March 15, 2008

(My journal from five months after Chad passed away)

Dear Lord, I would like my life to end.  I see no end to the pain.  There is no escaping the heartache.  It follows me and taunts my mind every second of every day.  How long, oh God, must I endure?  Where is my hope?  Hope in a new life?  In what is to come?  In joy being restored?  That all means the acceptance of Chad’s death.  How, Oh God, can I ever accept that?

One day I believe there may be light at the end of the tunnel, then the next day plummets me deeper into the hole.

The whole mess of my life . . . other’s expectations on us!  Oh God, please help me be a good mama and daughter and sister and friend in the midst of all of this. 

I feel so down, but after what Pastor Joel told me a few weeks ago – that they were ready to ‘talk’ to me about getting better . . . I feel that I must put on a happy face to go to church.  Perhaps I just won’t go. 

Oh God!  Please protect me.  Please lift me out of this wretched hole! 

Today went to the maple syrup festival, Kohl’s, and more.  Everywhere I go there is this ‘incomplete’ sense.  Everywhere I look are families and couples, and we . . . are without our completion.  Oh God, you promise to complete us . . . please let me feel that.  I miss my husband so . . . how, Lord, how could you think this is o.k.?  Please protect my babies from this heartache!  Please!

Why Mama?

So, my little Micah is the ‘storm watcher’ in our house.  He is SO into storms that most of the time we all tune him out.  He happened to be home, sick, yesterday.  Marni and I spent our afternoon doing one mile stints around our neighborhood trying desperately to get in a walk while busy having to run children and dodging storms here in Midland.  I remember walking into the house and Micah being glued to the house . . . “Mom!  Look at this tornado!  It’s happening right now!”  I glanced at the TV and didn’t think much of it . . . it was small and looked like it was out in the country. 

Well, that boy didn’t budge.  Unfortunately, the tornado did.  Each time we would pass back through my living room the tornado had grown until all Marni and I could do was sit speechless . . . and pray. 

If you are anything like us . . . you are heartbroken.  There are just some times in life that words have no place and cannot express.  This is one of them.

I actually have a friend there who I was texting all evening.  His home was spared, but his neighborhood destroyed.  Their home was leveled in the 1999 tornado.  He spent the evening helping firefighters check through homes and putting down injured cattle and horses.  I suspect it was a long, horrible night where he was.  About the time I went to bed I texted and told him how sorry we all are and the children . . . oh, the loss of children.  He, of course, had no power and knew nothing. 

Throughout the evening Micah would continue to update me.  Each time the news from the elementary school grew more dim.  At this point, as a mama, I have a responsibility.  “Baby boy . . . please remember . . . this is not just news.  This is not a movie or a video game.  These are people’s babies and people’s lives.  Micah, pray!  Pray as you watch.” 

Unfortunately, this baby boy was only six years old when ‘people’s lives’ became real to him.  I fear he understands better than most adults what his means to so many.  And yet, as his mama I must remind him that this is much more than a news story.

As I cautioned him he looked at me and with concern in his eyes asked, “Mama . . . why does God allow something like this?  Why would God allow this terrible tornado to hit, and to hit all those children?” 

Oh!  Baby boy!  THAT is the million dollar question, isn’t it?  Why?  Why does God allow such devastation and tragedy?  It just makes no sense.  None!

That is a question we all wrestle with and actually, it was having a 6, 9, and 11 year old that forced me to deal with that question so square-in-the-face after devastation hit our lives.  They wanted to know, “why?”  “Why did daddy die, Mama?”  “Why did God allow this?”

My friends!  Maybe you are wrestling with that same question because of what you see on TV this morning or perhaps because of what you are walking through in your own life. 

As I wrestled with why devastation was allowed to hit my home, my life, and especially my precious babies . . . why would they have to face lives with no daddy to be there on her first prom, to watch him play ball, to teach him how to mow, to guard her from boys, or to give her away . . . I could land on only one thing. 

