Look Straight Ahead

It’s been a bit of a rough week. We finished our second back to school week (after a long week & even some Saturday school), with more complaints and lectures than I would like for week 2. We haven’t settled into our schedule for this year yet, and its a rough transition from playing all day at the lake to sitting around doing spelling and math!

View East from Camp Skyland

Our Summertime Lakeside view

Week one went ok, but week two, ugh! Let’s just say I have high hopes for weeks 3 & 4! I’m looking forward to trying again, getting in the rhythm, and resetting after the bumpy week we just finished.

I am working hard at placing God in the forefront of our school. Beginning our day with Bible study time and stories has helped. We all start with some God time (and Mom gets a little mom time), and we just seem to start with a better frame of mind.

Honestly, we/I missed Bible time on Thursday because we decided to do a homeschool day at the local heritage museum somewhat last minute. Our day began a bit earlier than usual, and since we were in a rush, I didn’t take time to sit with God. Then I didn’t on Friday, or Saturday.

It makes a difference, y’all! 

I have felt a bit out of sorts. A bit lost. A bit unsure of where I was headed & why.

Now, to be fair it’s been a bit of a rough week emotionally. Friends of ours are watching their son fight through the last phase of an aggressive cancer. As a mom who has lost and grieves a child, my heart hurts. Hurts for them, for their other son, for their friends, for their son’s many many online followers. I hurt for their future, short term and long.

And this week, I’ve been led to read through Job, of all books. (Revisiting the themes of: Our days and months are determined, All life is in His hands, How do we even begin to ask for healing, and How does He destroy someone He has created?)  I’ve been a bit of an emotional mess, trying to maintain normalcy. That might have something to do with our rocky school week, I suppose. I guess maybe I need to have some grace days for mommy’s moods. Add in a few ‘Give myself a break and just feel’ days.

Cayden & Mom, Mother's Day 2005I just so miss my child, and hate for any other family to have to endure that burden. It weighs on my soul. This child is about the same age that Cayden would be if he were still with us. But this child was happy, healthy, normal… until the rare form of cancer attached itself to his neck. His parents have been fighting hard to keep his life more or less normal, to fight the good fight, but sometimes, God has other plans. Not that the end has been written for us to see yet, but it unfortunately seems that the cancer is winning.

From my perspective, I see that they have been blessed with time to share with their son. Time to say a long goodbye. Time to make and do a bucket list. Time to enjoy him one more day. Time that we were not given. It’s a two-sided sword, sudden vs. drawn-out ends.

At C's Balloon release, Miss Jackie shares the meaning of the Heaven Pillow

At C’s Balloon release, Miss Jackie shares the meaning of the Heaven Pillow

We were saved the choices, the mess, the seeing our child get sicker; we were given instead a sudden and unexpected end. No chance to say goodbye. No chance for a bucket list. No holding his hand at the end. Just an end.

Yes, read the bitterness in my voice. It plain out sucks. No one wants to outlive their child. To miss them day-to-day, everyday. I feel for them and their journey. It won’t be easy or smooth, that I know.

Still, I have chosen, in these past 8 years, in the day-to-day of missing my son, to make a  perspective change, and to look straight ahead. To look ahead to our Heavenly reunion, one that will last for an eternity. I hope to have a few more years before I get to that golden city, but that short wait will be nothing compared to the blessing of an eternity to spend with Cayden and our other children who are waiting there for us.

Straight Path in the woodsLooking straight ahead means keeping God’s words in the midst of my heart, for they are life to those who find them and health to all their body. (Prov. 4: 21-22).

Life and health I need, because grief can overwhelm. I know I still have a job to do here. I’m in the process of figuring it out what exactly it is, but the one thing I know is that I need to keep His Word in the forefront of my days, and in the midst of my heart.

Proverbs 4: 25 – 27 says,

Let your eyes look directly ahead

And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. 

Watch the path of your feet

And all your ways will be established;

Do not turn to the right nor to the left; 

Turn your foot from evil. 

Following the path

Looking straight ahead keeps us on the path God has established for us. To watch the path, to follow His ways, we can’t make a wrong turn.

He tells us in Proverbs 3:21-23 that if we

Keep sound wisdom & discretion, 

They will be life to your soul

And adornment to your neck. 

Then you will walk in your way securely

And your foot will not stumble. 

When you lie down, you will not be afraid;

When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. 

