Now the story is told,
Of a young man so bold,
Who went to meet his Father above.
And of his kids and his spouse,
Who got a brand new house.
It’s a special story of Christian love.
It’s been a couple of years since I wrote a Christmas letter, but I’m guessing that most of you know the news anyway. You have all been so faithful in your prayers and support that I feel that our story is only just starting to unfold. God has blessed us many times over with the family and friends, and even friends of friends that have surrounded us during this time. Our story truly is a special story of Christian love.
Let me recap. ’01 Dan and I were married. =) Maybe that’s going back a little too far. ’02 Benjamin was born, ’03 Josiah was born, ’04 Abigail, ’05 Hadassah, ’06 Maranatha, and in ’07 Payden was born. We thought we were done for a while. We had reached our “goal” of 6 kids in 6 years. We were ready to settle into the long stretch of family life. God, as usual, apparently had/has different plans.
The beginning of ’08 we found out we were pregnant again. That wasn’t part of the plan. We were swamped with bills and didn’t know how to fix the problem. That wasn’t part of the plan. We had long ago outgrown our house, but had no way of expanding or building new. That wasn’t part of the plan. Then we found out that Dan had a hole in his heart and needed some surgery. Of course, that had never even been thought of when we discussed our plans. But the Lord said, “I know the plans I have for you . .“
I firmly believe we were in the right place, at the right time, and the Lord protected us in amazing ways. He gave us so much! But He asked so much . . . The pain is intense some days and I see in my mind a little child who has been hurt. They cry out in their pain and frustration and Daddy comes to help. Their arms are reaching out to him, knowing that somehow he can make it all better. And the trust remains even when he has to cleanse the wound, creating more pain. We hurt, but we trust that the Lord’s plans for us are greater than our own.
The kids are all dealing with their grief in their own way. I am constantly struggling with the challenge of being emotionally available for all of them while maintaining a certain amount of sanity and emotional stability in my own life. I think the loss of Daddy will affect them more as they get older, but for now I think we are doing o.k.
We have been able to get a routine of sorts established with the onset of the school year and the wonderful house that you all helped to build (in THREE MONTHS!!). Having a room set aside for schooling purposes has been a tremendous release of pressure for me, and allows me to set some boundaries, which is a necessity when running a household this large.
Caleb Daniel is getting ready to walk (surely it’s not time for that yet!), so more boundaries need set and his training will soon be a more demanding task. Payden is a cute little cuddlebug with his “Daddy Hair (meaning that it sticks straight up)”. He likes to sit on my lap and read. Nice since Caleb is always wanting to be on the go at this point. Maranatha is working on the potty training thing – still. I think she would be just fine, but it’s hard to realize you are grown up when you keep getting stuck with the babies. Hadassah is working on her letter sounds and doing quite well. She loves to color and I often find her off by herself either coloring or playing with some toy. Abigail read her first book yesterday and is really enjoying school. She loves to help Mom in the kitchen and even changed a diaper for me the other day. Josiah and Benjamin are both doing well in school and I’m tickled with their progress. Josiah is into dinosaurs and Spider-man. He loves to jump around and tumble all over the place. Benjamin loves books and basketball. If he disappears I can usually find him in the library with a book or out at his makeshift basketball hoop making as many points as he can.
They have all grown and matured so much in this last year. I cry when I think of all that Dan is missing, and of the ways we wanted to teach and train our children together. But I can see that the Lord is ever present and I am trusting that He will do as He promised and be a father to all of my little blessings. The sacrifice of His Son was SO GREAT on my behalf, how can I doubt Him?
Thanks again to all of you who have and continue to support us. I truly believe that your part in our story will have an impact greater than you will ever know.
Keep sharing God’s love!!
Benjamin (7), Josiah (6), Abigail (5), Hadassah (4), Maranatha (3),
Payden (2 in Dec), and Caleb Daniel (1 in Dec)