The Bible tells us that there is a time for everything and our family has been in a season of significant changes over the past several months. Some are good, and some are not so good. But we know that we are to count it all joy and trust our heavenly Father with it all.
The good news first. At the beginning of September, I (the SSL mom) accepted the position of preschool director at our church. Todd and I have been serving for several years together on the elementary side of the children's ministry and when this position opened up, we knew right away it was something we were being called to do. We are five months into it and we have been so blessed by the people we have been able to meet, serve alongside and grow closer to. Our entire family serves the Lord together, side-by-side, and it's amazing to be a part of it all. But it did take some time getting used to our new roles, readjusting our schedules, and reevaluating our priorities. And preschoolers are a WHOLE lot different than elementary kids. Wet noses, wet pants, you name it, they do it. And if you think just because you had kids of your own that you could do it, think again, they're a force to be reckoned with in high numbers.
More good transitions, we have a high schooler! While it is bittersweet watching her grow up so fast, we are grateful for the young woman our oldest daughter is becoming. She loves her sisters, the Lord and sports. AND she starts driver's ed next week, so look out. Since we know these next few years are going to fly by, we try to remind ourselves how much we are going to miss her clothes all over the floor and dishes strewn about her room when she moves out on her own. We are also in the middle of her bedroom renovation, so everything she owns is all over the house, literally. But thankfully, Todd is mudding her room as I type and we will be onto the plywood flooring very soon.
The difficult news is that my mom was officially diagnosed with ALS in October. ALS is tricky and there isn't a definitive test for it, but we knew something was terribly wrong with her. A little over a year ago, my mom started to have difficulty walking, talking and swallowing. She progressively got weaker and weaker over the last year and we got the heartbreaking news in October. She now communicates to us with her phone by texting and it will speak for her. She eats through a tube in her stomach, and is almost exclusively confined to a wheelchair or her bed. A ventilator breathes for her at night. Our family is now in a season of caring for her, showering her with as much love as we possibly can, and doing things for her that she can no longer do herself. This is perhaps the worst disease I have ever heard of. It takes everything away from you. She can't eat the foods she loves, we will never hear her voice again, we will never hear her laugh again. My daughters can't play Just Dance with their grandma on her Nintendo like they used to. She is the best grandma I could ever ask for to my girls. They miss her voice, they hurt to see her so helpless, and they are trying so hard to process it all. We are bearing down, pushing forward, and putting all of our hope and trust in God. While we don't always fully understand, we are confident He is working good into this situation. And we know He is a God who heals.
We hope this update helps to explain some of the random projects Todd has been working on over the past few months. The candy canes for the church's children's play, the bedroom renovations for our oldest (we've been promising her closets for years and realized time is running out!) and the wheelchair ramp and video doorbell for Mom. We love sharing our way of life with you all and are so blessed when you send us your comments and pictures. They mean more to us than you could ever know.
"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." Genesis 50:20