Wow. Close to two months have gone by since I last blogged and more things have happened than I will ever be able to remember, so I better just cover the high points.
“When we last left off…” (Insert dramatic music here)
…we were planning a super quick trip to Chicago.
I was sure this excursion had been documented, but that is because (once again) Instagram fooled me. We were there just over 24 hours but had a blast as evidenced by the following pictures. Also, God completely blessed us in an amazing and very personal way with tickets (and line cuts) to the Shedd Aquarium while we were there. The whole story is too long to tell, but it will be one of those happenings I will remember as a “total God thing” sprinkled all over with His indescribable love.
…my oldest son was in South Africa.
This could have an entire page to itself, but simply put – Nate’s first international mission trip experience was worth more than any of our words can sum up. It’s true what they say, you come away forever changed. He left a good portion of his heart with the people in South Africa and he laments often of how much he misses being there. I have no doubt at some point he will return and it will almost be like he was never away. That’s because he continues to live his life “on mission” here at home…we are blessed.
…Wayland was planning a return trip to India.
At the end of April, Wayland tagged along with a group from a Cincinnati church to continue the partnership our church started with a ministry that provides aftercare to girls rescued out of the sex slave trade. On this trip, in addition to working with the girls, the group was also able to do a pastor’s retreat for around 20 local Indian pastors and their families. It proved to be another incredible experience for all those involved. We continue to pray for India; the local church there, the thousands enslaved in abhorrent evil, the precious lives that have been rescued and are being restored, and those in ministry to free and rehabilitate the broken.
…I came close to losing my mind.
Honestly. While Wayland was in India I experienced a spiritual attack like I never have before. It was in some ways a “perfect storm” – my body was weak from battling an illness for several weeks, my mind was exhausted from responsibilities at home, work, and school, and I was not “prayed up” at all. I mention this only to serve as a reminder that even in our darkest, most desolate places, God sustains. He upholds. Sometimes He even picks us up and carries us when we can’t come close to uttering a prayer for help. He also raises up incredible people to come along side of us to encourage us, meet simple but important needs, and most importantly PRAY us through. So thankful He carried me up and out of the pit I felt like I was trapped in. He is good.
…we were getting ready to pick up a new sport: volleyball.
Both Anna E. and Philip entered the world of setting, spiking, serving, and digging this Spring. Anna’s game started off “shaky” (and that’s putting it nicely), but by the end of six weeks she had made some considerable improvements. It was a challenge at times, but she worked hard to overcome her insecurity and she was able to end the season with a smile on her face. Anna also did a short track season this year. At one meet she was able to have a conversation with the girl next to her while running the 100 m. I’m no Usain Bolt, but I’m pretty sure that if you’re able to chat about the weather on the way down the lane, you’re not giving it your all. We encouraged Anna to run like she was chasing down someone trying to steal Ruby. That helped. At her final meet, she placed first place in her 400 m heat by about 40 meters. She crossed the finish line with a huge smile on her face, so I’m guessing she chased down that dog-napper in her imagination.
Philip’s only motivation, on the other hand, is always F-U-N. For Philip, starting a new sport is always that…a challenge and fun. He started his volleyball season off strong and continued to get stronger each week. It was great watching the kiddos play something new. Philip plans to continue through the summer with the hopes of seeing some sand action. That, in addition to football workouts and squeezing in as much frisbee golf as is possible with his dad and brother, should make for a perfect school break.
…Luke was getting ready to start soccer.
What a blast it has been to watch our little Luker enter the wonderful world of sports. In addition to spending countless hours tossing the football and shooting the basketball each week, Luke has taken on soccer with a vengeance. His enjoyment for “ALL things sport” is uncanny, and his passionate reaction to almost all competition has resulted in the shedding of many tears as of late. (The latest being tonight’s performance by the Pacers). I am trying hard to remind him, “it’s only a game!” Although, this may be a tough lesson to learn if he’s anything like his father and two older brothers.
…we were continuing our fight against Type 1 Diabetes.
It’s been three years since we’ve participated in the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes at Holiday World, so we made sure not to miss it this year. Through the sales of PHILIPSTRONG shirts to many friends and family, we raised over $800 for JDRF and the fight against Type 1. Praying someday very soon we will see a cure for Philip and the many others we know and love that fight this battle all day, every day.
So now that we are relatively all caught up, I can talk about the very thing I actually got on this blog to commemorate. Another school year has passed. Yep, it’s true…time just keeps marching on. All four kiddos ended the year strong. I always remind them that although I’m thankful for their great grades and many accomplishments, they don’t have to do anything other than exist to make me proud to be their Momma. I’m looking forward to some good memory making summer time with each of them. Trying to focus solely on that instead of the fact I am now the mother of an 11th, 9th, 5th, and 2nd grader. Please time…SLOW down already!!! Take a look at how much TEAMThompson kiddos have grown and changed this year. It’s amazing!