End of Summer Update…..

Well, the school supplies in the stores along with the back to school clothes and sales mean that children are getting ready to go back to school.  This time of year also means I take Ava to do some shopping, which usually means the Justice store.  It’s hard to believe that she goes in 4th grade this year.  Wow.  Where has the time gone?  Eli will turn 2 in December and Lauren and Daniel will welcome the birth of another baby in October.  They have decided to go “old school”, and yes, that makes me feel old, and wait until the baby is born to know if it is a boy or girl.  So we will anxiously await.  The other great news is that my oldest daughter Jennifer and her hubby Keith are also expecting a baby!  This will be a February 2017 baby, and drum roll, they didn’t want to go “old school” and it’s a GIRLCamryn Elizabeth.  So, blessed, blessed, blessed.  And of course such an honor to see Elizabeth’s name carried forward in another generation.

BrothersAnd this time of year also brings me to think of Fischer, Benjamin and Hayes.  It’s hard to believe that Fischer would be starting 2nd grade this fall and Benjamin would be going into 1st grade if they were here.  And I think wow, so much time has gone by.   They were 3 and 2 when they left us.  Elizabeth would be getting school supplies, backpacks, clothing, shoes and excited to see her boys in Salado elementary.  But that would not be their story….their lives were meant to tell another story.  No report cards, field days, baseball teams, or college.  Their legacies are carried out in our hearts in how we continue to honor and remember them.  How our lives have changed because of their life and their death.  Which brings me to my next thought……

Some will be sad for the start of this school year, as your little ones start school for the first time or transition from elementary, to middle school or to high school. Please don’t be sad.  I want to encourage you to be joyful of the gift you have been given of seeing them start another school year, or a transitional milestone.  Remember, there are many that would love to have one more school year, one more opportunity, one more morning, an opportunity to buy school pencils, backpacks and lunchboxes and experience the craziness of the first day of school.

So, when those aggravations and frustrations come with raising “littles” or teens whether it’s because they don’t want to go to bed, wear the clothes they are suppose to,  they don’t want to eat, the buttons they push or things that exasperate you, please remember to put those things in perspective.  I would suggest you be thankful even in those moments.

I don’t say this for pity or sadness.  I have learned to experience grief and joy in my circumstances…..and trust me it is well.  But, my perspective means I want to encourage others to live in the moment and before you lose your temper because of a discipline issue or other frustration, please stop and be thankful  for those moments.  Remember, there are families that would give everything they have to experience those unpleasant moments again.  This is a way we can honor the memory of Fischer, Ben and Hayes and how their life and their death has made a difference.  To be thankful, truly thankful for the time we have and the opportunities we have been given with our children.   Their life and physical death has taught me that.    Something I hadn’t really learned before.   My hope and prayer is that they live on as a testimony for everyone to live life to the fullest everyday.   To show up.   To be present.   To love fiercely. To have grace.

It really is about gratitude.  Find it.  In everything.

Choose Joy…….

Until next time,

Julie