{Israel recap} Day 11: exhaustion setting in

Caves in Arbel
Inside the caves in Arbel
Caves in Arbel
Caves in Arbel
Rock climbing up Arbel; I want to do this!
Rock climbing up Arbel; I want to do this!

(Repost)

A few things have surprised me during this time of taking care of the girls alone. First that it’s been… relatively easy. At least a lot easier than I thought. Second, that Gracie seems to be missing Paul the most out of all the girls. Lastly, I’m beginning to be exhausted. The thought of that possibility never occurred to me.

Apparently there’s been a physical and emotional drain that I haven’t noticed because everything seemed to be so normal. I thought I was doing well going to bed and resting all night. But it’s not good for woman to be alone; or least this woman.

Come to think of it, this is how I felt the first week Paul returned to work and seminary after the summer. I had gotten so used to him being around, to sharing the load of work, and (most importantly for me) to feeling the emotional support of not being alone, that back-to-schooltime was a shock.

Again, I cannot help but think of single moms or parents who do this every day, all year.

Our pace is definitely slowing down during the day because of me, but we’re still trying to keep up the “fun.” So far it’s working minus Gracie being a little off.

Counting the days ’til he gets home? Not yet; I don’t think I could stand it.

Thanks for reading my first series: Taking care of four little girls alone (while my husband is on an amazing study trip to Israel). Here are links to the other related posts. 

Series coming soon

It’s official: the Israel trip is on

Official introduction

Day 1: to turn out that last light

Day 2: lonely in a crowd

Day 3: Is something wrong with me?

Day 4: Sometimes you just need…

Day 5: It hit me

Day 6: The problem with “me” time

Day 7: I need you

Day 8: An answered prayer

Day 9: Letting others be there for you

Day 10: the weakest link

{Israel recap} Day 9: Letting others be there for you

Inside the main gate of Caesarea Maritima, built during the crusader era
Inside the main gate of Caesarea Maritima, built during the crusader era

(Repost)

There I was, Sunday afternoon, with a decision to make.

Eat with friends? or eat by ourselves?

Sounds simple, but for me it’s not.

The afternoon before I had texted my friend E to see if she had plans for after church. Her text back was not what I was looking for: D is actually off work tomorrow and we’re eating with N and K since we haven’t seen them since before Thanksgiving, but you’re welcome to come!

Not a fan of being the third wheel. Especially when said third wheel is a mom with four kids eating with two other couples and only one of them have a (singular)  sweet little baby.

All right, being honest here; I had agonized about it all Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. I didn’t want to go; but, I did. They were my friends. Not just my acquaintances, my friends. But without Paul, I’m all kinds of shy. The excuses my mind came up with were numerous: they could go somewhere more fun or closer to where they live if we didn’t go, maybe the girls would be misbehaved or I’d spend the whole time taking them to the bathroom and leaving the others at the table, and on and on.

It really was ridiculous.

But now I was walking down the nursery hallway from picking up the girls and they were all waiting for me. How could such a small, simple decision make an adult woman want to melt into the ground?

I went with them.

And I was super glad I did.

The girls were so good; and it felt so good to just be the person that needed some encouragement and support  and to be okay with that.

Goodbye ever-lurking independence. Goodbye odious voice of insecurity. Goodbye you nasty monster pride. All of you, I will see again; but for today you were defeated.

Hello to the other side of friendship. Hello to being okay with the fact that you have four kids and your life doesn’t quite look like everyone else’s. Hello to letting others be there for you.

Thanks for reading my first series: Taking care of four little girls alone (while my husband is on an amazing study trip to Israel). Here are links to the other related posts. 

Series coming soon

It’s official: the Israel trip is on

Official introduction

Day 1: to turn out that last light

Day 2: lonely in a crowd

Day 3: Is something wrong with me?

Day 4: Sometimes you just need…

Day 5: It hit me

Day 6: The problem with “me” time

Day 7: I need you

Day 8: An answered prayer

{Israel recap} Day 8: An answered prayer

Church of the Beatitudes
Church of the Beatitudes

(Repost)

I do remember praying before I went to bed the night before that God would somehow give me the strength and joy necessary to take of the girls the next day. Everything had been going so well, and then with the news of the shootings I felt all my physical and emotional stamina just caving in.

I woke up not feeling great, but determined to do my best regardless of my feelings. The girls all woke up early, except Hope, and they were pretty much ready by the time I heard my phone ring.

It was a long, weird number and I strongly suspected that Paul was on the other end.

