Coronavirus, No School and Moving!

You may have noticed that I have been behind on posting. Life is crazy right now as we all know. Coronavirus has spun us all for a loop and we just so happen to also be in the middle of selling our house and moving state. We move in only a couple of weeks, I did not anticipate homeschooling, packing boxes and showing my house all at the same time. However, if you know my family at all… you would say, of course, you would be moving in the middle of a pandemic. That is how our life seems to pan out, never straightforward, ha!

Saying all that, my kids have been doing incredible. We have been having a lot of fun. Tom is home as well so that has been a huge help and has made for some incredible quality family time. We have always respected the educators and been so grateful to them but my appreciation has definitely only grown. We have three kids and they all have different curriculums they are doing. Friends, if ever I even thought homeschooling was a good idea, I can officially say that I do not have what it takes. Teachers, you are amazing. Special Education teachers you are heroes, seriously. How you cater to multiple needs and prepare various lesson plans to accommodate various needs is phenomenal. When school starts again, I guarantee my kids will also have a new appreciation for there teachers after having had Teacher Mom for several weeks.

So as I said we are moving! We will be moving to Central New York in the middle of April. Tom will be going on staff as an Executive Pastor at an incredible church. From the first time we went up there we just had a peace that the church would be an incredible church to be apart of and we just love the Lead Pastors and the staff. We are so excited to be up there and to get started. God has been so amazing in how all of this has come together.

We have been blown away with how everything has fallen into place. Our kids were able to meet there principal and have a private tour given by him. The school is only a four-minute drive from where we will live and we have only heard amazing stories of how great the school district is. The special education department is dedicated to providing support as well as inclusivity. We are excited to see the growth in them through this next season. There are so many small things that God has done as well that would seem silly to others but mean the world to us.

Last year I read the verse from Isaiah 43:19 and immediately knew that it was for me. “But forget all that— it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland”. At that time we didn’t know we would be transitioning from South Jersey but I knew that God was doing something and it was going to be new and exciting. Here we are a year later and moving states and it is not short of excitement.

For many, this season may feel like a wasteland. There is so much anxiety due to the economy and this virus. People are losing their businesses and worried about losing their homes. There is hoarding to ensure families are taken care of. People are buying out moving boxes, I know this because I need them to move and they are sold out at some places. Why? My only assumption is to box up the extra food and supplies. This season might feel and look like a wasteland, you may be overwhelmed with anxiety and fear. There have been times where I feel the anxiety and fear because we are an immune-compromised home. However, as a family we will choose to set our eyes on the pathway through the wilderness, on the rivers, the places of refreshment. This season will not last forever.

Look to the future with hope, there is a pathway that will lead out of this wasteland. There are little pockets of refreshment, whatever that may look like. We are resilient and as we continue on this path, the pathway includes quarantine and safety but it does not mean we have to be overcome by the fear of the unknown. Something I am very certain of is that when there is a season of uncertainty and loss of stability, new and fresh dreams are born. What dreams do you have? How has your perspective changed for the better? How have your relationships grown against all the odds? What are you hopeful for? Take some time to make room for the new! There is something new God is doing!

This last season, at times, felt like a wasteland because we didn’t have any certainty but these verses provided a peace that God was leading us into a new and refreshing season. It gave us the hope that our best seasons were ahead of us. When I think about this move to New York, I see God’s faithfulness and favor on our lives. It overwhelms me with how good God is, He doesn’t owe me anything and yet He gives good gifts. When the world’s promises are empty, His are concrete. God doesn’t provide pathways out of dark seasons because He has to but because He love us and because He gives good gifts. There are good things ahead, find the pathway and look for His goodness.

Scars Tell Stories

The most challenging part of parenting I have encountered so far is watching my children experience pain whether it is emotional or physical. When Moses was six weeks old, we learned that he had Craniosynostosis. His skull had fused while in utero which meant ultimately he would have a disfigured head and it would put pressure on his little developing brain. The solution was major surgery which would include cranial reconstructive surgery. The cranial reconstructive surgery would involve removing pieces of his skull and reshaping them as well as cutting little holes all over his scull to allow the brain to grow. Even though, the surgery sounded scary and painful, we knew it was what was best for Moses and never hesitated in our decision.

At eight months Moses underwent this incredibly painful surgery for an opportunity to have a better standard of life. The alternative was a shortened life-span, cranial-pressure that could cause severe headaches, blindness, and developmental delays. The surgery was a gift for Moses but it didn’t come without challenge. It required him to be brave and go through a painful recovery.

Moses’ surgery went perfect but it was painful for Tom and I to watch Moses’ recovery, he didn’t understand why his head hurt, why his eyes were swollen shut and why he was in a hospital bed hooked up to several different things. However, the surgery was a necessary pain so that he could have the abilities he has now. Craniosynostosis is part of his story.

We have used this part of Moses’ story to show him how brave he was and how his future was greatly impacted for the better through that surgery. The scar across his head acts as a reminder of how amazing it is that his life trajectory changed that day. Moses is incredibly smart, he excels in math, is inventive and has a long life ahead of him. We will forever be grateful for that surgery.

Teaching our kids that sometimes pain is necessary for growth, necessary for much-needed change and apart of life has been so important to us. There are painful times in life where we question the why behind what we go through. I often-times wonder if God is like Tom and me looking at our eight-month-old Moses who had no understanding of why we were allowing the doctors to cause him pain, he was unable to see affect it would have on his future. We didn’t enjoy watching our son go through the pain, it was heartbreaking but it was essential because we wanted the best for his future. We wanted Moses to become the Moses he was created to be. We allowed Moses to go through the pain of his surgery to avoid future pain that would have been more devastating.

We don’t always understand why God allows us to go through pain but we also do not have the big picture. Craniosynostosis wasn’t a punishment for Moses, neither was his surgery. However, he has greatly benefited from what caused him pain. He knows he is courageous and can do hard things. We learn through our experiences, what is inside of us. There are some really incredible strengths in us that we may not know exist until we are in a place where we have to use them.

We have incredible opportunities as parents to teach our children that life is not without pain and it most definitely isn’t always easy but they are brave and resilient. They can not only can get through painful times but they can actually come out of them stronger and grow in empathy and love. Sometimes there pain is essential to avoid future pain.

God doesn’t enjoy or relish in us being in pain. However, God has an incredible way of taking truly painful parts of our story and pulling out the good, even if that good seems so small. Whatever difficult and painful thing you are going through right now has the potential to bring out some incredible treasures within you that you didn’t know existed. It doesn’t minimize your pain and suffering but it gives bravery and courage to your story.

Just like Moses’ scar across his head, we have scars that tell a part of our story. What parts of your story can you now look back on and say I am____ (fill in the blank) and I wouldn’t have known it if I hadn’t have gone through that experience? Or, where can you say, I wouldn’t be who I am today without that part of my story? I most certainly can say that about many experiences. You may not be able to see any good that has come from your pain and that is ok. You may even want to scream at me while reading this, I’ve also been there. My hope for you is that one day, you will see the incredible strength and courage you have to get through it.