Tuesday, September 8, 2009

This Chapter!!!!

Oh Friends!

I just dropped all three of my babies off for their first day of school at their brand new schools in our brand new town! Two of them looked absolutely terrified and one was off and running . . . never skipping a beat!

Abbi is in the eighth grade. She is already on the basketball team and has made a good little friend there who has introduced her to a bunch of other kids. Abbi and Amanda met in the parking lot and were off and running. Father – please protect Abbi at school. Please give her wisdom and discernment as she chooses friends. It is a very different ball game in eighth grade . . . please bring the right friends alongside her. She is so beautiful . . . please give her wisdom beyond her years in how to handle that beauty with modesty and grace!

My sweet little Noah is not only starting at a new school . . . he is also starting middle school today. He has shown no signs of fear AT all . . . but the look in that boy’s eyes as he crawled out of the van this morning . . . ug! He seemed a bit overwhelmed. Lockers . . . changing classes . . . who to sit with at lunch . . . and just the sheer awkwardness of being eleven years old! Lord, please bless that baby today and give him peace deep within himself! Bring some good friends his way, I pray!

Then there was my baby, Micah. I walked him in . . . in elementary school they are not too cool, yet, for you to do that! The principal greeted him at the door and knew right who he was and pointed him to the gym where all the kids were gathering by classroom. He didn’t know one child in his class . . . but his new big bonus-sissy (I like that much better than ‘step-sissy’ or ‘step-mom’ . . . so I’m calling them my ‘bonus-kids’!) came running up to hug him and so did his new cousin. As I left I could see the overwhelmed look in his little face as he scanned a gym full of kids and didn’t know any of them. Lord, please bless Micah today, as well! Please bring some wonderful little friends alongside him!

I really thought I would be in tears right now. . . but, I am not! Jim is at work, and I am alone for a bit in my wonderful new home. I thought today might be tough . . . but instead it is filled with joy!

I am keenly aware that we are now, with the start of school underway, completely engulfed in our new life! The new chapter has not only begun . . . but we are fully living it. My babies don’t go to school today as Chad Schieber’s kids . . . they don’t wear a sign that says ‘my daddy died.’ They don’t face the certain pity of all those who know our story.

Today, they once again, are just Abbi, Noah, and Micah. Oh, sure, there was a security in who we were . . . but really . . . there is a sweet freedom in who we now are! I was just reading, yesterday, in Psalm 30 verse 5 . . . “Weeping may go on all night, but joy comes in the morning.” O God – may You please restore to my babies their joy! May today, and the next, and the next be a continuation of all that is good that You have restored back to us! Thank You for sustaining us! Psalm 28 verse 7 says, “The Lord is my strength, my shield from every danger. I trust in Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.” Lord . . . I pray that over my sweet children . . . ALL SIX OF THEM! May You be their strength and shield . . . and please, God, please fill their hearts with joy!

Adding to the reality of what today is, is the fact that yesterday marked the 23 month anniversary of Chad’s passing. That means that one month from yesterday we will mark two years! My goodness! Some of those month markers come and go and I am not affected very much. This one was one where each hour I was aware of the events of that day and all that transpired hour by hour. It was just one of those days.

I have been wide awake and praying since three A.M. Jim left for work at 5:30 . . . so I got up and made his lunch and saw him off. As he walked past me in the kitchen I reached out to touch his back . . . guess what? He was alive under that shirt. I’m sure that sounds very funny and maybe even dumb to those of you who have never lost . . . but sometimes I am just so aware that Jim is alive! Oh, thank you Jesus! I lye in bed at night and listen to the sound of his breathing . . . and I am so thankful and so in awe of God. Where did this man come from? Why was I given the gift of his love? Why does God love me so much??? And just as quickly as the thoughts of him being alive comes over me . . . my heart is filled with prayer that this husband will live!

Last night Jim looked deep into my eyes and said we will love one another for the next fifty years. I WILL not be bound by fear! And so, at the start of this new chapter I am driven to once again quote the verse that I just prayed over my babies. “I WILL trust the Lord with ALL my heart. I know He helps me, and my heart IS filled with joy.”

Father God . . . as we begin this new chapter of our lives . . . we choose to trust You! We will live each day to the fullest! We will love as never before . . . and laugh more than ever . . . and experience joy in a deeper and more pure way! We have learned the sweetness and fullness of who You are in a way that has never been known to us. We have been to the valley of the shadow of death and now are fully alive!

Father . . . as we begin this new chapter . . . we do trust You. But, Lord, please hear the cry of this Mama's heart! Please let this chapter . . . be a forever one!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Hello From….Mrs. Practice!

Greetings All! Would you FINALLY like to see some pictures???? I have been told that my readers will revolt if I do not show you all some pictures soon! So, to avoid an uprising. . . please click on the title above to see the blog of my photographer, Renee Deckrow. If you live anywhere near the Mid-Michigan area you will want to consider Renee for your next photo shoot! She is amazing. You can click on the link above to go to her blog and some of our pictures!

There is so much to share with you all . . . and once school is in session next week I will be able to blog more. For today, please let me just say that I want to encourage you all to keep holding on to Jesus. My personal journey has been marked with so much suffering . . . but I can truly tell you that God is the redeemer of our suffering. Today – if you are walking through deep waters – please just keep hanging on! Keep holding out for a brighter future through Christ and His sustaining love and strength.

I cannot tell you how truly, truly happy I am! I also cannot tell you the depth of my gratitude to God for the way he has woven such beauty out of the pile of tragedy that was our life just 23 months ago. Truly – ONLY GOD could do this!

So, today, in your life, PLEASE cling to Jesus! He IS SO good! He loves you and cares for you so very, very much – even if you don’t feel it today! Trust Him. Hold on to Him! Let Him be your strength and guide! He WILL make beauty for ashes! I promise . . . but more importantly . . . so does He!