My friends!  This is NOT our home!  It isn’t!  If you are living for THIS life . . . my heart breaks for you on judgment day.  We are running a race down here . . . a race to gain a prize of much greater importance.  We run this race to gain eternity. 

1 Corinthians 9 says it so clearly:

24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

My friends!  This is not our home.  The events of this world either harden us, or they draw us closer to the precious Lord who made a way.  Oh friends!  If you don’t think God understands this suffering . . . just imagine having to send your own child to die so that the existence of the morons you created could be rectified back to you because they are such morons!  If you don’t think God understands your weeping or the weeping of the people of Moore, Oklahoma today . . . think again!  I believe He understands it more intimately than we could ever know or comprehend.

THIS WAS NOT GOD’S PLAN!!!!!!  It wasn’t!  The Garden of Eden . . . a perfect existence WITH God was His perfect plan.  But our sinful ways and the deceit of satan ruined it all.  Don’t get mad at God . . . get mad at the devil!  This is all because of Him that we face suffering and tragedy.  NOT because of God!  God made a way, though, my friends! 

He sent His beloved, perfect son to make a way that we would, in essence, have a bridge.  Jesus died so that we could once again have the hope of an eternal future with God.  Jesus died so that God’s perfect will . . . our eternal life WITH Him . . . could be fulfilled despite the sin and lack in our lives. 

Then, He left us His Holy Spirit and the Word of God to be our light through this horrible, dark, full-of-suffering world. 

My friends!  Today, please do not let the suffering that is playing out before us harden you.  Please do not let it cause you to turn away from or get mad at God.  We are the idiots!  This suffering is here because so long ago our ‘free will’ brought sin and suffering into our world.  But our sweet and loving Heavenly Father made a way.  He sent His son.  His only son.  So that we could have a bridge BACK to His perfect will.  So that if we believe in Him and submit to Him and serve Him down here we can have hope. 

My friends!  We do have hope!  Please do not cling to this world.  Cling to Him!  Seek after Him and His heart and the things of God.  Be in the Word and chat with Him throughout your day.  When trouble comes . . . ha . . . and when it doesn’t . . . hold on tight and don’t let go of Jesus! 

This is not my home, friends!  Each and every day . . . and especially on days like today . . . I just CAN’T WAIT for Heaven to be my home.  What about you?

Don’t stop running the race!  Keep running it with the prize in mind, my friends!  Never lose sight of the eternal prize.

Oh God!  PLEASE!  We cannot ask it with enough fervency today . . . PLEASE be with all those mama’s and daddy’s.  Please be with all those who have lost loved ones.  Please be with those who have lost everything.  Please, Father, send laborers to be the hands and feet and arms and eyes and love of Christ to a broken city today.  Please, God, pour out Your Mercy, wisdom, grace, and healing on all those affected.  Please God!  Please! 

Don’t Even! I Win!

Well!  It’s another Friday everyone!  I am sorry that I have been so silent this week . . . do let me explain why . . .

So . . . remember last Friday’s blog how I shared that I have decided this is the year to take back control of the weeds in my yard?  Yeah!  I am finding out that the learning curve is a big one!  Ug!

We started out the week just dandy . . . We enjoyed our Mother’s Day weekend.  Micah played a lot of lacrosse, Abbi got hired for her first real job AND became certified as a lifeguard . . . thus . . . the job! 

I dropped Noah at school Monday morning and was well into my morning activities when my phone rang.  It was Noah calling from the school office.  Now, had this been either Abbi or Micah I would have thought nothing of it.  But Noah?  Noah NEVER calls home!  “Mama, can you come get me?”  Turns out that ‘everything’ was wrong . . . out of nowhere during first hour his throat started to kill, he felt like he was going to throw up, he was chilled and his head even hurt.  This is my kid who never gets a headache.  I knew right away what was wrong.  So, after picking him up at school I made an appointment at our doctor’s office and we were soon on our way.  Oh, yeah, after he puked his guts out! 

