Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Claiming God's Promises

II Corinthians 4:7-9 says "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;"

God promises His strength, even when I feel so very weak.
God promises He will never forsake me, even when I feel so very lonely.
God promises heaven one day, even when I feel hopeless.

Last week we had Vacation Bible School at our church, and although every day made me miss Todd more, God provided a good week, and provided the strength needed to get us through. Praise the Lord!

The last few days have been filled with major tasks that seem impossible and that make me miss Todd even more, yet once again God's promises of strength and enablement have been met.

At the end of the last school year, I had to evaluate the children's education and make some huge decisions, alone, without Todd's guidance and help. I really wanted to homeschool Toby (kindergarten) and Winter (5th grade), so I began the process and paperwork and ordering of books to head that direction. As August draws ever more near, I am fearful that I made the wrong decision, and I miss Todd. I wonder if I can do this without him. I also decided to change schools for Nathan (12th grade) and Trina (11th grade). Yesterday I tried to enroll them in a different school, and I froze. I cried. I missed Todd. So many memories, and of course the first person we met knew Todd and his siblings. I didn't know the correct response to one of the questions "Child lives with both parents? Mother only? Father only? etc..." so I put "Mother only." The lady asked me if I had any court papers. When I questioned her, she pointed to "Mother only" then saw later Todd's name under the father's information. Just saying it, saying the words, "Todd passed away..." is surreal and is honestly still painful.

Sometimes I wonder if it will ever be ok to say those words or make decisions or even get through a day without it hurting so badly. I've heard "time heals..." but it doesn't. The more I do, the more I try to accomplish, the older the kids get...the more it hurts. I miss Todd: my best friend in the whole world, my dear husband, my confidant, my hero, our leader, my love, my encourager, my secret sharer, my soul mate... I miss him with all my heart.

Yet I am reminded that this pain is for a season, that Christ has promised to return one day, and that because of Calvary, I will spend eternity in heaven with Him, and reunited with Todd. So, until that time, I must (for the kids' sake and for God's glory) keep going, no matter how much it hurts.

Thank you, again, for those of you who pray for us! It means so much.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Some good "medicine"

"A merry heart does good, like medicine..." Proverbs 17:22a

Today I received a double-dose of some good medicine! I was blessed with two special visits, each bringing a "merry heart" and lots of laughter. It felt good to laugh today. This has been another long week, and today was such a blessing to be able to laugh.

Sue, my cousin and good friend, came and brought lunch. This is the cousin/friend who helped me take care of Todd when he was so sick. She is like a bolt of sunshine and can light up a room like no one else I know. She brought a lot of smiles, but she also was
a huge encouragement today. She reminded me that there is no "time table" for grief. She acknowledged the deep and painful sorrow that I still feel in missing Todd, and assured me that this was perfectly "normal" ...17 wonderful years can not just be "forgotten" or "gotten over" in a few short years. It felt good to cry, and it felt good to laugh, too.

Then there was Amy, who came with her family and bought us pizza for dinner. It was easy to talk about Todd in front of this family. We didn't feel awkward or uncomfortable mentioning his name. Amy has been an incredible friend, always there, always encouraging, and always directing my thoughts to my Savior and God. She's great. But she needs improvement in winning
gracefully. My Dad bought the kids an early Christmas present this week....a Wii. I made the mistake of beating Amy (gracefully, btw) in a game of tennis, and she in return, beat me and let everyone know it...harsh. But I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. Her husband helped in that area as well. He's hysterical, and I am so thankful for the laughter he brought to our home today.

Tonight I am thanking God for the blessings of a merry heart and for the double-dose of good medicine I received today. I thank God for my cousin, Sue. And I thank God for Amy and Brent. What a great day! God is good.

Monday, July 7, 2008

A long weekend

It's been awhile since I've been able to think of anything good to write, or have even felt like writing. However, I am thanking God tonight for my family and for Todd. Our kids are growing so fast, but I am so proud of every one of them. Lately Toby keeps saying, "Let's talk about Daddy." We cry together, but mostly we laugh, and then we talk about who will kiss and hug him first in heaven.

Yet as we talk about heaven one day, I am always reminded that our first and foremost joy will be in seeing our Savior. I have a feeling (especially after our pastor's messages lately) that I (and all of us) will be flat on our faces before Him. But what an awesome time that will be! To be in His presence, to see Him, to talk with Him... wow. For me, I have the added blessing of being reunited with the love of my life, too. To stand (or be face down) next to Todd in heaven....wow again. Sometimes I think I am bit too anxious. The older kids get nervous when I talk with any passion about it. One time when I was driving and noticing the beautiful sunset and brilliant colors in the sky, I asked all the kids if they knew for sure they were on their way to heaven (thinking about Christ's return one day in the clouds). I asked about how, when, and their assurance of salvation. As the van grew quiet, Abe (sitting next to me in the passenger's seat) softly asked, "Mom, why did you ask us that?" I tried to explain, and he said, "Bad timing, Mom. Not when you're driving down the highway at 60 mph with a van load of kids!" oops

This weekend was a long and difficult one. I don't know if I ever wrote about the Fourth of July. That was when Todd proposed to me. I'll always remember the day we spent together on the beach, eating on the boardwalk, watching the kites in the field, and finally the fireworks. During the grand finale, with all the explosions and excitement and music, Todd got down on one knee and tried to get my attention. Admittingly I was annoyed. He was missing the best part and trying to get me to miss it as well! When I glanced down, I nearly fainted. He was holding a ring and saying something I couldn't hear. Later I found out he had been rehearsing a speech for weeks, poor guy. He says I never said yes, but I never heard him ask! We stopped at a little restaurant on the way home, and I showed everyone in the place my ring. I remember looking at it all the way home from the shore, snuggled under his right arm, feeling like nothing could ever be better than how I felt that night.

Then Sunday was another 6th, marking 38 months living without Todd. It's been a long, difficult, and lonely weekend, but one where God felt close. I am so thankful for a God I can trust with my whole being: my life, my emotions, my salvation. God is good. He is the only One sustaining me, the only way through these dark days. I can't wait to see Him and to be with Him (and Todd!) for eternity. One day...