There are just sometimes when life takes over. Here's my story.....
At the time of my departure, I had really been toiling with how God wanted me to use my blog - there are so many homeschool blogs out there. Does the world really need one more? Is God really calling me to do this? What direction should I be taking my blog? Should I write from my heart or only share fun ideas and practical help? Am I just adding one more task to my day? Am I doing this for me or Him?
All questions and no answers.
So in a leap of faith - I LET GO!
I really thought it would just be a brief departure. I time of prayer and reflection. I thought I would return to my blog and spruce it up with my rejuvenated spirit. I thought the first of the year would be a perfect restarting point with new goals and a new vision for my blog.
But the first of THAT year came and went. And I still didn't know what direction I was going in. I just simply felt overloaded.
And then life happened.
Let me take you back to March of 2014.....
My dad was in a car accident that broke his neck. He was 86 years old at the time. I still remember all the details of the moment when I got the phone call on a Monday afternoon. My two oldest kids were at their drama class and I had been shopping with my 2 youngest. My phone rang as I was walking out of the store, but laden with baby, diaper bag, shopping bag and a little boy holding my other hand - the phone would have to wait. Upon reaching our van and loading everyone in, I had a leaking diaper to change. I finally settled us in the van to nurse my baby, when I checked my phone. It was my sister. I knew from her voice that something happened.
DADDY?! (Yes, he will always be "daddy" to me, no other name fits).
A BROKEN NECK?!
What are we going to do? Mom needs him to care for her! What are we going to do?
Prayer, LOTS of prayer.
Two surgeries (it was a jump break and the spinal column wasn't aligned) and 5 days later my dad WALKED out of the hospital. He was truly a miracle! The surgeon had never seen a break like this that didn't result in paralysis or even death.
But 2 days later we would find ourselves BACK in the hospital.
This time for my youngest child....
She had been going down hill over the past few weeks, especially this last week with my dad in the hospital. I thought maybe it was a virus. I really didn't know what to think. She was just so groggy. Sleeping a lot, wanting to be held, nursing more. And what's up with all these wet diapers?! She was soaking through diapers every 2 hours. Remember that leaking diaper on the day of my dad's accident? Well, that was a common occurrence all that week. I thought about taking her to the doctor, I just didn't think they would have any answers, it was probably just a virus. She didn't feel good and wanted her mommy - that was understandable. But when she didn't want to stand up anymore and only wanted to be held, I really wanted to have her checked out by a doctor. With it being Friday evening, I determined that I would call Monday morning and take her in. Well, I only made it to Sunday morning before I started getting more panicky about her. Hubby and the kids went to church. Little one and I stayed home in our jammies. Well, I was in jammies, she was in a diaper and a shirt, because she had wet through 3 pjs that night. I had been up most of the night - she just wanted to be held and drink her sippy cup or nurse all night. As we rocked in my favorite rocker, I noticed her breath smelled sweet.
It was like God just connected the wires in my head! I quickly checked the internet for symptoms of diabetes. And sure enough she had most of them- frequent urination, constant thirst, tiredness, sweet smelling breath. But nooo, she's only 18 months old. I know kids can get diabetes, but not THIS young, right? I called the on-call nurse and she listened as I rattled off everything, but when I finished, she said I was to take her directly to the ER. So my dad left the hospital on Friday and here we were again on Sunday.
God was with us, that seemed evident the whole way. We were ushered right in - I imagine a ragdoll of a baby and 2 worried parents may have prompted the triage nurse to step out and watch and wait as we were getting registered. We were immediately led into triage, 2 nurses assessed our baby and before I knew it we were in a room. I don't think I had ever been in the ER when there wasn't at least a little bit of waiting - not this time. Everything was happening so fast! Two doctors and two nurses scrambled around us. A quick poke of one of her little toes and the meter read 500+. What does THAT mean?! (Oh, I was about to learn. I was about to be come an expert in a subject area I had previously not had much interest at all.). But really, this has to be something else. She's too little! What did I do wrong? God was there. A very dear friend of ours is a pediatric nurse in the PICU and she happened to be working that day. She came to our ER room right away. And I'll never forget, in the hubbub of everything she stopped, looked at me and said, "this is nothing you have done to Natalie, her pancreas just stopped working". Those words were so encouraging in the midst of all the chaos in my mind.
Then, in November we lost my bother to an illness.
Followed in December by the passing of my mom from pancreatic cancer.
It has been more than a year of fear, pain, grief.
But God is good.
He has walked with us through every bit of this. He has made Himself visible to us in the midst of it all. Often, when we look back on a situation, we can realize how God worked through it. But I really felt I could see Him working right in the moment. It was such a comfort to me in my most difficult moments to feel His presence. God is good. And we are continuing on. I still don't have any answers to the questions that originally led me to take a break from blogging. But I just felt led to share our story. And I'll take it one day at a time from here.