I’m writing this at 1:20 in the morning. I was not able to have sweet sleep tonight, and felt a pull to come and open my Bible, since I hadn’t this morning. This post is the result. When I’m walking in the way, my feet stay on the path of their own, His own, I should say, and I have a serenity I can’t explain. When I step off the path, I have rocky days, I stumble, I fall, I can’t sleep.

Keep the path. Look ahead, straight ahead. Eternity is not that far away. Make each day count, because you never know when will be the last day you have with someone you love. Make each day count for eternity’s sake.

Keep your eyes lifted to Him, straight ahead, to His heart.

Shira

 

 

As I wrote this post, my iTunes  was playing in the background. Somehow it was left on from when the kids were watching apple tv this afternoon. I couldn’t figure out how to turn it off, so I just left it playing. As I was typing Proverbs 4:25-27, this song began to play… Amy Grant, Straight Ahead

Straight ahead, I can see your light

Straight ahead, through the dark

Straight ahead, there’s no left or right

Straight ahead, to Your heart. 

Straight ahead. 

I think this is something God wants me to say!

 

 

A new vision of the son who went ahead…

 

As the years pass slowly by from the time of Cayden’s passing, my grief has begun to take on a different form. Well, perhaps not my grief, but my imaginings of my son.

Instead of imagining him as he was… wheelchair bound, deaf, and communicating with a computer, I now have lost that image in my mind somewhat.

Now, I see a healthy, tall, handsome, almost 12 year old boy, standing at the top of the stair steps that are my living children. Sometimes I feel his presence as we stand at church, and wish oh-so-much that I had a third hand to hold, a third blond head to pat (now almost as tall as me!) I understand now that the image of Cayden as he was… is slowly becoming Cayden as he is.

In Heaven we are promised perfect bodies. Not bodies that don’t work well. Not arms that twist funny because of mis-shapen elbows. Not ears that can’t hear with out cochlear implants, or a mouth that cannot speak because of muscular weakness.

In Heaven, we are promised perfect bodies. Strong healthy bodies. Bodies we cannot even imagine in their perfection. And if Cayden is in Heaven NOW, then NOW he has that perfect body. He IS that tall, handsome almost 12 year old boy. He IS that loving, gracious son I desperately miss. He IS singing praises to our creator, and hearing the angelic voices rise with his, at the actual foot of HIS throne.

Easter 2007So it makes perfect sense that my image of Cayden has changed. Morphed through time. I don’t imagine him at 12, curled in a wheelchair, with back and hip issues, eating through a tube, and possibly breathing through a trach, like so many of his 12 year old HPE friends. I cannot. That is not MY reality, nor is it Cayden’s reality.

I do remember him as he was… a bright, vivacious loving smiling four year old boy, just as I remember my daughter as she was… an adorable totally cute 2 year old girl, signing to her big brother. That is a lovely memory, but it is just that. A memory. A remembrance of how things were… not a reality of what they have become.

Instead, I have a complex daughter, who misses her big brother at times, and desperately wants him back. A daughter who was a sibling to a special needs child, (a tough job for sure), and has a vague recollection of that, but now she gets to see her mother grieve at strange and unexpected times, and feels it is her place to comfort me. I have a middle child, who was thrust into being the oldest against her will & her personality.

I also have a son, who is mad at the world that he didn’t get to meet his big brother. Who understands the story without a context, without really knowing what life was like back then. Who desperately wants to meet his big brother, but can’t begin to imagine what his life would be like if Cayden were still here.

Last Pics of CAnd I have a memory of a broken boy, who wanted so desperately to walk, to talk, and to run with his sister. Who is now running those fields of grace & streets of gold with the his miscarried siblings he alone gets to enjoy for now.

I look forward to our reunion. To hugging my first born son who is as tall and as strong as sons should be. A young man who is taller than his mom, and who looks after his siblings. God willing, that day will be here someday soon. Until then, I love on the kids I have with me, with so much love it hurts my heart at times.

My burden is sometimes hard to see, yet the image of Cayden is always there. The promise of a better place, a healing we cannot understand, and a future eternal with Christ and those we love.

2 Corinthians 5 :6-10, 17  teaches us that

So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord,  for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

My imaginings are Biblical and they are real. They are the new reality I live within. That of missing my son daily, while each year changes the grief. It ebbs and fades, only to come crashing back at times like these. Tonight marks 7 years since I kissed him goodnight for the last time.

Shira

 

Remembering Cayden’s Last Day

C's last picsIt was five years ago today that I was blessed to spend my last day with Cayden. I never imagined it would be his last, because it truly was one of his best days. It is hard for me to fully re-imagine it now, but it was just a normal day.

