January 29, 2017

So....It's Been Awhile...

I haven't written in awhile. I don't plan out blog posts and don't often think them through beforehand. Most times, the Lord just moves and gives me words and I type them and share them.

The last month or so has been long, hard, full, joyous, and every emotion in between. We were blessed with lots of time with family and precious friends. I had the joy of taking a cruise and being blown away by the beauty that God created in this amazing world and in each person He fashioned with love and care. It was time that was restful, sweet, anticipated, and much needed.

But I was not prepared for such a rough re-entry back into our routine when I got home. I had to take the whole week off school when I got back because (to steal a popular Christian phrase right now) I just had no can evens left. I can't even explain it. I didn't actually feel overwhelmed with grief or any more overwhelmed with missing Kevin than I did before I left, I just couldn't get myself functioning much more than doing what was minimally needed to keep us alive. And read aloud. I could keep reading aloud. Which we all love. That's my strength. I am great at reading aloud and we've done a lot of that in the last three weeks.

I read the book Teaching From Rest: A Homeschooler's Guide to Unshakable Peace over Christmas break and it's one of the main things the Lord has used to keep me from losing my mind and feeling like a #homeschoolmomfail these last three weeks. It reminded me that I can have no rest at all if I am not resting in the One who is perfect peace. I must be intentional about time in the Word and time in prayer. (It turns out living a restful life, or school life, looks like a lot of work on paper because it's so against my human nature!) It's also knowing that doing every lesson in every book is not a formula for successful school or children. There is, in fact, no formula. If you know me, you know that just the thought of not finishing a book in a year sends me over the edge. But y'all, we have several books we most likely won't finish this year and it's hard for me to believe the truth that the world won't end, my kids won't be more dumb than when we started, and that it will all be OK. All three of us needed a grace year this year, my heart knew it, but my mind just wouldn't let us do it. So, this week we started doing things a little differently. We do our best to get as much done as possible each day (putting priority on Bible, math, science, history, and writing) and what doesn't get done, we can work on tomorrow. And who says learning has to stop because summer came? We can work all year by doing a few weeks of school, then take a week off, then a few more weeks of school, then take a week off, and it will all be good. One of the joys of homeschooling is not having to move at a set pace and doing what our family needs when we need it. This does not come naturally built in to my DNA, but we've tried it for one week and we all had a much better week of school as a result. Here's hoping week two is just as good!!

I have to get back to regular running and exercise. My brain needs it. My heart needs it. My attitude needs it. And my pants need it! I am so thankful for my cousin, Hillary Jarvis and her awesome HillaryJ YouTube Workout Channel. She has workouts for anyone and everyone. I even do them at the foot of my bed in my room most of the time because...well...that's as far as my feet will carry me at the beginning of the day. She is tough and will work you hard, but you'll feel so much better when you're done. And she's so funny! You'll burn calories from laughing and working out!

I am super excited to be going to South Africa to serve alongside a dear, sweet friend and her new precious family. I've been excited to go for years and can't believe the time has come. I'm sure I'll be sharing more about that in the months to come, so, stay tuned!

In just over a month we will be at the one year mark of living without Kevin. I wasn't sure what to call this day. Saying it's the one year anniversary of Kevin's death just didn't feel right. It was a death, but more than that, it was life for him. True life. Whole life. Healed life. Perfect life. That's what I want to remember. That's what I want my kids to remember. That's what I want us to celebrate, in some small way, each year. I want it to be a day of joy and hope and peace, not the day of shock and pain and heartache that March 10, 2016 was. I have two names for this coming day: #perfecthealingday #ebenezerday. I have no idea what we'll do to celebrate, but, oh how I pray it is a day of rejoicing, not mourning!