The day I left my husband…

It started like any other Wednesday morning. We’d missed speech therapy on Monday, so I had to take Bug to the school at 0830 for a make-up session. I had been feeling… I don’t know… Nervous? I knew something wasn’t right in our marriage. I could feel it and I knew what it was, but like any wife, I didn’t want to doubt my husband and didn’t want my marriage to fall apart again. So I lived in my little bubble of fear and anxiety.

This Wednesday morning, I knew things had been especially tough for us. Our baby was just four months old and we hadn’t really been intimate yet. We’d tried, but I was quite healed and things were really painful and just hadn’t gone well. So this Wednesday morning, feeling guilty about what had happened the previous weekend, I went back into the bathroom to kiss my husband goodbye as he was getting ready for work and I was rushing out the door with the kids.

The pain of what I discovered that morning still hurts. Walking into the bathroom, I nearly knocked the iPad out of my husband’s hands as he stood naked in front of the mirror. Clearly not expecting me to come back, my husband had already begun, what I can only assume, was a routine for him. He was looking at images and videos of nude women. Masturbating women. Beautiful women. Women who weren’t me.

The look on his face said he’d been caught with his hand in someone else’s cookie jar. I didn’t know what to say to him, so I left. I actually don’t remember what I said, if anything in that moment. I wrapped the kids up in their winter coats, with just days to go before Christmas, and I pushed them out the door like nothing was wrong. A friend had her daughter in speech therapy on Wednesdays and we cried together.

After speech was over, I didn’t know what to do. To say we’d been through this before would be an understatement. His addiction to himself and the never ending supply of women the world has to offer has put our marriage in the toilet on several occasions, even once leading him so far as to have a sexually explicit conversation with a female coworker over the internet… He confessed that incident the day it happened and that started our first foray into marriage counseling. I’ve always tried to be a “good wife” and do all the things a “good wife” does…

I took the kids home, telling them “Mommy got some bad news today and sometimes, when we get bad news, we need to be with people who love us, so get some things, because we are having a slumber party at a friends house.” I took them to my friends house and we hung out all day. She fed me comfort foods even when I didn’t feel like eating and she left the kids veg out on Netflix upstairs while we cried and talked downstairs. I wrote pages and pages and pages in a journal I’d just started. A letter to my husband telling him he could have it. I was done.

I told him, if he really wanted to live that way, all he had to do was tell me and I’d let him be. He could have all the porn he wanted, all the women in the world at his fingertips, but that I was only staying for pretense and would no longer, in any real sense, be his wife. I couldn’t go through the hurt anymore and I was done. To be honest, this was the first time in the nine years we’d been married that I truly began looking into divorce. I was that done with it all. I don’t want this life for my kids. Our sons deserve better than this as a legacy and our daughter deserves to feel beautiful and loved by her father, not living in fear of being objectified by every man she meets. Knowing what my husband has done, makes me feel unloved and unbeautiful some days, it would crush her. I grew up that way. I can’t stand the idea of that being my kids lives too…

So I left. He came home for lunch, but seeing I was down the street, he didn’t come get me. He just let me be. He continued to call and text me all day, but I ignored everything. I couldn’t talk to him. I didn’t want to look at him and the thought of him touching me again… I couldn’t bear it. Here I was desperate for physical intimacy and dying inside because I just couldn’t do it and he was helping himself to a never ending buffet of sexually available women anytime he wanted. It was too much for me to bear.

He tracked me down at church later that night using the GPS tracking on my phone. (I didn’t even know he could do that, “Find My Phone” was his friend that night.) We talked. He convinced me to come home. Unpacking my truck so the kids could go to sleep in their own beds was an odd experience. He told me he’d gone through the house to see if I’d be coming home and he didn’t see anything missing. He was so out of touch with our family because of his addiction that he didn’t notice the pillows and blankets being gone. His addiction had gotten to rock bottom this time. He was skipping out on time with our family to go be selfish with his buffet line… He’d gone a few weeks immediately after Punk was born, but then it hit him stronger and he had to go back to them.

Nine months later, I’m still angry. I’m still bitter. I’m so afraid that all of this is going to happen again. I’m so afraid that the internet and a lack of self control is going to destroy our marriage. I’ve forgiven him, again. He’s really come a long way, but unfortunately, we’ve been here before. He goes a year or two at a time, and then he stops talking to me, stops engaging me and becomes self-centered all over again.

