because people do change

because people do change

Spring is trying hard this year to be my friend . . . but it’s failing miserably.

From hermetically-sealed enclosed spaces, I stare out at blue sky and sunshine. We’ve had a lovely Northwest spring tease. But so very, very polleny.

Someday, I will remember I get allergies every spring when the trees begin to blossom and start taking allergy meds the moment I see the tiniest bit of green.

Which reminds me . . . I forgot to plant sweet peas. Again. Actually, I’ve forgotten to plant anything. Because one day it’s winter and the next day it’s spring and there really is no difference between the two because below 40 might as well be 40 below to me.

So here I sit, head full of allergies, exhausted from binge catching up on to-do lists of things that must be done NOW. I always wait till the last minute, and then I bury myself until its done.

Oh, and I also forgot I have a bookshelf style greenhouse. I got it for my birthday last year, and I forgot about it — of course — because it sits on the back porch and is entirely visible through my kitchen window. I think I even told the kids to set it there because otherwise, I’d forget.

Once upon a time, I had gardens. We even planted seeds — in the ground in California, indoors in little soil pods in Washington.

34-year-old me, frustrated with trying to grow tomatoes in Tacoma, is jealous of 44 year-old me in Poulsbo. And she’s slightly mad because she would have had all sorts of seedlings in that green house right now, ready to put in the dirt.

Well, she has one more night to be jealous of 44 year old me. Then she gets to be jealous of 45. And she is desperately jealous. Believe me, I know. She wrote her life in journals. And I’ve been reading them again, writing our story.

If 34 year old me had known it would be ten years before she was flooded and amazed with the realization of how much her life had changed, she wouldn’t have been able to put one foot in front of the other. Ten years is terribly long, long time went you’re waiting for things to be better.

Twelve years ago, we moved to Washington for Dave to go to seminary to become a pastor . . . which happened this year, on January 1.

Two devastating job losses, two stints in rehab, six major relapses, food stamps, homelessness and six years of painstakingly rebuilding life from messy ruins is what 34 year old me has to look forward to.

Best to let her have her garden . . . a tiny piece of serenity in a world spinning violently out of control. 44 year old me does not envy her.

* * * * *

44-year-old-for-one-more-day me has been waking up this week full of gratitude for a husband who takes such good care of me, even when I’m a miserable chore of a hacking crone . . . which sums up how I sound and look today.

Most mornings now, I wake up to fresh coffee and the rattle of keys  . . . Dave, going to drive our oldest boy into town for zero hour. When he returns, we talk about the day and he makes himself eggs for breakfast, makes himself lunch, irons his own clothes (he’s always done that), and prays over me and for all our life and loves before he walks out the door, early — as usual — for work.

After work, he does more driving kids when I can’t — and sometimes even when I can, but he’s just very kind — and an hour at the Y (his only “me” time as far as I can tell). His reward in all this is a great relationship with his daughter and three sons, 45 pounds lost, and the love and trust of his wife.

None of this happened overnight. For six years and five months, he’s taken one step at a time in the right direction — rebuilding our home brick by brick. Faithful in little to faithful in much. And he loves people and often says and does things that are hard but right to say and do, and I am startled at how he is the man 34 year old me wanted so, so badly for him to be.

Oh, and he leaves the boys chore lists.

So I don’t have to think about cleaning today. So I can write.

* * * * *

And so I write hope today instead of being mad at myself for who I was supposed to be when I woke up tomorrow: 20 pounds lighter and at least last year’s “Do it all in 2012 2013″ to-do list-of-things-that-should-have-been-done-a-decade-ago done.

I write this hope for 45 year old me who can take a step each day in the right direction, too.



11 thoughts on “because people do change”

  • Ah Deb! I stumbeld upon your blog and can’t really see the keys to type this, as tears pool up in my eyes. My husband is in recovery and being the wonderful wife I am, I nag him at every relapse or if I think he has relapsed. I pray, I nag, and I pray that I quit nagging. I bury myself in impossible tasks with impossible deadlines. After reading your post, I feel that perhaps I AM normal? 🙂 Thank you for exposing your life to the world because there are women out there, like me, that desperately need to see that are in fact not alone. Bless you sister…..

    • Tanya,
      Thank you so much for commenting. You’ve reminded my why I blog and inspired me to write here again. Praying for you to have strength to endure this season and for your husband’s success. It’s so hard to let go of their recovery, but so much better when we do. Blessings — Deb

  • Thank you so much for your story…I just stumbled across your article in Christianity today this morning after waking with a heavy soul and found your blog. I am in the mire of it all and not sure your story will be mine…I am ready to walk away from it all. I would love any words of wisdom, hope you would have.

    • Hi Tonya — I’m so sorry I missed your comment. Please take my comments here as just my own experience. I don’t know your details and don’t want to presume anything. Maybe you’ve been on this road for many years with someone who is totally unwilling to change. Every story is different.

      But as for me, I always believed God had better things for Dave than self-destruction. I knew him before drugs took over and watched him change over 15 years.

      It took a lot of years for me to wake up and realize what was going on. But once I knew what we were dealing with, every time things got to that explosive, hopeless place, Dave repented. I believe genuinely. And as simplistic as this sounds, this verse convicted me: “Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.” Luke 17:4

      The problem is, though, Dave didn’t just need forgiveness, he needed help. I know, looking back, there are places where I should have gotten over my pride and reached out for help from people who are trained professionals. There may even have been times I should have kicked him out. But when I was most desperate for answers, and had come to the end of trying to deal with it all on my own, I cried out to God for help and he brought the right people into our life. That was after several years of battling it on our own.

      If you are going to stay with someone who is actually fighting against their addiction, you have to know they are going to have times of failure. I didn’t understand this. You need support for that, just like you would if you were battling cancer. People you can talk to to let out the hurt and anger.

      I would love to hear more of your situation if you are willing to share it.

      You can message me personally if you want to chat more: or through my Facebook page


  • Thanks for your writing, Deb. I always save your blog to read when I have time to concentrate. You are a blessing to me. Keep it up 🙂

  • I love reading your posts, Deb and I deeply appreciate your transparency. We are busy rebuilding our lives in California after 7 years in the Pacific Northwest. I pray that the Beddoe’s journey continues to be redemptive and transparent and joy-filled.

    • Thank you, and thank you so much for your prayers. Rebuilding is a difficult and pride-stripping road, isn’t it? I can choose either to look back and refresh regret or look back and refresh hope.

  • The tears in my eyes and the catch in my throat witness to the deep place your words have touched in my soul.

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