My little nugget is crawling! Somewhere between 7 and 8 months, she has become super mobile. It started with an army crawl, then quickly progressed to a wobbly crawl and now is full speed ahead where ever her little heart desires to go. She giggles at her new found freedom, alerting me that she's on the move.
This age is so fun. Interaction is more intentional and she is finding her voice and stating her opinions (uh-oh!). She is expressive like me and content like Brandon.
God put it on my mom's heart to pay me a visit for a long weekend, and the timing couldn't have been more perfect. She helped me get my head above the water. We took care of my taxes (ouch!), looked at the big picture of my budget and played out numerous hypothetical scenarios for the short term future so I know better where I stand. Finally having a clearer picture of my financial situation has relieved a tremendous amount of weight from my shoulders.
Without sharing too much, but also acknowledging that my survival right now has been contingent on other's generosity, I would like to share a few details of how the gifts we have been given have blessed me.
Brandon and I always had to give with our time because we could not give above and beyond with our wallet. I know how valuable time is. Now more then ever. Many have given to us this way in taking care of yard work, snow removal, child care, counseling, praying, cooking, corresponding and such, all making a huge impact on my grief and day to day life.
We have also received many donations of baby gear, which has been an amazing financial relief. I just love when I see a last name written on the tag of a bib or jacket, reminding me of the kind families who have given so much.
Then there has been the monetary help. I shake my head and sigh, because there is no way to put into words how grateful I am for the tremendous generosity of friends, family and complete strangers.
Since so many gave in this way, it has allowed me many things in this time. I can keep our house with all our memories. I am not forced into having to make decisions regarding Brandon's things. I can leave them right where he left them until I am ready to do otherwise. This is an absolutely priceless gift.
I have cut nearly everywhere I can, but for now can still have some luxuries like cable for distraction and a semi regular hair appointment. I have even been able to treat myself from time to time with dinner to-go, a massage, a manicure or a little retail therapy from one of the many gift cards I received.
In the beginning of the year I was contacted by a bunch of the guys that Brandon had walked through the past 5+ years with, many of them the husbands to my close girl friends. They wanted to come by and give me a gift. A pledge and financial sacrifice from 12 guys (and their families) to help me with the cost of childcare for the entire year!
I think back to the things Brandon repeated the most in that last month. "Thank you so much for taking such good care of me" to all of his caretakers, and "Take care of my girls, please just take care of my girls." I think he is rejoicing in Heaven watching how God has used so many people to grant that request.
After stepping back looking at my budget I can see how God works in such incredible ways. With more then half our household income gone, minimal social security benefits and the added expense of a child and child care, guess what? I have exactly what I need to get by. No more, no less. That's how God works.
|My mom getting taken |
advantage of by baby and cat
He gives us what we need. And before this "accounting miracle", I had sadly accepted the idea that I may have no choice but sell the house. Maybe God was going to take me somewhere else? Or I may have to get rid of cable and internet. Maybe I need to be less concerned with the worldly? Or I may have to use all of the donated money in the next few years to stay afloat and not be able to save any of it. Maybe God is asking to be my only safety net?
No, none of that is what I would want, but it may be what I need for what ever reason I may never understand.
But for now, I am grateful that I get to stay, I get to watch Master Chef, and I get to have a little security for the unknown ahead. Any day they too can be gone. I've learned there is a lot that I thought I needed that has since been lost to me, but I've found the only thing I really need is my faith in God.
Thank you for continuing to walk this with me. Please pray as the upcoming weeks are going to be some of the most difficult to date, with the 6 month Angelversary and our 9 year Anniversary just days apart (March 23rd & 25th). Turns out my Widow & Widowers group is the evening of our Anniversary, and it may be exactly where I need to be that night...