Sure enough . . . the doc looked him over and said, “I’m not even gonna culture him . . . with how bad he’s throwing up it would just make him puke some more.  He even has the rash.  It’s strep!” 

Poor kid . . . by Tuesday night his throat was bleeding.  He was REALLY sick! 

All of that to say that Noah had mowed the front lawn on Sunday but ran out of time and was supposed to mow the back on Monday.  Now the kid is puking his guts out and there is clearly no way he will be mowing the lawn.  Add to that that Micah is SO busy with lacrosse, drums, piano, tutoring, a lawn job of his own and school that I was not about to ask him to mow.  So, Tuesday morning I decided that this mama used to love to mow and I guess it is time to put those ‘lawn’ shoes back on.  As I am mowing the lawn I am analyzing my next move and decided that before I spray the weeds again I had better get the fertilizer down and I knew there was a chance it might rain that night SO . . . with the lawn nicely cut and rain on the way THIS was the day to fertilize. 

Now, please remember that ALL of this is done in the midst of running the kids here and there and everywhere.  Well, only Micah that day but seriously, he is a full time job right now! 

I knew that Chad had been SO excited not long before he died because he bought a really nice spreader at a garage sale and he had always wanted a spreader.  It has hung in the garage untouched for over 5 years now.  I got that thing down and loaded that 50 pound bag right into that it.  I had had my soil tested and found out that the ph of my soil is off so I needed a special fertilizer with sulfur in it.  Are you impressed? 

Well, about this time I notice that there is a little turny knob on the handle that was set on 4.  Hmmm.  I called Mark Juengel.  He didn’t know what it should be set on.  I called the man who helped me down at the grain elevator and told me all this stuff to do.  He didn’t answer.  So, I marched over to my neighbor’s house and he was very happy to ‘think’ this through with me.  He’s the guy who mows five times a week!   I am quite certain that he is THRILLED that I care this year so that my weeds will seriously stop creeping into his perfect lawn! 

Turns out it was a crap shoot (Is that how you spell that?  I don’t know much about gambling and I’m terrible with sayings . . . .)  I wound up going over the front yard about four times.  That was WAY too much work for me but my neighbor informed me that he prefers to fertilize in two directions anyways (He did kinda yell at me for going diagonal instead of straight though . . . I didn’t know two directions meant up and down . . . I thought across and diagonal would be just fine but I guess not!  I’m a musician and he was a chemist . . . need I say more?)   About this point I decided that I would try 8 turny knob thingy on the back yard.  Yeah . . . that was too much.  I kept having to turn that puppy down to make sure I had enough to make it all the way around the yard just once. 

There!  I did it!  All done and rain on the way!  I laid in bed thanking Jesus for the rain and so pleased with myself for figuring it all out AND for being SO on top of things that I even did it based on the weather. 

Yeah . . . that bubble was about to be burst!  Ha!

So, the sweet man named Dan who had helped me at the elevator who hadn’t answered his phone Tuesday evening, called me Wednesday morning.  He offered to run over and take another look at my yard to make sure all was going ok.  Well, Dan may not ever realize this but truly . . . that was a God thing.  He steps into my garage and looks down . . . He points to another (full) 50 pound bag and asks what I put on my lawn?  “That special fertilizer stuff with the sulfur in it,” I happily replied.  “No, Sarah,” he says, “That was just sulfur.  That doesn’t need any rain.  THIS bag right here is the fertilizer with bug killer in it . . . that’s what you need to get on your lawn . . . that’s what has to be watered in.” 

Defeat!

Are!  You!  Serious!!!!!!????????

Then he added that I should probably spread some pot ash, as well.  So, back to the elevator I go!  One thing I have learned . . . it looks easy to push that spreader thing around the yard.  Not!  I have now pushed over 200 pounds of ‘stuff’ across my yard back and forth a zillion times and my back feels more like 70 than 38!  Bring on the Advil! 

