I have been absent lately, and it’s definitely because there isn’t any real news to speak of. And what a blessing that is! It means things are smooth sailing at the McClintick’s which we are so very grateful for. The kids are doing well and are finally inching closer to summer break. Brad still has golf tryouts in the next couple weeks which he is really looking forward to. Sidney is in the midst of volleyball and just finished a three day tournament this afternoon; she is completely exhausted and bruised up. Trevor is doing his thing and looking forward to signing up for his freshman year classes soon. I still can’t believe I will have three in high school next year! And Ryan is good – healthy, happy and pain free. What more could we ask for?!
Travis and I have been blessed beyond measure by our church to be able to attend the Global Access conference in California this week. We fly out in the morning with our dear friend Danelle and will spend the next few days learning, growing and talking about special needs ministry. I’ve said before we teach the adult special needs Sunday school class at our church, First Free, and absolutely love it! I think we are more blessed each week than our “students” are. It’s a blast! I’m certain we will learn a lot and come home with some new ideas and a fresh perspective. Please pray our time will be well spent and that we will have open hearts and minds.
This trip is really only possible because of the love and dedication of our children. When Danelle told us the church wanted to send us to this conference, I cried big, wet tears because I didn’t see how it would be possible to leave Ryan – and because we were so humbled by the generosity of our church. Taylor, who does respite for us, works full time, my dad and step mom are out of town this week, my in laws and my sister work full time and there simply isn’t anyone except Taylor who can do all of Ryan’s cares. No one except our kids that is. With tears streaming down her face, Sidney sat at the kitchen table and said to me, “mom, God is providing this awesome opportunity for you so you have to go”. She volunteered to stay home from school all week to care for her brother; then Brad piped in and said he’d stay home too. At first I was totally against them staying home from school so we could go to a conference, but when it really came down to it, there simply isn’t anyone I trust to take care of Ryan like I trust Brad, Sidney and Trevor. And so it’s all worked out – Brad will stay home two days and Sidney will stay home two days. It still blows me away to think that my own children are so selfless that they are willing to take on all of Ryan’s cares. It really is a lot of work. Trevor is just as attentive as the older two but he simply can’t stand to do Ryan’s tube feedings. It’s not his thing, and we respect that. He is a doting, attentive, loving big brother and watches Ryan a lot as long as he doesn’t have to do meds and tube stuff. And that’s OK. Our sweet Taylor will be here while we are away so the kids have an adult with them, and she is so great with Ryan. They will all be in good hands, and they love Taylor! Our church got wind that our children are taking care of Ryan and gave them two gift cards to eat out. How sweet is that?! They are a wonderfully loving group of people who know how to make a family feel loved. We are so very blessed!
Please pray for our children while we are away, and pray for health and safety for us as we travel. As we pray every night, ask the Lord to keep his angels around the doors and windows of our home. I know our children will be perfectly kept by the best Protector possible. I simply can’t wait to soak in a little California sunshine and get my toes wet in the ocean! This is the FIRST time we have ever been away from Ryan for any period of time except for a volleyball tournament last year. I know the kids will all do great, but it’s still hard to leave Ryan. Tomorrow will be a great day. And so with the tomorrows to follow. God’s got every tomorrow, so I’m going to choose to rest in His perfect care.