My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Photo Finish... Sunday?

Ok, so maybe that doesn't fit with my usual alliteration but it is what it is.

Still in quite a bit of pain today and Austin is voicing his frustration of my inability to do things... like tear open a package of rice and beans. I really just don't have any strength in my hands this weekend.

Again... que sera, sera... whatever will be, will be. I didn't choose this... and I understand his frustration. I complain a lot. He has taken on a lot of responsibility... however... he is *almost 18* and he doesn't have an unreasonable load of chores... litter box, trash can, the heavy dishes like the crockpot and the iron skillet... and of course, cleaning up after himself, which, I think any almost 18 year old should do, regardless of how capable and able bodied his mother might be.

That's been sort of a dark cloud hanging over us this weekend... along with the uncertainty about child support. 23 days without a dime... at 30 days I'm filing for criminal abandonment... and after that, I'll file contempt of court for the amount that he's been shorting me for all this time. I'm supposed to get $175 a week... I get $100 a week... and I'm sorry, that's just not enough to cover this kid's room and board and wants and needs and waste of resources. Austin should be driving but I can't afford the insurance on him. Austin should have his own vehicle so he could have a job but I can't afford that. I haven't bought his senior pictures or done any of the things that most kids take for granted for their senior year in high school. I bought the poor kid a pair of shoes at Dollar General yesterday because he's already worn out the pair that I bought a month ago. He doesn't mind the cheap shoes but I feel bad about it.

I've been raising this kid on my own since he was five. It's been more blessing than burden, I promise. I hope I praise him a lot more than I criticize him. I try to. He's been through a lot, we both have.

You know... I had a bit of an epiphany today... I realized that one sign of true forgiveness is the ability to feel empathy for the person who has wronged you. To even feel sorry for the consequences of their actions, even the actions that caused you hurt. I won't go into details, y'all know who I'm talking about... I just realized today what an awful year he's had this year and in my deepest, truest, heart of hearts, I'm sorry for him. I believe that I could have made a difference in his life if he had been open to the basic principles that form my character... instead of mocking them and making me feel so impotent and compromised.

God doesn't make mistakes. I have to believe that the same God who changes the colors of the trees has control over the details of my life, if I'm open to His guidance. I don't believe He wants anyone to suffer but there are challenges that we face in this life that have a greater impact on the next life than this one. I pray that *he* has found blessings in his pain... just as our lightning strike was pivotal and honestly, a huge blessing for us to be in a cheaper place where Austin is separated from the negative influences he had in town... there is nothing, even the greatest struggle, that can't be used for our good and God's glory. I want this for him so badly, for there to be good in his life.

Enough about that....I do have a few pics to share today...

 Sarabeth reading one of her birthday cards. She's so grown up looking in these photos and just so incredibly comfortable in her own skin. I have loved this child since before she was born but I love her even more now as I see the beautiful person she's growing up to be.

I particularly love the way she took the time to read her cards and really appreciate the sentiment in them, instead of just ripping into the packages as some kids might do. I think, like me, her love language may be "words of affirmation" because she genuinely cares about the words in the cards. 

Don't you just love the sweet expression on her face?

The view from here... this is the "main road" we live off of... with the mountains in the distance... we're loving the colors right now. 
the "hills" in the distance... 

Austin likes the view when you have the long and winding road ahead of you... the best thing about living in the valley is seeing the mountains all around us. I'm sure that the view from the mountaintop is amazing... but I'm ok with being in the valley, both literally and figuratively. You have to appreciate whatever view God has given you.

Our Halloween decoration.... not really. We just have spiders. Outside, mostly. So far. 

Austin was proud of the way his cobbler turned out. It's a very simple recipe: melt a half stick of butter in a baking dish in a 425 degree oven. Mix together one cup of flour, one cup of sugar and one cup of milk. When the oven is hot and the butter is melted, add a can of fruit... we like canned peaches or apple pie filling or blackberry pie filling. Top it with your flour/sugar/milk mixture, put it in the oven and bake until browned. It's a great easy dessert and I almost always have the ingredients on hand.