The good news in all of this is that I am quite determined and the more road blocks you put in my way the more determined I become.  Some have been known to call me stubborn but I think that is mean and much prefer the word determined.  I personally think God made me this way because He knew all that I would face in my life and that I would need a bit of DETERMINATION to overcome! 

Anyhow . . . at this point all those pesky weeds are as good as dead and I . . . I am more determined than ever to be the very best ‘husband’ I can be!  I will win!  I am going to beat this grass and these weeds and the stupid ground cover that seems to think it should invade my grass! 

And to all you moles out there mulling around on Crescent Drive . . . DON’T EVEN!  I WILL WIN! 

Happy Mother’s Day!!!!! Happy Friday!!!!!!!

Good Friday Morning Everyone!

Brrrrr!  We awoke to rain and cold today . . . after a week of absolutely beautiful weather.  Temps in the 70’s and 80’s every day and sunshine to boot!  The sidewalk in front of my house is a beautiful shade of bright green, as the wind and rain through the night dropped all the buds off the trees and on to the ground.  Spring has definitely FINALLY sprung here in Mid-Michigan.

Well, after four months of CONSTANT work on our ‘tour’ launch and the release of Sunshine Lane AND Mary’s new song, “Through My Scars,” we are all done with the big launch and I am able to think of something else!  As the creative mind in charge of driving this bus, holy moly!  My mind has literally NOT shut off or stopped thinking creatively since January.  I almost have felt ‘anti’ thinking this week!  Ha!  Get that?  I haven’t even wanted to consider thinking creatively . . . thus, no blogs this week.  It took too much energy . . . especially creative energy . . . of which I have had very little.  I just needed a little break. 

It has been three VERY intense weekends of creative energy.  The third weekend in April I was up in Sault St. Marie, Michigan at a huge women’s retreat on the campus of Lake Superior State University.  It was so cool – as I sang my heart out all weekend (and I do mean ALL weekend) I looked out on the beautiful bridge that spans the water from the U.S. to Canada.  It was an amazing backdrop.  And, what amazing women!  It was a very special weekend FULL of ministry.  I sang 15 minutes Friday night, 10 minutes Saturday morning, did a one-hour speaking seminar later that morning, sang a one-hour concert Saturday evening, and sang another 10 minutes Sunday morning.  Whew!  That is a LOT of music!!!!!! 

Then, on April 26th (The following Friday) we did the first of two Seasons of Hope Tour release concerts!  Oh my!  Fasten your seatbelts and hold on tight!  We had quite a few technical glitches which made for a very tough evening on me – but, I don’t think the audience knew and we made it through.  It was a great warm-up for our May 4th concert at my home church in Midland.  What an incredible night of ministry we had!  It was an awesome audience, I have my very favorite sound man in the WHOLE wide world, and all the glitches were worked out by then!  My sister made a video that had the audience eating out of my hand before I even got on stage!  It was amazing!  I am so grateful that all the creative energy finally paid off.  The best news?  I have heard from many people that they left that evening with a renewed sense of hope!  That, my friends, is ALL that matters!

So, guess what I did this week?   With no creative energy needed, I decided it was time to release a bit of physical energy!  I spent two FULL days in one of my flower beds.  Notice I said ONE of my flower beds!  When we bought this house, almost twelve years ago now, the yard was full of absolutely stunning flower beds.  Guess what you don’t think about when buying a house that is full of beautiful flower beds?????  The WORK involved in keeping them beautiful!!!!!

I must admit that since Chad died the property, as a whole, has suffered a bit.  It truly is one of the most difficult parts of being a widow . . . . keeping up with the house . . . both inside and out.  For several years I hired the yard done.  That was easy, but expensive.  Now I have sons that need to be learning and who CAN be taking care of the yard but that means they need to be taught and that stirs up ALL kinds of crazy inside this mama.  I hear voices in my head . . . “I don’t WANT to be the daddy around here!”  “Chad should be the one teaching them this!!!!”  “I don’t want to do all of this alone!!!!”