He leaves in 17 days… In 17 days, he moves into his own apartment, in another state. The Army has pushed up his class date, and he leaves in 17 days… I’m a hot mess. Of course, it doesn’t help that I’m pregnant again. So I’m emotional and terrified that this is it. That he won’t come back the man of integrity that he has fought to become.

And he has fought so hard. He started a blog on biblical manhood; it’s slow going, but it’s a start. He’s established rules for when he’s home and where electronic devices are allowed and where they aren’t and I’m here to keep him accountable. We have software installed on anything and everything with a hard-drive. These measures helped him to stay clean while we were together, but I’m not sure how many of them will still work when he is on his own.

As I write this, I’m sitting alone in a quiet house nursing a bottle of sparkling cider. Sissy and Bug are talking in bed again and I can hear Punk whining from the bedroom, so I guess quiet isn’t the right word…

Alone fits…

As I write this, my husband is driving to what feels like a million miles away. He has three apartments to look at in Virginia tomorrow and then he should be home on Saturday. It doesn’t feel like a temporary separation. With everything that has happened this past year and all the craziness of a unexpected pregnancy, I am no longer in control of my rational self. I’m terrified that this could be it for us if he can’t control himself. If he can’t maintain his integrity, I don’t know how much more I can take and we’ll have four kids by the time he returns…

It’s taken years to understand his addiction is pure selfishness on his part and a lack of communication and openness between us, but there are still days where I struggle to believe it’s not about me. I’m terrified because the last time, I had just had the baby when all this came out. I was pregnant and had never felt sexier in my life. I was confident and beautiful and he was spending so much of his time with those other women. Sometimes it’s hard to believe it’s not about me. That it’s not about the sex. That it’s a purely selfish thing to emotionally detach from your spouse for your own sexual pleasure…

Some days are easier than others.

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Rainbows and Unicorns

This is a difficult topic for me, explaining for my absence while I sort through it all. My husband returned from Afghanistan nearly two months ago and it hasn’t been like you see on TV. It’s not been like the other wives talk about. That running across the room, jumping into each others arms, crying real tears of joy and not letting go. That pure, ecstatic joy that you just can’t control. I want one thing clear before I go any further:

I love my husband. I do now, and always have, love him with all that I am. The thought of not having him in my life everyday kills me.

I just don’t always feel it. When my daughter was born, she was a complete stranger. I didn’t know her, so I couldn’t love her in that mystical way mother’s often describe. There was no instant bond. I had to learn to love her and who she was (and is) growing to become. The way she sucks her finger when she’s nervous. The way she takes showers so she doesn’t have to sit in the bath water. The height of her laughter and her ability to make checks with stripes work magnificently. I had to learn to love her. Taking this pressure off myself when my son was born, knowing I wouldn’t feel that “magical bond” with him, actually made bonding with him a lot easier. I put too much pressure on myself and I always fail.

This is what I did at homecoming. Every homecoming is different. You’ve got the couples that can’t wait to run down the stairs and jump into each others arms and kiss like nobody else exists and the world has stopped spinning just for them. You’ve got the couples who are quietly holding each other in the middle of the chaos, just standing there, silently thankful for answered prayers. You’ve got the couples who are loudly screaming and yelling and jumping around like tailgaters at the Super Bowl after a touchdown, and they don’t care who is around. You’ve got the wives who brought large signs. Babies who’ve never met their father. Children and parents running to their family member, their soldier, their hero. It’s very overwhelming for people like me…

It puts a lot of pressure to feel what they feel, to express those feelings the way that they do, try to find balance and not fall.

I chose to stand at the top of the bleachers waving my arms like a mad woman with the kids on the steps in front of me doing the same. It still took him a minute to find us, but it was worth it. The hard part is that I felt very little for my husband in that moment. There was no “heart knowledge” of the love we have shared for the past seven and a half years. I know in my head that I love him very much, but in that moment, he was a stranger. I was more excited to see him with the kids. Holding them, kissing them, just talking to them. I didn’t care to talk to him myself. Holding him, kissing his face, none of that mattered to me. My children had their father and that is all that mattered. I put pressure on myself and I failed. I expected something different than I had experienced before and I shouldn’t have.

