Good grief. It’s raining—no, pouring—and it is 80 degrees outside. What I mean is everything is happening at once. Ok, I know that none of this is a surprise to God, of course. (A good little Christian girl is supposed to say that just before having her tantrum…Here comes the tantrum…) Good grief…what is He thinking? (Do you see the pride and arrogance in my comment?…How far the “mighty” have fallen, huh?)

Let’s back up…so the contrast is right here in living color in front of us.

* Between Mid-November and May 1, I released a truckload of bad habits, unworkable beliefs, “issues” and 62 pounds besides.

* I went from a size 22+ down to a size 12 on a good day. (Are you impressed yet? :-/)

* My blood pressure returned to normal without meds any more.

* I no longer “use” caffeine to get through the day or over-the-counter sleeping meds to help me sleep at night.

* My walk with God was on the upswing… he was teaching me so much…and it seemed like there was no way I could ever return to that place of darkness, habitual sin, captivity. I just couldn’t imagine it and though I was somewhat fearful of daring to hope, I did anyhow… “Has God delivered me?”

Today, here it is…as simple as this. I am struggling with:

· Imagining how, after homeschooling my kids most of their lives, where the bazillion dollars for their bourgeois Christian private school will come from for the fall.

· Grieving the close to the season of life I have had with my babies being home with me. Oh, how I will miss them. I really enjoy them so much of the time. There is so much challenge ahead…it is taking everything in me to do this.

· Tomorrow, I have to somehow get my wolfdog rescue into the car to take him to the vet where he will have a battery of tests. I don’t know if he has allergies or cancer…or something in between…like heartworm. But he is 10, does NOT travel well, let alone cope with new situations well…He doesn’t do leashes, he doesn’t do cars, he doesn’t DO vets. How are we going to manage this? Let alone cope with the expense and heartache of whatever is wrong with him.

· Meanwhile, my horse who is away at training is colicking and possibly has stones (enteroliths) in his gut causing impaction…he could die from this and now he will be going to the vet on Weds. to have radiographs. The money needed will be horrific, let alone the fact that while he isn’t feeling well, his training is at a standstill, even though we are paying for him to be there. He could die, or will need surgery to the tune of $3000 to $5000 now and if not now, will we wait until he has a problem and needs emergency surgery for a greater expense? Good grief….

· My daughter has to have 5 teeth pulled and braces and since there isn’t any retirement money for that (the retirement money is going for the kids’ bourgeois Christian private school tuition I guess), I guess we will sell stock options or something from Bob’s work to pay for those…(Maybe we should sell horses…erm…nevermind…)

· My daughter is wigging because she can’t handle seeing ME stressed…

· My son is self-absorbed…(did I say I enjoy my kids now?)

· As I type this, my kids are PICKETING me for “being unfair” in banning a computer game that can no longer be played in our home…(I am not kidding….)

My response to this:

All I can think of is hot fudge sundaes….lots of them. I want to swim in them. I want to guzzle them. Whipped cream dripping…the rich kind…the full fat kind. Slivered or chopped almonds everywhere….and since my stupid stomach can’t handle more than probably 5 bites of the stuff even if I am hungry, somehow, I would need to find a way to keep eating and eating and eating without ever feeling sick to my stomach. Ooooooh, how badly I want that….

What is really ironic is just a few days ago, dear sweet Judy Halliday who has only heard all the GOOD stuff…all the things in the FIRST bulleted list…asked me if I would share my testimony at the TW conference in June. Oh my word. Well, this sure isn’t a good testimony to share. I can share about how shame has jumped on my back again so quickly and easily. Or how the pride that I thought was shaken loose has its claws in me causing me to think *I* know best…better than God. Bruuuuther. What kind of testimony is that?!?!?!!?

So, just after paying the much-larger-than-I-expected and how-will-I-tell-hubby registration fee for the kids’ school at the private school, I suddenly swerved the car to the freeway onramp (I think it was a magnetic pulse in the earth’s field…yeah, yeah…that was it). Resolute, WE were going drive an hour to the old-fashioned ice cream parlor where we used to occasionally go…and haven’t been in forever. My intention was to buy my own humongous HOT FUDGE sundae with EXTRA EVERYTHING (well, no cherry…I don’t like cherries) and the kids could share one, thank you very much (they aren’t cheap after all). Something possessed me to call my husband as we went to tell him about the plans for Harley to go to the vet and one thing led to another. I told him where we were going. Rather than laugh it off, he told me I would regret indulging in the sundae…the nerve of him! I asked him: “Even if it is my dinner?” He told me he knew I would. Nuts…I knew he was right and that shame would get an even tighter hold on me… and I pulled off the highway and back on to an onramp going back the other way…. my kids clearly disappointed from the backseat (they are almost 13 and almost 15, so their disappointment can be loud, obnoxious and extremely convincing). Of course, they begged me to resume the course we had been on before hubby had breathed sense into me. No…no mongo hot fudgers.

Instead, I swung by the home of the golden arches for them to get their fix of ice cream and I abstained—didn’t have a single bite of the oreo McFlurry. All the while my thoughts of how virtuous I was were being squelched by the truth of the matter—I was STILL lusting, coveting, fantasizing BIG time for a delicious hot fudge sundae. My heart was still a million miles from the Lord and HIS way. Nuts. (Chopped almonds please…)

Instead of ice cream (which we know is lawful, but in this case, God said NO WAY), I settled for a caffeine free diet coke…which seemed ok to me. Since getting home, though, I have been hungry and fed the hunger a graham cracker with peanut butter (dipped in milk) and a teaspoon of whipped chocolate frosting. Good grief.

I can’t call any of this a victory. Ok, maybe I can, but only a “comparable victory.” It still demonstrates that I am not normal. Normal people don’t fantasize about swimming in hot fudge sundaes dripping with real rich whipped cream and almonds sprinkled everywhere…and never getting full so they can keep eating and eating.

So much for having a raving testimony to share with conference-goers in June.

Thing is, the struggle isn’t past. My dog still has to get to the vet somehow tomorrow and still may end up dying there and my horse may still die of colic or require a $5000 surgery and my kids will still be ripped out of my home (hard to say it that way when it is the Lord who has insisted and done the “ripping”) and the money still has to be found for that, too, oh..AND the braces and 5 teeth to be extracted…and my husband is sure to go ballistic as he tries to pay for everything which is freaking me out…I can’t handle it when he stresses about money. It just totally freaks me…

I still want hot fudge sundaes. I wish I could say I didn’t.