Cayden had finally become more ‘verbal’ with his communication device, and that day he was actually able to tell me what he wanted to eat for each meal using his ECO-13. Not only had his communication recently taken a dramatic step forward, but his eating had too. So his meal selections were unusual for him. Rice Krispies in milk for breakfast, macaroni and cheese for lunch and chicken nuggets for dinner.

This menu alone was absolutely amazing! Parents of typical kids just can’t understand what a milestone this was.

Cayden feeding @ 2wks

Cayden had struggled to eat since his birth. It was a slow and tedious process. When he was a newborn, it would take him over 45 minutes to finish a bottle. I would feed him, change & let him sleep for a bit, then go pump for 30 minutes. I’d get about an hour break, and do it all again. It was a tiresome, tedious process when he needed to eat every 3 hours. This lasted for quite some time until he started to eat pureed baby foods.

Cayden never became a fast eater. At 4 years old, he would need to eat 5 small meals a day, rather than 3 big ones, or he would vomit most of the meal back up. We spent a lot of time preparing his food and making sure he got enough in! Pureed foods were his staple for years, since chewing and swallowing was so hard for him to coordinate, as a result of his brain malformation.

Cayden eating squashSo for almost a year preceding his death, we had been driving to Charlotte 2x a week  for a specialized intensive feeding therapy called Vital-Stim. This was electronic stimulation of his throat and cheek muscles, trying to train them to be stronger and safer. In mid-December, Cayden had finally gotten a clean swallow study, and was cleared to eat all soft foods. This was amazing. He was so excited to finally be able to eat most things (casseroles, soups, potatoes, pasta) and to not cough and gag with each bite. And it was a great thing for our family to be able to eat a meal together and not have to prepare special food just for him.

So on his last day, we celebrated a big milestone. Cayden’s communication was good enough for him to tell me what he wanted, and he could eat it safely. It was actually the first time he had eaten chicken nuggets and french fries for dinner. I sometimes joke that he said to himself  after dinner, “I can die happy, I ate chicken nuggets for dinner!” It really was a day of celebration!

In addition to his recent burst of communication and eating progress, Cayden was also making strides in his mobility. He was getting much better at driving his power chair, and I had just that week told him that in a few weeks, we would probably let him drive his chair in the house.

Cayden Power Chair 8:6:07            We had been practicing outside on the driveway, so he could learn to steer his chair better. It was a used power chair we had found on the internet, and it was not custom for him, but it worked to see that he was indeed, going to be able to figure that out. The equipment techs really didn’t see just how smart Cayden was, and doubted that he could see well enough, and be coordinated enough to drive straight, stop and start on command (the criteria for getting approved for a power chair).  We were working towards those goals, with a little difficulty. It was not that he couldn’t obey the commands, but that he didn’t WANT to obey them! He had finally found his legs/wheels, and wanted to feel the wind in his curly hair! Cayden drove that chair full speed ahead whenever he got into it. He didn’t want to go slow and stop. He wanted to MOVE!

And I couldn’t blame him. For a boy whose legs didn’t work at all, the chance to be mobile on his own was empowering. I will never forget the giggles and fun we had that week in January when he started really driving that chair. It was a beautiful sound for a momma’s heart.

I’m sure there are more milestones he met that month, it really was a good month for us all. Hope was re-ignited in our hearts for Cayden’s future, and so it made his death all the more shocking and heartbreaking.

But I have a thankful heart for the last part of the story. That evening my parents watched the kids, as Joey and I had plans. They put the kids to bed and read them a Bible story, as was the tradition. The story chosen that night was the story of the paralyzed man, whose friends brought him to Jesus. Jesus told him to pick up his mat and walk, and he did.

The plain fact that this was the last story Cayden heard in his earthly life, tells me enough. I know in my heart that Cayden prayed that night to ask Jesus to heal him, and to let him truly walk, just like the man in the story. And I know that Jesus answered that prayer, and called Cayden to walk, not here on earth, but in Heaven, at His side.

Last Pics of C

Cayden was healed. He is now whole. He is walking the streets of gold, enjoying the songs of angels and dancing in fields of grace whenever he can. As the song says “He traded his sickness, he traded his pain, he’s laid it all down, for the Joy of the Lord. “

I miss you terribly Mr. C. I miss seeing your progress, and watching you grin when you learned a new skill. I miss your spirit… how sweet and loving it was, how joyous, even with your trials, and how patient you were for everything. You were so determined to just be a normal kid.