To put this into perspective, since I got married in November 2005, I have seen my mother for a total of 14 days. Three days when my daughter was born in 2006. One week when my sister graduated high school in May 2006. Four days when Little Brother was nearly two, in 2011. I feel very little love towards my mother. In fact, if not for her being my mother, I’m not sure I’d ever have contact with her. When I don’t have constant contact with someone in a meaningful way, I lose my ability to genuinely care for them. This is what happened during the deployment. Nine months of my breath catching when the doorbell rang. Nine months of my blood going cold when an unfamiliar car appeared in my driveway. Nine months of stealing myself for the worst, remaining brave for the kids and putting on a happy face… Nine months of building a wall around my heart to protect myself from the worst outcome possible…

That’s not an easy thing to tear down.

We’ve been working on it since he got home, but in those first few days it was like living with a stranger. We had both changed so much and neither of us knew what to really expect. Nothing seemed to be going right. In the past few weeks, there have been long nights, intimate discussions, and a lot of tears. Old hurts are finally starting to heal and we are coming together as a couple again. It should be romantic. The idea of “falling in love” all over again. In truth, it sucks and it hurts. This is my husband. He is the father of my children. I should have the heart knowledge of love for him. I should feel it after having him gone for so long, but I think I’m expecting too much of myself at this point. The “head knowledge” is there. I know there is no one else I would rather be with. There will never be anyone else. I’ve just got to take the time for my heart to catch up.

Hopefully, with old hurts beginning to heal, this will allow us to come together more fully and allow us to become more vulnerable with each other and that will help bridge that gap between the head and the heart. Some days are easier than others. He’ll do something or say something and all I feel is love. Other days, I truly struggle with the man beside me. The man that has promised to always stand beside me. The man that I promised to always stand beside.

We aren’t standing still anymore. We’ve moved. The ground beneath us has shifted and we are struggling to find where that leaves us once the ground goes still again.

For nine months, the ground shifted, twisted, and turned under our feet. For nine months, we were on different planets, shifting and twisting and turning in different ways. We’ve had two months to work on us. We’ve had some really horrible moments… We’ve had some really great times…

It’s called Marriage.

Thankful Thursday: May 24, 2013 Edition

Look what I found on post. They were just giving them away with a free bus ride.

20130604-115710

I know I haven’t been the best blogger these past few months. For those still reading my posts, I say “Thank You!” If you’ll bear with me, things are in a huge state of flux in the Noba household right now. I may disappear for days, weeks and months at a time as our family faces reintegration. I would ask those of you who pray to do so for our family. In the ten days since my husband has been home some difficulties have already come to light and let’s just say:

“Not all homecomings are joyful and triumphant. Not all homecomings are easy. Not all homecomings are kisses and rainbows and unicorns and butterflies. But we are committed to getting through this stage of life as we have all others. There will be more on this in the future. Of this, I have no doubt.”

Honestly, Asperger’s

When people really love you, they wont talk about you behind your back. They wont belittle you when you aren’t around. They wont ignore you. When people really love you, they wont blame you for their own bad day. They wont make you feel like a child being reprimanded. When people really love you, they make the effort for you, to be there when you need them, even when you don’t ask because you don’t know how to ask for help. They will do there best to understand the “why” behind your actions and help you to work through a tough spot. They step up and stand in when times are tough. For me, this is black and white, there is no grey area. I’m coming to the conclusion that this is not the case for all people.

 

Sometimes, I don’t know what to do with myself. I’m not a good person all the time. I don’t know how to behave socially and some situations are emotionally exhausting to get through. I simply can’t socialize for long periods of time on little sleep or when times are hard and stress is high without having some major slip ups, the holidays typically make this worse. I interrupt or say inappropriate things because my brain simply cannot process as fast as you can. I may be taking a break to regain my thoughts and by the time I’m ready to finish what I was saying, you’ve moved on to something else. It’s much harder to control my thoughts and keep them to myself when I’m under pressure and am stressed out. I don’t know how to communicate in a normal social situation effectively and am often misunderstood and put people on the defensive without meaning to. My brain often obsesses about situations and encounters until I have convinced myself that nobody likes me or that certain people in particular are mad at me.

