It’s been a difficult winter. Surprisingly, this hasn’t been due to the weather. There was sickness in early January, and mid-January brought my sister’s rapid decline and passing. It felt like a roller coaster that week because my daughter’s baby shower was only 3 days after my sister left this life. This then flowed into some frustrations with trying to plan a trip to Spain to see my son and daughter-in-law (my husband not getting his passport back so we could book flights) mixed with concerns for this same son and his wife as they faced challenges in Spain. Also, the package I mailed the first week of January, for my daughter-in-law’s birthday, had never made it to them. The retreat I was supposed to host the first of March had to be canceled due to the retreat center closure, and I’m still waiting on my refund. Then, my sister’s memorial service was mid-February and was the usual mixture of joy and sadness as we celebrated her life, visited with so many family, but said goodbye to her.
March came and our expectancy for our new, and first, grandchild was growing exponentially, then the rains came torrentially. March 3 our basement flooded because our sump pump failed. This felt very traumatic since we house so many of our 3 kids and the 2 spouses’ worldly possessions, and also because we had never experienced anything like this. All the carpet had to be torn out of the finished part, along with baseboards, and so many things had to be moved. Our daughter helped a bit but she was 37 weeks pregnant; our son-in-law was the MVP with all of the things flood recovery related. Taylor, our oldest came down from Columbus and helped tremendously, even having a church friend of his come down to help. Other friends of our kids came as well and we had calls of advice from family that had walked that road before us. There was so much to do, and we are still on that journey, having just painted and awaiting new flooring and baseboards in the next week. Even last night we had another scare when the newly installed sump pump sounded an alarm signaling it wasn’t working. Our amazing, and very tired , son-in-law came over at like 5am to help my husband tighten the pipe fittings that hadn’t been secured enough when they put it in yesterday.
The key to that last sentence can be found in the “very tired” comment about my son-in-law. Why you may ask? Well, my daughter, his wife, had their sweet baby 10 days ago. They are figuring it all out beautifully, as much as parents can in those first couple of weeks, hence, they are tired. Yet, they still came to help us yesterday, and of course, in the middle of the night!! My daughter had a bit of a nap while here so I had the chance to hold my precious granddaughter again. What a joy!
You see, I’m not one who ever thought she absolutely had to be a grandparent. I’ve told my kids that I support them no matter what, marriage or not, them having kids or not, it’s their lives and I only desire them to follow their purpose and calling. Yet, here she is, this incredible, beautiful, fresh new life, and I’m in love with her! God has blessed our family with this amazing creation, and I had no idea that this part of my identity needed to be awoken, but God knew. He also knew that she would help jump start my own meaning, purpose and calling, to keep me pushing forward with new purpose to finish writing my book, to make wise choices for my own self-care, to motivate me to remain present and available for others in my life, especially for those God has entrusted to me to love for all their lives.
So, it’s Spring now, and I’m watching all the green and the flowers awaken, and my heart has once again been stirred as well, and I’m so very thankful and filled with hope! “I know that my Redeemer lives and that in the end He will stand upon the earth. I myself will see Him with my own eyes – How my heart years within me!” (Job 19:25 and 27) “The great Easter truth is not that we are to live newly after death – that is not the great thing – but that we are to be new here and now by the power of the resurrection…” (Brooks) “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God…” (2Corinthians 5:17-18) “Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs…For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” (Psalm 100:2 and 5)