Jenny and Rebecca guessed that Chappy and I dated 3 months.....both were very close. We actually dated 3 1/2 months total......no engagement. I was 28 and he was 38....both type A personalities, both first-borns, and both crazy in love. Still are. Lydia drew between the two names, and Jenny won! So, Jenny, let me know size, fabric choice, and an address.....your Poppy Dip dress will be on the way! Congratulations.
Did you take the time to read the comments from the Poppy Dip Contest??? Each person wrote something they would give to the Lord in 2010, and I was captivated by the responses. The hearts of those who have joined this blog journey are beautiful. Thank you for making yourself vulnerable and sharing. Through your testimony, others are blessed. Now, if you will oblige, I am going to make myself vulnerable to you:
Today was a HUGE day for me. If you "view my profile" you will see I introduce myself as a homeschool mom. I have been homeschooling the kiddos for 5 years and have loved every single minute of it. Over that time, I spent at least twelve hours a day, seven days a week, with my children. Is that amazing?? We ate all three meals together, read together, learned together, worked together, laughed a whole lot together, cried together, prayed together, and even fussed from time to time. Truly, I am the most blessed mom in the world. No value can be placed on time spent with those we love.
Today, I sent Natalie and Caleb to school. Today, their homeschool journey ended. This was Natalie's very first time to be in a classroom; she is in 5th grade. I decided to send Natalie to school when I noticed she was beginning to fall behind in her classwork and becoming increasingly more frustrated with her schoolwork. Most of you are aware that Natalie was adopted from Russia when she was three and has some affects of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Sadly, FAS has impacted her ability to retain knowledge. I had Natalie tested, and she needs speech and occupational therapy. Thankfully, both are available through the public school system. I have met with the teachers and they are thrilled to have the opportunity to help Natalie and feel confident some assistance will make a tremendous difference. She climbed on the school bus this morning and the bus pulled away.....a new day.....a new life....a new start.
As for Caleb, he is a total sports nut; he has been a good athlete since he was a little guy. When he found out Natalie was entering the public school system, he quickly seized the opportunity to make a case for his need to play sports in a more competitive league. The homeschool league he is currently involved with does not offer a very challenging outlet for him. In contrast, the Williamson County athletic programs are extremely competitive. Caleb has been discussing this desire with us for some time, so we decided to give him the opportunity. We have "trained him in the way he should go" through the years, and now it is time for him to put his faith into action and live it out. He tried out for the basketball team yesterday and was accepted, his first day of school was today, he dressed out with the basketball team this evening, and he will get to play on Thursday night in a home game. Caleb is walking on air.....no longer under my wing, but tucked in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will still homeschool Lydia. She is involved in a homeschool tutorial group and enjoys it. Lydia's passion is music, so the free time homeschooling affords gives her ample opportunity to master different instruments and write her music. Our day was lonesome today without Caleb and Natalie. Lydia and I must have looked at the clock 100 times or more.....counting down the hours, then minutes. We had a wonderful evening listening intently as Natalie and Caleb recounted their day.....trying to live in each moment with them.
I will write more tomorrow. Tonight, I will go to bed with my tear-soaked face and heartfelt prayers to a Father who feels my pain with me. The pain of letting go. I have been a very unselfish mother today. Desperately, yes, some would say selfishly, I want to keep my babes at home with me forever. I love them more than air and never tire of their company. It is time, however, for them to enter a new chapter of life. This is best for them. Natlie will get help from trained professionals that I have been unable to give her......therapy that will equip her to retain knowledge and teach her to use different methods in order to achieve her full potential. She deserves that. Likewise, Caleb will have the opportunity he has dreamed of.....the chance to play sports with the best.....the chance to play for a team where a college scholarship would not be out of reach. If that is his passion, and it is, he deserves the chance. This way, he will never have to live with any "I wonder if" moments.
Parenting is the toughest job in the world, isn't it??? To think God loves me more than I love Chappy and the children is beyond my comprehension. Remember the old song:
Oh, how He loves you and me......oh, how He loves you and me.....He gave His life....what more could He give......oh, how He loves you.....oh, how He loves me.....oh, how He loves you and me.
"Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.....love never fails." 1 Cor. 13