Where did the time go? My first post in three months. Well, I'll tell ya. It was a hard three months. Probably hardest in my life. Hard as a result of hard circumstances (nothing more than any of you go through) and a struggle with the Lord over who was in control and who could handle it. God has been graciously (and painfully) teaching me that I will only find contentment and joy through complete surrender to His will. He's also been teaching me through my weakness that it is not my strength I should be counting on. I'm pretty sure this is one of those lessons He's taught over and over, deployment after deployment. He taught it gently, but I didn't get it. It hasn't been till this summer that He's mad it clear that we need to make some major progress in some areas. I'm thankful that He didn't quit on me. I'm thankful that He loves me (the Lord disciplines those He loves). I'm thankful He refuses to let me cling to sin but will take me through whatever is necessary in order for me to see it and see my need for Him. It's been hard. It's been a good hard. I'm not sure we're done with it. We'll see.
To update everyone, Mike is deployed, has been for a little over a month. He'll be back mid-January. The first three weeks were hard on the boys, but they are now settled into a routine. I'm working hard to make sure all of them get some individual attention. I'm also trying to find some fun things for us to do so that we feel like we are living life and not just sitting around waiting for Mike to get home. This afternoon I got a sitter and Ty and I went to Home Depot and ask if they'd give us a kit to take home and build. Ty has been wanting to build something. I have a project going on in the garage and he's been taking my scraps and trying to create. Following a good dental checkup he was led to the treasure box for a treat. He dug around for a moment then looked up at the hygienist and asked: "Do you have anything I can build?" She found him a foam airplane. Today at Home Depot a kind employee took us back to his stash of extra kits and offered Ty a Home Depot truck as well as a car with a couple of minions in it (Despicable Me 2 promo). Ty happily accepted both. Next we cashed in a free ice cream cone card at McDonalds (complements of the dentist). Then home to build. Ty told me 5 or 6 times: "I'm so excited." We sat in the garage while the other children stayed with the sitter and built a toy truck. He loved it. As I blessed our dinner of macaroni and cheese and canned fruit I thanked God for getting to go out with Ty. He interrupted me mid-sentence and insisted I thank God for "The best day ever." I did.
I've heard that a lot from Ty. "This is the best day ever." I've seen it in Austin. He got to spend a week with Gigi and Pop and Aunt Lulu and Chrissy and Joe. For a week he got to be the star of the show, not just the third kid. He came home filled to the brim, totally content, feeling completely loved. I'm so very thankful that God allows so many fun days even with Dad gone. They miss him, but God again, is proving to us that He is all we really need.