I feel ___________. Fill in the blank yourself. Whatever you choose will be right.
Good ol' August.
It's any teacher's real New Year. Full of resolutions and anticipation.
But I've never been on this side of it. Sure, I've patted and consoled many moms with tear filled eyes as they leave their babies, sometimes for the first time, in my care for 8 hours a day, around 180 days a year. But now it's my turn to be consoled and the transition left to me. I get to be the one to experience my child's first day of school. I get to be the one to experience meeting a whole slew of parents and children who will make up a new community for Caroline and our family. Will there be someone she "clicks" with? Will I be friends with the clicking student's family? What will our new schedule be like? How will baby T and I arrange our days without sister?
Happy, sad, crazy, mixed up tears. (from me, not her--she's pumped, backpack packed, outfit chosen for the first day....hmmm that makes me think, what should I wear?! Does it matter?! Probably not.)
Oh, yes, and it's August.
Thomas turns 3 years old on the 17th. The day his daddy in heaven would be 33. Numbers and dates are a funny thing for me. For a lot of people, I've learned. I refuse to ever let go of my dazed in amazement feeling of God's plan to turn the 17th into a gift for baby T. He can always share that with his dad even if he didn't get to physically share any other days. In the bible there are several numbers that are reoccurring and might be seen as significant. I'm not trying to start a debate about biblical numerology, I just believe God can use anything in creation to "speak" to us. So for us, the 17th is bittersweet and so is the 5th. For anyone who has grieved a love one, the date of the month you lose a loved one marks the passage of time, just like the birthdate. Thomas went to heaven on a 5th of the month, and Tyler and I were married on the 5th of a month. If it was any "normal" wedding we might have moved the date, but as weather/traveling to Florida/timing would have it; it fell on the 5th. I truly appreciate how God can use any decision we make to His glory, if we let Him. I can now see the 5th as a reason to celebrate in addition to any other mixed emotions that come on that date. As I related in a previous post, (Yes, I'm quoting myself now. Weird.)
"Thomas and I truly loved each other and had a great marriage. I'm blessed to know what a great marriage is because of him. I remember thinking when we knew we wanted a second child, "How can I love another child as I love sweet Caroline?" God's abundant love for his people is mirrored by how we have the ability to love each other. And when Baby T came along...I did not replace the love I had for my first child, or try to take some of the love from her to give to him, my capacity to love GREW. Wow. God is gracious.
Over and over through our dating and marriage Thomas would say "I only want for you to be happy." It is imprinted on my heart forever.
And I can say I am truly happy again. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!"
I rarely re-read my blog entries, but that one is so special to me. Especially as Tyler and I celebrated our one year anniversary yesterday, I can still say it is all so TRUE. We are happier and more in love each day that passes by.
God is amazing and what He does is beyond our comprehension. We just have to step out on faith at times, praying the whole way, and let Him do His thing! HE is love!
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:8
So back to my "numbers" thing.
Those of you who have followed our journey know that scrabble/words with friends is special to us. It got us "talking" back in the day...
For our first date anniversary I found the coolest coasters that look like scrabble tiles to give him. I thought we could use them as decoration somehow. As I was talking with God, I felt like I should add up the numbers on the LOVE tiles. I knew before I even looked that it would equal 7. (7 in the bible could be seen as "completeness," and what's more complete than God who is love!) God knows all of our little quirks that make us us. I love that He knew that would make me smile. So when I pulled the tiles out for Tyler to see, I could explain that our love is possible because God first loved us :-) It was the perfect way for us to reminisce about God's hand in our journey and how we must persevere putting God first in our marriage. Whenever I feel doubt or fear over the future creep in, about the first day of kindergarten or whether or not our house will sell (Oh, yes--we are also moving, not far...what else can we add to August!!?) He gently reminds me that He is the ONLY constant in our lives. Let the world go crazy around us, but HE is stable and strong. Our strength comes from Him alone!