I love you Cayden, and I can’t wait to see you again. I know you will joyously greet me in Heaven, saying “Mom! Mom! Come here, I’ve GOT to show you something!” and you grab my hand, leading me down that street of gold to show me all around the place you (and I) now call our eternal home.

Shira

Grief: the real deal

I want to talk about grief. The real deal. The grief a parent feels when they lose a child. The grief I feel, my husband feels, my children feel.

It’s the hard stuff of life, that I pray others do not have to face, but it is our story, and the story of so many of my friends. The story of holoprosencephaly for many ends this way, and it isn’t pretty. It’s ugly. Super ugly.

As I shared yesterday, we knew from the beginning that Cayden, our firstborn son, was destined to die. We just didn’t know when. I prayed that we could hold him, and have time to love on him, and anticipated him being a donor baby, allowing another child to live in his place. I was ready to make that choice, say that goodbye.

DSCF0673But, the longer we had Cayden, the further away the warnings and death watch became. He was doing well. He was healthy. He was making progress. The week Cayden went to Jesus, I was seriously reveling in the joy that he was doing so well, and thinking about college for him. Yes, really, college. I know, I know, he was 4 & had so many special needs, but the kid was smart! He was really starting to chat on his computer, telling me just how much he liked his cars, what he wanted to eat, and flirting with girls (yes, seriously, he was!). He was getting the hang of driving his motorized wheelchair. He was eating real food.

On one of his last days, Cayden answered comprehension questions about a book we read once, and got them all correct. Seriously! & he got one right that I didn’t; I had to check the story and he was the one with the right choice! This child, this boy who was ‘supposed to be a vegetable, but is comprehending on grade level’ child was amazing. So in the days just before his death, I was NOT thinking about losing him.

Perhaps that is why it hit so hard. When I went to wake him up for school that Friday morning, I found him cold in his bed. How… why…what? and screams I didn’t know were real, coming from my mouth. Screams I had heard once before, as a young  teen, when our neighbor had found her son dead in his car in their garage. Screams of a mother who discovers her child is dead.

Take a minute. Take a breath. I don’t mean to scare you.

I won’t go into the details, but it was a whirlwind of a day. A day that is simultaneously etched forever in my mind, and one for which I have few details. It’s hard to describe, and maybe another time I will try, but not tonight. Tonight we’re talking about the aftermath, the grief, the now.

Breathe again. Look away if you need to. Take a moment to hug your kids. It’s okay. It’s not a pleasant topic. But I’ll do my best to try to explain what it’s like to be in these uncomfortable shoes.

The best way to describe the grief is like an ocean wave. That first one, that giant one, comes barreling at you with tsunami force. Some people never fully recover from its intensity. Some become swallowed up by it, never to be the same again. Some just seem to bob along in its wake, but never really stand on solid ground again.

I somehow found my way out of grief’s tidal pull, hanging on to my life raft that is the Bible. I found my way back to solid ground, weak and shaking and seasick, but alive. I held onto my Bible like it was my lifesaver, because it was. Because it IS. It allowed me to see the bigger picture, or a hint of it, and know that it was going to be okay. I was going to be okay. We were going to be okay.

Without faith, without Christ, without a final destination that I desperately long to reach, I would be bobbing too. No promise = no purpose. But I had another child, a husband, a family — one child less than the day before, but still, my family. We clung to each other and to the promise that we WOULD see Cayden again, in a lovely place, in a lovely space. And perhaps we are homesick now, but Cayden is not. He is happy and joyful and at peace.

And that brings us to the now. I am a recovering but still grieving mom. A mom who can be too short with her kids some days. Days when they whine and complain about walking in the store for too long, or eating food they don’t like. Those things just strike me hard sometimes when I’m missing Cayden, my child who longed to walk but couldn’t, my child who longed to eat a chicken nugget and finally did, the day before he died. I have days that I’m feeling particularly sensitive, days when I’ve had a little visit with C in the night. He comes and says “Hi, Mom!” now and again, and I don’t want to wake up those days. I don’t want to come back to reality in which he is no longer here.

The crazy waves of grief are unpredictable. You can be sitting on the beach, enjoying a leisurely sunny day, the water lapping at your feet. When suddenly, a wave comes that knocks you backwards, soaking you, upending your calm. It comes without warning, fast and hard, at the tiniest little things.

