It's been more than a year now since my keyboard and I spent much time together. For any who I may have upset by my hiatus, I apologize. I had a whole lot of "life"bombard me in the last year and while writing would have been very therapeutic, I was too raw to put much of it down in uplifting eloquence.
When I first stopped writing in November of '11 I was struggling with the worst morning sickness five pregnancies ever produced. Having four boys prior and many friends and family hoping for a girl, I tried to keep it to myself how terribly ill I felt so they wouldn't take it as a sure sign of our family finally getting a baby girl. After the Christmas season we prayerfully made the choice to homeschool our oldest boy (watch for a post about God changing my heart in that area!), which then of course required more of my daytime focus and caused more night time exhaustion. February brought a trip to the west coast to try and comfort my dad and say our farewells to his wife as she neared the end of her battle with colon cancer. Two weeks after my return would begin the real roller coaster ride that defined our 2012...
March 22, 2012, our fifth baby, Tobias, was stillborn at 32 weeks. The cause is unknown but speculated to have been where his cord was attached to the placenta (marginal insertion, for all you medical types out there). I'm still crafting the post for this one because it was so painful but so profoundly spiritual at the same time.
Two weeks later my dad's wife passed. Two more weeks, a friend from church passed. Two more weeks, our church was divided and split. Two more weeks, another friend from church passed as well as some friendships suffered with the division. Somewhere in all that God called my husband to resign his position within the church and for us to move to a new church home. (There will probably be posts about all that as well...)
About two months brought four deaths, one church split, and many broken hearts. Our world was upside down. Thankfully we knew right where God was leading us for a new "home" but there was time that we needed to breathe, recover, heal, find our footing and process the hard lessons in surrender, boldness, humility, grace, forgiveness, and perspective. Several months later, my husband in a new position with our new church family, a new school year (where we are now homeschooling all the boys), a visit from my mom and step-dad in December, and now, a new calendar year... I believe we are getting settled in our new normal. I can't fathom how we could have got through all we did without the "peace that surpasses all understanding".
Where I grew up west of the Cascade mountains, it rains. A lot. Not like the kind of rain here in Florida... as if God just up-ended a bucket over our heads... No, it drizzles. For days. Weeks. Even a month or more solid of gray, gloomy, drizzle. However, the summers are absolutely PERFECT! Low humidity, comfortable temps, light breezes, breathtaking sunsets, life in full-bloom...
I know a lot of people outside the Northwest don't understand why anyone would want to live there. (In fact, there are people IN the Northwest who don't understand why they themselves choose to live there!) Ministry, parenthood, homeschooling, they're all similar... So many tough days that it's easy to question why you do it. It's the beauty. Even though the ratio of beauty to gloom, numerically speaking, is at a significant deficit, the beauty is so beautiful that the gloom is worth it. The promise of sunshine is enough to get you through the rain storm and the rain storms often intensify the brilliance of the beauty on the other side.
Glimpses of Heaven to get you through the trials of life.
Rays of SONshine between clouds of tribulation.
God has held me in my storm, He has set my feet on dry, solid ground, He has made me promises. He will do the same for you, dear one.
Today I'm praying for/about:
Today, (in no particular order) I'm praying for...
- Fresh ideas, inspiration and diligence to post regularly again
- My dad fighting mesothelioma too far away for me to hug him
- Children, parents, and teachers everywhere preparing to return to school
- My single friends as they seek God for His guidance in relationships
- Broken relationships; for grace to abound where grace has been withheld
- You; I'm praying for every single person who views this blog.
Thank you for standing in agreement with me for these precious souls!