May 13, 2016

We've Made It Two Months

Two.months. It's already been two months since Kevin breathed his last here on earth and stepped into the presence of his Savior. Some days it feels like just yesterday, some days it feels so long ago. There have been a lot of ups and downs. He's been missed like crazy, by us and many others. There has been shock, fear, doubt, joy, tears, laughter, confusion, anxiety, and pretty much any other emotion you can think of in this house in the last two months. And not just from our tween daughter!

If you've been keeping up with my blog, then you pretty much know what's going on around here. I've done my best to be honest and real because, let's face it, fake helps no one. The days are always better than the nights, when I am finally alone with my thoughts and memories and fears and doubts. That's usually when the tears come. That's usually when I feel the most overwhelmed. During the day I can stay busy and not think about things too much, but at night, there's not much else to do but think. If I can focus on the here and now and not get too far ahead of myself, I can usually keep things in check. I totally understand now why Christ instructed us to not worry about tomorrow. Worrying about tomorrow, thinking too far ahead, only steals the JOY from the present moment and brings fear and worry and doubt about the unknown and a lot of things over which you have no control.

I have tried to be better about knowing when I need to say no and only say those best yeses. I admit, I don't like that. It makes me feel like a failure and a slacker. It makes me feel like I'm putting others in a bind and expecting them to do my work for me. It completely goes against my people pleasing, worker bee personality, but I know that it's good for me and good for those around me. I feel confident there are those that haven't been able to use their gifts and do what God has created them to do because I've just been doing everything, even things that my gifts are not suited for and I have not been called to do. My stepping down will allow them to be obedient and allow them and their ministry to thrive. Admittedly, there is fear in this, too. Fear that people will see I am not nearly as needed as I want them to think I am. Fear that they will see my skill set is very limited and specific and that I am not of much use at this point. I know these are not thoughts given to me by my Creator who loves me and knows me better than anyone else. It's hard work to push away those lies.

I am thankful and blessed to be able to say that I've only had one complete, total, "are you going to survive this" meltdown. I am still frustrated that it happened on a night when I was supposed to be celebrating a sweet friend heading to the mission field and I couldn't pull myself out of it in time to be with her at a special time. However, I know for a fact that the only reason I can say this has only happened once isn't because I'm not sad or not missing Kevin, but because I have the best family and friends on the planet. I can text them at any hour. I can call them for anything. No request or thought is too silly and they will be here at a moment's notice, regardless of what they have going on in their own lives. This has kept me safe, grounded, and focused. I don't know how people survive grief and the loss of loved ones without this kind of support. They've sent scriptures just when I needed them. They've listened to the Spirit every time He's told them to pray for our family. They've shared sweet, precious, funny, and spiritual memories of Kevin just when I needed them. They've dropped by to say hi and stayed to help me fold laundry or make my bed. They've done pretty much anything you can imagine. And they'd do it all again. And for any friend. They love God and love people well.

Honest moment here (I've had a lot of those lately): since Kevin passed away I've taken to doing pretty much everything but eating breakfast in my room. I get ready in here, including doing my make up in my room. We even did most of our school in here that last month. It's comfortable, easy, and warm. (The warmness factor is huge to me. I am always cold and the basement has been so cold I can't stay down there very long!) We even do our night time reading, thankful jar, and prayer time in here. It makes me feel so lazy, yet so at home at the same time. (And I have no idea why I felt the need to share that with you.) Oh, hey, on a side note, I made my bed by myself for the first time in two months. Big step. Huge.I did shed a few tears while doing it, but I survived! I've even washed, dried, folded, and put away numerous loads of laundry. It's the little things, people. Step by step. One foot in front of the other. And some days, that's much harder than it should be. BUT GOD gives grace upon grace and keeps me moving.

I still find it hard to think of myself as a single parent. Or even single. I can't imagine ever taking my rings off for more than making noodles or doing papier mache. It's hard to imagine visiting his family without him. Some days it just feels like he's on a business trip and will be home in a few days. The kids have really done so well. I am so proud of them. They've asked some hard questions, but for the most part they feel a genuine joy that daddy is no longer sad or in pain. They love sharing funny stories and memories of daddy and we've had a lot of laughs, even though they are sometimes mingled with tears. Ethan has already asked if we can celebrate Father's Day the way we celebrated Kevin's birthday. I guess I need to start working on that, huh? (I was totally not expecting him to ask that, but it warms my heart to know that he enjoyed serving others and wants to do it again.)

We've had a lot of great conversations about heaven, mostly due to the fact that we're studying it in Family Quest right now. We've teared up a few times (me more than the kids), but the JOY that lights up their faces every time we're asked to list what we think might be in heaven and both of them immediately answer, "Daddy!" Oh, how I beg God daily for their salvation. And I pray that it's not just so they can see daddy again, but because God has placed that call and desire in their hearts.

I am looking forward to a laid back summer that includes lots of time with friends we don't get to see very often. I am praying that it is restful and energizing so I can have the brain power and excitement I need to start our school year off right this fall. (Here's hoping I can get the office cleaned out in time to make it a school room before we actually start school. Right now, that feels like a pipe dream!)

I am so thankful to all the amazing ways the Lord has provided for us. And continues to provide for us. I couldn't even remember them all to list them here, but I wish I could. He's paid bills, provided gift cards, sent meals, you name it. For the near future, He's provided the money we need to allow me to continue homeschooling. As of now, there's still not really much left over for saving or a rainy day, so I know the time is quickly approaching when I am going to have to get out there and find at least a part-time job so I can assure we can be ready for any financial surprises that may come our way. This scares me to death. To.death. I haven't worked outside my home (or inside my home for anyone other than my family) for seven years. I don't even know what I would put on a resume. I have some great skills, but they aren't really marketable skills. At least not around here. I know this is another way that God is asking me to lay something at His feet and trust that He will provide. I want to do this, but y'all, that's so hard to do. To really do. And mean it. And leave it there. Father, I need You to fill me with the courage to trust You to provide, in whatever way You know is best. And I have to be honest, Lord, You're going to have to do this every day.

Father, continue to mold and shape me into the mother and woman You want me to be. Give me a love and passion for Your word. Give me a hunger and thirst for righteousness. Lord, give me the energy and JOY to love and lead my children well. Teach me to make the most of my every moment; to teach You to my children, to draw close to You by prayer and time in the Word, and even the time to eat well and exercise so I can be healthy to do all You call me to do. Oh, Father, pour out Your salvation on Sophie and Ethan. Let today be the day of salvation in our home. Adopt them and give them a deep love for you and a desire to obey and serve You with every day You give them. Lord, give me an excitement for heaven. Remove my fear of death and meeting You face to face. Replace that fear with JOY, hope, and passionate excitement for real life to begin. Give me an excitement and love for this world You have placed me in for this time, that they may see You in me and call on You and accept Your free gift of salvation. Father, I want to live well for you with every breath I have, but I don't know just how to do that. I feel lost and small and insignificant and passionless and confused. Use me anyway? Bring glory to Yourself through my inadequacies. Use my weaknesses to point my children to You. Use my weaknesses to point those I meet to You. Every.day.

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