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Feb 20 2013

Josh’s 10th Birthday…Real Life as a Recently Widowed, Homeschooling Mama

As I sit here thinking back over the past week and a half, I am blown away by all the God Moments that filled our days and nights.  Last week had so many big moments in my life in this first year following my husband’s home going to heaven.

Last Tuesday was Josh’s 10th birthday!  Double digits!  A very big deal!

Last Thursday was my first Valentine with my amazing husband in heaven.  I wrote about how God was with me in very tangible ways that day on Sunday night.

Friday was the eight month anniversary of Will’s home going to heaven and our trauma of our injuries and the experience of living through the accident.

Saturday was Josh’s 10th birthday party with friends.

Wow!  Quite a week! And that doesn’t even touch the ways He has shown up in tangible ways the past few days!  And you know what!?  I am in awe of God’s provision and presence over and over again as I look back on it.  I am so blessed and so grateful!

I have decided to focus on sharing Josh’s birthday celebrations with you tonight.

Josh and Annie after he blew out the candle when she was with us for his birthday.  She made him brownie cookies!

Josh and Annie after he blew out the candle when she was with us for his birthday. She made him brownie cookies!

God made it possible for Annie to rework her schedule so she could come and spend the first weekend of February with us and have time to celebrate Josh’s birthday with him early!  What an amazing gift!  We were all so thrilled that this was possible!

Last Tuesday I stayed home from my weekly Tuesday Morning Women’s Bible Study so that we could get ready for and I could spend the whole day with my birthday guy.  It started off a bit rough.  We needed to clean up the house (read his room in that phrase! LOL) to get ready for our awesome pastor and his wife to come to his birthday dinner that evening.

Cleaning is NOT something Josh gets into doing and cleaning his room is the worst!  LOL  I wouldn’t have made a big deal out of it except for the fact that it is at the point that you cannot walk through it.  Let’s just say this…it wasn’t an easy morning and unfortunately, he decided to go with closing his door over cleaning. (After he got out of drying the dishes so he could focus on his room that is.  LOL A little too smart for his britches sometimes.)

Just know, I don’t usually make my guys clean on their birthday.  He had opportunities to do it with me the few days before but decided to pass.  This is something we are still working on…we have a deal that it MUST be finished by the end of this week!  At least we have to be able to walk through it without walking on clothes, papers, toys…you know the drill! ;)  I love my pack rat!  LOL

Josh and Michael were modeling for me.  Michael was having fun with Josh's balloon in this one.  Josh put it on Michael's head.

Josh and Michael were modeling for me. Michael was having fun with Josh’s balloon in this one. Josh put it on Michael’s head.

That afternoon, we went to the Dollar Store so that Michael could pick up a small gift for his big brother’s birthday.  He had a ball doing that and Josh loves browsing in that store so we had fun…especially when the manager found out that we were celebrating Josh’s birthday.  They gave the boys these balloons that they had on display.  They are still having fun with them although…truth be told…they don’t look quite this cute now…the balloons that is!

Later that evening, our pastor and his beautiful wife came over to join us for Josh’s birthday dinner.  They played Bible Bingo while I finished up making dinner…I was running a bit behind.  But it turned into a great time to visit and relax and get better acquainted.

Josh blowing out the candles on his birthday pie!

Josh blowing out the candles on his birthday pie!

After dinner we sang to Josh and he blew out all 10 candles on his birthday pie.  (No I didn’t make this– he loves one we find at Wal-mart and it makes things a lot easier for me now with my strength and energy limitations so I am very grateful.)

The Lord was present in so many ways as I had the chance to visit with my pastor and his wife while the boys played after dinner…something that meant so much to me.

God did it again! This time working through our pastor and his beautiful wife one more time!

God did it again! This time working through our pastor and his beautiful wife one more time!

And then, I was once again thanking Jesus for His caring for every one of our desires as Josh opened his gift from them and it was the model he had really wanted.  I had already gotten his gifts at the end of January/beginning of February and couldn’t afford one more.  I had left it in God’s hands and there it was on his birthday night! And I forgot to take very many pictures that night and can’t believe I didn’t get one of him with our dear pastors!

He was thrilled with his very first real tool set and tool box...something Will really wanted him to have on his 10th birthday.

He was thrilled with his very first real tool set and tool box…something Will really wanted him to have on his 10th birthday.

