No, I didn’t fall off the face of the Earth, nor was I abducted or anything else quite so dramatic. It’s been almost 3 months since I’ve posted anything here and I think it’s past time to bring everyone up to speed. So…where have I been? What have we been doing? What has God done in my life…in OUR lives? This summer has presented it’s challenges, fun, education and the occurrence of something I wasn’t sure would ever happen to me again.
Trevor, Vinny and Hope were all involved in baseball this year. Trevor made the 14 yr olds traveling team and was kept busy with practices and games about twice a week. This was Vinny’s first year participating in baseball where the kids do the pitching. He had practice once a week and games either once or twice a week. This was Hope’s second year in T-Ball. The problem was this; I was able to go to very few of any of the games and none of Hopes. Vinny and Trevor’s baseball games were almost always at the same time or Trevor’s games started at 4:30 or were out of town and Hope’s games were always in the morning. I’ve missed the majority of my kids’ games and this makes me feel like I’ve let them down. Dads are supposed to go and cheer their kids on…support them and encourage them as they play and dream of becoming a sports icon when they grow up.
In July, we went to Iowa for the 4th. I wasn’t able to stay because I had to work the next day, but Trevor, Vinny and Hope stayed behind with Amy’s family through the rest of the week. On Sunday, Amy’s sister Kelly brought them back to Baraboo (Thank you Kelly!). July 12th through the 15th, I took Trevor and Brittany on a little vacation to Lifest in Oshkosh. Lifest is a 5 day Christian rock festival. We saw Casting Crowns, Jeremy Camp, Barlow Girl, Superchick, Third Day and many other bands, but the group who took the crowd by storm was the Newsboys! They were incredible! There was one part in their show when the drummer’s stand raised about 20 feet in the air…then turned sideways…and then SPUN! Good music…GREAT fun…even GREATER message!
Have you ever found yourself living life, working, eating…just doing the very mundane things of everyday? Found yourself on auto-pilot and just going through the motions of living…less for yourself and more for your children? Not that there is no purpose in these things, but the color has drained out of life…the excitement…the joy…gone. Then something happens…something you didn’t expect and takes you completely by surprise. Someone comes into you life who completely turns your world around. You can tell them things that you've never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments, sorrows and heartaches life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can't wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Colors seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life again where before it was infrequent or didn't exist at all. A phone call or a series of text messages during the day helps to get you through a long day's work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, you find yourself talking about nothing in particular, just to hear their voice. Things like certain forms of music that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there's a chance it could be broken and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you thought was gone forever.
On January 16th of this year, I wrote (in my previous blog) about how the devastation of a hurricane compares to the devastation of losing a loved one. How there are those who will come in…help clean up the mess…at least that which is visible and just as quickly as they descend on ones life, like so much mist…they are gone. Only one person commented on that entry and her name was Lisa. She introduced herself as a friend of Kari Marley’s (a close friend of Amy’s. Kari and Amy got to know each other through the Parent’s Support Group at the elementary school). Kari’s older sister Chris and Lisa have been best friends since childhood and went to school together. Lisa went on to say that she’s been reading the BLOG and that she hoped I didn’t mind. She also said that she’s been praying for the kids and me. I emailed her back thanking her for the note and telling her she’s more than welcome to make comments. Over the next several months Lisa would comment from time to time on something I wrote, but that was it. Until five months later on May 17th…Lisa wrote to me again commenting on my entry for mother’s day and how it touched her and caused her to think of the many children who, like my kids, also didn’t have a mother to celebrate with. She also asked how I was doing with everything. That she noticed how I continue to write about the kids and related how they are doing and what they’re involved in, but really hadn’t talked about how I was doing through all of this. We traded several more emails and over the next couple of weeks moved from chatting online to talking on the phone. Over the past few months that we’ve been seeing each other, we have grown very close and our budding love has blossomed into a genuinely deep, rich, fully mature love! When I’m apart from her, my thoughts and heart never stray far from her. When we’re together, we laugh and we talk like we’ve known each other for years. Through her, God has brought joy and happiness back into my life! Many of you maybe wondering…’wow! Isn’t this too soon?...he’s just replacing Amy.’ Philippians 4:7 says this, 'And the peace of God, which trancends ALL understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Jesus Christ'. I know Gods finger prints are all over our relationship. His divine hand, guidance and healing have touched and lead both Lisa and I to each other. If you think that I’m just out to ‘fill the void’ or replace Amy, then you don’t know the healing peace that God can give those who have asked. I loved Amy and will ALWAYS hold dear the memories of our life together. In my eyes, Lisa stands fully on her own and I love her for what she brings out in me, for the love she shows my children and for the love she has for God. Jeremiah 29:11 says this: 'For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future'. Through the pain and sorrow of last year, God's promise held true...He DOES have a future for us and I quite often find that God's timing isn't necessarily our own...no, His timing is perfect.
So here I sit, watching His plan unfurl before my very eyes! I praise the Lord for bringing Lisa into my life and as we both keep our eyes firmly fixed on Jesus, we ask for your prayers and yes…if we may be so bold, your happiness, as we wait upon the Lord for His leading…His timing…His plan. For He is faithful and will see that the good work He started in Lisa and I is completed!
I love you Lisa!