 

I feel stupid in most social situations and often play through events over and over and over again trying to figure out what I did right and what I did wrong. Everything is black and white. I see things very linearly. I don’t trust people who have ever violated my trust in the past, even over something small. You have proven yourself untrustworthy in my mind and I am working on learning how to rebuild that trust. I carry past hurts and burdens because I don’t know how to tell people that they have hurt me. I don’t know how to discuss these events where my trust has been betrayed and my feelings hurt without becoming angry. I feel this is because of the way I process information. When I am initially slighted, I feel angry and betrayed, but I’m told holding on to those feelings isn’t good. Unfortunately, it was never explained to me how to properly deal with them, so I ignore it and things continue on as they were before for days, weeks, months and even years without the other person ever knowing they have hurt me. I do this to keep the peace. A “lady” doesn’t start arguments and it’s her “job” to keep the family civil and together. Unfortunately, I always slip up somewhere. I can’t keep up social pretenses for long periods of time without getting exhausted and drained. Many people over the years have hurt me in one way or the other and then they question my ability to go to them for support. They see their actions in my life as supportive, I don’t and mostly because of these past hurts.

 

I have Asperger’s Syndrome. I’m not crazy, I don’t have Bipolar Disorder and I’m not psychotic. WE (Hubby and I) have decided that I don’t need a piece of paper telling me who I am or how I function. I know when I’ve hit my limits and if you don’t care to learn my limits, I’m sorry that I ruined your day. I communicate much more effectively in writing and am very awkward when talking to people face to face or on the phone. The phone is particularly difficult because I can hear your tone of voice but without the facial cues to go with in, I’m lost. I don’t know when you are done talking or when you are taking a breath. I can’t tell if what you are saying is meant in jest, in love, or in rebuke. And please remember that the last time I participated in phone calls on a regular basis was in 2005, and mostly I was talking to Hubby.

 

I have sensory issues involving temperature and smell, mostly, but textures of certain foods and the lighting at certain times of day is bothersome too. I enjoy being outside in the sunshine, but that much light often hurts my eyes physically. Loud noises seem louder to me and often startle me. I scare easily and I think in videos and pictures. I often obsess about the things that nobody else cares about or even remembers. (Like that meme thingy about the penguins knees from yesterday… I’m still wondering if penguins have knees.) My life is not easy. But nobody’s life is easy. I have my schedule and my calendars and my charts to keep me focused and moving each day. I have a chore chart so that I don’t forget to do the laundry or load the dishwasher. In a lot of ways, I’m still very childlike.

 

I need some extra patience and assistance the first time experiencing something. I have no basis for comparison other that what I can see, hear, touch, taste and smell for myself. When I have never gone through something before, the stress is compounded so much more. I don’t know what to expect, I don’t know how to behave, I don’t have any previous knowledge to fall back on. I love my books but even they can’t prepare you for everything. It’s incredibly hard not knowing what is expected of you, or even knowing what IS expected and not being able to live up to those expectations. It’s hard when the one person who helps explain all of this and guides me through is halfway around the world.

 

I’m lost. I’m thrown into situations every day that I don’t know how to handle and I don’t have someone to hold my hand. I need someone to hold my hand. I need someone to be the “Leonard to my Sheldon”, so to speak.Hubby sometimes calls me “Sheldon” and I’ve always looked on it as a term of endearment because he truly does understand me and he works very hard to help me understand others and why something I have said or done could be considered rude or “bratty”.

 

I need to be more transparent. I need you to be more transparent, too. Please don’t ask general questions like “How are you doing?”. You will most likely get an answer that makes me sound like a bitch because I don’t understand that question. How am I doing what? Are we painting when you ask and you are referencing my technique? Are you questioning my use of a flathead screwdriver instead of a phillips? Is my driving that bad? Are you asking about the kids in school? Or behavior problems at home? Are you asking if I’ve burned dinner recently or whether I can keep the house running while Hubby is gone? “How are you doing?” is such a stupid question to me because there are so many ways to answer it and most of them wont even touch your intent behind the question. The numerous amounts of ways this could be answered leads me into a deep confusion and I often feel stupid and incoherent in my response. This is particularly true when you ask via email, text message, FB message or other written forms of communication.

 

Please help me out by being specific. Ask things like “How are the kids handling the deployment? Are they having any major problems since he’s been gone?” and things like “Have you been able to take some time for yourself? That’s important too.” Being asked a specific question allows me a limited range of answers and I’m more likely to have a tactful response and not be overwhelmed by the question. But be patient. It takes time for my brain to process the question you asked and formulate the answer. If you end up with a curt reply, I most likely felt rushed through my answer and to be completely honest, pushing people away is a default response for me when I’m faced with an overwhelming situation. To avoid answering the question or to avoid making a fool of myself, I will respond as quickly as possible even if that means I come across rude. This is not my intention, but something has made me overwhelmed or uncomfortable and my body is telling me to GET OUT OF HERE!

