Well Hello Again! It has been WAY TO LONG since I have shared anything here so I thought this would be a good time to let you know what we've been up to. Oh and Happy March!! I know many of you are enjoying a rather cold day or should I say DAYS. Here in Austin it is dreary and cold, I think the weather forgot this is the South and that we usually have some warmer temps by now!!
Well the last 5 months seemed to be a blur and a frenzy of activity. One of my biggest challenges and the thing that keeps me on my knees the most is single parenting. Oh my goodness it is the hardest thing I have ever done! I could not take one step or move a muscle in the right direction if I did not have the incredible strength of my BIG, loving, capable and very wise God, who when I'm plugged into Him (by spending time in His word and prayer) gives me His strength and wisdom to parent well and by His grace I think Jackson and Bethany are growing and developing into sweet, kind, respectful, God pleasing and people loving kids. Also, God continues to LOVE on me by so many of you who support, pray and encourage us! I cannot say enough how grateful I am for that!!
I can hardly believe but Jackson is almost 12 and I just went to an Open House for Middle School, WHOA!! How in the world did this happen?? I promise he was a chubby cheeked two-year old JUST yesterday!! Y'all pray for me, my Mom's heart can hardly take it. It is happening WAY. TO. FAST!! Jackson is still enjoying football, he plays mostly quarterback and has a great arm. I LOVE that Todd was able to have some years teaching him his love of the game and few pointers on throwing and catching. Can I also just say that one way God has filled in the gap in Jackson's life is through his coaches. We have been beyond blessed by the coaches God has placed in Jackson's life. They are great teachers, leaders and have been a BIG source of encouragement and exactly the right fit for my boy. God is SO GOOD!! Jackson has grown into a humble and kind leader and also overcame a BIG fear when he gave a speech in front of his peers at the beginning of the school year to run for Student Council President. He was elected!! My heart is so proud of him for overcoming his fears and I know his Dad would be over the top proud of him as well. He is more of an introvert so this really is a BIG DEAL!!
One of Jackson's favorite moments of the Fall was going to his first ever Dallas Cowboys game, OH YES we are... BIG COWBOY fans! (Actually Jackson is a fan of most sports and most afternoons after school you can find him having a snack in front of the TV watching, Sports Center =)
As I shared the game with my son I couldn't help but think about the biggest Cowboy fan I think I have ever known. Todd had jokingly said that he learned about the Cowboys before he learned about Jesus. Oh MY!! To say Todd was a BIG Fan was an understatement! My heart wished he could be sharing that moment with his son. Nonetheless Jackson and I had a great time and the BEST part was, our tickets and parking passes were a gift from a friend's brother and was just one more way God has shown us His goodness and love!
Then there is my little princess Bethany Grace, oh my is that girl a little comedian, who can be quite dramatic but most of all has the kindest most gentle heart! She just turned 7 and thanks to her Nana and Aunt Shelley had the Ultimate American Doll Experience. WOW that place is something!! Her JOY is still abounding and she teaches me so much by her love and hope in God! Her personality, humor and the way she loves on people reminds me a lot of Todd which is so cool!
SO with three and a half years under my belt on this road of widowhood I can say that I am settling into my new life. My old life which was turned upside down and quickly became anything but normal or had any semblance of my old life is starting to become a bit more right side up. These "new shoes" I had to choose to walk in are starting to fit better but it has definitely taken a lot of wear and I've encountered many blisters along the way. I am figuring out some new things about myself and can say with a confidence that there is PURPOSE in the pain and loss. The biggest difference I see is that with each passing day my heart that was once throbbing in pain and pulverized in a million tiny pieces, by God's healing and with the passing of time is beginning to feel a bit like it once did, it is becoming healthy and whole again which seems crazy and hard to believe I once couldn't stop the tears even if I wanted to. I still have hard days and I may always have moments or days when I miss my old life. It was sweet, secure and seemed like it just made sense. I realize that my heart will always have a slight ache and longing for Todd and my old life but as new memories are created my heart is storing up those alongside the precious old ones of the past. I have realized just how much my life with Todd has molded and shaped me into the person I am today. I am a better women, mother, friend, lover of Jesus and people because of the profound impact and example Todd had on my life.
One widower recently said that his loss has forever marked and changed him in many ways but he is choosing to "Live On." I like that and by God's grace I am too!
I had often wondered if it was possible for a heart who had loved the same man for 24 years, the man who was her high school sweetheart, the one she had grown up with and was her soul mate, COULD LOVE AGAIN? I had many well-meaning people say, "you are so young, you will love again or Todd would want you to find love again and move on." I could barely breathe let alone think about THAT! Yet I find myself writing this with a heart full of love and affection for a godly, kind, sweet, thoughtful and wonderful man. One who has been a sweet gift from God. He has blessed my heart and life in ways I wasn't sure was even possible. So for those of you who have wondered... after such a terrible loss, "can I love again?" I would say, YES! God is still writing this part of my story and we are trusting Him and seeking His will every step of the way.
I am currently working on compiling some of my blog posts along with other stories and life experiences into a book. I find that my time seems to be flying by way to fast and there are definitely NOT ENOUGH hours in the day to get it all done! My goal is to have it completed this year, oh BOY did I just write that?!
Thank you to those who have reached out here or on Facebook. I cherish your words of encouragement and prayers most of all! Please stay in touch!
I cling to this promise with Hope and Expectation... "I am still confident of this, that I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!" Psalm 27:13
May the goodness of the Lord continue to shine forth as you and I Live For More,