Sunday, February 21, 2010
God's Miracle, Our Family
Ginger has been away this weekend at a Church retreat. It was a much needed trip for Ginger. She was a leader in the woman's ministry in Phoenix and with our two moves in the past two years she has lost that connection. For me it was a chance to spend a weekend with the kids, also a much needed time for me. For those of you who do not know the kids it is hard for me to tell you what amazing kids they are without sounding pompous.
I took the kids to church yesterday and the women checking the kids in said, "Well I so proud of you for taking the kids to church while your wife is at the retreat." It struck we a little strange, where else would I be? I would have told her how easy they are but she would not have believed me. Church is a unique place for Ginger and I. There are so many ties to Troy and Andrea there. You always remember worshiping together because it is such a intimate place for a couple. There you let down every wall with your soulmate and grow in your faith together. You become one spiritually. But for me it is also a place to remember Troy. Especially yesterday as I sang with Boston, Greyson and Bella I felt Bella lean into me, I knew she needed the comfort of her dad's arm around her. It is times like this that I can't help but think of Troy. There are a few times in our life that I know exactly where Troy would be and in some way know what he would have been feeling. Telling Ginger goodnight on her birthday was one, and holding Bella at church was another.
Has I held her and thought of Troy, I thought of my role as their dad. Sometimes that is hard to say because I know Troy was their Dad and even though I adopted them all and legally I am their dad there is still a respect I owe Troy and I'm sensitive to that. We talk openly about Troy and Andrea to the kids but especially about Troy because it is important to Ginger and I that we build in the younger kids a memory of Troy. But God has called me to be their dad. As we sang this verse came to me. Now I'm not a Bible scholar and I could be taking this verse out of context but it spoke to me.
What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.
This verse helped me see Troy's and my role as the kids fathers. He planted and I will water, together we are the kids dad and together we will raise them. Our roles were different is many ways but similar in many others. The goal the same, to teach the kids to love the Lord, to grow up and be Godly men and women. So as I held Bella I held her as her dad, praying I would live up to the task I have been called to do. I pray I will make Troy proud. I know I will make mistakes but hopefully I have learned something from having already raised two boys. I do know one thing for sure, the time goes by faster then you can imagine and our time to influence the kids is shorter then we think. So I cherish this weekend, and the time I got to spend with the kids. They are not a chore, they are my kids and they are a joy to raise.
As I write this blog there in one last link to my past. I have Andrea's old computer and for months I have been trying to transfer the files from it onto out new computer. It has all the emails Andrea wrote as she went through her treatments. There are pictures, words and music that define a time in my life. As I type this I'm listening to a playlist titled "believe" one I made for Andrea of her favorite songs to encourage her faith. They played many many times in our house. Another reminder of the immense cost paid for the life we now share.
I will close with a very touching note from Annalise because I think it ties this blog together perfectly. It shows the uniqueness of our family and the amazing kids Ginger and I are so blessed to raise.
The girls went to a birthday party yesterday and when they left the mom gave the girls each a helium filled balloon to take home. This morning the girls were drawing and coloring while the boys and i did chores. (We have to have the house clean for when Mom gets home!) Anyway, as I was working Bella asked me if she could write a note to God and tie it to the balloon and send it to Him. This is a small glimpse of what I'm trying to tell you about these kids. Anyway Bella wrote hers and sent it to God and then she wrote Aspen's and Annalise's for them, tied them to the balloon and brought them to me. I wanted to read Bella's note but I felt it was personal. I wish I had after reading Aspen's. Aspen's said: "Hello God, How is heaven? What do you wear? How is daddy? Tell him we said hello." Tears are in my eyes as I write this. When Annalise brought me hers I decided to take a picture of it. I wish I had done the same for Bella and Aspen.
Below is Annalise's note penned by Bella who said I wrote what she said.
Dear Dad How are you doing. What do you hear. Did you meet Ms Andrea. It was our birthday on February 10, 2010.
Not many 4 and 6 year olds have to take the time to write notes to God and their Daddy in Heaven and even fewer would have the compassion to ask if he had met my wife.
Posted by Jim Ravella