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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Back to school

I know, I am one of those parents – posting the first day of school pictures. Alexa had her first day of kindergarten yesterday and she had a fantastic day. Alexa was laughing and talking with her nanny after school, and Alexa said, “I am full of joy.” Later in the evening, when I was getting her ready for bed, Alexa said, “I get to go to school tomorrow too.” I told her that she got to go to school on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and she said, “YES!” Ah, to have that sort of excitement about our daily lives as we grow older. And apparently, she is a lot more adventurous with her eating at school than she is for me at home. Today cheese pizza was on the menu for lunch (which Alexa was quite excited about), so she got to eat at school. Not only did she eat the cheese pizza, but she ate the salad, red bell peppers, and pineapple which were served along with it. She has never even been willing to try salad for me and she told me she loved it! I suppose stranger things have happened at other times in my life, but hearing that come out of her mouth was a bit of a shock.

I thought I would give a bit of an update with life for us around these parts. I am very excited about the gal who is Alexa’s nanny. She helped out with Alexa over the summer and is going to be able to continue into the fall. She loves Alexa and Alexa loves her (most of the time, but more on that later). She also loves Jesus – very glad to have her in Alexa’s life! Bible Study Fellowship will be starting for us on September 14, so my first early morning leader’s meeting will be on September 12. I think I am well on the way to having a great team of folks who can come over to be here in case Alexa wakes up on those early Saturday mornings (and there may be times that she’ll go and spend the night with her cousins).

Some additional detail about Alexa. She has been having some somewhat tough times with her nanny over the past week or so. I am certainly not trying to guess the cause of all of it, but she has had some major meltdowns, speaking (or screaming) unkind things, running away (in the store or this morning before the start of kindergarten), and throwing some major tantrums. I have spent time sharing with her that these are unacceptable behaviors and she is well aware there are very tangible consequences to her actions. She doesn’t behave in these ways with me currently, although I have seen samples in the past.

The house construction project continues along (not that I have too much to do with the construction). The exterior is nearly complete and they are getting the sheetrock up on the interior. It looks like move-in will be sometime in December (currently planned for right around Christmas time). Thankfully, a calm time of year! ;-)

In terms of how I am doing, there are aspects of this season which are easier and aspects which are more difficult. It was so hard to see Alexa so excited about going to kindergarten yesterday – thinking Kelsey would have been so proud to see Alexa heading off to school (and would have loved hearing her stories afterward). On the other hand, some of the edges of grief are softer now. When Kelsey comes to mind, I am struck with how grateful I am that God placed her in my life. There is still sadness, but I can genuinely be grateful for the years God afforded me. And, of course, I am so grateful for Alexa. I ran across this song the other day (Nearness – Jenn Johnson, Bethel Music), and it does a good job of capturing a lot of the thoughts which run through my head. I do still have questions, but I am content with them perhaps never being answered. I have often heard people say, “We’ll know why this happened when we get to heaven.” I certainly don’t see that guarantee anywhere in Scripture and I know that God does not owe me any sort of an explanation for why He does what He does. However, I do know that God is with me. He daily sustains and strengthens me.

Thank you all for your continued prayers. Here are a few specific ones:

-- Please pray for Alexa’s heart. I want to be able to shepherd her heart wisely. Helping her to understand fits of anger are not necessary when we don’t get our way. Helping her to understand her words can hurt people. Helping her to see there are consequences to our actions, even when we quickly say, “sorry”. So coupled with the prayer for Alexa is prayer for me and for Alexa’s nanny, that we can be wise in how we point Alexa toward the truth.
-- Praise God for His favor in helping Alexa’s transition to full-day kindergarten to be so smooth. She has so enjoyed it!
-- Praise God for the interactions he has allowed me to have with others who have lost loved ones. I am thankful He has already allowed me to see how the grief I continue to walk through can be used for good in my life and in the lives of others.
-- Pray that in the midst of the distractions and everyday pushes and pulls of life I will be faithful to continue to look to Christ for my sustenance and strength.