Well, we’ve been in our new home for seven weeks now… my, how the time flies! It’s hard to believe that we’ve already been here this long! I do have about 200 boxes left to unpack, but we’re really starting to feel like we’re home. Each day has been a fresh opportunity for me to trust God for all that remains to be done; that is an awful lot, but we’re tackling the multiple TO DO lists using the salami approach. Who would each a 1lb. chunk of salami in one sitting? A few thin slices a day and soon enough that salami will be gone. At least that one salami will be gone as we keep working on other chunks of salami.
I remember back shortly after Chris died and the kids and I decided to get away from home because we didn’t want to be there for Thanksgiving and Christmas without him, so we hit the road for a few weeks. That trip was a blessing from the Lord. I don’t know how we did it (I had to bring a big file box of post funeral paperwork everywhere with us on that trip), but God was faithful to give us grace for each day. Now I wish I could just have more time here at home to get more done. The Lord will help us to get through the weeks ahead and get settled in, little by little.
One new phenomenon we’re experiencing/experimenting with/working through which we haven’t had for 20 years is cable TV. We’ve had a TV but no cable—no 100 channels pouring entertainment, education, etc. into our home 24/7. It’s basically free with our home internet/phone; I would NEVER pay for this! We have watched only a few movies, one or two history channel shows and 10 minutes of the Oscar Awards. My kids have never seen anything like this in their life, so I let them indulge for 10 minutes!
I’ve always been a firm believer in living life yourself, instead of watching others (ie. on TV) live “life.” People have commented over the years that my kids are creative, have a lot of energy and ideas, aren’t silly, like to talk about real-life issues, and care about getting involved in helping others. I believe they are this way because of several factors. One, we haven’t been TV watchers; two, my kids had a dad who was both a spiritual leader, yet leaned hard on Jesus for 15 years of debilitating MS ; and three, both Chris and I were committed to relationships—with God, with God’s people, and with our community, both our local community and the larger homeschooling community across this nation.
For so many years while Chris’s health was declining with MS, our primary responsibility and time spent were in caring for him, whether that was at home or on the road as he spoke at homeschooling conventions for HSLDA. It was an honor and blessing to do this, even though it was incredibly hard at times.
Sure, there were distinct times my kids felt like they were missing out on “real life” out there, but God certainly used the time in our lives to teach us about what the gospel looks like on a daily basis, as we banded together to help and encourage Chris. I really think he was able to keep going, right up until God called him home, because we stayed committed and worked as a team. The Lord certainly was our helper in this.
Even with his health needs, Chris and I still had people in our home—three guestbook’s full of friends and family over the years we’ve broken bread and worshipped God over family devotions with. We look back and know that we are richer for these times. As well, I long for our new home to be a place where family and friends are always welcome…well, once we unpack the 200 boxes all over the house!
Now that Chris is gone, at distinct times I feel a little like we’re floundering. We don’t have the 24/7 mission of helping him ever before us. We definitely have more time on our hands and the responsibility to choose wisely what we do with that time. How wise God is to give us this new season of our lives—we have the freedom and calling to seek God’s will…so many choices, so many opportunities!
I know God will help us with this process. It will take time to get really settled in and discover what’s available to us now—the new activities like sports and music, the new ministries like serving the homeless or volunteering at a horse therapy farm, and the new job opportunities that might open up for my kids. It’s just that sometimes I wish we could have a long-term power outage to eliminate cable TV and computer time as options for us! Ah, now that would make it too easy, wouldn’t it?