Thank you for your previous comments. I know I said I wouldn't say anything about our situation with "you know who" again but I did want to share something else.
I have to remember that having her a part of my life means I am a person God has placed in her path to pray for her. I honestly don't harbor any animosity toward her. Forgiveness is a gift from He who forgave all.
I have mentioned many times that my husband is on Disability for bipolar symptoms. Actually, it is the severe environmental allergies he developed as a teenager which caused such challenges in his life, eventually doing enough damage to his brain (with all the swelling through the years) that his symptoms are bipolar as well as mental confusion.
He can be just fine one moment and hardly functioning the next (which is why he was put on S. S. Disability the first time he applied, something rare... but he had over forty years of documentation from doctors). We know that "bipolar" is a huge umbrella of many causes.
I used to complain to God about my husband as a "normal" life has never been possible. At the least it has been the source of financial chaos but also daily stress from living with a person who is entirely unpredictable and can be nice one moment and in a rage the next.
I complained until the day when He finally got through to me that my husband is a ministry He has given me. I had images of my early and teenage years run through my mind and realized everything He allowed me to experience helped later to help my husband. He has said many, many times that he would not only have left his walk with Christ long ago but most definitely would have committed suicide if not for me.
Now, don't get me wrong, I have been far from perfect. I mean... really far from perfect. I've stomped my feet, cried, yelled at God and everyone around me (blush...), buried my head in my pillow and sobbed, complained to God that I woke up in the morning when I asked Him to take me during the night... and pretty much acted like a brat.
What God did that helped me through the years... He poured His love for my husband through me. He gave not only me but our kids the gift of "letting it all go". That's why Christopher has told me many times that growing up in this home taught him how to forgive quickly. Not that we didn't have to get in the car and leave for awhile to calm down.
I think I have my ponder back (trials will do that to you) and on Sunday I'll share about what I've learned about going through this with said SIL. It's different then lessons learned in living day to day with the bipolar symptoms my husband experiences.
They send me to my knees daily. I have to gain strength each morning so I cannot only face the challenges each day brings but do so in a way that does not bring dishonor to the One Who gives me that strength.
It's all in the attitude... if I saw my husband as my Problem... the one who was keeping me from a life of peace and prosperity... then I'd live in anger. If, instead, I realize this is where God has placed me to be His woman, in His time and in His place, ministering to one who is broken... then I can accept the gifts He gives each day to do that which He has called me to do.
The hardest part of dealing with his sister these past months is what it is doing to my husband. He functions best when life is calm and he is in control of his environment (which is why we use the small bedroom as a home office and "his" room). Since I have the laptop now, I'm rarely in the office.
You can imagine what it is doing to him getting phone calls 24/7 after months of having to take care of her problems on the phone and travelling to his hometown for that which must be taken care of in person... from becoming physically exhausted and not being able to get out of bed in the morning all the way to more flare ups of sudden rage and not thinking clearly.
So... why hasn't God just HEALED him so we could live a normal life? Why wasn't everything made right before the stress (probably) brought about my chronic illness? Why did we have to sell our "dream" home and end up in a position where we have a little over $100 each month for gas and groceries? Ummm... I don't know... except...
What He has allowed in my life is the very stuff what what I have to share with others. Life isn't perfect. This is not Heaven, yet. Bad things happen to good people.
Everything I've been through is what taught me about...
keeping a deep pantry (because unexpected circumstances can happen);
that God provides even if He doesn't change circumstances;
how He brings peace while leaving us in the storm;
that we have control over our attitudes and surroundings...
and that He still makes "boundary lines in pleasant places" in the midst of that which is far from perfect.
Now, I know you were waiting with baited breath for my zucchini post. It will follow later today. I need to let the battery on the laptop charge (thank you again to my friend who gave it to me as a gift... you are precious) and do some housework.
Morning storms watered my garden but the downstairs maids did not clean the kitchen or do laundry. Good help is hard to find these days.