I answered, smiling before I even heard his voice. But the smile after I heard his voice probably made the other smile look like one of Gracie’s scowls.

What he said hit me out of nowhere. After hearing the news about Connecticut, he said he needed to talk to us. He? needed? to talk to us? But you’re in Israel – the coolest place ever!

Why was I surprised? Of course I know how much he loves us. Of course I know how close he is to the girls. He would have had all the same thoughts and feelings that I had.

It was so good to talk to him. It was amazing to watch the girls excitement as they held the phone and talked to their beloved Daddy. It was so familiar to hear his excitement and love as he talked to them.

God could have answered my prayer in many ways. But He chose to give me strength and joy through my very favorite person, Paul. And once again, I was terribly excited for him that he was in Israel; and completely okay with taking care of the girlies alone.

***********

At dinner Gracie asked, “Where’s Daddy?”

“In Israel!” I replied.

“No,” she disagreed, “he’s at school.”

This was the first time that any of the girls had expressed concern over his whereabouts.

When thinking of how to best handle this time of them being away from him, I had thought about watching videos online of Israel or having some sort of countdown where we would eat candy out of a jar for every day he was gone and watch the amount dwindle. In the end, I did none of these things. The girls were handling it famously. They knew where he was and it felt best to just carry on and try to occupy ourselves with fun things.

It was interesting to me that Gracie had been the first to ask about him, sensing that it was weird that he was gone. Everything was fine, but I wondered what this second week would hold.

Thanks for reading my first series: Taking care of four little girls alone (while my husband is on an amazing study trip to Israel). Here are links to the other related posts. 

Series coming soon

It’s official: the Israel trip is on

Official introduction

Day 1: to turn out that last light

Day 2: lonely in a crowd

Day 3: Is something wrong with me?

Day 4: Sometimes you just need…

Day 5: It hit me

Day 6: The problem with “me” time

Day 7: I need you

{Israel recap} Day 7: I need you

Driving by the plain of Bethsaida, near the sight of the feeding of the five thousand
Driving by the plain of Bethsaida, near the sight of the feeding of the five thousand
Synagogue at Chorazin
Synagogue at Chorazin
likely spot for the Sermon on the Mount
Near to the place of the Sermon on the Mount

(Repost)

If you’ve been reading my posts about the other side of the Israel trip, then you know that yesterday’s shopping trip ended up to be sort of stressful.

However, determined to have all the fun that we could have, I scheduled another shopping trip with another friend to another favorite place of mine: Goodwill. (Love to look at high-end places; buy at less than high-end places.)

Well, this trip did present me with another episode of stress; but the ending was much happier.

My girlies went with me and we were all ready and excited. My plan was that I would have the youngest sit in the child seat of my shopping cart; and my friend (who is so awesome and loves my kids) could push my two-year old in her cart. The older two do really well staying with me and I knew that they would have fun looking through stuff with us.

Hello Goodwill: bye-bye shopping cart idea. Goodwill doesn’t have carts!! At least this one. Just one more reason why I like Salvation Army better.

Anyways, it was cumbersome to carry the baby around and look at the same time, but we were not dismayed.

I ended up with some really great finds which actually felt like really small steps towards some of my goals for my home. I so want to be able to decorate my house and make it beautiful without spending much. This was really the first time that I felt like I found stuff (even looked in the right places) to start accomplishing that.

Here are my finds: Gorgeous brown sheet, bright yellow table cloth, yellow fleece scarf, gray sheet and pillowcase with white stripes, and my very favorite a sunshine mirror! All this for fourteen dollars and change.

I’m not even going to begin to tell you what I hope I can do with these, but if I ever get around to it, I’m sure I’ll be proud as a peacock and let everybody know.

When I got home, I got a text from my neighbor saying that she was so heartbroken about what had happened in Connecticut. What happened in Connecticut? I got on my computer and found out.

How trivial my thrift store finds seemed now. How could I have enjoyed such a fun, carefree time with my friend and kids when parents just like me were having their hearts ripped out?

It wasn’t okay that Paul was gone anymore. I needed him, and I needed him now. Somehow I made it through the rest of the evening with the girls. After they went to sleep, I sat on the couch in a news-induced stupor wondering if something like that would ever happen to me.

It was late when my resistance gave in and I finally went to bed.

Thanks for reading my first series: Taking care of four little girls alone (while my husband is on an amazing study trip to Israel). Here are links to the other related posts. 

