I'm back from my trip with a lot to say. And at the same time, I don't even know what to say. The trip was hard and great all at the same time. The funeral was maybe the saddest thing I have ever experienced, although so incredibly hopeful and joyful. I cannot imagine burying my five year old, and of course I kept putting myself in Rick and Kendra's shoes and the grief was overwhelming. The grief for them was overwhelming, more than I have ever experienced. Rick and Kendra were pillars of God's grace and the funeral service was beautiful...a clear, dynamic presentation of the gospel and a greater grasp (at least for me) of how temporary this life is. Kendra told me when she was finally able to say "Lord, not your will, but mine" she experienced surrender like she has never known and grace along with it.
The rest of the trip was a treat for Steven and me. We realized once we were on the road, that after the funeral we would only be about 3 hours from Chicago (turned about to be more like 4 1/2). But Steven and I both agreed we are glad we hadn't known or we might not have done it. And it was a blast. It was just a night, but such a cool city, and great memories.
Ellie, Luke, and Andrew did great (or so I'm told). Those little stinkers got in an unexpected beach trip and loved it. I was at my mom's house when they pulled in the driveway and was just about giddy to see them. My heart was beyond grateful that night to have everyone tucked safely in their beds. Steven and I figured out that I was the furthest distance away from them that I had ever been.
Alright, don't leave me yet...I have one more thing to tell you that I think you will want to hear. I have no cute or clever way to say it, so here it is...I'm pregnant. Again. With our fourth child. Fourth!! It's crazy for me to even type it or say it. We are excited, nervous, and very grateful. And no, it doesn't come as a complete shock. I know you might be wondering, so I won't leave it a mystery. I have been in turmoil over it for some time. So we decided to leave it up to the Lord and if it happened, it happened. And it happened! We have already gotten some of the birth control jokes. Yes, we "know how this happens." And we are humbled and blessed that God has seen fit to entrust us with another life. Nervous, but thrilled.
Ellie is ecstatic over the new baby that is growing, Luke seems fairly excited, and Andrew couldn't care less. Ellie is calling the baby "her little sister" left and right. I warn her that it could be a boy. She says that will be fine and then in the next sentence she refers to what she and her little sister will one day do together. After I told Luke I was pregnant, I went inside for something, when I came back out, he asked if I had had the baby.
So here are our three stinkers, or as we like to call them, our "eternal investments" at the beach, Lord-willing to be joined by one more in April.