Update for February

Note:  I wrote this over two weeks ago and didn't post it for some unknown reason.  Since then, I have started to feel more like writing, so more details should be coming sooner than another two months. :)

Hi everyone,

This is my first real update for us this year, so don't think you've missed anything.  I know many of you have been concerned and wondering about us and we really appreciate your continued prayers and support.  I've been getting the same few questions, so here's a real quick rundown.  Overall we have been busy and doing alright.

What have we been doing?

After Brandi's service in Arkansas, I spent a week there processing most of our things that are still at parents houses, places that are special to us and just doing a lot of remembering.  The next week was spent taking care of two sick kids, then two weeks of climbing Legal Paperwork Mountain.  After a refreshing family Mardi Gras weekend, we've had a week of organizing our house and all of the projects we need to do and a week to get some started.

While getting this work done, we have been enjoying our time alone as a little family of three and figuring out how we are going to operate together, get things done as a team and how to keep everyone's love tanks full.

I'm currently unemployed, so we have all been relishing the
attention I can give to Chaselyn and Jacob.  Our days are filled with fun home school learning, kid's time at day care and Bible Study Fellowship so I can get our work done, family outings and a lot of backyard playtime in the warm afternoons.

What are we planning?

The only decision I have made is to make no other decisions for six months.  Where will we live?  What kind of work will I do?  These are all great questions - great questions that don't need to be answered now.  I have some ideas I'm kicking around for later, but for now we have plenty right in front of us.

How are we doing?

The kids are doing well.  We had a very long runway of Brandi being sick, so they have been blessed with a relatively smooth transition.  We had plenty of time to give them an age-appropriate gospel based understanding of what was happening, so now their questions have turned to encouraging discussions about Mommy feeling much better because she can talk and dance and that we get to go live with Jesus too someday since we trust in Him to take our sin away. It's pretty incredible.  Although, there are certainly times of stress where they need some extra hugs, and I am very thankful I get to be here to hold them.

I'm doing "ok".  There is some "pretty good", some "unbearably lonely", but mostly a lot of "just ok".  I'm slowly processing "us" which gives a weird swirl in my head of memories, important things to do, emotions and expectations.  I've never had to grieve in any substantial way before, so I just assume this is normal and keep moving forward as best I can to handle each moment as it comes.

After I knock out my backlog of paperwork and garage clusterings, I'll start writing all I can about Brandi, us, and all that we have learned.  By the time I get close to finishing, I hope to have a more clear path moving forward.

Prayer requests

Sleep - The kids are getting better at going to sleep as we get a good routine established.  They do sometimes have problems staying in their own beds during the night though.  Chaselyn says she just wants to be near me.  I understand, and quite frankly I appreciate being near them while sleeping myself sometimes.  Note the sometimes. :)  It has been a neat bonding time for us in this phase of life while our hearts start to heal.

Once I try to go to sleep I'm asleep very quickly and stay that way, but having the willingness to go to do it is another matter.  When I turn out the light, the bed is still and cold.  I don't have her to pray with me or give a good night kiss or get her hair all in my face.  For over 15 years we went to sleep with an, "I love you, Sweetie. Goodnight" either on the phone or holding hands.

Good habits - I'm trying to get back to some old good habits and develop some new ones that push my comfort zone.  These includes meeting new people, consistent journaling for myself, better record keeping, daily exercise, and intentional prayer list for others.  Some are going better than others.

Work right now - The legal and financial junk I have to do is substantial.  The garage is an albatross flock to exterminate.  My writing needs chunks of time and a huge number of pictures to be scanned. I'm sure there is more.

Work for later - I have a few ideas that I'm looking into a little, but nothing major for now.  I'm guessing that I'll be pretty ready to do something beside write by the time fall come around.

Grief - I'm trying lots of different things to work through the grief which I think deserves it's own post later.

Growing - I'm learning a lot about myself and how I function as a "me" instead of a "we".  It became easy to be transparent to so many with my writing when I was desperate to have our prayer needs better understood, but it is far more difficult for me to be publicly open about myself.

I hope to do an update at least once a month for those that want to keep up with us and how we are doing.  I'm also considering moving to a blog format so that I can put in some pictures for those of you not on facebook.

Thank you for your continued prayers and blessings.  We'll be in touch.

-Stanton

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