Back to Normal

I am thankful:

~ for the highly anticipated tapering off of Virtual Learning here at Rucker Academy. Carson Grace and Cooper officially wrapped up their Freshman year of college and high school last week. Monday was Sawyer’s last day. He celebrated his Virtual Kindergarten Graduation with a drive through ceremony on Tuesday. He had the very best attitude, and it was special and memorable.

Tuesday was Samantha and Kora’s last day, AND their last day of elementary school. 5th grade traditionally “graduates” from elementary, but our school is moving 4th grade to the new Middle School Campus next fall, so it was a transition for Kora as well. 4th graders had a drive through to receive their completion certificates, and then an hour later, 5th graders had their own drive through ceremony to receive Elementary School Diplomas. We all enjoyed a Pokey O’s treat in between the two.

Wednesday was Gavin and Zoe’s last day of school, officially closing out our year. We now have a College Sophomore, High School Sophomore, 6th grader, 5th grader, 4th grader, 3rd grader, and a 1st grader. And what better way to celebrate the end of school?

But with an Aloha Drive Through on Thursday of course!!!! It was fun to see ALL our beloved teachers and support staff, even if we couldn’t give the hugs they so richly deserve! I let our principal know that I WOULD NOT be seeking employment, just in case she had planned to call on me to fill a math teacher position. (I wonder if there is good money in the story problem writing field?)

~ for one blissful day of nothing. No drive throughs. No papers. No zoom meetings. No “Mama, can you check this?” I sat. I drank coffee. They played. It was glorious.

~ for the kindest surprise blessing on my front porch. THANK YOU Jennifer and Janet!

~ for a glorious double rainbow that stretched directly over our house. Oh Lord, thank You for being faithful to remind us of Your promises.

~ for my Laundry Wizard tools: bleach, peroxide, Windex, and a toothbrush; for the times when a little girl scribbles all over her sheets. Or when a big girl sets down her iron on her bed.

~ for the cutest, tiniest little red bell pepper from our garden. And the cutest, tiniest little spicy pepper holding it.

~ for a productive Giddyup & Whoa week. I’ve been trying to keep up with the orders that keep coming in.

Very pleased with these new projects, and excited that the Vintage & Co. Gresham Barn Sale has been RESCHEDULED for June 3-6! Looking SO FORWARD TO IT! And for the most wonderful added blessing, Jodi has chosen Gold Network of East Texas as the local charity beneficiary for their Preview Day!!! We are so honored and grateful. We continue to connect with our families who are traveling to Dallas for chemotherapy or follow up appointments, one almost every day. We are so blessed when people from the community believe in what we do and want to help support these deserving families during the hardest season of their lives.

~ for an awesome afternoon with my Love. We were invited by a friend of a friend of a friend to salvage some gorgeous wood from a demo’ed building. It was a pretty good drive, so we decided to make a date of it. After church, Carson Grace and Cooper watched the Littles and we hit the road. I love this picture.

You know we love our coffee. Well our His and Hers coffee cups haven’t been side by side in a cup holder in a hot minute. We turned on some classic rock, drank our coffee, and held hands. We stopped on our way out of town to pick up THE BEST chicken,

and then just enjoyed being out of the house and ALONE TOGETHER. We got a small truckload of GORGEOUS and PERFECTLY CHIPPY 100 year old reclaimed wood, and then topped the afternoon off with some ice cream. The sun-soaked drive through the picturesque countryside was beautiful and filled up a place in my heart that I didn’t even realize needed filling.

The grip of quarantine is loosening, businesses have begun reopening, and lots of people are chomping at the bit to be back to normal.

Ugh. Just the phrase makes my stomach hurt.

I’m not panicky. I’m not actually afraid of the virus. My anxiety has been surprisingly relatively minimal through all this. I can’t really explain it, I just don’t feel peaceful about everything going back to normal.

