Quote from "Stepping Heavenward" by Mrs. E. Prentiss

"She says I shall now have one mouth more to fill and two feet the more to shoe, more disturbed nights, more laborious days, and less leisure or visiting, reading, music and drawing.

Well! This is one side of the story, to be sure, but I look at the other.

Here is a sweet, fragrant mouth to kiss; here are two more feet to make music with their pattering about my nursery. Here is a soul to train for God; and the body in which dwells is worthy of all it will cost, since it is the abode of a kingly tenant. I may see less of friends, but I have gained one dearer than them all, to whom, while I minister in Christ's name, I make a willing sacrifice of what little leisure for my own recreation my other dear darlings had left me. Yes, my precious baby, you are welcome to her time, her strength, her health, her tenderest cares, to her lifelong prayers! Oh, how rich I am, how truly, wondrously blest!"

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

2018's New Normal


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Started this new year 2018, as a newly widowed home schooling mama that's juggling work, selling a house, home schooling, being a mom (you know=chef, chauffeur, shopper, boo boo kisser, launderer, chief bottle washer & so much more) has been surreal.   Most days I'm just trying to accomplish all that needs to be done, and try not to think about who I am missing horribly.   However, there are always reminders of who is missing.   When I'm backing up a camper, I can hear him telling me I'm not doing it right.  When I’m painting in his shop, I can hear him reminding me not to ruin his good paint brushes.  When I'm trying to figure out if I should paint cabinets in the house to sell, I want him to make the decision because he would have known what to do.   Little things like wondering if my hair looks alright, he would have been honest and kind.  When the kiddos have been sick, he had always cleaned up the yuck.  Even when the cat killed a mouse, I was reminded that I never had to do the "yucky jobs" if he was around.   He took care of me, and he did it well.  

I never considered growing old alone.   We had lots of plans for when the kiddos were grown.  Of course, most still included them because we hated having fun without them.  We loved including them in all our adventures.   

I believe things are getting back to somewhat of a normal routine (whatever normal is).  Praying the other night, I prayed the same prayer I've prayed with all my littles from a picture that my grandma stitched up for me as a child with my added requests which goes as follows:

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
If I should die before I wake
I pray the Lord my soul to take
If I should live for other days
I pray the Lord to guide my ways

God bless Daddy, Cindy, John Russell, Nicholas, Timothy, Praise, Michael, Emily,  Christopher, Rylie, Jackson, Brandon, Lindsey, and Olivia.
Amen

I got stuck when I got to Daddy, and had to will myself to pray on with Christopher.  It's those reminders that are in the routine of life all around me that can get me even in the good days.   

People have surrounded us with their love, but everyone has got on with their lives as they should.   The dust has cleared; this new normal is forming in our home.  And it’s getting to the really real realization that he’s not coming home.  He’s not just on a trip.   It’s really not just all a terribly, horrid nightmare.   He’s gone, and I’m alone.   But God.   I’m not sure how anyone goes through something like this without knowing the Lord Jesus as their Savior.    When I’ve been tempted to stay sad, He has sent me reminders through my children, through the mail yesterday (you know who you are that has sent me a card faithfully every month even if I don’t), through texts, through a meal from a faithful Tuesday meal giver, and especially through His word.   He hasn’t left me.   When I’m tempted to be full of fear that when my children are all flown from the nest to build their own lives and when I will be alone for the first time in my entire life, He reminds me that I’m never alone.  When I’m tempted to be full of fear that I’m unsure of tomorrow, He reminds me that He is.  When I’m tempted to feel like a failure as a parent due to the health issues Rusty and I have faced over the past 6 years, He reminds me He knew what we would go through when He blessed us with all these wonderful children.   He is good y’all!  

Thanks for all the prayers and support to all who have blessed our family this past year.  We are so very grateful.  My life hasn’t been anything like I imagined.   My heart can be very heavy some days, yet I haven’t lost Hope.   I’ve no idea what tomorrow will bring, but I’m so glad to know the One who does.   





Friday, June 9, 2017

Happy New Year from the Tordoff Troop

This was actually written the end of December, first of January.  I thought it had posted, but obviously had not. 

The traditional Christmas letter didn't happen this year.   I always think as I get older that I will eventually have more time since children have been leaving the nest every few years now, but nope.   My days seem fuller than ever.   However, they aren't stressful and exhausting so I can't complain.  They are definitely full of wonderful people and eternity worthy things.   However, I still wish I had more time to write.   Everyday little things happen or are said that I think, I need to write that down, or that's good, and the children will get a great laugh one day or see how God was moving in their lives so young.   Before I know it, I'm waking up to another day, and that mental note is in a pile on the desk of my brain probably forgotten forever.     Here's an example of those things I don't want to forget, and want my children to know.  The other day I heard some scary news.   My mind was about to travel a road I didn't need to go down that would have filled my heart to overflowing with fear and worry when Christopher comes banging on my door calling my name.  "Mom, Mom, hurry up, you've got to see this!"   It was a beautiful sunset that he wanted to share with me.   It was even more beautiful because he was completely unaware that He wanted to share it with me to encourage me that God is still in control.  I need to rest in Him. I was reminded of the Scripture in Ruth 3, where Naomi is reminding Ruth to "Wait, my daughter, until you learn how the matter turns out."    My heart was filled with peace and wonder.