Because, you see, the grief never really leaves. Yes, we choose not to talk about it all the time, but it is ALWAYS there, lapping at our feet. Little reminders are always present: his pictures on the fridge, his art projects, his books, his toys, something his brother does that reminds me so much of Cayden.

I get double-edged twinges when I see other boys his age, (entering 5th grade!) typical boys his age, playing soccer or football, swimming on swim team, without a care in the world. Now, these are things Cayden couldn’t do, really didn’t have a hope of doing, so it hurts that he couldn’t, even if he were here, but because he isn’t here, he really can’t do it! That logic probably makes no sense to those of you lucky enough to have all typical children, but to the others, you are nodding your heads in agreement!

Then, I get bigger waves, when I see his atypical friends, his wheelchair bound classmates, his HPE crew, doing things I so wish he could have done. Like the stuff at our oh-so-special Wings of Eagles Ranch: where he could be riding his horse, zipping on the zip line, climbing the rock wall, or getting a ride on the flying squirrel. How he would have LOVED that experience. Just driving down their gravel road brought a grin from ear to ear, knowing he was going to get to ride his horse. How he loved it, & I know how much he would have loved summer camp there too!

Then there are the biggest waves, the expected waves, those that we allow and almost welcome, times like now, at his birthday, and in February, at his heavenly birthday. They are a refreshing reminder that yes, we still feel, yes, we still miss him, yes, it still is real, we did have that other child, one time long ago. 10 years ago.

See, this is the thing. If we didn’t allow ourselves these scheduled times to fall apart, we wouldn’t be able to hold it together the rest of the year. It’s kind of like a big dam at the base of a reservoir: scheduled drainage allows controlled water flow the rest of the year. It allows me time to remember Cayden, to share his accomplishments, to be joyful that he lived!

But, if I had to live with this open dam, this full throttle water output year-round, I could not begin to bear it. It is too much, too painful, too raw. I would need to climb under my blankets and sob until I could sob no more. Because the reality of the death of a child is truly too much for a human heart to bear alone.

And that is where I turn to HIM, my savior and Lord. I weep to him and give my grief to Him, and he gives me back joy.

How can this be? Weeping turns to joy? In Psalm 30 David tried to explain…

O Lord my God, I called to you for help and you healed me.

weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

You turned my wailing into dancing;

You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,

that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.

O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever.

I find my joy in these simple truths.  Joy that my son, whose earthly body was so broken and so weak, is now dancing in fields of gold. Joy that his body, which failed him here, is now new and strong and perfect. Joy that he hears the angels sing each day, in an incomprehensibly beautiful place. Joy that he sits on the lap of Jesus, when he needs some extra love. Joy that he has 2 younger siblings there with him to love on and to pamper, just like he would have here at this home.

If you find healing in the Lord, and find hope in his promise of eternal life, it will bring peace and joy to your hearts. I have the knowledge of the resurrection Lord, and the knowledge that there is a Heaven and I will go there someday. I have the knowledge that I will be with my son (and my other 2) walking the streets of gold, exploring the crystal city of our Heavenly Eternal home. It is not faith, you see, it is knowledge. And with that, that undeniable knowledge, comes joy.

Does that make sense? Am I speaking truth?

I have many verses that have spoken to me and comforted me throughout the almost 5 ½ years we have been without our son. As time goes by, my needs change as my grief changes, and I need new strength.  Today, for Cayden’s birthday I’ll share the most special, most important verse of all.

Romans 8:28 says

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.

This is another sticky verse for our family, and made more awesome by the fact that Cayden’s birthday is 8/28 (a simple fact we didn’t see until a few years ago). Cayden, his life, his HPE, his death was for OUR good, for HIS purpose. Who are we to ask why, when it’s up to our God?

Continue reading in Romans and you’ll see more…

 For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the first born among many brothers. And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified.

 Cayden was predestined to be conformed to the likeness of Christ. Cayden was called. Cayden was justified. Cayden was glorified. Cayden is glorified. And so are you and I (or we WILL be someday).

And just one more. Hold on, this one is a doozie!

What, then shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all — How will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?

 God unselfishly gave his own Son. For Cayden. For me. For YOU! God is a grieving parent. God knows how I feel. God watched the lifeless body of his only Son be laid in the ground. God cried for his child, as I cry for mine.  

 

And He promises me it is for my good.

I came to terms with this fact a long time ago. The fact that I may not fully understand the good in Cayden’s death until I reach the Father’s side. I’m okay with that. I see glimpses now and again, and I am at peace with not knowing the whole picture. I wouldn’t be able to handle it anyway, none of us could.

