Sunday, July 20, 2008

I Need to Rest

It’s Sunday... day of rest.

I am restless.


I fell asleep last night about 1:00 a.m. I awoke again at 4:00. Third day in a row.

So much for doubling the dose of the sleeping meds. If I’m not going to sleep, I’m not going to sleep.


I went to Molalla River State Park early this morning. Rocky romped along the road, through the field I have already written of, sixteen years ago under a March Moon.

The moon was up again... waning and gibbous, two days past full... traces of fog drift over cut grass.

I prayed. For wisdom, strength, peace. I prayed for patience with my children, wisdom to guide them as they ache and hurt. I prayed for Brenda, that... I don’t know, that she would be ok.

I got home... moved towels from washer to dryer, got the sheets off beds and stuck them in the washer. Showered, shaved, got ready for church.

I growled a little too much at Isaac when he came to get into the van... shirt still unbuttoned... after a one hour warning, a half hour heads up, a fifteen minute call, a ten minute countdown, and a two minute “pull it together.”

I had to pick up my mother in law for church (since Brenda is unavailable), and arrived in time to spend a little time dedicating today’s service with the pastors and worship team.

While I do the work that needs doing, while I focused my heart and mind on the lyrics, I ached.


Brenda called yesterday morn.

“Is it all right if I come over for a bit?”


“I’m already in town, so I’ll be there in five minutes.”


I sat in the white wicker chair on the front porch.

I didn’t want this conversation inside where my sons might hear.

She was penitent without being repentant.

She apologized for the mess she made of our lives.

She apologized for the hurt I was (am) feeling.

I said nothing for quite a while. She did nearly all the talking. I nodded agreement now and then.

She said something that surprised me a little.

She said that I have been doing a lot for a long time. That in working with the boys, cooking, housework, yard work, it just made her madder and madder. She said I was a good father. She said I would make someone a good husband. She said that the more I did, the angrier she got. She said that sometimes her rage just overwhelmed her... and she doesn’t know why.

She said that she had really wanted to make our marriage work. For a while.

“I’m sorry I hurt you.”

I stood. Went to the van. Returned with a copy of a post I had written about a month ago... “What I’d Like to Say.”

She read it.

I watched.

Her eyes welled up with tears several times, but they never spilled.

“You’re right,” she said.

“I’m not trustworthy. I lied to you. I’m a bad person.”

I finally replied.

“Yes... you are sick. We all are. I hope... I pray... you will find healing.

“I love you.

“Take care of yourself.”

She said goodbye to Isaac (Jeremiah had gone fishing with a friend... see pics at bottom of post). She came out to where I sat on the porch. Kissed my cheek.

She left.

I sat there thinking about how all the things I have done this past year did not create an atmosphere of partnership, of working together.

Instead, it made her angrier at her hidden feelings, her hidden desires, her deceptions.

In growing a garden, picking cherries, making pies, doing housework and house repairs, I only made her feel worse.

I had tried to do my best, serve my family, and in being a good father, home owner, employee... husband... I had made her feel worse.

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay,"says the Lord.

On the contrary:
"If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head. "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
--Romans 12:17-20

That seems a strange passage to me...

Have I heaped coals on her head?

Has she been burned by my forgiveness and serving?


It seemed that nearly every song today held special meaning for me...


Trade These Ashes In For Beauty
and Wear Forgiveness Like A Crown
coming To Kiss The Feet Of Mercy
I Lay Every Burden Down
at The Foot Of The Cross


Blessed be your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's all as it should be
Blessed be your name

Blessed be your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be your name


The message today was about service to others.

I like that.

I would rather look outward right now, for how I might help someone else, than look inward.

I have no clue what I’m saying here.

I need to rest.



17 pounds of fish

I sit in this spot, in the pastor's office, every Sunday before the service.
We dedicate the service to God... bless the worship team.
It is at this exact spot that Jeremiah played with fire three years ago.


hennhouse said...

I really want to have something profound and helpful to say to you. But your ache--new and old--is palpable in your words.

We are praying.

Anonymous said...

Something just occured to me. Since Brenda is still called to see you and probably takes comfort in that, could a friendship with no strings attached be in order? The hard times come when you are living together and she has the freedom to criticise the smallest things you do wrong.
I don't think I would invite her back in your home to stay, where the smallest things set her off. I would instead suggest that you "enjoy" each other in totally different settings outside the familier.
Just a thought.
Love you, SS

curious servant said...

