Well it is no secret that this has been a hard summer. If you are just now tuning in, my husband Robert had to fly to the States for back surgery for a herniated disk. This post will tell you how I survived the last month and a half without going crazy. It’s all about a girl named Ava.
When Ava first started coming to our youth group in Norman (2004), Robert remembers her coming up to him and saying “Hi” after every program. Then she would stand there and grin, not knowing what else to say. Which seems a little odd looking back because she is not one with a lack of things to say. She was very active in our youth group and had a personal encounter with Jesus Christ and gave her life to him. It has been a wild ride ever since. She is fun and funny, thoughtful and introspective, kind and loving, a lover of Jesus and a learner in life. She volunteered to babysit our kids not too long after we met her, and she has been one of Austin and Tyler’s favorite people ever since. She babysat for us in the summers and has shown so much love to the boys.
When Ava first started talking to us about coming to Albania I had a lot of reservations. I wasn’t sure how it would be to have another person here in our “space.” I was not sure how that would effect our routines, our family time, our couple time, my personal space. But we prayed a lot about it and talked about all the possibilities and decided she would be a blessing to us and our kids for the month of July. She has been in love with Jadyn and was anxious to get to spend the same time with her that she did with the boys when they were that age. We made the decision to have her come this summer sometime in March or April.
I can not overstate how I have seen God’s amazing providence in this one decision. When we knew that Robert would need to leave for surgery, one of the things that helped me know it was the right decision to stay here with our kids was knowing that Ava would be coming to help lighten the load. But she did SO MUCH MORE…..
She helped with the housework.
She wiped noses, and bottoms, and boo boos.
She tickled and laughed and loved.
She relieved my loneliness.
She talked with me about all kinds of things.
She helped me get out of the house and do things I might have avoided by myself.
She (unknowingly) helped me keep to a routine for me and the kids.
She helped with meals. Teaching her to cook made me think of more creative things to eat for dinner.
She played games and read books and watched movies.
And she never complained… NOT ONCE! Not when we got a flat tire on the way home from the pool, not when it flooded in the front yard and we ran through the hail, not when she was bitten so many times by mosquitoes I know she was miserable, not when she was tired or had a headache or was sweating just by standing there in the living room. Not when she walked home in the 100 degree heat with three grumpy kids. Not even about her lumpy hideaway bed.
There are not enough words to tell you what a difference you have made for our family. I won’t even try. You are an amazing woman of God!
You are loved by the Wheelis family!