...to get a post in tonight. I'm going to try to be quick so that I can get in bed by 10 pm and get up "early" enough to be ready for the day. (Yeah right, tried the same thing last night and Zeke woke me up twice and Malachi was up at least 3 times. Ick!)
Josh leaned across the table to me yesterday and said, "I wub u!" It was absolutely irresistibly adorable.
As I write, I can hear Eden singing songs to Zeke (she graciously allows him to sleep with her--an arrangement I have hoped to wait until "after the move" to change). She started with "Jesus Loves Me" followed by "Silent Night" and now I am not sure what she is singing--possibly something she has made up. Her tender heart for taking care of her younger brothers really shines through more and more. I am often surprised at how she is growing. I know she doesn't really LIKE being responsible for the boys, but she is good at it. The fact that she is even singing to Zeke lets me know that she is showing a level of maturity where she will put others' needs before her own. I pray that God will bless her many times over for the sacrifice. Hehe...she just stepped out here to ask if she could sleep on the couch after I go to bed...she said, "I don't like getting peed on." :( I don't blame her! I can't wait to get Zeke into his own bed, and if we don't move soon I will have to rearrange furniture.
Micah has been letting Josh bunk with him since Mitch left. That arrangement seems to be working out well. I think Josh has really only come looking for me a handful of times. Otherwise, he pretty much stays in his bed.
In spite of the ups and down of life right now, we might actually get the hang of this homeschooling thing. My kids had a special treat today--a visit from Eden's 2nd-grade teacher--and I stood beaming as the kids proudly showed her their work and recited their poems.
Yesterday I had an AMAZING surprise. A large group of my girlfriends plotted to give me a treat I probably never would have given myself. First off, it's just plain too indulgent. Secondly, I have a large personal space. They pooled their monies and bought me a 60-minute massage. In spite of my personal space, I completely enjoyed myself. It was incredible. I spent a good portion of the time plotting how I could get Mitch to learn some of those fantastic moves. :) But I spent the majority of the time just absolutely relaxing. They worked hard to arrange all the details: one friend comes on Wednesdays after school to watch the kids so I can do my grocery shopping. One friend had to warn me ahead of time so that I could be "done" shopping early (ouch--that was probably the most stressful point) and she could meet me to give me the surprise and take the groceries home. She took Malachi home too. :) One other friend came to relieve the friend watching my kids. Her hubby picked up pizza for supper and delivered it. So when I got home, feeling all perfectly relaxed and starving, I was met with the warm aroma of pizza pie. Yummmm. Not only that, but my timing was perfect too--the baby had just gone to sleep and all the kids were sitting down eating already. So I was literally able to walk in and grab a plate (how rare is that!!). Ahhhhhh.
So, my friends, you know who you are, words cannot express my gratitude! Thank you for caring for me and forcing me to relax when I told you over and over again that I couldn't possibly.
It is bittersweet to be on the receiving end of ministry. It is hard to admit weakness and have a dependence on others. But it is amazing to be touched by God through my sisters (and brothers) in Christ.
I received a "new" book in the mail today that I bought from Half.com (for $1.02!). Kristin found it and thought I might like it, and I bought it after reading the reviews on Amazon.com. It is called "When God Interrupts" and is written by M. Craig Barnes. I have managed to get through 2 chapters already, and I can't wait to see what he will unpack in the next chapters! It is very helpful in our situation.
We are so grateful for the prayers. Just a few days ago, Mitch was spared from what could have been a horrible traffic accident when a loaded dump-truck went into the ditch to avoid hitting him while he was stopped at an intersection. School there is very hard. I don't know how much I am allowed to say here on the www, but you can always give me a call if you want details to know how to pray. He says he is determined to not be like other teachers who just yell at these kids to get them to do what they want. He says that is making it harder, but he hopes he will eventually begin to see a real difference between his class and others. (It looks so neat and easy in the movies, and always with a happy ending, but living it out in reality is heartbreaking). I just finished reading a book called "One Blood" that was written by Ken Ham and some others (sorry I'm not going to look it up). It gave me a very important shift in my thinking about races, even though a good portion of the information was not new to me, and I look forward to passing it on to Mitch. Not that it will be directly relevant, but the worldview exercise will certainly be distracting.
I'm glad and sad that tomorrow is Friday. This week seemed to pass quickly. But that will soon bring us up to 5 sad weeks without Daddy. It's so hard to feel. Both of us even just can't stand [hate] saying "I miss you." Earlier this week I cried while standing over the dishwasher, "Lord, I don't want to give up!" And I felt a voice within me as clear as day saying, "Then don't." I have found that I don't have to grit my teeth or clench my jaw or pull up my bootstraps anymore to go on. I focus on what's ahead. I continue to rely on Him. One by one each of my dreams and hopes and plans for the future seems to evaporate as a mirage. And we are left with nothing but that which God has planned for us. We cannot turn away from the path now. So we wait and cling to the hope in Him.