I'm hugging my kids a lot.

Christopher Krycho said...

I'm still praying for you, Will, and have been. Your faith is an encouragement and a blessing, even as you are wearied.

Those are big trout; I've spent a good bit of time fishing, but only for little brook trout... never that size.

Sarah Louise said...

Oh, the pain. I'm sorry. My new favorite quote is from Barbara Kingsolver: better the friend that says the wrong thing than the friend that stays away because they can't think what to say.

I wished I'd heard that quote a long time ago, when I had friends telling me wrong things.

Tonight's sermon was on how God moved the Red Sea, all the things he did. How he said Do not be afraid, remember what I did for your forefathers.

Glad that you are hugging your kids.



Anonymous said...

I was not surprised to see you serving communion this morning. I was not surprised to see you serving others. I was not surprised at the tears you could not contain when talking about Brenda. I'm not surprised that you continue to take the high road in my eyes. I can't speak for God (geez that would be terrifying) but I'm sure HE is glad to see you in your serving also.
You're an amazing person!!!!

curious servant said...

I've had only 14 hours of sleep since Friday morn. All I have eaten in that time is a yoghurt, two slices of pizza, and a small piece of fish.

It's 11:00 p.m. and I need to be obedient and take care of myself... go to bed.

But I want to say something before I do.

Actually, I want to say several things.

I carry around a Moleskine notebook and whenever I need to write down a phone number, or jot a note about something I want to remember, or need to simply write, I take it out.

I wrote this post this afternoon.

Since the time I wrote this post, I have written three more "posts" in that notebook.

I am being flooded with creativitry, shown insights about myself, my children, my wife.

And, just as I was getting ready to go to bed, after writing that third "post" I have had another flash I want to put down... but I know I shouldn't tax myself with writing it into a post...

So here is the thought:

God wants me to be happy.

That may not seem very insightful... but think about it...

Sometimes we, I, think that God has us working hard because He has an agenda, some important, hard, awful task...

But the reason life is hard and awful is because we are always screwing things up.

God wants us to be happy.

We just don't know how to do it.

God wants ME to be happy.

I don't know how to do it.

It seems that everything is all screwed up.

Everything IS all screwed up.



Isn't that cool?

I have no clue how to do that... but THAT is the important, hard, awful work He wants me to do.


lorna (see throughfaith) said...

I know this is not touching on the main point of the post at all - but my what HUGE fish J. caught! They are wonderful.

Might not make anysense but I'm reminded of the scripture where God tells the disciples to throw their net over the other side - and they caught 153 fish and had trouble bringing the haul in.

And then on the road to Emmaueus he met them in the breaking of the bread.

Keep close to Him - even if He feels very far away. Don't trust your feelings in this - trust His promises. OK friend?

Marvin the Martian said...

You did everything right, lovingly. It's not your fault that she was angry. It was her choice to become angry, to be insulted that you were doing the work for both of you. She could have just as easily (and correctly) chosen to be grateful.

You are better off now. Hopefully your children will see it that way too. I am so sorry this happened to you. My parents split as well, over alcoholism. It was no prettier than your situation.

God will give you the strength to continue. And you will be a better person for all of this. I will keep praying for you.

curious servant said...

The other day I was reading something in Scientifc American about an experiment in lowering tryptophane, an ingredient the body needs to make seratonin, and how the subjects with the lowered seratonin responded by more often refusing offers considered unfair than those with the higher levels.

My point...

I read the article. Understood what was being said. Remembered the details.


I couldn't make the connections. I just couldn't see what the inference was.

My mind remembers the information of what is going on around me, but I just can't seem to make any sense of anything right now.

I hope that makes sense.

I think, for now, I need to listen to my heart more than anything else. It is more reliable than my mind.

Poetikat said...


I don't know you - not really, but I can tell that you are a good man. That you are a forgiving and kind person. You set the right example.

Sometimes we just can't control what happens in our lives - it's up to God, isn't it? The only thing I can think is that God is giving you this cross to make you stronger and to bring you even closer to him. Some of us are blessed with that. Even though it hurts to be you right now, you have something precious and irreplaceable - your absolute faith.

Blessings on you and may your wife find solace in all the right places.