Well the kids and I have officially survived another school year. More than survived really. I mean life for the most part seems more "normal." I have settled in to the fact that I am a single Mom raising my two kids without their father. Do I like it, NOT really!! I still miss just about everything about Todd. Loneliness is still there and at times almost seems to consume me, and just when I think I can't take it God sends a gentle wind of encouragement or a reminder that this isn't it! This isn't as good as it gets! Then I smile and think of all the unknown adventures that lie ahead. It at times can still be awkward when for the first time someone realizes that I am a widow. Like the second to the last dance class Bethany had, I was chatting with a Mom who I had spoken to quite a bit over the year and she was asking me about the dance team. I said, "I think it will just be too hard and too much commitment for me as a single Mom," she said, "oh I didn't know you were a single Mom", I said, "well I am a widow." Talk about a conversation killer. She just looked at me with sadness in her eyes and thankfully it was the end of class but I think she was speechless. Then just two weeks ago at the end of our time working with students at my son's school. I was visiting with the other volunteer as we were leaving and talking about summer plans. I mentioned that I was traveling to Haiti and how I had been twice before with my husband. I said, "I don't know if you know this but I am a widow," She said, "oh my goodness I had no idea! Oh you are so young!" Then she said, "well at least you are not sitting at home." I said, well I did that some the first year." She left speechless. SO I still have those moments when my I am made very aware of my loss, it is kind of strange because it almost catches me by surprise! There is no escaping what has happened to me and how my life, my kids lives and countless others have been effected by Todd's loss. As I have met other widows or chatted with them on Facebook or through the blog, I think one the biggest thing that I am learning is how differently people handle their loss and grief. We all have a choice to make in how we cope or handle our loss. I continually think, "I am not the only one who has lost!" Yet the reminders are still everywhere and knowing that fact does not minimize the pain or the fear of what lies ahead! Yet through it all I am choosing to LIVE and TRUST a God whose ways are not my ways!! Todd lived life with reckless abandonment to Christ so I am reminded of his encouragement and example all those years to Live For More!!
Jackson finished his third grade year very strong!! He made the A honor roll all year! He set a goal for perfect attendance and no tardies and Praise GOD he did it!! As a side note my kids and I have taken a whole food supplement for the past 6 years called Juice Plus and we have been incredibly healthy with very little sickness. Jackson has not had even a cold in over a year, which can I say is pretty remarkable!! So as we wrapped up Jackson's 3rd grade year and Bethany finished pre-K. It is hard to believe she will start Kinder in the Fall!! The year ended on a high note. We were blessed by the kid's schools and the over the top love and encouragement and commitment by their teachers, coaches etc...
We celebrated the end of the school year with a camping trip to the Guadalupe River. The kids and I had a great time as we celebrated the successful completion of another school year with family and friends!! As I think about embarking on the second summer without Todd. I am especially grateful that by God's grace and incredible provision I still have the privilege of being a stay at home Mom. So for us our summer will be filled with LOTS of swimming as both my kids are on the swim team which equals about 18 hours a week!! They will each attend one camp. We have plans to visit new sites in and around Austin. Lots of great kids friendly movies are coming out, we love watching a good movie! We have also added a pop up camper to our family so we will be heading out to discover more of the beautiful outdoors this summer! WE are EXCITED!! Oh and did I mention I am headed back to Haiti! It will be my third trip but my first without Todd!! More about that to come!
A really cool activity the kids and started doing last week from Focus on the Family's, Thriving Family magazine. It's a fun, Bible based activity you can do with your kids over the next 60 days. You can visit www.thriving family.com to print this map (around the world in 60 days) an itinerary, passports and each day you visit a different country and learn fun facts about that country. The first day we visited New Zealand and learned there are 7 sheep for every one person. We read from Matt. 18:12-14, and learned that God cares so much about us He comes to find us when we wander away from Him! My kids are looking forward to "traveling" around the world this summer! Will you join us?
What are you and your family planning on doing this summer?? I'd love to hear from you! I am always looking for creative and fun ideas.
As the summer is well under way I am enjoying not so early mornings and the slower pace of the day. I am hopeful to write more while still balancing my time with kids and spending sweet time in Gods presence through His word and prayer! I hope you find the warmth of the summer sun a welcome friend and the light and love of Christ to be a even warmer comfort! John 8:12, When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light ofthe world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Happy Summer and I pray you will Live For More,