After an incredibly long absence, I am back at the keyboard with an earnest desire to write and share what God has done in the past several months. Many of you prayed for me during the past three years since God called my husband home. Thank you for not forgetting the widow; thank you for interceding for us before our great and mighty Father! A great deal has happened in our family I know I would not have been able to experience without your intercession and God’s abounding grace toward us—thank you!
This past week I spent time with some of my best, long-time friends—homeschool leaders from around the country—at our annual national homeschool leaders conference sponsored by HSLDA. The time together was salty sweet. In visiting with these dear friends I missed Chris in fresh ways (yes, I got teary-eyed a few times talking about him), but joy in God’s new season for me and my family was also evident as I related His kindness and wisdom in bringing Peter and I together.
Looking back…Looking Ahead
Next week marks three years since Chris left us. Not a day goes by still that I don’t miss him, but the most remarkable impression I have looking back is not the reality that Chris has left us, but how much God has not left us. I’ve had the keenest sense of His presence and have seen His faithful love in how He has heard this widow’s cries. I’ve watched my children grow exponentially in their faith in God’s Word and in their desire to live a life pleasing to Him.
Have I had anything to do with my children’s upward spiritual journey? Not really, practically speaking. I’ve demonstrated my clearly desperate need for God 24/7. Furthermore, my children have observed my sin and frailty; they have seen the many times I’ve dropped the ball because I couldn’t keep track of everything or didn’t have enough time to get it all done with only 24 hours in a day. They have heard my statements of doubting God’s goodness and power. Together, in God’s mercy however, they have encouraged me when I was weak, and I have tried to love and encourage them when they were struggling in their hearts.
If I have done anything it is this—I have prayed, and prayed, and prayed that God would show them His great power, move in their hearts to desire His ways, and help them to believe His Word. God has been hearing my prayers, and it gives me great joy to speak of God’s faithfulness to His people!
“But as for me, I will sing of Thy strength; yes, I shall joyfully sing of Thy lovingkindness in the morning, for Thou has been my stronghold, and a refuge in the day of my distress.” ~Psalm 59:16
As I review the weeks and months of this past year and a half, I can only marvel at the extraordinary grace God gave me and my children. A snapshot of the past 18 months included—
- Getting a house we lived in for 20 years ready to put on the market
- Trying to sell it for ten months (losing our first buyers and almost taking it off the market last winter, when God miraculously brought us the real buyers)
- Packing up and moving our 7,000 volume library, and everything else
- Speaking at seven homeschool conferences and retreats this past spring
- Walking through the journey of getting to know Peter, growing in our relationship, and preparing my heart and life for marriage (and including my children on this journey by God’s grace), with faith and trust in our Lord
- Preparing for my daughter Megan’s in May and my own wedding in August
- Plus keeping up with our homeschooling and my work at the Home School Foundation (which included taking an online course early in this year for work)
I am hoping that things will now slow down a little, but I suspect they won’t!
Almost three years ago, after Chris’s passing and our nearly five weeks in Colorado, I didn’t want to get on a plane with my kids and immediately arrive at home to face our new life without him. So I did what I thought the best solution was, to give us some time to be alone as a family and help us ease into the deafening silence we would be greeted with upon our arrival home—I rented an RV to get us home, driving across the country for five days. I’d never driven an RV in my life, but God gave me this inexplicable courage to do just that. I can’t imagine I would ever have done something so crazy without His Spirit empowering me!
The same strengthening sense of God’s nearness and power that put me behind the wheel of that ridiculously huge vehicle is the same strength God gave me to go through everything God had planned for me these past 18 months. As I remember my extended family and many friends who are experiencing hardships of their own, my prayer is that they and you would experience this same strength from the Lord.
“My soul waits in silence for God only; from Him is my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken.” ~Psalm 62:1-2
Fresh Grace for the journey,