(This blog post may be very boring to most of you. I felt I needed to write it for me to remember and for my kids to see a glimpse of this stage of our lives when they are older. Before I can blog the "memories" from our trips, I needed to blog the emotions and facts. I won't be offended if you skip this one.)
I have been a lot of places over the last month. That has made it hard to blog. I am going to catch up soon with pics and stories, but for today I just feel like I need to share where I have been physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It has been a challenging month for me. So, here I go:
We left town on June 27 to begin our travels. Those travels led us to the following:
-We drove over 3,600 miles in our truck over the course of the last month.
-We drove through Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, and KY to get to my hometown of Glasgow, KY.
-We had a small detour to the hospital two days before our Swazi trip which resulted in an emergency appendectomy for Sam. That was scary and discouraging. But, also seeing God's Hand in it all and being around family when it happened made it encouraging. We felt grateful for how it played itself out.
-Rick left for Swaziland with the team
-Sam and I joined them later in the week. The adventure he and I had traveling alone across the world deserves a post all its own!
-Upon our return from Africa, we stayed in KY for a few more days.
-Then, we headed to our beloved TX for a few days of family time. We drove through Kentucky, Tennesse, and Arkansas to get there.
-Finally, we drove through the night on July 25 through Texas and New Mexiso to arrive back in Colorado the morning of the 26th.
-Phew, I am exhausted just thinking about it all.
-Our poor bodies have endured overnight travel 4 times, time zone changes of 1 hour up to 8 hours difference, and we have gone from CO "summer", to KY summer, to Swaziland winter, back to TX summer to finally end up in CO "summer" again.
-Tomorrow is Rick's last day off from work. I am not sure I am ready for that.
We were all so ready for a change of scenery before this trip. Summer, up to that point, had really not been all that great in CO. It was not very warm and it was horribly windy. I LOVE SUMMER HEAT!! I was ready to go somewhere that we could experience some HEAT!!
-We were not disappointed by KY or TX. Both places gave us the heat and humidity we had been craving. Since we have been back to CO, it has been rainy, cloudy, and chilly. UGH!
-I am still processing all the emotions of this trip. I find that in the midst of stressful situations, I hold it together pretty well. When it is all over, I collapse into a blubbering mess. I would say I am in the blubbering mess phase right now.
-Sam's situation was so scary and could have been life-threatening if the timing of it were different. I have to remind myself that God took care of us, but it is very easy to go down the path of the "what ifs" and wonder how it would have been different if everything had occurred a day or two later than it did.
-Since his surgery, he has developed an infection in one of his incision. The doctor thinks it is from a stitch that didn't dissolve. Right now, he is on antibiotics for the infection. He may need a small surgery to remove the stitch if it doesn't dissolve. That thought just exhausts me.
-I am in this major phase of processing this new season of life with teenagers and older kids. I so desperately want to do it well, but most days I find myself feeling unequipped and very discouraged.
-The month of August feels like a month of centering myself. I need to get back into healthy eating patterns(I am planning to do my 3rd Whole30 probably starting on Monday), I need to declutter my mind from all the distractions(mostly social media and internet stuff), and I need to devote my attention to seeking out God in the daily challenges I am facing.
That last point leads me to the spiritual aspect.
-The older I get, the more I realize how important my walk with God is. The things of this world just don't cut it. They are temporary and way more appealing in theory than they are in reality.
-I cannot imagine my life without Jesus. I think that is one of the reasons I feel so desperate in my parenting right now. I know that my kids have to have their own faith journeys, but I so want them to seek after God in their youth. It breaks my heart to think of the pain they might have to experience to get them to the point where they see their true need for The Lord. All of life truly boils down to Jesus. No matter how much I want to, I can't force that on them. A faith that they have "earned"(and I don't mean that they way it sounds, but meaning a faith that comes from their personal experiences and need for God) is the only faith that will last in their lives.
-Our church has been through a lot of changes over the last year. It has been a long, painful journey. I want to see God take that pain and redeem it for His Kingdom. I want to see healing in the hearts of those around me. I want to see Him bring beauty from the ashes around us.
My life feels in transition right now. The next few weeks will be consumed with school preparations, buying school supplies, buying uniforms, meeting teachers, open houses, and restarting sports. Once everyone is back in school, we will settle in for the second half of the year.