August 26, 2014 by comhomflt
I feel like a drowning man desperately treading water and gasping for air between waves, hanging on for dear life to anything that floats and hoping to last until a rescue boat comes along. In every way, I feel like we are just.barely.making.it. People say we are doing well, we’ve come this far with flying colors, that we only have a little longer to make it; but the truth is, homecoming is still quite a ways out, I cannot will the days to pass more quickly, and I may be completely undone on any given day. But, this week, the waves have been calmer. I’ve had a couple of nights of deep, though not uninterrupted, sleep. School finished before 2pm today, and there was time for a short nap and even a bit of afternoon reading. And thanks to our wonderful, generous neighbors, dinner only needs to be reheated. I can breathe a little and enjoy the sunshine and the sound of kids riding bikes outside. And finally catch up on a blog post that is nearly a month overdue!
It isn’t that the five month mark blindsided us, but it did come amidst the onslaught of school, unexpected repairs, and a birthday, and so passed without much fanfare. On the actual five month day, the birthday traditions of our family dictated that I should spend the better part of my day devoted to the making and decorating of this lovely cat cake.
That night, we had our usual small celebration with Pepere and Memere. The birthday girl loved her cake and was thrilled with her new My Little Pony gifts. She also got new black sneakers, a gift card she intends to use for Legos, and enough Target money to buy herself some new matchbox cars. Ponies, black sneakers, Legos, and cars…go figure!
I do love this spunky girl. She gives me fits sometimes, but there’s no denying her joie de vivre. She has taken her daddy’s absence the hardest, in her matter-of-fact way. She thinks she has the world by the tail, and she does her best to make sure her siblings toe the line. She bowls you over with her sudden, intense hugs and does everything with gusto. Her fifth year of life was a big one; she learned to read, ride a bike, and swing – in that order. She also confessed her need for a Savior and accepted Christ’s death on the cross as payment for all her sins. She talks with certainty of her little brother Thad, who waits for us in heaven, and wonders aloud what he is doing and what it will be like to see him; and I know that is one reason Thad went to the arms of Jesus before we met him, so that heaven would be real to my five year old and more real to me. I did not get to choose which four of our children I would get to know here on earth and which four I’d only know in eternity, but I am thankful God chose to put this feisty girl with her zest for life in our earthly family, and I rejoice to know she is a part of our heavenly family, too.
G.I.Daddy finally put in his appearance on the morning of her birthday for the traditional birthday breakfast. Due to deployment, birthday breakfasts have been replaced with a dash to the local Dunkin Donuts, but the kids don’t seem to mind, so long as we keep the tradition alive. Daddy had sent a card for her, and the only downside was that he wasn’t there to share an orange juice with her.
By God’s grace, evidenced in a large part by the help and encouraging words of so many people, we have survived five months and are closing in on six in another week. It’s okay to be just barely hanging on, because you certainly can’t forget that you need God’s grace to make it through the next meal, the next bath time, the next appointment, the next day of school…
Jesus, draw me ever nearer as I labor through the storm.
You have called me to this passage, and I’ll follow, though I’m worn.
Jesus, guide me through the tempest; keep my spirit staid and sure.
When the midnight meets the morning, let me love You even more.
Let the treasures of this trial form within me as I go.
And at the end of this long passage, let me leave them at Your throne.
May this journey bring a blessing
May I rise on wings of faith;
And at the end of my heart’s testing,
With Your likeness let me wake.