So in an effort to document my feelings about this past week and its events, I continue to write.
I am a homebody. Really. I truly enjoy being at home with my computer, some tv, books to read, my FAMILY. I don't really mind being at home by myself (with the girls) during the day. I don't like it at night as much. Really don't like it overnight, but during the day, I'm good. Well.....all that has kinda changed. Now, I don't truly feel at home in my own home. I feel like I can't completely relax.
We have been blessed with beautiful weather this week which has helped because it's been so pretty, it has helped me relax as I look outside my windows. Someone asked me if what happened has caused me to question where I live. It really hasn't. I love our house. I like our neighborhood. I like our area of Houston. I think this is a bad thing that has happened in a nice place.
I am sad for the people who did this. I am sad for them that they feel this is okay. I think of them as children. What was their childhood like? Do they come from a "good family" and have broken their parents' hearts with their decisions? Do they come from a "broken family" and are just following in the footsteps of their parents? Did no one take the time to teach them about God? Did they never go to Bible Class and sing, "I love to pat the Bible"? Do they have a mother who prays for them? Are they married? Did they destroy our back door and sense of privacy & security and then go pick up their child from school or grab some milk from HEB on their way home?
This whole thing STINKS. I mean, really. It's not just the THINGS that were taken. It's the sense of unease & the sense of fear. It's the INCONVENIENCE. It's Chris taking time off of work to deal with a repairman or my fear or making lists for insurance agents. It's thinking about what color a back door should be painted, not to mention the trim and whether we should use trim that matches the original trim or should we go with something new? It's having to learn all about an alarm system to try to keep out the bad guys. It's trying to figure out how much to value Chris's grandmother's pearls for or the diamond from my grandmother's engagement ring. It's not like we can really replace those items. It's shopping for Katie's birthday gifts and wandering over to the Wii games and thinking maybe she would like a new one, and then remembering we no longer even have a Wii because someone stole it. It's having to listen to Chris tell the girls that some people broke into the house and stole some things from us and having my almost 6 year old immediately tear up, wondering if they stole "Mickey," her favorite Mickey Mouse blanket. It's watching your 9 year old act like she's okay but thinking she is probably more upset than she wants to let on. It's watching your 20 month old laugh and play in the backyard mere minutes after this happened and marveling at the way a baby can be right with you and not have a clue the seriousness of what's going on.
Tomorrow will mark 1 week since it happened. I keep thinking, "What if......?" What if I had stayed home to take a nap because I had the house to myself? Being a stay at home mom, this doesn't happen often and is a rare treat. Make that WAS. I'm not sure I want to be here alone anymore. What if Chris & Ellie had come home earlier and found these people in our driveway carrying out a pillowcase full of our grandmothers' things? What if I had come home earlier?
Even though this whole thing stinks, there have been so many blessings through it all. The word, "humbled" came to my mind today when I received one of these blessings. I was sitting at my desk at work where I only work typically 1 day a week for just a few hours. The secretary who usually sorts the mail brought me an envelope. It was addressed to me c/o my workplace. It was postmarked Houston. I was curious as to what it could be b/c I don't receive personal mail at work other than pay stubs. I opened it up to find a letter, written but not signed. Inside the letter was cash. Cash that the person said they hoped would help me recover something that was stolen. It made note of the fact that I cannot be replaced nor can my precious wonderful family. Wow. I was a bit stunned & shocked and tossed it to my friend sitting next to me to read and then had to tell my other friend who wanted to know what we were gawking at. LOL We all marveled at how nice that was.
Seriously stunned. Shocked. Surprised. Humbled. Blessed. Thankful.
Who does something like this? Someone who loves my sweet family and wants us to know it but someone who does it with no intention of being recognized for what they have done for us. My first instinct is to try to figure out who it is from, but if the person wanted us to know they would have told us.
I read the note to Gracie & Katie tonight and told them about the money. I want them to know that someone was so sweet to us and talked about how WE should do the same for others when they need it.
Last week, a friend called and told us a very specific way he wanted to help us. It wasn't even really presented as an option. He wanted to do something to help us & had an immediate way to do it, so he called with the offer and delivered something to us 2 days later that helped our girls deal with this just a bit easier. Well, that makes it seem like too small of a thing. It was a really big thing he did, and we appreciate it so much. He didn't just think that he SHOULD do something. He didn't just TALK about doing something. He just DID it. I already had a great amount of respect for him, as did Chris, but this just confirmed our respect & admiration for him (and his wife!)
We have 2 friends who spent many hours on Friday and Saturday working to put in our new back door since our other one was useless. They had other plans for Friday evening, but they changed their plans to hammer, saw, sweep, and ponder as they installed a back door. Their wives included the girls & I in their dinner plans and took the girls for ice cream and sat on our couches with me late into the night just keeping me company and letting their children play with my children. Another friend provided some comedic relief during the night as well!
I have a friend who has told me to expect some dinners from her; to use whenever we need them.
I got a phone call from the principal at G&K's school today. At first, I was a bit worried, wondering what in the world could be going on. Neither Gracie nor Katie are the type to be sent to the principal's office! She had heard what happened from one of the teachers at the school. Not even one of Gracie or Katie's teachers. (I think she is one of the Student Council sponsors, so she has been with Gracie some.) Mrs. J called to express her concern and see if there was anything they could do for us. I have heard some parents complaining about her for one thing or another, but I've never had a problem with her and really appreciate her taking the time to call about this. Things like that earn major points in my book!
2 of neighbors came over, bringing cake & gifts to help us feel better. They included a sweet note along with their phone numbers. We've lived here over a year and a half and had never met them. They live about 2 or 3 houses away.
I am mindful & appreciative of those who have offered their help and prayed for us.
All of these kindnesses serve as a reminder of who we should be loving like. Christ. We should love others as Christ loves us. He died for us. God sent Christ, his son, to die for us. It makes me think about how I respond to people in need. Friends who are hurting. Friends who need a 'pick me up.'
Honestly, I MISS having a flat screen tv in our bedroom. I miss hearing Chris & the girls laughing as they play the Wii. I miss having my own laptop. I do. But you know what? Those are THINGS. My family is safe. Scared & nervous maybe, but SAFE. All of these THINGS aren't near as important as we sometimes think they are.
One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:11. "For I know the plans I have for you..........." God knew we would be burglarized before it even happened. He knew we would be upset but knew we would be safe. He knows things we will learn from this. Hopefully, we will learn what HE has planned for us to learn and will put some things into practice.
I'm not saying we won't replace any of the things we lost. I'm saying that I think I'm looking at some things differently. I'm saying that I want my daughters to value PEOPLE more than THINGS. I want my daughters to grow up automatically offering help to people. I want to do better at that MYSELF.
I want to NOT BE SCARED in my own house. I want to feel at PEACE and comfortable again. I know it will come. It's been less than a week.
I am thankful for GOD keeping us SAFE. I am thankful for all of our friends who love us. I am thankful for the opportunity to grow & learn. I'm not saying I want it to happen again (LOL) but it DID happen, so we might as well learn from it!