Oh well!  At the end of the day I cannot change it so I might as well smile and go about it.  So, this year I decided that I AM taking back control of all the stupid weeds in my yard!  I visited the local gardening store and the young man there was so sweet to come out and take a look at my yard and tell me what to do.  Micah and I have had a blast learning how to use that little bottle thing that you pump and spray.  Makes me a little nervous to use the same Tablespoon that I use to bake cookies to stir up the chemicals that will obliterate the ground cover that is taking over the back yard!  I’m sure a seasoned, lay yard keeper would have a dedicated Tablespoon for such purposes . . .but seriously!  Who has time?  Watch out weeds!!!!  Here we come!  I plan to have a greener lawn than my neighbor who has nothing better to do than to mow his lawn five times a week.  No joke! 

And, the flower beds!  One is almost done and four more await me.  Conquer on, Sarah!!!!!  I will wait until it is sunny and warm again next week so at least I can work on my tan while I conquer!  The problem with spending two days on the outside of the house is that nothing gets done on the inside.  The kids are usually really great about doing their chores which keeps up on the vacuuming and dusting and such, but they are all so busy right now that there is honestly no time . . . so, maybe that will be my Mother’s Day present this weekend . . . a little elbow grease from the kids and a clean house. 

Speaking of Mother’s Day!  Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there – especially my own.  And, if you know a single mom, please consider taking her kids for an hour tomorrow and helping them pick out something special for their mama.  Think about it . . . widows with small kids pay for their own Mother’s Day present AND have to take the kids to buy it.  So, it would be a lovely way to serve that very special woman this Mother’s Day.

I pray that God blesses you this weekend!  Big Time!!!!!!!!

March 14th, 2008

(Five months and one week after Chad passed away)

Oh God, please be my refuge and my strength.  Please help me.  Oh God!  I am so tired of feeling beaten up by Satan – please be my shield!  Krystn is upset at me – she feels I don't value her.  God, that is not my heart.  Please help me.  Dad was mean to my kids while I was in South Bend doing a TV interview.  I yelled at him.  I just feel so alone in all of this.  Chad would have been my covering and wisdom, so I feel his loss even more.  When will my heart stop hurting so much?  Oh God!  Please, I am not a business woman – why have you called me to this?  Please equip me, Lord . .. please guide my business decisions. 

Chad – I don't want to live my life without you!  Do you know that?  I miss you so!

Both of you – please show me your hands!  (In all this mess!)

Later that day . . . .

Kevin Nehrt just came to take Micah to play ball with he and Matthew – why do other men have to be daddy's to my kids?  And, he smelled like a man . . . oh!  To smell my husband to to feel his arms!  My God, Why?????  Why is this my life?  I feel like such a pawn in the hands of the enemy.  Oh God!  I need Your strength and guidance!

Gina gave good counsel – but now what do I do with it?  I would like to run – I would like to leave my family of Origin.  Maybe I will just not answer the phone!  Oh Lord!  Please give me your wisdom.  Please help me know what Chad would do .  I need to see You, Lord.  Please!

Oh God!  My pain is so deep and it never ends . .. .it lives in my chest – in my heart.  How long, Oh God, will I suffer with such pain?  My eyes burn from the tears.  How long, Oh God, must I feel so betrayed and alone?  Does Chad even care?  Does he see us?  Does he care how we are doing?

Two days ago was my TV interview on LeSea Broadcasting.  It went very well.  I am thankful. 

And So I Cried

Good Monday Morning Friends!  