Series coming soon

It’s official: the Israel trip is on

Official introduction

Day 1: to turn out that last light

Day 2: lonely in a crowd

Day 3: Is something wrong with me?

Day 4: Sometimes you just need…

Day 5: It hit me

Day 6: The problem with “me” time

{Israel recap} Day 5: It hit me

Springs at Dan. This is where the Jordan begins.
Springs at Dan. This is where the Jordan begins.
Spring at Dan
Spring at Dan
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So lovely. No wonder the Danites asked to settle in the north.
IMG_1293
Paul took this picture just because he knew I would like it. What a sweet husband.

(Repost)

It’s official. I’m lonely. And I miss Paul really bad.

How hard it must be to lose a loved one. As I sat at the table after the girls were in bed, the house was so quiet. But I could remember him walking here, sitting there, making noise; they were all just shadows of memories though, because he’s not here and won’t be for a while still. How would it feel knowing he would never come back?

Good to know I miss my husband.

Thanks for reading my first series: Taking care of four little girls alone (while my husband is on an amazing study trip to Israel). Here are links to the other related posts. 

Series coming soon

It’s official: the Israel trip is on

Official introduction

Day 1: to turn out that last light

Day 2: lonely in a crowd

Day 3: Is something wrong with me?

Day 4: Sometimes you just need…

{Israel recap} Day 3: Is something wrong with me?

Harod Valley
Harod Valley
Harod Valley
Harod Valley
Harod Valley
Harod Valley
Place of the spring where God tested the men of Gideon, Judges 7:4-7
Place of the spring where God tested the men of Gideon, Judges 7:4-7

(Hope you’re enjoying these reposts from our time at home while Paul was in Israel last December. My computer should be up and running by the time they’re done!)

Not much to say for today, we went for a walk in the morning (my very favorite thing to do). Mckayla even walked with us most of the way instead of being carried. ***cue Halleljuah chorus***

Lunch was good. Naps were good. Playtime was good. Dinner was good. Bedtime was good. And though I still don’t enjoy going to bed by myself, it’s going fine, and by God’s grace, I’m getting rest.

So I’m starting to wonder, is something wrong with me? Should this be harder? Should I miss Paul more?

Except for the last hour or so before going to bed, everything feels normal. I guess we’ve just gotten used to the seminary schedule.

I still haven’t heard from Paul, but I know he’s fine through the social media grapevine.

As it stands tonight, I just hope he’s having so much fun and not worrying about us at all. And I’m looking forward to more fun time with my girlies tomorrow.

Thanks for reading my first series: Taking care of four little girls alone (while my husband is on an amazing study trip to Israel). Here are links to the other related posts. 

Series coming soon

It’s official: the Israel trip is on

Official introduction

Day 1: to turn out that last light

Day 2: lonely in a crowd

{Israel recap} Day 2: lonely in a crowd

IMG_1209
Moat built by crusaders at Caesarea Maritima
IMG_1231
Gate built by Solomon at Megiddo
IMG_1227
First century rolling stone tomb

(hello and thanks for reading my Israel recap. Last December my husband traveled on an amazing study trip to Israel. I stayed home to take care of our four little girls and blogged to keep track of how it went. Since my computer is being a little wacky right now I decided to rerun this series. Thanks to all who prayed and helped and supported during this time. Hope you enjoy reading!)

We go to a big church. I love our church. Today, it was incumbent on me to get myself and my four small daughters to church alone.

The prospect of getting four little girls up and out the door early might sound daunting, but I wasn’t really worried about it. Deep down, I know what it takes to get places ready and on time; I just get lazy and leave things ’til the last minute and then pull out the old, “but I’ve got four little kids!” excuse.

Anyways, times like this I realize I’m going to have to be on my game and what do you know? Things normally turn out fine.

***Interpretation of everything I just said for a male: Everything went fine getting the girls and I to church.***

I dropped them all off at their respective nurseries and classes and headed upstairs to our adult Bible fellowship. Our room is at the end of a long hallway opposite of the stairs. Walking past people, it seemed that everyone had someone to talk to. Of course, people said hi and everything, but it was the first time I really felt alone.

I sat and learned and talked to people and everything like normal, but it was all so un-normal because Paul wasn’t there. I guess you don’t know what a privilege someone’s presence is until it’s gone.

Thanks for reading my first series: Taking care of four little girls alone (while my husband is on an amazing study trip to Israel). Here are links to the other related posts. 

Series coming soon

It’s official: the Israel trip is on

Official introduction

Day 1: to turn out that last light