Well, it's August. Next week will mark 5 months since my beloved Kevin passed away. In some ways the time has flown by, in others, it feels like it's been creeping. Most days it just all feels a little surreal. Life will forever be marked with a "before Kevin", "with Kevin", and "after Kevin." I hate everything about that. We were supposed to be going on a cruise in January. We were supposed to see both of our children saved, together. We were supposed to be together until we were too old to scoot around anymore. Alas, that is not the story that God has written for us. Though most days it's really hard to see, His story is always better than any we would write for ourselves. He sees the whole picture, beginning to end, and knows just what it will take to make each of us more like Him. Sometimes, that hurts. At least here on earth. In the end, we'll all agree that it's worth it. In the meantime, it's trusting Him, reading His word, and putting one foot in front of the other each day.
We've had a gloriously blessed summer. We've spent most of it on the road doing a lot of firsts. It would not have been possible without family and friends opening their homes so we didn't have to stay in hotels, covering the cost of plane tickets, allowing us to use their friend passes to amusement/water parks, Read to Succeed providing free Six Flags tickets for my kid's hard work, and so much more that I am sure I will remember after I hit publish. We have tons of pictures and lots of precious memories. Only one small trip left and then we have to really buckle down and get ready for school. (I've given up hope of starting full-time until after Labor Day, so until then I am hoping to get in some review between now and then.)
It's been awhile, so here are some ways you can be praying for us right now:
Rest. I need rest. True, deep rest. I wake up each morning tired and only get more tired throughout the day. I've been sleeping better than ever, but just can't get rid of the tiredness. I know a large part of that is just grief. That's just life right now. But, honestly, it's gotten old and life must continue. School must happen. Laundry must happen. Life must happen. It's really hard to do that when I can barely keep my eyes open.
School. I am asking the Lord to renew my passion for homeschooling. This will in turn make school more fun and exciting for all of us. I need the energy to do more projects and fun things than we did last year. I need to get organized and stick to a plan. I am also asking the Lord to give my children a love for learning. I am praying that the more we get into the school year the more they will just soak it up.
Salvation. Most of you probably know that Sophie gave her life to Christ a little over a week ago! Hallelujah! She has been excited to tell her friends, but very shy about telling anyone else. Would you pray that the Lord will give her courage and boldness to share what God has done? Pray that He would give her the right words to express what God has done (when you are young and there's no huge life change, it's hard to find the words to express how life is different. As one who came to Christ at a young age, I know this struggle first-hand.) We have already seen that her sharing a short little amount with one of her cousins is bearing fruit as he is know seeking Christ and asking about being saved. May this continue each time she shares! May her testimony lead to Ethan seeing his need to accept salvation!
Direction. I feel lost. Like I am just out there floating in the middle of the ocean with no boat, no paddle, and no idea where to go. I truly believe that God will use all this ugly, messy, chaotic grief for His glory, but I have no idea how. I have no idea what next steps He wants me to take or how I can use this to declare Him as I keep moving forward. I know it's early still, but with a new school year starting, the house sorted, and things picking back up again, it feels like the new chapter is truly starting but I have no idea where it's going. Please pray that any unbelief in God's sovereignty and guiding over my life would be gone. Pray that I could step back, let go, and let God lead in every area: school, job, service, everything.
Kevin's Estate. We've run into a little hiccup with Kevin's estate, which means I cannot do some things for a customer that need to be done. They are being very gracious and my lawyer is awesome and will help me get it figured out, but in the meantime, it's really frustrating. And causing me to be scared about the future and wonder whether it will all be resolved as it should be in October. I don't want to fear. I want to bravely trust the God who has proven Himself faithful and true over and over again in the last five months. I have no reason to believe that He will stop providing now. Pray that I will trust, even in the unknown.
Next Tasks. This week I have two things I really need to get done and nothing in me is looking forward to doing them. First, I need to go to the DMV and get a new title without Kevin's name. Everytime I have to turn in a copy of his death certificate is just hard, in so many ways. It's heartbreaking, shameful, and just hard. And it's the DMV. So add those together and it's just no fun! I also need to get prices for his grave marker this week. I know exactly what I want it to say, I just have to actually go and do it. This will make things seem so final. So over. So finished. But it must happen. (Though Kevin would probably have preferred his plot remain anonymous!) Pray that the Lord will grant me strength and, selfishly, no ugly crying in the midst of it. I just want to walk in and do it and get those things checked off the list.
Quiet Time. Quiet times this summer have been very sporadic because we haven't been at home. I am never in routine when I am home. Please pray that I will be able rise at least 30 minutes before the children to have a deeper prayer time. Pray over the quiet time the children and I have, at the same time, but separately. Pray that the Lord will give all three of us a hunger and love for His word. Pray that God will show me how to aid the children in having a meaningful and memorable quiet time.
Bedtime. Another casualty of summer traveling has been our bedtime routine. We had such a sweet time those first few months. Then we hit the road and it all fell apart. Please join me in praying that the Lord will restore that routine. Pray that the Lord will give me an energy and love for the bedtime routine that just doesn't come naturally to me. This is one of the things both kids miss most about Kevin, that time with just him at the end of the day.
Thank you all so much for your love and support through these last 5 months. Words can never express. (And if you haven't gotten a thank you card, I greatly apologize. I have a pile that has literally been sitting on my table for 5 months that I keep forgetting to take to church to hand out. It doesn't mean I am not grateful, just that I'm forgetful.)