9 months and counting. How could it feel like the last 9 months has flown by and yet feel like eternity since I’ve seen her sweet face…and still have to wait another eternity to see it again?
On these month markers, we usually take time to look at pictures and videos of our short 14 months with Hannah. The boys love to see how cute and silly she was, how they interacted together, and how much they have grown since then. It’s good therapy to remember and laugh at the good times we had. All of our hearts grew 3 times the moment we laid eyes of our sweet princess. I’m so blessed that my boys have a sister. I absolutely loved how she immediately wrapped them around her little finger, changed them, made them knights in shining armor. I am blessed to have witnessed that phenomenon…and I miss it.
The boys are back to being boys. With the overabundance of boys here at Tenwek, testosterone is never is short supply. They’re out conquering the world with lightsabers and superhero masks. They rarely stop to be soft and silly like they did when Hannah was with us. I miss the sweetness, beauty and spunkiness Hannah brought to our family. But God has given me hope in a glimpse of what I lost.
Right now, there is a family living next door to us. They’re here for 3 weeks and they have a 15 month old girl. She has brought that tenderness out of my boys. It’s precious to see that they haven’t forgotten all the things Hannah taught them! It’s also hard not to feel saddened by their obvious longing to have their baby sister back. Jacob has asked to take naps (and he rarely takes naps and never asks for one) in their house. Levi tries all his crazy antics to make her laugh, but he’s sadly failing on all fronts. (Hannah was quite rough and tough for a girl, and she loved Levi’s insanity.) He doesn’t understand why she cries at him, and apparently doesn’t care, because he’s relentless! Noah, too, loves to make this little girl laugh. His tactics are quite effective though. Those two were cracking each other up the other day at chai. Too, too cute!
God has been speaking to me about suffering well and teaching the boys to do so. I pray that I’ve been doing a relatively good job so far, but I’m thankful that He’s been bringing sermons and blogs and devotions and Bible studies all together at this really hard season to remind me that what I do and how I handle my grief is important. People (specifically my boys) are watching. My boys are learning how to walk through the valley. They’re learning that God is sovereign and good and loving, but life isn’t fair. Bad things happen to good people. They can do all the right things, obey God to the best of their abilities, give their lives to serve Him and yet still suffer. It’s an important lesson, one that they are learning young. I trust that God will bless them in their suffering, that He will be more real to them because of Hannah’s death, that each of them will serve Him wholeheartedly all the days of their lives, that they’ll willingly and joyfully choose the narrow and oftentimes more difficult path when God asks them to do so.
I’m sure I could write an entire post about what God is teaching me right now, but I’ll save that for another day. Today, we are taking a little family trip to Narok, a town about an hour away from here. We are eating lunch at a coffee house that serves milkshakes and hamburgers. We’re shopping at Naivas, but I’m pretending that it’s Target! We’re just getting away from Tenwek for a few hours in order to have some undivided family time, to do something we did quite frequently in the States, to avoid our precious friends for a few hours! (I love you all, but I need someone new to look at! :)) Although there won’t be Christmas music or a toy section to explore, I’m hoping it helps my homesickness for an American Christmas. If nothing else, I’ll get some Christmas cookie ingredients…and a yummy milkshake!
Praises and Prayer Requests:
1. Praise God for being in the details.
2. Praise God for always giving us what we need (and not always what we want).
3. Praise God for the awesome, Christ-centered Advent we are having this year.
4. Praise God for Navais and Narok Coffee House.
5. Please pray for the boys’ hearts, their lives and their faith. I know God has big plans for each of them!
6. Please continue to pray for my dad, who is going through radiation, and my whole family as they celebrate Christmas without us.
7. Please pray for the Tenwek community, that we’ll be patient and loving and compassionate with each other, especially as we celebrate Christmas without our families (some of us for the first time).
Let me end with two quotes by godly men:
There is a glorified Man on the right hand of the Majesty in heaven faithfully representing us there. We are left for a season among men; let us faithfully represent Him here. ~A.W. Tozer
Every believer may be brought to understand that the only object of his life is to help make Christ King on the earth. ~Andrew Murray