 

I am working on some of these issues. Hubby began working on some of them with me before me left. I’m doing the best I can right now. Please remember that I’ve had 28 years to learn how to hide my stimming. The way my arm twitches (it jerks really, and can be quite painful if it persists for too long) when I’m stressed out and overly emotional, the way I fidget with my jewelry when I’m nervous. The calm presence I can maintain even while my heart threatens to beat out of my own chest and run off because the anxiety is too much. I talk with my fingers at times because my brain is going too fast and my mouth can’t keep up. If you ever see me talking with one hand in the air as if I’m pushing buttons on the wall, this is my way of trying to slow down my brain so the rest of me can catch up. My brain is always going a mile a minute and I am never able to truly relax. I don’t know what it would be like to feel “stress free”. My brain is always running on about something and I’m still thinking about those penguin knees, even now.

 

I’m trying to grow (not change) who I am so that others will be better able to respond to me and communication can go more effectively. I will have rough spots because tact isn’t something I’m good at. I don’t have a particularly good brain to mouth filter, and Google doesn’t have a “tact translator” (although I think it should).

 

I'm sure this is how my husband feels most of the time. I truly do appreciate his support and help.

I’m sure this is how my husband feels most of the time. I truly do appreciate his support and help.

Soul Mates

The amazing thing about knowing you’ve married your soul mate is when thousands of miles apart, separated by continents and oceans, and having gone months without seeing each other, you still manage to get each other the exact same thing for Valentine’s Day.

That is the status update I posted to Facebook just moments ago. You see, that package, the one my husband sent from Afghanistan for Valentine’s Day, it finally arrived today. I waited all afternoon, just like he asked, so that he could see my face on Skype when I opened it. It’s not a large envelope. Maybe seven inches high, nine inches wide, but it had my name on it and a post mark from an APO and that’s all that matters. Opening the envelope, I pulled out a letter. Just a small slip of paper, carefully torn out of the little green notebooks he meticulously writes everything down in. I know this by the size and line layout on the page.

Along with this tiny, hand-written note is a block of Post-It sticky notes. My husband has been putting these on his computer monitor when he needs to remember something important, like when to call home or something I’ve told him that I want him to take a look into. This block of Post-It notes is about 100 or more thick. At the top of each sticky page is a date, beginning with Feb 14.

From my husband to me.

From my husband to me.

Hand-written on each of these 100 or more notes is a Bible verse, a song lyric, or other writing to show love, encouragement, appreciation or support. Some of them are silly, like the one that reads “Be Sexy (That is all)”, some are more thoughtful and some are serious. But the greatest gift I think we could have given each other was this support, and what are the odds that we both thought of the same thing this year?

My husband and I have always joked and said “Get out of my head!” more times than I can count. If you remember my Valentine’s Thankful Thursday post, I made my husband a book with a deck of cards and two pieces of rope. A list of 52 (well 53) reasons that I love him. Things like “You look hot in your uniform!” and “You kill the SPIDERS”. Again, some silly, some serious, some thoughtful.

From me to my husband.

From me to my husband.

I love my husband so much.

The amazing thing about knowing you’ve married your soul mate is when thousands of miles apart, separated by continents and oceans, and having gone months without seeing each other, you still manage to get each other the exact same thing for Valentine’s Day.

Thankful Thursday: Valentine’s Day Edition

There is so much about love that is misunderstood. So many aspects of love. A multitude of ways to show love and even more ways to feel it. For someone like me, who has trouble regulating a normal emotional system for long periods of time and can’t always understand the emotions behind people’s actions, love is a strange concept.

I love my kids.

I love my husband.

But I don’t feel love for myself.

I don’t feel love for my extended family.

I say the words “I love you”, but that doesn’t mean that I’m feeling it. It means, I feel it is expected, so I say it. This generally occurs when someone says it first and I’m programmed to say it in response so as to avoid hurt feelings.

But love in general is a good thing. It heels deeply broken hearts and creates the most warm and fuzzy feelings inside. When we know we are loved, when we feel it in our deepest core, is there any better feeling? Well, since Valentine’s Day is on Thursday this year, I would like to share with you the moment of my day when I felt the most loved.

Obviously, with my husband in Afghanistan, the romantic dinner and night out without the kids wasn’t on the menu for us this year (or last year since he was at Fort Knox for some training or equipment pickup or something:Army 2, Me 0). I really wasn’t expecting him to call. We’ve had issues with communication in regard to phone calls in the past and this resulted in his not calling home on Thanksgiving or on Christmas, so when the phone rang with that random six-digit phone number, I was surprised and thrilled that he called home on Valentine’s Day.