And I wrestle with that every day. Because does that mean I don’t have faith? Does that make me controlled by the government? Does that make me a mindless rule follower?

I don’t think it does. I think it means I’m human.

Everyone is different. Everyone processes this stuff differently. And I know that a big part of the reason I feel the way I do is because of what we have walked through with Sawyer.

When you hear the words, “your child has cancer,” there’s a physical reaction. It changed every part of me. It changed my DNA. In a lot of ways, I genuinely believe it changed me for the better in the long run. I love deeper. I see life’s colors brighter. I absolutely KNOW with every fiber in me that God is fully God and fully love and fully good.

But it’s changed me in other less endearing ways. I’m changed because I have held my baby dozens of times while propofol was pumped into his body, causing him to go limp in my arms, and handed him over to doctors, while I left the room for him to have spinal taps and bone marrow biopsies. I have held my baby and watched him unresponsive to a sternal rub, and watch a code team swarm in and set to work to care for him. I have spent weeks in isolation in a hospital room with my son, away from the rest of my family, because of a combination of simple cold viruses. During that season of personal quarantine, I turned down dozens of invitations to gatherings for myself and my children because of concern for Sawyer’s immune system. Social distancing is a lot more lonely and isolating when no one else is doing it. But there was never a question of “would we or wouldn’t we.”

So a highly contagious virus, whether or not it may be “exaggerated by the media,” “just a bad cold, “has a “good survival rate” and “rarely affects children” is something I don’t take lightly. This season of sheltering in place has triggered a protective Mama Bear instinct. I will repeat: I AM NOT AFRAID. I know that God is God and we all have a number of days that we will live, and He is in charge of that, not me. I can’t keep Sawyer (or any of them for that matter) in a bubble or protect them from life. But I just do not have a peace about my family jumping right back into “normal” life and crowds and public contact again just yet.

And it’s OK if you do. I’m not imposing anything about how I feel on anybody else. You do you. And let’s all just be kind.

The “normal” I AM excited about is that I am NOT A MATH TEACHER. I’m excited about popsicles and watermelon and homemade ice cream. I’m excited about sleeping in and floating in the pool and roasting hotdogs and Tuesdays with Tatum K. I’m excited about more drinking coffee and holding hands and dreaming with my Love. I’m excited for the thrill of the hunt, whether it’s “treasure” on the side of the road or the newly elusive treasure, toilet paper. I’m excited for a million zillion loads of laundry and 2 shaggy dogs and a house bursting full of people that simultaneously make me thankful and exhausted.

And I’m excited to discover all the blessings Jesus has prepared for us along the way.

There are a lot of people I love who are really hurting right now. Maybe you are too. Let’s press into our Father and lift up one another. There may not be one single thing we can do to take away somebody’s pain. But we can listen. We can pray. And we can be kind. Let’s be good at that this week.

Thanks for giving thanks with me.

“But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, That I may declare all Your works.” (Psalms 73:28)

3 thoughts on “Back to Normal

  1. Heather, this is once again a beautifully written post! You are not alone in being glad school is done. (Even this former homeschooling mom was so glad when school was out for the summer!!!) I hate that our Enemy has managed to make us think of this pandemic in terms of faith versus fear, or weak vs strong. I see you as a strong mama and woman of God. Keep up the awesome walk!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So proud of each of your children and loved seeing how the school celebrated their accomplishments. And I am really glad for the precious time you had with Josh, and how the Lord provided the wood you need for your art “job” that blesses so many. I think of all your trips to and from Dallas with Sawyer, and still trying to be a good Momma to the rest of your kids. And I am really thankful for Gold Network and how you are able to come alongside other anxious, overwhelmed parents. I thank God for Lindsey and Sierra and the huge blessing they were at a critical time. I am so thankful for this home that God provided at exactly the right time, for the wonderful pool (not in the driveway – lol), and for your local and long-distance friends and family who are all close in heart. I count myself in that group. Love always.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s