able to stay on task, keep it immaculate, and cook meals in the process. The answer is: she doesn’t play around on Facebook all day, she doesn’t watch television in the middle of the morning, she doesn’t read a murder mystery in the middle of the afternoon — the housekeeper clocks in at a certain time in the morning, performs the daily tasks as the job description requires, and leaves in the evening. When I worked, I was able to do my job efficiently and exceptionally because I worked – all day long, I worked. I had a schedule, I kept it.
I used cloth diapers, but training pants and vinyl covers didn’t work well. They always leaked, especially if Jeb was in his car seat or seated in a stroller. So, I went from cloth diapers to disposable pull ups. I only used them when we went out and at night. Most of the rest of the time, I just let him be at home naked.
My dad said that in his career he saw a pattern. The spouse leaves, and the spouse left behind creates a whole new life. Part of it is a defense against loneliness. Part of it is a way to make time go by faster. But, new jobs, new hobbies, new schedules open the door to new friends, new intimate circles, and more often than people will admit, new lovers or friends of the opposite sex. This creates a whole new life of which the absent spouse is not a part, and when he or she returns, isn’t necessarily welcome.
Thirty-nine years ago today, I was born. It seems very strange. I don’t feel like I’ve lived long enough, have enough authority to be, or have enough experience to claim thirty-nine years. I remember when my parents were my age, and they seemed completely in control, larger than life, in charge, and in authority. Inside, I often feel none of those things, and I wonder if my parents felt the same way as they approached landmark years.
Last year at this time, Gregg and I were saying that it would be the last Thanksgiving we would be apart. And here we are this year, apart, determined that this will be the last one. God has been gracious and an amazing provider in this time of economic hardship on our country, and we are thankful for the job he has, for the income that he has, and for the continued contracts that come his way while there is nothing much out there otherwise. So while a part of me wants to feel down in the dumps for missing him, I try very hard to stay thankful. Ephesians 5:20 says: Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
When I’m in my kitchen, I usually have a radio station playing that has a daily lineup of preachers and teachers — David Jeremiah, Alistair Begg, Focus on the Family, some local churches — I enjoy listening to the sermons and conversations. When I’m not listening to that, I’ll have the radio on K-Love, which plays contemporary Christian music. I enjoy many of the songs and love the message in most of the songs.
So, I went to bed Tuesday night praying that things would work out. I didn’t hear from Gregg Wednesday morning, and briefly wondered if he was working or on a plane. Wednesday afternoon, he instant messaged me from the Dubai airport! AND, he would be home on Thursday! TWO full days earlier than originally scheduled.