Shaken, Stirred and Stretched

Shaken, stirred and stretched.

Been there?

Probably, we all have.  Or will be,…… in just a matter of time.

That has been my week. They say you grow the most in these times.  I’m looking forward to seeing the good that comes from tough times.  I’ve actually seen it already.

Last Wednesday, our son was in a car accident.  Thank God he and the other people involved are fine.  We received the call just after my husband declared he was overwhelmed with work, life and renovations on our home.

Thursday, my computer crashed. My pictures….  My journals….

Friday, we discovered the flooring that was 50% installed had different sheens throughout and had to be pulled up, reordered and relaid.

Saturday we worked all day – which is standard fare when renovating a home – stopped short, mustered up the strength to go to dinner with some dear friends…..

And then we got the phone call.

My husband’s sister needed a ride to the hospital.  She broke both wrists…..

Hence, the beginning of our being shaken, stirred, and stretched.

We thought we were already there.

We thought the continual problems with the home renovations and contractors was stretching us.  (We’re renovating a 54 year old home we bought a year – from top to bottom, with a guest house too). We thought God was teaching us “How to handle so many problems at the same time” that we would learn to “handle them more calmly.”  We’ve thought this for months.

My mother would say, “Why don’t you talk about your renovations?”

I’d reply, “It’s too much. You’d never believe the stories. It’s better not to talk about it and just coast through it.”

Then she’d prod me, I’d tell her what was going on, and she would shake her head at the difficulties, frustrations, and craziness of it all.  Anyone who has done major home renovations knows the craziness, right??

I thought we were doing pretty good.  We were getting weary. But we’d give each other pep talks, pray and regroup.

Then Saturday night.


My husband’s sister is  was the caregiver for their 89 year old mother.  Now what?  Time for the four other siblings to step up.

The drama begins…..   The heartache……  The sadness beyond what I thought I could feel for a family that hasn’t really ever embraced me in 26 years.

Last night, as I called my husband from the hospital – he was with this mother at her home, I with his sister in surgery – I heard his heart breaking.  When he realized it would probably be just the two of us that would commit to help regularly.

The result of bitterness. Unforgiveness.  The sad thing is every one of them is right and……. wrong.

We all struggle with past hurts, offenses.  Unforgiveness robs the joy out of our lives.  The Lord promises in Matthew 18 that unless we forgive our lives will be tormented.  Isn’t that true?  Our minds swirl with thoughts and our hearts are restless, troubled, burdened?  (more on forgiveness/unforgiveness in another post…)

Nonetheless, my choice is to see what the Lord is doing through/in me through all this.  The week has been long and conversely, it has zoomed by.  I have been broken and stretched beyond what I would have believed I could do last week if you had asked me!

I have seen God work in mighty ways.  He sent an angel at my most broken point.  Into the doctor’s office. When I had ministered till I was drained, filled with sadness with the family hurts, and about to receive a diagnosis that my sister-in-law needed surgery.

The angel…. was the one lady who I was sure abhorred me… I’d avoid her at church so she wouldn’t have to put on a smile and say hello…

She walked in.  She had seen me in the office, checked the chart, and noticed the patient had the same last name.  Then, she walked right in the office to say hello.  She exhibited such kindness and compassion, it was as if we were girlfriends.  Huh? God?  I was so broken it was like a hug from God.  From her?!  God, you are soooooooo cool!  I love it!

I suppose if God can mend a relationship like that He can get us through the next several weeks.  I hope He will walk us through with His grace and mercy and understanding for others. Which at this point seems to be a bigger crisis than the physical challenges of scheduling and caregiving…..

When God shows up……  anything is possible, right?!



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