Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Family Update . . . and Reflecting on the Journey

I didn't realize how long it had been since I posted . . . . The days do seem to slip away from me at times.

Life has been incredibly busy . . . I'm not sure it will ever really slow down.  I had been looking forward to the 'relaxed pace' of summer, but there was so much to be done that it felt as though it just sped past me.

Summer was good, just very busy as I said.  My youngest was the only one of my three who was still young enough to attend the basketball clinic that my children have gone to for the past 8 years . . . hard to believe he only has one more summer that he's still able to attend!  My daughter was disappointed that she had outgrown the program, and so she decided to contact the man who runs the program and ask if she could help.  He allowed her to do so, and I think she really enjoyed being on the 'other side' of the program.  It was good for her.

We had our usual Vacation Bible Time (VBT) at church, and everyone had their place.  This was my oldest's first year of being a helper.  Changes keep coming along. . .

Immediately after VBT, we left on vacation.  It was a good trip!  It is always good to get to go back to Pensacola and see friends . . . and always so hard to say goodbye when the visit is over!  We split up our drive home over 3 days and had some fun along the way.  We stopped at the Mark Twain Cave in Hannibal, MO.  The cave tour was a first for all of us.  The last day of our drive home, we were able to stop in and see some very dear friends.  That was a great blessing, too.

In August, we had camp.  This was Nathaniel's first year as a worker, and Jonathan's first year to get to go.  I believe they each had a good time.

Nathaniel also played softball on our church team again this summer.  His skills have improved, and it was noticed.

The remainder of our summer was spent on getting much-needed projects done.  And in the next blink of an eye, it seemed, it was time for school to start again.  This year, Nathaniel is a 10th grader, Esther is a 7th grader, and Jonathan is a 5th grader --  It is my last year of having an child in elementary.

This summer, we found out that Esther has some congenitally-missing teeth . . . so this fall we started the process with braces to properly align what is there and have her ready for implants when she gets older.

I was also able to get Jonathan in for a vision-function exam.  His eyesight is 20/20, but I knew there was more to the picture.  The eye fatigue is too great - and it gets to that level too quickly and too frequently.  The exam was very interesting.  It confirmed what I had concluded through observation and also gave me more insight to what is really going on.  This week, we start vision therapy.  They promise me the change will be dramatic.  I am praying that is the case.

We just ended volleyball season for Esther, and in a few short weeks, we will start up with basketball season for Esther and Nathaniel - the schedule is bound to be even crazier through all of that.  I'm enjoying these few short weeks of no sports schedule!

 As I've been sorting through things lately, I've been reminded of all we went through three years ago.  (FB likes to remind me, as well.)  I don't want those memories to weigh me down -- I want them to remind me to look upward.  Those were certainly hard days -- it was three years ago today that I was told that it was very likely that I was entering the final hours I would have with my husband . . . .   God saw fit to give us several more weeks.  It was the beginning of a very strange time -- A time for which I struggle to find the words to describe.  However, it was also a time of God's amazing power blazing brightly.

Amidst all that we faced, God gave His Peace that truly passes our understanding.  Aside from a few moments when I needed to realign my thoughts, there was no fear. Though there was a tremendous loss - both while Trent was still with us and after he was gone - there was no despair.  There was a settled peace amidst all of that. I still chuckle to myself when people comment about me being so strong through all of that - and I remind them that it wasn't my strength at all -- it was all of God's strength.  Through the depths of my weakness, He showed His incredible Power!

I never want to forget God's working in our lives through all that was - and has been.  God made His Presence so real to us - His Grace was more than abundant  - His Strength was amazing - His Peace was beyond words. 

We have an AWESOME God!  (I don't say that lightly.)  In my Sunday School class, I try to emphasize to my girls how truly INCREDIBLE God is!  God made each of us individually - and for a purpose.  God has a plan for each of our lives.  God loves us more than we could ever comprehend.  To top it off . . . HE NEVER CHANGES!   He will always love us!  

It is easy to get our eyes on our circumstances, but we need to never lose sight of Who God is and all that He does!  (Have you reflected lately on Who God is?)

So today - as I write these words - I allow a few tears to fall.  They are not tears of sadness.  They are tears of thankfulness and of being overwhelmed with God's Goodness to us.  For those who have followed me in this journey, if you shed tears today, I hope they will be the same.  I hope you will join me in thanking God for Who He is and for all He has done for us.