Once the initial shock wore off, he told me “Take the day off” (To which I’m thinking, “Ummm… Okay, but you aren’t gonna know if I sit on my ass all day or not, so, ummm, thanks?” And by this point, I had already rearranged the dining room twice trying to figure out where the table could go during my daughter’s birthday party next weekend.). He continued, “Don’t even worry about the kitchen (how did he know I hadn’t done dishes in three days?), dinner is on me.”

This is the point in the conversation where my brain seriously went blank and the processor in the thought formation center of my brain slowed to a grinding halt. I was totally confused, but in the same moment, I knew what he had done. It’s a very odd feeling to describe, but it was accompanied by a huge grin and some tears. He told me, “Dinner would be delivered around five.”

(Have I mentioned how much I love my husband? Other girls got flowers, but I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who got dinner.)

We spoke on the phone for 16 minutes before hanging up and moving to Skype, so that he could watch me open the gift he ordered me from Pajama Gram.

Side Note: Dear Pajama Gram,
Stop putting your name on the side of the box,
it totally ruins the surprise.
Sincerely, R. Noba

Anyway, my husband had ordered me two sets of Raspberry/Leopard print pajamas (one for warm nights, one for colder weather). And no, they don’t look like that on me. I’d venture to say the model in the picture is at least six inches taller than me (or at least she appears to be).

I’ve still got one more coming, but it seems mailing things from Afghanistan two weeks early isn’t enough time. This being the first time that he’s mailed something home, I can’t be too upset that it isn’t here yet. I’ve heard that letters and smaller boxes can take up to three times longer to get there from here than larger boxes, though I have no idea why that is.

So for now, I wait for more love to come in the mail.

P.S.
Dinner arrived at 4:58 and the gentleman apologized for delivering early, seems he had another five o’clock delivery.

One Cheese Pizza, One Pepperoni Pizza and One Desert Pizza! We had dinner for three days lol

One Cheese Pizza, One Pepperoni Pizza and One Desert Pizza! We had dinner for three days lol

P.P.S.
This is what I sent my husband. He said it made him feel warm and fuzzy inside… Well, no he didn’t. He compared it to the Father’s Day before Basic Training, when I made him a calendar using a small photo book, so he could mark the time while he was gone (since he would be gone at least six months, possibly longer). I used pictures that meant something to us as the images for each month, so February was pictures from our daughter’s birth, July was from our son’s birth, November from our wedding. He said this new “book” made him feel much the same way that one did. Truly loved and special. He’s read through it once already and is now taking a new “Reason” every day. He should get through it twice before he comes home from Afghanistan. So many people have given this gift idea a bad wrap, saying “guys really just want sex” but my husband felt appreciated and loved when he opened the box we sent him… And honestly, him knowing we have his back is the best gift we could have given him.

52 Reasons I love you... Though admittedly, I cheated. I added an extra "I just do" to the back of the deck... Every book has writing on the back cover, right?

52 Reasons I love you… Though admittedly, I cheated. I added an extra “I just do” to the back of the deck… Every book has writing on the back cover, right?

Ash Wednesday, Lent Begins

Well folks, to be honest, I’ve never done this before. I’m not Catholic, so there is no Ash Wednesday mass to attend. I had already committed to wearing my headcovering for the 40 days of Lent, but last night something occurred to me.

My husband and I had started a study on the Book of Joshua last November, and the holidays got crazy and so we put it on hold and haven’t gotten back to it. I was creating a sweater design for Valentine’s Day and it struck me. If I can spend an hour making a stupid sweater, surely I could better use my time.

I was kneeling beside my bed to string yarn through safety pins, but can’t remember the last time I was in that position in earnest calling to God. So I made the decision last night, very last minute. In addition to my headcovering, I am giving up DIY projects for the next 40 days. That is time I could better spend in prayer and being a better spiritual leader to my children in my husband’s absence.

Admittedly, this has already been difficult and it might mean that I avoid the my own blog at times in effort to keep from surfing all the DIY blogs out there. I don’t want to be tempted to take that time away from my goal for these 40 days.

This is my first time observing Lent, but I really think it will help me grow on my spiritual journey and be a better mother to my children and a better wife to my husband.

Off I go, into a new adventure, closer to my kids, closer to my husband, closer to God.