I shared earlier that we decided to school Luke (2nd grade) and Ben (PreK) at home this year, so when I was getting breakfast on the table and the bus stopped and honked at the end of our driveway at 8:20 this morning my heart sunk and tears began to flow. The kids were getting dressed and making beds so they never saw it, but it literally brought me to my knees.
I have shared my intense fondness for our local elementary school and at first I thought these feelings were just my grief over not being a part of such a great school this year. Then, it hit me for the first time. If Isaac were still here...HE would be getting on that bus. He would be starting Kindergarten this year. Sometimes these milestones cause grief for days of anticipation leading up to the event and sometimes they seem to sneak in out of nowhere and suck the wind right from my lungs.
Today I felt as though I had been sucker punched. Yesterday was our first day of homeschooling (which isn't real homeschooling so I have been so kindly informed because it is cyber school that we are doing, and it isn't REAL public school as I have also been reminded because it is by and large ruining the public education system) I digress. The day was a whirlwind of activity. I felt like a pin ball being whacked from one side of the board to the other. Three different voices begging for my attention all at the same time. By the end of the day I was spent. I was fairly certain I had ruined my children and must have been out of my mind when I agreed to keep them all at home.
This was when Howard got home. Always the voice of reason and wisdom, Howard gently reminded me that this was in fact what we were called to do in this season and that I needed to remain firmly planted in His word. Always my reminder that attitude is everything he held his half full glass of water up and gave me the look. :) (sometimes it is superbly annoying how right he is and how great his perspective generally is. I may have wanted to knock the glass out of his hand.)
I woke up this morning and Howard had left each child a surprise and love note on the table reminding them of their weekly Bible verse and for me. He left my Bible OPEN on the counter. When I sent him a text this morning about Isaac he replied, "Good thing the Lord had better things in store for our boy.". At first I threw the phone down. SERIOUSLY? I had sent him the message knowing that he too would feel the pang of grief and yet he gave glory to the Lord...I'll be honest...sometimes it annoys the daylights out of me that he never seems to allow himself to succumb to the human side of this grief thing, but I am also awfully thankful he doesn't always indulge me in it.
I then came across this nugget of wisdom from Ann Voskamp this morning:
"Rejecting joy to stand in solidarity with the suffering doesn't rescue the suffering. The brave who focus on all things good,all things beautiful,all things true even in the small,who give thanks for it and discover joy even in the here and now,they are the change agents who bring fullest Light to all the world. When we lay the soil of our hard lives open to the rain of grace and let joy penetrate our cracked and dry places,let joy soak into our broken skin and deep crevices, life grows."
Lord, Please help me to focus on the good. Please help me to always see that glass in Howard's hand as half full. Help me to be thankful in all things and continue to send reminders to gently pull me back to gratitude when my heart begins to shift to self pity. Please help me to allow the joy to soak in to all of my brokenness.
Today we got through school and it was picturesque. We sat on a blanket under the tree and read, we finished all of our work before lunch and had a great day. Perhaps perspective and prayer really are the key to it all. When am I gonna learn?
(pictures of our "first day of school" to come as soon as I can figure out why my camera blinks red and refuses to upload to the computer when I plug it in.)