2016 Recap

Mission Trip to India
India was amazing.   Timothy, Praise, Michael, and I went on a 10 day trip in April to Rajasthan to encourage a family and a bunch of boys they are raising in a boy's home.   We painted rooms in the home, and ran a VBS that week.     We were blessed more than we were a blessing by many hugs and smiles, by their generosity, and by their love.   I could fill this whole letter with just the preps for India, the flights, the travel days to Delhi, the Taj Mahal, Jaipur "The Pink City", the Amer Fort, the monkeys, the chipmunks, just animals everywhere, the sweet family we stayed with, the joy of the boys, and so much more.  ( If you want to support Indian widows and orphans, I'd encourage you to make gift purchases through chunkyjunk.com. They sell jewelry, purses, and more.)   The plane ride was long, the Muslim call to worship rang out daily, the weather was like a hot Georgia summer, Michael and his buddy Charlie got pretty ill, our plane ride home nearly missed, things we bought were broken or missing upon our return, yet we never really thought about those things nor talked much about it since our return.  We never really felt inconvenienced, but more of an inconvenience when this family gave us the best rooms, sacrificed their food to serve us, and loved us well.  When we talk about India we remember the sweet family, the boys singing, their joy, the poverty, the majesty, and our Emmanuel for God was surely with us.   He knit our hearts to this sweet family and we want to return as soon as possible.  


2016~what a year.   December marked 5 years since I found out I had cancer.   It seems like so long ago now thankfully.      I'm feeling great, and my mind is clearer each year post chemo.    I'm still home schooling, tutoring with Classical Conversations, and working part-time at Control plus.  In the spring, we took a trip to Florida to celebrate my Uncle Mike's life.   The trip was bittersweet.  We had such a good time visiting family we don't normally see, but was definitely sad I couldn't have laughed with Uncle Mike one last time.  Rusty has been busy making cabinets.   We just returned from spending Christmas with his family in North Carolina.  It was such a fun trip full of laughs, hikes, food, and family.   He gave up his Mountain Dew this year due to a diabetes diagnosis.  Since giving up his beloved soda (😉), he lost 20# and has no problem with his sugar levels.   Also giving up all that sugar, he no longer has arthritic symptoms.     That's pretty exciting.  He's such a good Dad and has helped the kiddos build all kinds of projects this year.   
          Cindy moved to the Burn Unit as a surgery nurse this year, and has loved it.   She and Brandon have separated, but are keeping the children's lives as normal as possible.  Cindy also started her own business CRAFT (Custom Re-purposed Art Furniture & Tiles).   You can find it here on face book.  Rylie is in band this year playing the drums.   She is in 5th grade, and has caught up with Emily in height, and is such a smart girl.  She loves to dance with Emily, read, and play games.   Jackson is in 2nd grade.  He's also grown so much.   He loves legos and playing outside with Christopher climbing trees and just being all boy.
          John Russell and Lindsey have had a busy year.   John Russell continues to work for Advanced Industrial Refrigeration and has put in a lot of hours this year to help support Lindsey's last year of college.   We're so proud of the man he has become.   She graduated this December with a Biology major.   She wants to pursue a P.A. degree, but taking a year off to work first.  We are excited for her.    They still attend Grace Fellowship.  They are such a sweet couple, and I'm excited to see what the Lord has in store for them this year.
        Nicholas is still with John Deere.   He has worked hard at getting healthy himself this year and it shows.  He has registered with Augusta Tech to begin 2017.    He and Lydia are still a couple, and they attend Journey together.   They have been involved in Bible studies there, and enjoy movies, Mexican, and hanging out with friends.    He is moving out in a week.   Love seeing how the Lord is growing in him and the wise choices he makes. 
       Timothy graduated this year through Classical Conversations' Challenge program.  He has been working for  Door Hardware Contractors when he's not in school or studying.  He is also been enrolled at Augusta Technical College in their welding program since the fall.   His sweetheart's name is Olivia and they like hiking and being outdoors.    He still attends Kiokee when he isn't at Olivia's church (Lakeside).   He has a great heart that serves others well.
     Praise is in her final year of high school.   She is enrolled in the Challenge program as well as the Cosmetology program at Augusta Technical College.  She and all the younger ones are still at Kiokee with us.   Cosmetology is definitely a great fit for her as her hair color has changed quarterly for the last few years.   She was homecoming queen this year.   She's not only beautiful outside, but inside as well.    She wants to go to Jamaica on a mission trip in 2017.
     Michael is a sophomore this year.  He loves sports, and working hard.   He doesn't like to be bored, and wants to be moving all the time.  He gets up early to get his school done early so he can work with his Dad, meet with friends to go to the gym or disc golf, play football.   He fell in love with India and wants to go back 2017.     I love his heart to serve.
    Emily is nearing the tween stage.  She is 11, and in 6th grade.  She loves dancing, singing, playing cards, going to every church youth activity as does Michael, bicycling, and more.  She is still such a happy girl, and still very social.   She's always helpful and fun.  She's such a joy to our family.
   Christopher will always be the baby, but he no longer looks it.   He has grown so much.  He loves everything outside from basketball, bicycling, climbing trees, running races, etc.  He loves playing legos inside as well as drawing and coloring.   He has a sweet heart that loves to cook breakfast with his Daddy in the morning and me at night.

That wraps up our year.   Hope you all have a Happy New Year!


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