 

Those of you who have walked beside me on this journey of grief may be intrigued by the changes in me over time. I think it might be interesting to see how it morphs, from the outside. I can’t fathom that perspective anymore, so if you have thoughts on the matter, please share them with me sometime. I know people think I am some sort of super strong person, but I am really not. I just have a super strong God, who has very comfortable wings to nestle under.  A God who knows how I feel, who grieved his firstborn son, and who one day got to see Him again in the glorious place we call Heaven.

I can’t wait to see those golden curls shining in the eternal light on the day He calls me home.

Shira

Remnants of a life…

So I haven’t posted lately as I actually HAVE been painting! I have finished the work in the kitchen, as well as a long-delayed glazing project in the dining room which we use as the office. All the trim in these areas has a fresh coat of bright white paint too & it looks lovely (if I do say so myself!).

I have also begun the painting and organizing of the school room. It is about half finished so far (2 walls complete). But I am having a bit of difficulty with the other two. Yes, I need to run to the hardware store and pick up another gallon of my favorite ‘Crumb Cookie’ cream to do the base coat. Yes, I need to move the big 6’x6′ cube unit to do behind it (or maybe not!)  But it is one last little bit that is getting to me.

I really need to remove the last few things that made this room, Cayden’s room. Only his race car clock and balance ball holder remain, (along with some random VBS art projects). The clock no longer works, (it never did work well), and it doesn’t match the new colors. The balls just are huge and need to go in the garage. They are dusty and somewhat sad, but I just can’t quite bring myself to take them down.

These two things are the last bits of what made this room Cayden’s. This room was a huge reason why we bought THIS house. It is actually a ‘formal living room’ space, but it is on the side of the house by our bedroom. It was a major deciding factor (along with one story, wood floors, and flat driveway) that we needed to care for C. We needed a room close to us so we could get to him quickly at night. He would awaken and need re-positioning several times a night because he physically couldn’t roll himself over. He would cry out, we would trudge in, roll him over, and then he would snooze happily on his other side. It was a bit of a drudgery to be sure, but what I wouldn’t give to still be doing that!

It is a hard balance to find, the life of the grieving mom. I miss my son terribly, and hold onto the little bits that remind me of him. As time passes, I am able to make changes, but as each little thing goes away, it seems to send him further into the recesses of my memory. And THAT is sad! I don’t ever want to forget him, even the slightest bit!

So, you may ask, why bother to remove the non-working clock? Just leave it as for sentimental reasons. And I have, for 5 years. But I know NOW is the time to make the effort and put it away.

My heart tells me this verse, when I get too weary or find myself wallowing in grief brought about by change…

Isaiah 43:18-19
This is what the LORD says–
“Forget the former things; 
     do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!…
     Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? 
I am making a way in the desert 
     and streams in the wasteland.”

He is doing a new thing for me! He is making a new path for me, for our family, a path with streams in the desert. He is healing my grieving desert soul with Living Water! Each time I feel parched, I need to remember to just take a long drink of His refreshing Word!

I know that Our new thing, is the path leading to homeschooling. This last year, I felt like our path was like walking at dusk, or maybe the time right before the dawn. Not totally dark, but not fully in the light either.  Just feeling my way thru the twisty-turny path of the school year. This year, I can fell already, will be brighter, better planned, and more easy to navigate. I pray it will be more lie the sunrise, full of great excitement and colorful days.

The re-purposing of Cayden’s room is part of that new path. Even it’s name is changing. Since we moved in, this room was just “Cayden’s room.” Even after he died, and it became my craft and scrap room, it was still “Cayden’s room.” Now, as we talk, it is slowly becoming, more and more often “The School Room,” rather than “Cayden’s room.” And that makes me sad. Another way C is fading away…

But God’s word in Isaiah lifts me up. It tells me that I should not dwell on what WAS, instead to look at our life NOW and our NEW path, with understanding of the new things HE is creating for US.

He is the creator of all good things, so this too, is destined to be good. I have faith in his purpose for me, if only I follow his path, which this week, is a bit in the desert but a desert where there is a refreshing stream, if only I stop and drink it in.

Shira

Cayden's room window Cayden room back wall

This is Cayden’s room as it was when he passed away.

school room School room back wall

These are the school room at the beginning of my re-organizing/redecorating project (what a mess!) I’ll post an after picture of the school room when we are complete! Look for it!