We had an absolutely fabulous time in Cadillac last Friday evening!  We were able to present the gospel AND encouragement AND . . . ta-dah . . . we had the pleasure of presenting Be The Match with OVER $5,000!!!!!!!!  Whoot whoot!!!!!!  Now – if you have not donated it is NOT too late!  We are doing it all over again this Saturday, May 4th, in Midland!  We would LOVE to see you there AND we would love to present Be The Match with double what we gave them last weekend!  Please be a part of the excitement! 

I am re-posting a blog from last Thursday because I just realized that when I posted it I forgot to put in on the 'blog' page of my website so it got lost in the abyss of my site!  Have a great day . . . .blessings all!

AND SO I CRIED: (Thursday, April 25th, 2013)

Hello Friends!  Yesterday I worked on a long post all about the craziness that is my life right now . . . radio interviews, newspaper interviews, voice-overs, practice . . . practice . . . practice.  Getting my hair done, buying jewelry, making sure I look the part . . . ha!

Instead I will tell you that yesterday I cried.  Sometimes the pressure of running this whole show all by myself is just totally overwhelming.  Oh, friends . . . I don’t just mean the ‘show’ . . . the tour we are about to debut.  I mean the show of life.  Abbi still isn’t right from the meningitis.  Micah is still having headaches  . . . I think his eyes are fixed but his back is SO wound up that he is in constant back pain which then affects his head.  Abbi’s car is broken down.  The house is a mess.  The running is constant.  People want dinner.  I can’t get Abbi seen by a neurologist until the END of May.  Bills need to be paid.  The yard will soon completely overwhelm me.  Voice students come and go.  And the list goes on and on. . .

And then, there is ministry.  It is so wonderful.  There is so much happening.  So much good.   It is MORE than a full-time job right now . . .

But did you know . . .

ALL OF THIS is because my husband is dead?  And sometimes it just makes me cry.  The funny thing is that I literally don’t have TIME to cry right now . . . but my heart won’t seem to listen to my list of ‘to do’s.’ 

It ALL falls on MY shoulders because Chad is dead.  The ministry is growing because Chad is dead. 

The truth is . . . he was my very best friend.  Sometimes I just wish I could talk to him.  I always wish I could feel his arms around me just for a moment.  I wish he was here to deal with the stupid car and the stupid yard and so I could lean on him a bit about Abbi and what to do about the lingering effects of the Meningitis.  I just miss him.   I miss crawling into bed next to him.  I miss praying with him.  I miss ‘together’ with him.  I miss.

And when the pain comes . . . 5 & ½ years later . . . it still hurts just as bad as it did on day one, and day ten, and day 100. 

And so I cried.

It’s fine.  I know the Rock on which I stand.  But boy, Chad Michael!  I’m sure Heaven is grand . . . but life without you really stinks sometimes! 

Oh! My! Goodness!

Hello Friends!

The preperations are in FULL swing here in the Schieber household!  Thankfully, Abbi did all the laundry yesterday so that we have clean undies and the like . . . this mama is completely consumed with preparing for the concerts and a HUGE ministry event this weekend!

I am so blessed to be a part of a large women's conference this weekend.  I will be singing 10 minutes Friday evening, 10 minutes Saturday morning, teaching a one-hour seminar Saturday afternoon, giving a full concert Saturday evening AND singing another 10 minutes Sunday morning.  Holy Moly!  Tires me out just talking about it!  Please be praying that I have strength, remember ALL my lyrics (that's a LOT of music) and that the Holy Spirit moves mightily!  I am so grateful for opportunities to sow into womens' lives and hearts. 

I would say I need a pedi . . . as that is a LOT of outfit changes and strappy heels would be nice with some of my fabulous new dresses I found on clearance in Florida (seriously, have you ever tried to shop for great clothes in Midland?) . . . BUT . . . there is snow predicted for Friday.  Yes!  I did say SNOW for all you lucky folks who live south of Michigan . . . so . . . I think I will stick with my black leather boots! 

