New Year, New Vision

I have just come to the realization that school begins next week. Don’t take this the wrong way—I have known for sometime when the spring semester would start. In fact, I’ve had my textbooks for about 2 weeks now, and I’ve finished updating the course content online for the courses I instruct. So, no, it’s not a surprise. What I mean is it snuck up on me.

You see, this time last year, I had to say goodbye to my husband for 3 months, and school was a distraction from my emotional state. So having N home has impacted (positively) my winter break. But something else comes from this realization.

It is also my last semester of graduate school.

I know—2 years has gone by so fast! I have already begun my review of literature for my capstone project (it’s like a thesis, but it’s not a one hundred something page paper). I have already had my first meeting with my committee to go over my Prospectus. My chair has already given me a defense date (well, area): April.

I mean, how crazy is that!?

And since N will miss my graduation because of his drill, he has promised to come to my defense. But I just found out last night that their “academic” trip would be in April (if they go). My chair has already been kind enough to let me know that, since I want my husband at the defense, he will work out a way that it is not when N will be gone for military duty. This just adds one more piece to the equation. On the plus side, it will give me a solid due date for my project (I think), so I suppose that is good.

Our church does a Vision and a 21 day fast every year for the new year. I say this because part of my personal vision is to not let the things I cannot control control me. What I mean by this is: I have gotten so frustrated with my husband about his military obligations, even though I know there is nothing he can do about it. I cannot control these things, and I refuse to let the military get the better of me or my marriage.(Graduation for my M.A. may seem small to some, but it’s big to me. I do know in the long run it is nothing; I am well aware. But in the moment…)

I also know N is trying to make things better between us; we both are. But there are a lot of stressors, too. We have a lot ahead of us: I will graduate and begin my career with my master’s (!!); N is currently applying to graduate programs; he will graduate OCS and become an officer in the Army National Guard; we will be moving, and whether that is just moving apartments or moving cities all depends on where he gets accepted and where I get a job. I have had anxiety about all of this, especially since I am a big planner.

And the verse that has been put on my heart through all of those stresses is this one: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7, NKJV).

In other words, I should be thankful that I even made it into a master’s program and will receive the degree I worked so hard for. I should be thankful to even have my husband in my life. I should be thankful that N has supported me this whole time, even if he couldn’t be here in person. I should rejoice for what I do have, not condemn what I don’t. I should praise the Lord in everything. I won’t lie; sometimes that is hard, especially when my emotions get the best of me. But He has never failed to provide for me and He never will.

So as N and I speak life over our vision for the new year and as we pray, I will remember God is forever faithful, and He will provide what we need when we need it. I will remind myself of this verse and know that His peace can overcome whatever I am feeling in the moment. Most importantly, I will remind myself to talk with Him before I open my mouth to my husband.

I encourage you to pray and create a vision. What do you want to work on this year? Not just a new year’s resolution, but a vision. What do you see for yourself, for your partner, for your relationship this year? What do you want to speak life into?

My kids have four legs and fur

Our little guy is home! He is sore and tired, and he will be on antibiotics for a bit, but we are so happy he is home. We are confident he will make a full recovery. The other cat, my cat, on the other hand is quite displeased she is no longer Queen Bee. I’m sure she’ll get over herself soon enough, though.

But as I’ve been freaking out over our cat’s health and bladder problems, I started thinking how awkward I am. Maybe. Maybe awkward isn’t the right word. Out of place? Weird? Anyway. I started thinking: I have friends that are my age or a bit older than myself who are happily married and pregnant and about ready to have said small human. Then there’s me, over here crying about our cat’s emergency and how he cost us $1000. Crazy cat lady.

But our cats are our kids right now (and I’m trying to get us to get a puppy at some point!). Sure, someday we will have real (aka: human) children, but that won’t be for at least 5 years. We aren’t ready yet. And we plan things. And we have things we want to do, start, and finish before kids come along. And that’s okay. We have things between us we need to sort out first. Plus, it’s a lot easier to move with two cats, and I’m not quite ready to settle down entirely yet.

Pets are family, too.

Kitty Update

Today I took a few minutes to visit our kitty, Raptor, in the hospital. He has a catheter in, but he perked right up and wanted love when I came over to his kennel. The nurse said that, even though he is tired, this was definitely a good thing. Here’s the little boy:

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He doesn’t like the food the vet is feeding him, dry or wet. He only likes Fancy Feast wet food. The vet has approved me to bring by his regular food later this evening. He would only eat the dry food in his kennel if I held a few kibbles at a time, he got to lick it, and then I dropped it in his kennel. In other words, he is a picky kitty, but I suppose that is from us spoiling him.

Here he is enjoying the attention (a bit sleepily):

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They let me take his cone off because I was there with him and I could keep an eye on him. Raptor never once tried to lick at his catheter, so I was really proud of him.

The vet called me after I left to tell me that he is doing very well and they will take out the catheter tomorrow afternoon and see if he can urinate all on his own. She also said he has been a fantastic patient, and that if the excellent recovery continues and he doesn’t re-block, he can come home Wednesday!

It’s also snowing today, and Raptor loves the snow. I wish he were home so I could take him outside and let him roll around like he loves to do.

So, I am still praying for our little baby, but I have a feeling the worst is over. He is a young, healthy cat. I think he is just picky about litter.

Please keep him in your prayers with me. I know God works in marvelous ways, and I have faith He will be with us even for a cat health crisis.

Thank you for the positive thoughts and support, and goodbye for now from me and Raptor.

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One of my worst nightmares…

Today, on our return home from church, we found one sick kitty—our youngest, male cat, who is about 4. I called the vet to see their opinion, and they told us to bring him in.

It’s a good thing we did.

He has a blockage, which means he has been unable to pee. The said his swollen little bladder is smaller than others she has seen, but this is classified as an emergency. He is currently under anesthesia undergoing surgery (insertion of a urinary catheter) and tests. She also told us, when I asked, his odds of survival from this first round look to be in his favor since he is otherwise healthy.

However, if he cannot get unblocked after this, then we do it again.

I am hopeful that because he is young and active, and just picky about the texture of his litter, that we will only go through one round of this.

Regardless, I ask for your prayers. I know that this is a cat, but our cats are our children, and we love them very much. They are a big part of our family. So, please, set aside judgment of me in this request.

I have been crying for the past hour, and, even though my husband isn’t crying, I know he is upset too.

I am praying for a full and quick recovery for our little baby. If God can heal humans, surely He can heal cats too.