The last 3 weeks have been a marathon with a nice 3-day break in the middle.
To prepare to leave town 2/8-2/12, I did tons of work the first week of February for my job, for my company, and for all the adults who were needed to support the kids while I was gone.
After a 3-plane ride travel day on 2/8, 2/9-2/11 were perfect. Leah and I relaxed, explored, ate nice meals, had a spa day. It was an amazing celebration of 20 year of marriage. Then we got exhausted again by 3-plane rides home on 2/12.
So when snow-pocalypse 2021 brought the great freeze to Texas, I was running on fumes. My house was full of all my movable plants and Arabella’s school was cancelled.
Thankfully, our power stayed on. But all of our extended family lost their power, dropping the temp in their houses, leading to broken pipes. Ugh!
When it got super cold in their house, we got to have some overnight human and furry guests. This part was actually my favorite stuff. It was nice to have Uncle Brett and Sydni with their cats Socks and Tigger on Tuesday night, and then strangers-now-friends Joey & Honey with their dog Curry on Wed night. Brett and Sydni played board games with me, and Honey cooked Indian food for our lunch on Thursday.
By Friday morning, it felt like we hadn’t stopped moving since January…
Last Friday, I found out the mom of 1 of Arabella’s girl squad tested positive for Coronavirus. 339 days into the pandemic, COVID-19 has made it into our inner-inner circle – the few non-family members we have seen regularly.
Since Friday, another mom tested positive, and today, one of the friends.
We haven’t seen them since 12/29/2020… but we had seen them about every 3 weeks prior to that.
This thing is strong and present.
I can’t let the guard down yet.
On 2/6, I was able to get the Pfizer vaccine through my employer, since they run long-term care facilities for individuals with disabilities.
Today, 2/21, Arabella got the Pfizer vaccine at Texas Children’s hospital.
I just woke up from a dream that reminded me of some really true things that I may have forgotten… so I’m downstairs writing at 7:30am on a Saturday.
In the dream, I ended up in a room with 2 men, only 1 of whom I can recognize – Darryl Harris, carrying around the shirt I designed for myself that says “Learning to study the Bible PRECEPT UPON PRECEPT changed my life.” (Darryl is my childhood best friend’s dad. They moved away in 6th grade and I last saw them IRL when I was 18 years old.)
I said, “It’s more of a technique than a specific study. We read through the Bible verse by verse, and we look at each word in detail.”
Then I said, “I have been studying the Bible this way for over 16 years. And everytime in my classes, if it was brought up to study Revelation, I would insist I need to finish the whole bible before I get to Revelation. But a couple years ago, my class started the 2-year dive into Revelation. Now I know that God knew I needed to know His character by the time 2020 arrived.” At which point, I was overwhelmed by tears.
At this point, my daughter spoke to me, pulling me out of sleep, so she could climb into bed to snuggle. As we snuggled, I was overwhelmed as I was in the dream… by a few thoughts: God knew 2020 was coming. On a large scale, I know that He has always know. But personally, He knew it in 2004 when I started Precept bible study in the short time I got to be off work after birthing Holden. He knew it each time Precept bible study was my ‘church’ as we led churches, moved around and had to find new local churches, and now in this time of COVID-19 social distancing.
So I started trying to really think about what Revelation told me about the character of God:
When things happen here on Earth, they are not independent of things God is doing in Heaven. He is not far from us.
God did not just “know” about the pandemic of 2020. He knows exactly how it fits in the overall plan for our existence.
Ten months into the pandemic, many people continue to die and so we continue to be very cautious. And now all the hope is placed in 2 vaccines that have been released. I am concerned that too much faith will be placed in them, and caution will be thrown to the wind.
At our house, we carry on very blessed. Our business and my employment have not been affected. Leah and I share the job of running the business and caring for the kids.
Arabella continues to thrive between virtual school for her senior year, and Facetiming with her best friends in her free time.
Darin cleans my house daily, and goes to Umpapa & Oomama’s house 2x/week, then Mamaw & Mark’s house 2x/week. I can tell he is getting restless to go into the community more, but this is improving when the weather is nice enough to go outside alot.
Holden finished his GED in December, so he will be starting at community college this Spring. This 17th year is full of dreams of independence.
The longer I have such a close relationship with Darin, the more blown away I am…
by the chance I would have missed the depth of who he is!
I truly believe that if I had not removed him from school in Fall 2018 and found his best life at home, I would have missed a lot of HIM.
Thank you, Lord, for bringing him home!
Now for the story that brings me here today:
I stayed overnight at the hospital this week. Darin & Joel dropped me at the ER midday Tuesday, and they picked me up after lunch Wednesday. Darin FaceTimed with me in the middle and seemed okay.
But when I crashed about 5pm Wednesday and decided to go to bed, he went to bed with me. I realized he must be emotionally drained too.
On Thursday I left early for my eye appt & Arabella’s birthday shopping, and so I didn’t see Darin before he went to Mamaw’s for the day. When it was time to came home, he called and asked me to pick him up. Joel was out and about and Mamaw’s was willing to bring him home, so I asked him to get a ride from either of them. He wasn’t happy but Mamaw was able to drive him home.
That evening, I left with Bella for her party at the Studio Movie Grill. When I went back inside for something, I noticed Darin was watching the car out the window. And when we left, he fell apart. Joel called me in the car on FaceTime, and I assured Darin we would be coming home after the party and he calmed down.
Today, he had earned an Echo Dot and Joel ordered it for curbside pickup. When he told Darin it was time to go get it, Darin insisted Joel go without him, that he needed to stay with me. We didn’t insist he go. He seemed reluctant to leave me. But then he got dressed and went along.
This evening went on with family party festivities, and after everyone left, Darin was jumping on the trampoline in the living room, listening to his headphones, while Joel, Arabella, and I watched television. All of the sudden, Darin stared wailing. It was so immense and sudden I thought he must have hurt something while jumping. When I crawled onto the trampoline, the wailing stayed very intense. I asked if he was hurt. I asked if he was sad. I asked if he was in pain. Each question got a slight shake of the head. After a minute, I asked if this because I was gone the other night. He nodded. I hugged him as he wailed a few more minutes. Then he sat back, said I’m okay, and relaxed.
His emotions come at such a different speed from the norm, but they are just as intense and deep as anyone else might experience.
I love getting to understand him more each day to appreciate the depth of who he is.