Anyhow!  So much going on.  I had a Sojourn rehearsal in Grand Rapids Monday night, a radio interview yesterday, a radio interview today, have a voice therapy session in Detroit this afternoon, get my nails done tomorrow (hallelujah!), and then am busy all weekend.  Again I say, Praise God Abbi did the laundry for me!  Thanks Baby Girl!  Oh, and did I mention I haven't done my taxes yet?  Shoot!  Thankfully, my accountant knows me well and filed for an extension!  So, he will be here in an hour to pick up all my paperwork. (Guess I need to get that together.)

Mary and I did our first radio interview together yesterday.  It went splendidly!  And, today we have another.  So thankful for open doors and that I get to share this experience with this sweet baby girl! 

Seriously!  Take all that busyness away . . . and ALL I do is sing and pray and sing and pray and sing and pray!  I am praying over the hearts of EACH person that will be at the upcoming concerts and over EVERY word that is spoken and sung!  I am so thankful to the Lord for the opportunity, but with it comes tremendous burden!  I want to make the most of EVERY minute that I have a captive audience!  God is always so faithful to give me the words to say but with that I spend a lot of time making sure I am in tune with Him!  Today, as I drive to Detroit and back I will be doing just that . . . singing and praying the entire way.

Now, I have a challenge for all of you!  We need to get the thermometer UP some more!!!!!  What am I talking about?  Go to the homepage of my website and click the 'donate' button.  You don't have to donate BUT you will get to see the thermometer!  Last I checked we were at almost 50% of our goal!  Yippee!!!!!  Guess what?  If each of us donated just one dollar . . . we would excede our goal!  Will you help us out?  We want AS MANY people as we can able to get registered as bone marrow donors.  PLEASE consider even a small donation to help us reach that goal!

Ok . . . I better get all that dumb paperwork around that my accountant needs.  Not sure if you know this . . . but most artsy people lack for organization.  Ug!  Off to do my taxes!  Have a great day everyone!  Blessings to you all!

Proud Mama!

So, I know I have shared with you that one of the longest lasting effects of Chad’s death on my kiddos has been seen in their academics.  He died in October, and even though they were IN school that year . . . they were not really IN school.  In other words . . . their bodies were present but their minds were not.  Then, factor in a move to a MUCH smaller school, an abusive step-father, and a move back to the VERY academically challenging Midland school system.   All of these factors have taken a real toll on their academic success.

Just before Christmas of 2011, I found out that Noah was failing two classes and Abbi wasn’t far behind.  I made the decision, then and there, that I already have to be mama AND daddy and that it was causing way too much stress in our home for me to try to be ‘tutor’ as well.  A dear friend of mine, and someone who has been in the kids’ lives their entire lives (they call her Aunt Jenn,) is a tutor.  I promptly hired her and made up my mind that the expense of it would be far outweighed by the results . . . in time.

Well!  I am so excited to share with you that yesterday I received two letters in the mail from Midland High School.  One was addressed to the parents of Abigayle Schieber, the other was addressed to the parents of Noah Schieber.   My heart sunk!

Inside, I found two invitations to the honors assembly at Midland High!  My eyes filled up with tears!  This is a concrete sign of the continued healing that is taking place within my kids!  I am so, so grateful!

I want to say a great big THANK YOU to Jenn Joseph for her faithfulness in serving and teaching and mentoring my kids!

And, I want to say JOB WELL DONE to Abbi, Noah, and Micah (who is also on the honor roll . . . I just haven’t received the invite yet) . . . who have all worked very hard to turn their academic lives around. 

Mama is VERY proud of you all! 

March 6th, 2008

(This is my journal from one day short of five months after Chad passed away)

Do you see me?  Where are you?  Do you know my pain for you?  How can I make a new life?  I don’t want a new life – I loved my life with you!  Oh, my aching soul!

Everyone is so excited for spring – and I barely notice the days passing.  Who can think about the weather, when just a breath is difficult – and takes such energy.  I am tired.

