August 18, 2006
It is hard to believe that we have been home for over a week. The time has flown as Whitney feels she needs to fit her summer into two weeks.(she is doing pretty good)
A highlight for all of us was last Sunday, our first Sunday together in our home church since Easter. It was a celebration. We were all nervous and excited to share with our church family how God had met each one of our needs and how He loved us this summer. The church stood and clapped as Whitney and the family walked up to the front. We each took a moment to share God’s faithfulness. To God, who is the master physician, healer and our provider, we give him all the glory for all He has done and continues to do. It just happened to be our churches annual picnic so we had a great afternoon reconnecting and Whitney definitely got her quota of hugs and kisses.
It has been great to be home, sleep in our own beds, sit around our table for home cooked meals and laugh. Hunter(our dog) and Taylor(our cat)are so glad we are home. I do need to tell you one funny and embarrassing story. We let Hunter out Friday afternoon and he usually stays in the yard. Later on I went to the door and whistled and he didn’t come. I made dinner and still no Hunter. After dinner we went for a ride around the neighbor hood calling for him. We drove to the Animal Shelter and peeked in the window and there he was barking at us! It was after hours so he had to spend the night. Whitney got up early Saturday morning to go spring Hunter, on the way she said she wished Hunter could talk and tell us of his adventure. Our neighbors took great care of him all summer and our first night home, he gets picked up. ( he went across the street to the park with out his licence)
Whitney has enjoyed every minute with her friends. It was perfect timing as many of them are starting to head back to college. She loved being able to go to La Senoritas for “Wing Night” a special tradition for her and her friends. The weather has been great and she has had a few visits to the lake and some evening bon fires. She has been getting an hour a day of physical therapy to continue gaining back some muscles and endurance. Again we have been blessed by another great therapist.
Carly enjoyed this past week being home, relaxing and visiting with friends. She left today to head back to Taylor for her senior year. She is excited and went back a few days early to be with friends and get her house ready. She is going to have a great year living with five amazing girls.
Sandra had some great news as she found out she had been accepted to represent the “Invisable Children” on a world tour this year (Sept-May). The Invisable Children is an organization that Sandra had heard about this spring and really tugged at her heart. She came home at Easter and showed us a video explaining their mission. Carly and Whitney also got interested and were going to participate in their “Global Commute” on April 29th (Whitney’s birthday). We had chosen Invisable Children as the memorial for Whitney. Sandra is putting her passion into action as she will give a year to work for them. I love her heart and willingness to give of herself and serve God by helping others.
Newell is back to work, saying goodbye to the college students and preparing for the fall. I have been enjoying putzing around the house and yard, catching up with friends and neighbors. We were all kind of worried about coming home, not sure how the media would handle this next step in Whitney’s recovery, but it has been great and we are so appreciative on how respectful everyone has been. The Gaylord community has been so loving and gracious with us throughout.
As our lives return to normal we continue to pray for those families who are continuing to adjust to the changes. We continue to seek God and listen to what he wants us to learn from all this. Even though we long to be back to normal we don’t want to be like the Isrealites who saw God in action (Red Sea parted, manna every morning, water from a rock . . . ) and soon after each miracle they forgot and fell back into their old routines. We want to keep our dependance and desire for God as we have felt Him is such a real way and seen His love in action. This Psalm became a favorite when we thought Whitney was gone and it is still our prayer:
“O God you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live.” Psalms 63: 1-4