Playing in the wading pool one more time before putting it into storage for the year…
…and stocking up Josie and Katie’s new backpacks and printing out reading lists and school log sheets for the rest.
Make that social stories and related word flash cards for Verity.
For us, no matter what the calendar says, once school has begun in earnest for all the children, summer is officially over.
Our home school has logged fourteen school days so far, Katie began attending her new class on Wednesday (hope to have a good report on this soon), and Josie’s first day is Monday!
The school-aged kids enjoyed all their late-night activities one more time this past week. We’ve accomplished our last few summer goals.
Turning briefly to look back at the past few months, how could I fail to have a heart overflowing with gratitude for how God mapped out our summer?
Because of our limitations as parent caregivers to several children with disabilities plus many others…
…of course, it takes far more effort to accomplish far fewer and more modest activities.
A much greater percentage of our time must be given to disability-related tasks like personal care, appointments, paperwork, phone calls, emails and advocacy for the best interests of our children who cannot advocate for themselves. *Aka, “Put your big girl pants on and stay strong, Mama!*
Our summer bucket list would not have looked impressive to most…
…but we refuse to get into the comparison game.
Besides, and most importantly, we all know it doesn’t take Impressive to fill up the hearts of children who are unconditionally loved…
…as well as happy and secure in the awareness that their daddy and mama are building an ever-stronger marriage…
…and that underneath are the everlasting arms of a God who is for us.
Right now, I am deeply grieving with several families who are reeling from the sudden, traumatic losses of beloved family members; they are also struggling terribly with self-blame. And I’m praying for some pretty heavy difficulties within the families of several other dear friends.
For reasons known only to Himself, God decided to hold back the hard stuff from us for the past several months. Instead, He poured out extras on us that we could not have expected or obtained for ourselves.
I no longer believe that is directly connected with our obedience or lack thereof.
I no longer try to guess–let alone assume I know–why God sends the specific circumstances He does.
I don’t believe we can determine from our circumstances whether God is pleased with us and loves us. His love for His children is unconditional. That means it does not change with our emotions or circumstances.
Our safety and provision is in His hands and isn’t in our own caution, ability, or obedience.
Neither worrying nor trying not to worry will prevent the most painful tragedies from happening.
Our understanding and power are limited, and our concept of justice is inaccurate…
…unlike our infinite God of absolute sovereignty, absolute wisdom and absolute goodness…
…Who sometimes allows great hardship, suffering, and even devastation in the lives of those who trust and love Him.
Always, always, always, His grace is available to us.
Always, always, always, He does have a purpose…
…and always, always, always, His purposes for us are good.
P.S. The only photo here that I shot was the one measly photo of Katie. Wait–I also took the one of Ben reading on the chair. I took both of these on one of the days I was sorting through all the books that had been in storage. I’m such a loser as a photographer lately that I completely forgot to get family photos while we were all together and dressed in our best for my niece’s wedding. Can you believe it? Not one photo! A big thank you to everyone else in my life who takes great photos of my family!