We left Las Vegas on 14 July and got to Iowa on 15 July. Left Iowa on 16 July and got back to Las Vegas on 17 July. It really does feel surreal that all three kiddos aren't with us. As a matter of fact, at about 9 a.m. this morning I still felt like I was waiting for them to wake up for the day.
Just a little background: Andrew is 11. Mariah is 9. Corey is almost 7. We have NEVER left them longer than 3 days. I mean, there was this time back in November 2007 that, while William was deployed, I went to a Women's Worship & Study Conference for 5 days. And then there was a time in February or March 2008 that William and I went to a Marriage Retreat (this was shortly after he had returned from his 2nd deployment - the 2nd one lasted 6 months). But we have never left the kids just for "fun". So this may explain a little of my heartache with being away from the kids.
I sent my mom a text message saying how I missed our kiddos. And upon sending here a message, I get a text message from my MIL with a pic of our sweet daughter getting some pig tail braids put in. She LOVES her hair braided. Something I don't do as often. But as the saying goes, you don't know how much you love something until you no longer have it. So I'll be braiding her hair more when I see her again. And even though we have considered ourselves pretty good parents, we may just become the greatest parents in the world after being reunited with our 3 children.
Anyway, so as I sat looking at the TWO pictures, I sobbed a little. Then I sat down the phone (very briefly) and spoke these words outloud, "LORD, this is silly." He knew exactly what I was talking about. And as I sat there for a moment, I felt the LORD speak to me these words:
"This is how I feel when My children go away from Me."
How sad. Simply heartbreaking. I feel lost without my kiddos as they surely do keep me busy during the day and on into the evening.
I am so thankful that I call the LORD - Father, Friend, Comforter, Savior. Without Him -- I'd be lost.