Storm before the calm…

(journal entry 8/20)

Saturday morning before school starts…heavy heart searching for some relief

Thinking about Grace’s first day in 8th grade and how she will feel walking into the 8th grade building…How will her teachers treat her?  She doesn’t want special attention…but it’s hard to ignore the fact that some of her teachers were the last teachers Warren ever had.

Will seeing his locker be difficult..?

How to face another day where Warren’s absence seems to be more obvious and painful

Everything about summer ending and school beginning is not at all how it should be for our family …  Jesus help

(journal entry 8/21)

School starts tomorrow…I can’t stop crying…trying to hide the tears

Jesus help me to rise up!

Jesus help me to keep my focus on You.

The last 3 or 4 days have been waves and waves of emotion…lots and lots of tears.  The rollercoaster of ups and downs has been exhausting.  My heart has been victim to to the unrelenting pain  of missing Warren and wishing so much that he was here to start his sophomore year.

Surreal..

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August 2014

Helping Grace get ready for 8th grade…so exciting and yet so surreal.  This will be the year she passes Warren in school and age.  She will do things he never got the chance to do…8th grade dance, planning for HS etc.  Everything about the next few months will be especially hard as we get closer to November 24th.  It’s just hard to wrap my brain around the fact that 2 years ago we were living life like we had years and years of time ahead of us…but in reality we had 94 days, 3 months and 2 days, 66 week days & 28 weekend days…

Sometimes I wish I’d known…not all the details, but enough to know I needed to make each minute of every day count.  But that’s crazy!  Of course I wouldn’t have wanted to know, but I often wonder how much time I wasted on things that absolutely did not matter…It’s a slippery slope when I let myself think this way-regret & guilt are not fun ever, but especially when you can’t go back and make things “right”.

No regrets…

So….Live with no regrets! Love deeply..tell them…OFTEN!  Hug…OFTEN! (no matter how old they are)  Laugh…Ask questions…Talk at dinner…Put love notes in their lunch (no matter how old they are 🙂 )  Tuck them in at night and snuggle in the morning to wake them up!  And most importantly, if you don’t already, talk to them about Jesus!!!!!

Serve Jesus together…go to church and worship together…pray together, read your Bible together.  They aren’t too young OR too old!!  This is one regret you DON’T want to have!

(and…this doesn’t apply just to your children, but your spouse, your family and friends…LOVE them well and LOVE Jesus with everything you’ve got!)

Hmmm…not even sure I meant to travel down that road, but maybe I needed the reminder to make the most of my days with Jesus…


 

First Day of 8th Grade…

IMG_0361We did it!!!  HE did it…. If you could see my face and hear my voice when I say that “He did it!!”  you would know that a huge “AMEN!” is in order….  Everything that took place in this house on Monday morning was just like yours. Well…maybe…we take LOTS of pictures (lawwwts), so that might be different 😉  But we woke up extra early, ate a good breakfast (which may or may not happen on a regular basis), had all our supplies ready, and took ‘first day’ pics!  All of this with NO tears…and believe me when I say tears are good and healthy and I should knowI cry all the timehowever, Grace and Bill do not, so it was such a gift to me (and them) for mom to not cry!!  Thank you Jesus!

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Thank you Jesus for the “storm” before the “calm”… If I was judging how Monday would go based on Saturday and Sunday…it wasn’t going to be good.  Instead, His grace was sufficient & we each experienced it beyond measure, and we had a “normal” day.

Opportunity and Courage…

No doubt this school year will bring difficult days as well as days filled with MORE of Jesus… However, whether in the middle of a storm or calm, we will praise him.  Maybe through tears or even gritted teeth, but it’s only because of Jesus that we can face either.

Praying this school year brings more opportunity to Rise Up & Shine (to be radiant with the glory of the Lord   Is. 60:1) and the courage to share our faith.

Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity.  Let your conversation be gracious and attractive, so that you will have the right response for everyone.  Col. 4:5-6

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It’s not about me…

A week ago we were honored to present 5 Stratford HS seniors

with the first ‘Warren Barfield Scholarship’.

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This scholarship in honor of Warren’s life and legacy was made possible because of the money raised by a local group in our neighborhood known as The Wilchester Men’s Club.  We were blown away by the generosity of those in our community and couldn’t  think of a better way to use it than to give back.  So with the help of our amazing friends at the Spring Branch Education Foundation office we created the Warren Barfield Scholarship to be given to graduating seniors for college.

As much as I’d like to express what an honor it was to be part of such a special evening (and it was!), I must also admit how very surreal it was.  I could hardly wrap my mind around the reason we were there, yet at the same time.. the reason we were there consumed my every thought.  It was difficult not to look around and think..”Warren will never have this opportunity.  He will not graduate from HS.”  My insides hurt and my eyes stung from the tears I tried to not let fall.  It was another moment that just didn’t belong…How could this be my life?  My story?

A side note…

Bill and I have started wearing our new Fit Bit’s to track our steps as motivation to exercise more…Well, this thing is so cool that not only does it tell me how many steps I have taken, it also vibrates when I get a text.  🙂

Before we left for the event I had texted a few people to be praying…

As we were standing outside the banquet room, waiting to go in…. literally my wrist begins to vibrate…over and over and over…Each vibration was a text….a different prayer of encouragement!!! 

I was not alone!!  I was being covered in prayer and (because I can be so stupid/slow sometimes) God used a physical touch to remind me that, once again, He would be enough!   I mean, how cool is that? 🙂

 

It’s NOT about me

The evening was special.  Each recipient was genuinely grateful.  In my mind I guess I had envisioned talking to each student and sharing our story… etc. etc….  It did not turn out that way.  However, what I heard God whisper to me was that all of  ‘this’..Warren’s story, our journey, it’s God’s to use, not mine.  It’s not about me!!  

God is always working.  I believe that with my whole heart.  I am just here to live in such a way that others will know.. it’s NOT me, but God.

I pray God will use me.  I pray that I will not waste one opportunity to be a light that points others to Jesus.

 

21 years…

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Thankful to have this man by my side.  May 19, 2005 1995 (oops!) 🙂 I married my best friend.  The last year 1/2  we’ve had to fight harder for things we used to take for granted.  I love you Bill Barfield with every fiber of my being…we’ve got this…HE’S got us and NOTHING is impossible as long as we keep our focus on Jesus.

 

 

 

tbt…  🙂

This popped up in my ‘Timehop” app today.  This is part of a letter Warren wrote to his Granddad after learning that he had been sick.  I cannot tell you what it means to have these scriptures written in Warren’s handwriting.

 

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March 2012 5th Grade-Character Without Question

I can’t wait to see you Warren Austin….I love you-MORE!