If all goes according to plan.
Well since recent life events have thrown the plan out the window I never bank on the plan. I can do my part to get us into the car fed, bathed, toileted (still should be a word,) and excited about the trip but what happens from the moment I close the driver's side door until we show up at Graham's house there's no telling what will happen. NO TELLIN y'all.
I've been packing for a few weeks I mean days and like every trip I've ever been on I've enjoyed packing. Someone asked me today if it made me sad to pack since it's the first trip since losing Sean but thankfully it hasn't affected me negatively. First of all he hated road trips. Literally I was never in the car with him for more than three hours. EVER. In six years we never travelled further than Abilene in a car. He was all for flying. Duh. If you've been reading here long you know that I'd rather go the car route. Ahem.
Anyway, packing for this trip means a change of scenery, a chance to let the kids play with cousins they don't get to see often enough. It means waking up and having breakfast with my brother and his family, which I haven't done since December, and before that--I don't even remember. The trip means that we can wake up, put shorts and flip flops on and go down the street to the bakery where there are lots of calories to be enjoyed. Calories in the best forms: apple fritters, cinnamon rolls, and my personal favorite, regular iced donuts with lots of extra icing and sprinkles. Multi-colored sprinkles, not the chocolate ones. I'm not a big chocolate girl. I know, I know, I have issues.
It's warmer where we're going and I'm ready for warmer. I'm ready for Spring, more ready than ever. We know that Spring brings the promise of new life, new things growing. That's where I'm hoping to be: feeling the warmth of God's presence day by day. Looking back on this winter and being thankful it's over. I'm not sure how wise or "right" it is to wish for the seasons to hurry up and change but good Lord I'm ready to say goodbye to clouds and rain. Shoot I forgot Spring has thunderstorms.
I don't do thunderstorms. I don't do power outages and loud claps of thunder waking me up and I sure don't do tornado warnings. Nothing reduces me to the mental capacity of a toddler faster than tornado warnings.
The last week has been full of great blessings. My bible study in Frisco that I was a part of for the last few years blessed me greatly with gifts. Girls from Mom2Mom, I could never thank you enough for your generosity. I am forever grateful for you! Not just because you showered us with your gifts. My very foundation as a momma is wrapped up in your group and when I'm able I hope to come visit and give you the hugs you deserve. Good plan? That reminds me to tell y'all about something else.
The youth group at the church where we served/attended also did unbelievable things for us. One of the students thought to give the kids Christmas gifts and he orchestrated a huge--HUGE--amount of gifts to make their Christmas happy this year. I burst into tears when I found out about it and cry every time I think about it. What a way to give us encouragement and joy! Seeing their faces as they opened things they'd only dreamed of...as hard as that morning was, (and it was hard,) I was also overjoyed that the teenagers that Sean devoted his life to were honoring him in doing what they did. What a gift.
Okay. Done. You still with me? This is what I most want you to hear. I mean read.
On Valentines day I opened cards for each of us and felt very loved and remembered. That's a part of this loss, I've realized. While getting back to a routine feels good, (man does it!) I do find myself falling prey to the lie Satan tells us: that I will never mean what I used to mean. Like the tragedy that has rocked our world will always be the only thing that defines our lives from now on. That who Sean was as a man will be lost in the wake of how he died. I am tempted to believe Satan, the king of lies, when he says that I'll never be happy again. That I'll never feel carefree again. He tries to convince me that the kids will suffer and feel incomplete no matter how hard I try to protect them. And I start to wonder if because the sin of the world is so strong, maybe I should wrap them up in cozy blankets and move to an island where I can control everything.
Fear is a powerful motivator, isn't it? It is powerful but it isn't right. I don't need to feel afraid or feel the pressure to be the only protector of my kids. That's false. You know what is also false? The idea that my circumstances are permanent. We are in survival mode, praying a hundred times a day for strength and some sort of peace. I'm feeling more peace every day, and more closure too. But I'm broken. There's no way around that. It's also false to believe that God, seeing this heartache, won't continue to be right beside me every step of the way toward healing. I believe that knowing this level of loss and despair will be a way that God brings comfort and healing to someone else who is hurting. It's not just an afterthought to God. I know that we aren't guinea pigs, used for an experiment then tossed aside. I know all of those things but Satan knows my weakness. He's no fool. So since he's a punk he goes for what he knows will get to me. Then Jesus prompts me to remember the Truth, and I combat what I'm feeling with it. Now more than ever I feel an urgency to share the gospel. I feel the urgency to tell people who don't know Him all about what He can do with a broken life.
Without Christ there would be no hope, no future. What possible good could I find in getting up every day? Like an old friend told me recently, I am the apple of His eye. I am loved and cherished. What more could a girl ask for? He loved me enough to take all of the sins of this world and shoulder them. To trade Himself for me. The ultimate gift, the highest price. And He did it. I hope that you know Him and trust Him too.