I got him a toy he had wanted and this special gift.  Will and I had talked about Josh’s 10th birthday being a very significant one.  He wanted it to marked as a stepping stone as he is growing into a man.  There were two things he wanted to make sure happened for Josh’s birthday…

This is one of them.  He wanted him to have his first real tool set/kit and tool box to store them so that he could start working alongside his Daddy in doing minor repairs around the house to begin learning to take care of his future home when basic repairs were needed.  I knew I wanted to make sure I made that happen for Josh and when I went shopping at Lowe’s with my limited budget, I left it in God’s hands.  There, waiting for me, was the perfect tool kit package marked down from after Christmas to exactly what I could pay!  And I was able to find the perfect starter tool box on sale that day too!  I am thankful every day for how He takes care of every single thing we need and is with me on every leg of this journey parenting and leading these two special guys!

After he opened his gifts, our pastor gave him the second thing that Will wanted him to have even more than the tool box.  We stopped what we were doing.   We gathered around Josh and our pastor gave him an amazing blessing to cover him in this new leg of his growing into the man of God that God has planned for him.  Tears of joy and gratitude trickled down my face as his words poured out…they covered all the areas of his life that Will would have wanted to cover in prayer.

What a precious, precious gift.

Then on Saturday, we had fun with Josh and three friends and of course his little brother as they worked to figure out the clues that would answer the birthday mystery!  I made up clues that took them all over our yard and all over the first floor of our house using riddles that they had to work together as a team to figure out.  They decorated clue books and played Bible Bingo and enjoyed the birthday cupcakes after solving the mystery of the disappearing birthday cupcakes!  Here are some pictures from his celebration…including some shots of my wonderful friends who came to help me!

Josh decorating his clue book before the Birthday Mystery began.

Josh decorating his clue book before the Birthday Mystery began.

Josh reads the first clue to the Birthday Mystery of the missing cupcakes to the group!

The team reaches for a clue hidden up in one of the trees in our yard.

The team reaches for a clue hidden up in one of the trees in our yard.

Success!  They found them!  They were hidden in our dryer in the laundry room!

Success! They found them! They were hidden in our dryer in the laundry room! This is their group picture once they solved the mystery!

They played Bible Bingo for a while too...

They played Bible Bingo for a while too…

 

And Josh blew out all 10 candles in one breath!  Go Josh!

And Josh blew out all 10 candles in one breath! Go Josh!

We kept the party relaxed and laid back.  Josh does so much better that way and so do I.  And the neat thing is that the things that Will would have made sure he handled so that I could rest, knowing I would be exhausted, were done by my dear friends!  They made sure that the dishes were all done and caught up before they left and helped me keep the kids wrangled too.

He was very happy about his birthday celebrations and there were even times when we shared moments that Daddy would have been handy to have around like when they got the clue out of the tree.  Daddy was 6’4″ and reaching high things was his special job in our family!  And one of my friends even gave him his birthday swats as everyone collapsed in giggles.  Josh shared his memories of Daddy doing that with much humor and drama at his birthdays in the past.  I had forgotten about it and one of my friends brought it up!  Perfect timing and another God Moment!

Special visits with grandparents and his aunts and uncle on the Pershing side were postponed due to illness but as soon as they are well we will off to  visit them!  And my Dad and Stepmom plan to come in the next couple of weeks since the boys birthdays are so close together.  Yes, Michael’s is at the end of March.  My mom is planning to come later in March and sent a birthday card and birthday money that had his so excited and having me off to the store for birthday shopping! :)

And do you know what?  Other than overdoing it physically and exhausting myself, I was OK.  I only had a couple of teary moments but God was with me through each one.  We remembered special memories from the past and made new memories together as a family with our very special friends. Memories we will never forget!

Every day, I am in more and more awe at how the Lord provides and walks with me through every single moment of each new challenge and step in this journey…as a recently widowed homeschooling mama.

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Dancing at the foot of the Cross with my children,

Mary Joy

 

 

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About the author

Mary Joy

I am a broken daughter of God and a work in progress. I am passionate about encouraging women to embrace God's grace and faithfulness as I discover and share His faithfulness, grace and even joy in the messiness of my journey as a widowed (less than 2 yrs), homeschooling mom with a missionary's heart. I am in awe of how God fills me up and carries me through each day. My Heavenly Father leads me as I continue to parent and home school my two recovering and very active boys and encourage my beautiful teenage step-daughter (long distance) during her first year in of college. In every moment I see incredible evidence of God's healing love, grace and faithfulness. I am so blessed to be the creator, manager, and an author of Unwrapping His Grace as I lean on my Savior to lead us in this special web-ministry.

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  • Gina Marie

    To God be the GLORY – He knows your needs, He knows your wants, and He knows your dreams – - – and through His miracles, He showers all of you with those blessings!

    I loved seeing the expressions on Mr. Joshua’s face – - – and the chocolate yummyness!

    Love y’all so much!