Thursday, August 18, 2022

Breakfast, Gifts, Games & Dinner

Allie has been working evenings and it's a sacrifice for her to get up for breakfast, but it's a priority and she's wanted to continue even when presented with other options.  For the past six weeks we've been meeting with both girls together once a week. We've been working through questions at If: Table and enjoying the twists and turns of the conversation. Stacia and I appreciate Allie's efforts to continue meeting.  This morning we rushed from breakfast to the hair salon. Personally, I thought both girls' hair looked darling, but it's been 8 weeks and they were ready for a trim. 

Before we came home, we ran to the library, picked up a Click List grocery order, and stopped by Omnivore Alaska, Stacia's choice for her birthday dinner, to verify their hours. 

This afternoon we made 2 ice cream cakes, a chocolate mint cheesecake, and five 10-inch pizza dough rounds and 4 individual ones.  We are set up well for the next couple of days of hospitality. 

We have been looking for a bit of time to have a household birthday celebration for Stacia. We opened gifts this afternoon.  

Allie got Stacia a mug captioned, "Don't annoy the author. They'll write you into a book and then kill you." She also gave her a Creative Block - a bunch of activity/discussion cards in a box. 

We gave Stacia a Chosen sweatshirt, a lighted curtain panel, and an ear cuff/chain comb. Alex got her a sweatshirt from an anime show they watch. Nolan got her a bag full of treats: a psychedelic boov, giant bag of gummy bears and APPLES TO APPLES!

The kids played Apples to Apples while I finished up with the pizza crust...we got rid of Apples to Apples after several unfortunate incidents.  The more we've been playing games, we realized most of us miss it.  I heard the friendly banter as they each politicked for their choices. I mentioned I had been told that was cheating. They brought out the rules and imagine my surprise when the RULES  tell you to try to convince others to pick your card. The game got even better. 

The pizza rounds were all pre-baked as the game was ending. We headed to Ominvores for an early dinner before Nolan had to go to work. We really liked the Tuscan Chicken. It's well worth watching their schedule and going in if you are local. The girls and I loved the place. Grandpa and Nolan really liked it. Michael said it was, "ok" and Alex didn't like it. That's still a win around here. 

Nolan went to work. Alex went to play games. The rest of us began settling into a night at home...when, much to our horror Allie got a call from work!!!!! She graciously went in to help.  BUT she's off for a few days now and we're going to BE STRONG and tell that assistant store manager, "NO!!!" next time he calls. ::snort::  Most of you know that manager is Nolan, right? LOL We asked Allie to work as many hours this summer as she could. She was happy to do this and was able to pay for her first college semester AND have cash towards the next semester. She has cut her hours down until she experiences her college load.  We are all excited to have her home more again.  We're also incredibly proud of her. 

Michael, Stacia and I are playing Farkle. It makes me sad that Dad doesn't play any longer....

I KNOW it's Hard

Arielle gives a clear illustration of what it means to love courageously and how it looks when God calls us to a hard good.
Danny (seated), Benny, Arielle, Cory, Little Buddy (in pack)

Believe me, I know. It’s hard. It’s messy. It’s heartbreaking. I’ve often cried this past year mourning that things are not how they should be. That there’s pain and trauma and a loss. I’ve often prayed I could just hold him and wipe all the hurt away with the strength of my love. But I know that’s not exactly how it works.
I’ve cried and been angry and frustrated. There’s a piece of my heart walking around that doesn’t even realize who I am or how much I love him or how I will always be on his side and fight for him. My heart has broken watching him cry, watching him look for safe arms and wanting to be that person for him as he seeks comfort but knowing I can’t replace what was supposed to be. Can only pray God will use me now. Can only patiently love and wait from afar as he doesn’t know I’m any different from the other adults in the room who will come and go.
I’ve sat feeling raw and scared. I’m equal parts the “good guy” who loves him deeply and wants to be all I can be for him but I’m also the “bad guy” who will take him away from the only familiar love and safety he’s known.
I’m terrified I’ll mess up. I’m no saint, why was I chosen? I’m a mess myself. What if I CAN'T? What if I FAIL? My heart immediately cries out “failure is not an option” but my mind second am I supposed to walk into the pain and trauma and help him through it? How on earth is God gonna use a messed-up human like me?
I’s hard. It’s messy. Heartbreaking. Nothing like Hollywood. There are no rose-colored glasses. I know. But yaknow what else I know? My God.
My God is healer. Savior. Redeemer. Strength. Comfort. Peace. Refuge and fortress. My God is present and future. My God KNOWS and CARES and is walking beside us and ahead of us. guiding and carrying us thru the hard. Thru the mess. Thru the pain and heart break and trauma to the other side. My God is a miracle worker. And he loves more than I ever could and has a GOOD plan. A plan of redemption and grace and healing. And I’m HERE FOR IT.
One thing God whispered to me when I was praying about all this way back’ll never regret loving well. Even if it’s hard. Even in the darkest night. I’ll never regret loving well- ESPECIALLY when it’s hard πŸ’”πŸ™πŸ’™

The above expresses the heart of so many so well. Thanks, Arielle, for letting me share it on the blog. I want to document this journey in our family journal.