Thursday of last week, I headed out of town again!
This time, I spent the weekend in Nashville visiting Erich and Mallory! Our busy days and nights left me with no time to write, but I promise that you were on my heart and mind every day.
I think that might be the most bizarre yet wonderful thing about blogging….even though I started this blog not knowing who would ever read it, I now feel connected to all of you in such a personal way.
Even as I found myself at the top of a water ride which involved laying on my stomach and pushing myself forward so that I would begin a downward slope at a speed much higher than I ever dreamed I would be traveling when I woke up that morning, I thought of all of you. I thought of you and knew that you would laugh if you could see me laying there in my swimming suit with a skirt wanting so badly to still be a “fun” mom for Erich yet deep inside thinking, “I’m so done being a daredevil!” (Not that I ever was Miss Adventurous, but you know what I mean!)
I thought of you and wondered, “Will I ever share about this moment when I lost a lot of dignity as I pushed myself forward with my toes and realized that I needed a much bigger push……and so by the time I took off down the slope, Erich and Olivia were halfway down the track and then they were standing and laughing at me as I finally arrived at the bottom with a huge splash.”
I wondered if I would share about watching mom teach Maria how to make a lavender sachet, and how I didn’t have the patience to sit and weave ribbon in and out of lavender stems..
Click HERE for instructions for making these yourself! They scent is amazing!
I wondered if I would share with you about the worship service at Belmont Church where the flower girl from Erich and Mallory’s wedding came over and sat on my lap for the whole service, and how I fell in love with her so quickly. I leaned down at one point and whispered, “Do you want a piece of gum?” to which she whispered back, “I want to sit on your lap.” Then later she leaned over to Olivia and asked, “How old is Erich’s mom?” I’m just thinking that she felt like she was sitting on a grandma’s lap, and for the first time in my life I truly didn’t mind the thought!
Yes, with everything that happened from Thursday night until tonight you have been on my mind in a very real and powerful way. I miss you when I don’t have time to write.
Even today, as I stood at Kentucky Christian University taking photographs of youth group after youth group who are attending this week’s Summer in the Son, I thought of you.
Not so much because I thought you’d smile, but because I thought you’d maybe pat my back and lovingly scold me saying, “Tammy, Tammy, why do you say “yes” so often to things that stretch you so greatly?”
Today was a long day. I’ve taken way more pictures than I ever wanted to and I’ve spent most of the evening on Photoshop framing them for the college to give to the campers as they leave on Friday.
My eyes are tired.
My mind is tired.
And I know deep inside that I’ve brought this all on myself, so I have to laugh. Honestly, there is no one to blame but me! On the bright side, I’ve learned a lot about Photoshop that I did not know, and that is the true reason I agreed to this project.
But, as I sit here tonight at 1:24 a.m. determined to have all the photos from today ready to send to the print shop tomorrow, guess what is on my mind?
Yes, I knew that before I could dive back into more editing, I had to share what happened tonight, because of all the things that have happened in the past four days, this one tops them all.
I took a break tonight around 9:45 to take Olivia and a friend to a concert at KCU..Gungor was playing, and if you have never heard them you should click on their name above and check out their music. Wow..talented and so inspiring!
Anyway, as we were waiting in the sea of high school students, I kept seeing this one sponsor/mom standing with what appeared to be her son off to my left. They looked a little overwhelmed with the crowd, and honestly, a little sad. I was visiting with some alumni and yet every time I looked towards them, I had this urge to just go say, “Hi,” and welcome them to the campus. Finally, I turned to my friend and said, “This probably sounds crazy, but I feel like I will be quenching the Holy Spirit if I do not go speak to that woman.”
I made my way through the crowd and introduced myself, asking which church they were from. When I heard the name of the town in which she goes to church, I thought she might know someone I knew. As it turned out, she was fairly new to the church and town and did not know them. So awkwardly, we continued to talk for a bit as I pointed out Olivia in the crowd and then Todd further back with his girlfriend.
She introduced me to her son who, she explained, has autism. We talked a bit about the fact that she had shared with their youth group just earlier in this very evening about his condition and about how all the kids had sweetly hugged him and welcomed him with open arms. She seemed thankful that she had chosen to come and bring him along for the week-long experience. As our conversation progressed, I felt this nudge to share that we had lost two children, one to cancer and one to SIDS. I don’t normally share this information in a first-time meeting, but it flowed with whatever we were discussing at the moment, and I felt it was okay to say it comfortably. Nick had been heavy on my heart all day today anyway, so it felt almost good to talk about him out loud.
Immediately after hearing the word cancer, the lady I was talking to said, “What kind?” I replied, “Brain cancer,” and tears filled her eyes.
She said, “My sister has brain cancer. Tomorrow she finds out if it is back.”
Suddenly, I knew why the Holy Spirit had pressed me to go to her. We talked and talked about her sister, about the fight with cancer, about God’s faithfulness in the most difficult times.
Finally, the doors opened for the concert, we hugged, and I now have a new friend who I will be praying for fervently.
I’m thankful that tonight I didn’t resist the Holy Spirit’s need to work.
I’m also thankful that He nudged me enough to put this in written form to all of you, my prayer warrior friends who will lift up this single mom from Northern Ohio who has a critical day ahead of her tomorrow. Her children are 7 and 11, if you can believe it. If you followed Nick’s story, you will remember how significant those numbers are to our family.
I am going to take a minute to add a few pictures throughout this post, and then I will close until tomorrow.
I love you all so much!