Oh, My God!!!!  You are my refuge.  Please heal my aching heart.  Please give me hope for a new life when I am so desperately in love with my old life.  Nest week I begin ministry.  TV interviews . . . right out of the gate with Until the Very End!  Oh, Lord, please be my shield and strength and I ask for a double portion of Your anointing.  Let my words by Your words.

How can this be my life?  I long for and love and miss the most beautiful part of my life.  The depth of our love.  The sweetness of the spiritual connection we had.  O God!  Let Your faithfulness be my shield and anchor.  Protect me, oh Lord.  Give breakthrough in Chicago. 

The thought of loving again just seems exhausting right now.  I have loved and known a man so deeply – something that takes such time and commitment to a process of purification of a relationship between two people and the Lord.  I’m not sure I want to pour that much of myself into anyone – not for a while.  It just sounds exhausting.

Oh God!  Please protect and guide my childrens’ mourning . . . please help us all.  PLEASE tell Chad how much we miss him.  We need a sign, oh Lord, please be gracious and send us a sign. 

Back Together!!!!!

Hi Everybody!

I am so excited to get back to my blogging friends!  My goodness has it been QUITE a month!  Abbi wound up in the hospital for almost a week – OVER a week if you count the hours spent in the ER and the day she spent so sick at home before they finally put her in the hospital.  It was a long and exhausting process.  One which does not seem to be completely over . . .YET! 

Abbi still can't read.  Her eyes are just not working right.  She tries to read and becomes instantly nauseous.  We will see both a neurologist at U of M and an eye specialist in the next week.  She also continues to have a lot of neck pain and she reported to me, this morning, that she spent the night last night with the puke bowl as her pillow.  Please pray for continued healing within her head and neck.

I CANNOT believe that we are just two weeks away from the official launch of my Seasons of Hope Tour!!!!!!  I am so excited!  I have poured and poured and poured myself into the preparations and I am so excited to be in the home stretch!  If you live anywhere within reach of Michigan . . . please plan to attend one of the concerts.  They are going to be really special. 

Not only will my old cohorts, Sojourn, and I be back together . . . but we will also debut little Mary Juengel's new single that we wrote and recorded in Nashville!  The next few weeks are full of promoting, radio interviews, and continued tweaking of the actual concert.  We are really in the home stretch and I am so excited to meet my fans.  WAY more than that, though, I am excited to speak hope into the lives of believers . . . lives that are struggling or shattered or which maybe seem unbearable.  Please let me encourage you through music and word!!!!  

All the details of how you can get involved are on my homepage.  If there is no way that you can join us on April 26th or May 4th, then please consider joining us through a donation to Team Be The Match!  Your donation . . . OF ANY SIZE . . . can help provide new bone marrow registries that could possibly save a life!  Please consider helping us fund this very important cause!

Okay friends!  I will be back to posting journals now.  I am sorry if you look to those for encouragement and I have failed to post them.  Honestly, being a single mama is the absolute hardest thing I have EVER done (MINUS a kid with severe migraines and one in the hospital with Meningitis!!!!!)  I just cannot keep up with my life most days.  I have three of the best kids on Earth and I sure am grateful for the gift of them and the life I get to share with them . . . it is truly a joy.  But I never planned on walking this road alone.  Many days I don't have time to think. . . especially from 2:30 on when I am running them.  I get to the end of the day and fall into my bed to prepare to do it all again tomorrow.  If I stop to assess the enormous weight of being a widow and single mama it makes me cry . . . so I just keep plowing through and try not to whine about it.  How about this – if you know a single mama . . . think of a way to bless her today.  Make her a meal.  Mow her lawn.  Ask her if you can walk through her house and fix anything you see that needs fixing.  These are the things that overwhelm.  Just be the practical hand of the Lord to her.  I promise – it will bless her . . . and YOU!

 

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