Sunday, January 29, 2017

Mosaics part 2

I have been truly fascinated with mosaics since God showed me the similarities between myself and them. I have researched more and more and continue to be amazed. Mosaic tiles are usually rough around the edges, boy do I feel that way. When they are broken parts shatter that are no longer usable, hhmm, ditto. You can use a lot of different colors and seriously make any picture or design imaginable. God can put my many parts back together to create anything, He desires. When making a mosaic you need the pieces to be very close together, almost touching. It is like healing, there will be a scar but the skin is connected. You can't just use anything to glue and seal the tiles. I can't just use anything to put myself back together, not drugs, alcohol, shopping, food, etc. I have to use God, His word, prayer, friends and family. If I don't I will break and shatter again or not be usable. Mosaics are often made out of glass, especially in churches because....they reflect the light. That is my hope to reflect the light of my Savior. 

Little things still are painful. Signing a card for a wonderful couple today at church that have been married 75 years was painful. I signed the card for our family and I didn't sign Jennifer's name. That was a first and it was so hard. Little pieces of mosaic if placed in the wrong place will change the picture or have to be removed, broken off and replaced. School days are easier than evenings or weekends. I can stay busy. Busy making a mosaic, waiting to see the finished project. Waiting to see what I will become, Waiting for the process to be finished. Just about anything can be covered in mosaic pieces. God is unlimited in what He can do. It takes time, just like any art work. You take your time and do your best, and that is what I want. I want it to take time to heal correctly and piece by piece. I don't know how long that will be and every piece of art is unique, so I will be different than even Paul or her brothers. We will each have our own beautiful look some day and I believe it will take years even to complete. I wonder if any artist out there is doing a continual mosaic project that is always being worked on. I have a feeling that is what I will be. I think Jennifer would have loved these rain boots. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


I had the pleasure of going to see friends this weekend. I was busy almost constantly with different friends. I loved it, it was both comforting and healing. I went to dinner with some terrific friends Friday night. We have a lot in common, wives, mom's, our children are close in age, etc. We ate, talked, laughed and I got to talk about Jennifer. I needed it. Saturday morning I had brunch with another group of amazing ladies. They encouraged me, prayed for me and poured their wisdom into me. Their kids are mostly grown and out of the house, one has lost a child close in age to Jennifer. They ha e walked where I am walking, they survived and so will I. Saturday night I went to dinner with a great group of fellow educators. We used to work together and we laughed, talked about school and our education system, I talked about Jennifer and it felt good.  I also got some good one on one time with several friends over the weekend. I visited with families that Jennifer loved. I cried, I laughed and I did some healing. I started to realize that it takes all kinds of friend, family and situations to help me heal. I will never be the same, my life was shattered when Jennifer passed away. I do know though that I will heal. I look at my life as a mosaic, I had a beautiful life and family, I broke into a thousand pieces but all these wonderful people are helping me to become something just as beautiful. It will look different, it will take time, it might even be used differently, but it will be beautiful. They are the glue God uses to help me. I am so thankful. I don't know what I will look like in the days, weeks and even years ahead but I know I have a lot of amazing people in my life that are helping me put the pieces back together, thanks to God. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Back to work

I started back to work this week. It was both difficult and good. I knew sitting at home wasn't going to help, especially when the boys went back to school. The idea of sitting around at home in a quiet house was not appealing. I would sulk, pout, whine, and get super depressed. All of that might be okay for a little while but not all day long every day. So I knew I needed to get back to doing what I love at school. I got up the first morning and it hit me. I didn't get to make Jennifer's lunch, I didn't get to check to make sure she was up and taking her shower (which she always was), she didn't come down the hall and ask what I put in her lunch and what she could have for breakfast. It was hard. I am sure the boys felt it also. 
Going into work was what I needed, I needed to keep busy and I love my job. They are supportive and appreciate me as well. They were glad to see me but most didn't know what to do or say. I wouldn't have known what to do or say either if I had been in their position. Sometimes it felt like there was the proverbial elephant in the room. It's okay because I know they do care. I can tell you for me personally, if you want to know what to do or say, ask. You can ask me just about anything, talk about my daughter, please! Yes I miss her but sharing what she went through or some of her stories is a privilege for me. I want to talk about her. I am also a hugger. I know some people are not but sometimes it's nice to have a hug, especially right now. And if I have a tear or two it's okay. Don't feel guilty for bringing up Jennifer, tears are going to come sometimes, especially for the next several months. It is a journey and a process. Finding joy and healing in this takes time but it happens. I still laugh and have peace and hope. God is holding myself and my family and lots of praying is getting us through. I thank God for my job and I am so grateful I have a place to go back to. It helps the healing. 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

The year 2016

I could say that 2016 was a terrible year and a lot of people would agree with me or at least allow me to feel that way. The truth however is that 2016 was a pretty good year with the last 6 weeks being difficult. I can't pin the entire year on just the last several weeks. 
I work at a great school doing what I love. I have worked with several grades and teachers and have learned so much and they are such a great supportive group. My kids have grown and done some amazing things. As soon as Jennifer learned about prom in the Fall of 2015 she knew she would go. She had a confidence that I envied. She never doubted that someone would ask her to go, she even figured more than one would ask and she would choose. I always wanted to go to prom but never dreamed I would be asked. Jennifer was asked and went and had the time of her life. I loved watching blossom and grow into an amazing young lady. She tried out for a school play, again something I wouldn't have done even though I thought it would be fun. she got a part and even had a speaking part in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. I was so amazed and proud. She went to three different high schools but Sturgis was by far the best fit and she just came into her own and was loved. Levi continued to grow literally so tall and did great in school and drama. Nathaniel was a delight to watch grow and be crazy. He started having seizures but God has taken care of him and we delight in watching him try new things. We went to court to get permanent custody of Jennifer for her safety. We made it a celebration for all of us.  I was fortunate to go to camp for the 4th year in a row and work with some great kids and not just my own. They challenged me and I think I grew more than the amazing young people did. They are resilient and have gone through so much and still keep praising God. We had several friends visit over the summer, some of which we hadn't seen in years. We ended the summer with a wonderful visit with my mom and sister. We hadn't seen them in two years so it was super special. We saw God do some amazing things for us and others. In the middle of November Jennifer went into the hospital. We still saw God work and do great things. She will never finish high school, she was planning on going to Prom again this year, that won't happen and I grieve for what never will be.We had so many people encourage us and our family. People from all over the world that was have never met and those I hadn't heard from in years came together to pray and encourage us. We cried out to God and He heard. I have had people tell me it should have been them that God took not Jennifer but I disagree. As hard as it is I know Jennifer is with her Lord and Savior. Someone else may not be ready for that and dying without Christ means eternal separation from Him...Hell. I don't want that for anyone. So as much as I miss our beautiful girl I am grateful that she had chosen Christ and those who haven't still have a chance. I know already that 2017 is going to be painful and a lot of healing and growing. I accept that and expect it. I am as ready as I can be. I will cry, I will laugh, I will grieve, I will grow. I will survive because I have Christ and I have hope. I pray that each of you have a 2017 that is full of growth and blessings.