The journey that the Lord has taken me on as we waited for the news, whether Grace got in or not, has really been a game changer in my life. It has taught me how to…
1) be content with (actually to love) not having a preference. This for some reason was difficult for me because I sort of liked having a preference about stuff (maybe because it gave me a sense of direction, I don't know). As I have shared with y'all before, I initially wanted Grace to go to The Rise School for selfish reasons (to make her as least Downsy as possible, etc) and when God helped me to see my pride in that way of thinking, God changed my heart and I became very content and happy with Grace going to the same wonderful pre-school that Abby and Andrew have attended (it's called School for Little Children and we have been nothing but blessed by that amazing school and it's teachers), after all it was SO much closer, cheaper, and an easier transition (2 days a week vs 5 days a week). Then, as we were praying about the next school year for all of the kids we felt an increased interest in revisiting the idea of Grace going to The Rise School, but it felt SO different this time because it was no longer about me.
2) trust in God's will and find joy and peace in whatever His revealed will is. During this process, God revealed to me just how true Jeremiah 17:9 is in my life "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?" The truth is that not only did I NOT have a clue what my preference was (since it seemed to change everyday), but I certainly don't have the infinite and perfect wisdom of the Lord. We prayed that the Lord would align my (and David's) heart and mind with His will, and He did just that by giving me (us) great peace (the kind of peace that surpasses all comprehension) regardless of what the answer was. No matter what the answer was when I got the call on Tuesday from The Rise School, we would have rejoiced knowing that God's will was being revealed and it was going to be good and perfect for our family (not easy, but good :-). God is working out other big decisions in our lives just the same way, it is a priceless gift that is wrapped in joy, peace, and freedom.
I apologize for always getting long winded on you, I can't help but share what God has taught me through this journey just in case someone can relate and find hope in their season of crazy :-).
Here are a few other changes in the Ross household…
-when I open the pantry to get a snack, the resettling of a bag will quickly attract two dogs and a Gracie at my feet begging for food! This is most certainly a welcome site since Grace has not been interested in eating people food since her last 3 heart surgeries (the last of which was the beginning of December). She looks up at me and does the cutest lip smack thing as if to say "I want some too!" She has wanted to taste everything from "bunnies" (like goldfish crackers) to my smoothie. She probably only swallows 1/10 of what she's eating because she will take the big pieces that she breaks off out of her mouth, but again, the mere fact that she's interested is super exciting!
-Abby went to her first concert on Friday night with some of our dear friends.
We were even blessed with the opportunity to participate in a "meet and greet" with the bands. They were so sweet to the girls and it made getting to see them on stage even more special.
Here is Abby doing the "chainsaw dance"…
-There have been a number of instances now where all three kids are in one of their rooms together with the door shut, playing together and it just makes my heart smile!
-Grace had her first Physical Therapy appointment on Friday and we really love how her therapist works so hard to get into Grace's head to understand why she may or may not be doing something. He then pushes her pretty hard on various exercises. It may be in our head, but we feel like we have already seen a difference in what she's willing to try from that one visit. He's coming back again on Monday to continue to work on "figuring Grace out" so that he knows how to best work with her and where to set her goals.
Will you please pray that Grace isn't getting sick? She has been more fussy than normal today, especially at church :-( and she's had a low grade fever since this afternoon with clear drainage from her nose. We are praying that it's just teething (she does have two bumps on her gums) and that it passes quickly. Will you please also pray for strength and wisdom for our family, this is a busy and chaotic time for us (as I know it is for many, probably most, of you too)? Thank you and we love you, sweet Village!
Here are a couple random pictures from the park this afternoon…
Grace and I went on a walk around the park and lake while the big kids (including David) ran and rolled down the big hills.
… allllllmost got all three kids looking at the camera, and smiling with their eyes OPEN
…forget it, this is a better representation of what our family is really like anyway :-)