Today I got to take a little bit of a coffee break (or tea since I’m not a coffee drinker) by myself thanks to our friend Catherine who graciously watched the boys for me for six hours! Thanks, Catherine & Martin! Most of that time I spent getting stuff ready for an annual garage sale at our church and making important phone calls. However, I also got to spend some time getting encouragement from another widow who loves the Lord plus I got to take some time alone to get some tea and write a little bit. For me writing is therapeutic and a way to journal this journey and hopefully even in some way encourage others. It’s comforting to know that people love us to follow the blog and continue to pray for our family’s specific needs.
Memorial day was much fun! A sweet homeschool family invited us to the river to watch the boat races. Noah picked up his favorite racer number 200 and was stoked when he won! The kids had a blast playing in the river with the other kids. Thanks for inviting us, Christi! After the long weekend, Noah got back to work to finish school for the year. I am behind on grading so that will be my next BIG project! This child has six subjects and everything gets graded and sent to BJU Academy of Home Education where they mail us back an official report card. It’s serious stuff.
The last few days I’ve been busy organizing our stuff and trying to get rid of as many things we don’t need as possible. I’ve also been going through Josh’s stuff, which has been a blessing in disguise. I’ve got a couple sort of visual memoir projects. We’ve got a cute old cabinet where I placed personal trinket items that belonged to him like a pocket watch with his name engraved on it. Another project entails a scrapbook and a Shutterfly photo collection of his fishing adventures. Thanks for the gift card Roxanna! Also, I found several Western Horseman calendars with Josh’s poems that I plan to frame. Noah is the same size as Josh so we were able to recycle most of Josh’s clothes and shoes which is great! A sweet saint from the church is making comfort blankets out of Josh’s flannels, which is so special. Some days have been harder than others. Thursday was four weeks since the Lord took Josh home and that day cried and struggled with memories of him at the hospital. Tomorrow will be one month since the day of his death. Last night Nathan woke up missing Daddy and wanting PB&J so we looked at his pictures while he ate his PB&J. We think often of how much fun a josh is having in heaven and talk about it. I hope the boys grow up with a high view of God and heaven as a result of all of this
Merlin Church has been so supportive of our little family. We see God’s loving hand in bringing us out here to such a loving family, and his provisions in how the church is taking care of us physical as well. They had invested in a retirement plan for the pastors here and to our surprise, this company is helping, even after only a short time. The Lord has been very kind to us! Thank you Merlin Church! Also, a big thank you to all who have donated! I wish I could write every one of you and personally to thank you! One day… I keep very busy during the day–or should I say the boys keep me pretty busy! Josh would always say we need to give the kids something to do so they don’t give us something to do. lol. Noah mowed the lawn and is now the official gardener making some allowance money. He is excited about that! I’m thankful Josh taught him that job!
Nights are more challenging as it gets lonely and temps me toward anxiety; however, I’ve been reading Psalms and spending time with my husband–Jesus and that has helped! I enjoy reading too. I have a handful of really good books I’m currently being blessed by reading!
Some highlights from my readings:
“For who is like God, but the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God?–the God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless. He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights.” Psalms 18:31-33
“It often happens that those whose loss is greatest receive the greatest share of grace, mercy, and peace. This does not mean that they never cry, of course. But they do not collapse. Those who only watch and pray and try to put themselves in the place of the bereaved find it almost unendurable. Sometimes they weep uncontrollably, for their imaginations never include the grace.” Elisabeth Elliot, The Path of Loneliness
“No one else will grieve exactly like you. Just because someone else feels a certain way at a given point doesn’t mean that you should. You’re a different person grieving a different loss. Even others grieving the same loved one as you in all likelihood will grieve differently. You are you, your loss is different from anyone else’s loss, and you will grieve the way you need to grieve.” Kenneth C. Haugk, A Time to Grieve
“Rely on the One who will not fail you in any way or at any time. Rely on Him, Christ-follower. He will respond in grace and love toward you, and in His arms is comfort beyond compare.” Adam Holland, Anchored in the Storm
“Give thanks for every sunrise, For one will be your last.
Opportunities you have today, Tomorrow will be past.
Time doesn’t wait for anyone, As hours tick away.
Choose wisely how you spend your time,The things you do and say.
Live every day without regret, For something said or done.
Remember to count your blessings, Each day at setting sun.
Be patient and show kindess, To those you meet each day.
You may entertain an angel, Somewhere along the way.
Make every day count for something–Don’t waste a single one.
If you should die tomorrow, What will you leave undone?” Clay Harrison, “Make Every Day Count”
Our major prayer needs are the following:
1.) For the boys–pray for them to receive the gift of faith or grow in faith; and for them to be so convinced of God’ s love for them. Also, for godly and encouraging friendships.
2.) For continued financial provisions–for God to make his will clear as to our future.
3.) For our family– to get into a good routine and learn to function in our new normal without Josh in a way that would make the best use of our time and honor God!
4.) For Merlin Church– and thier search for a new pastor–for a strong man of God to shepherd the flock Josh loved much and left behind.