It still amazes me how two people who are so different can get married and really make it work the way Nathan and I have.
Nathan LOVES being outdoors and being active. I LOVE just hanging out indoors and doing nothing.
This past week we went on an 8-day vacation (thanks to Nathan’s parents) in Estes Park, CO. We hiked, shopped, tasted wine, ate yummy food, fished, hiked some more, shopped some more, drove through Rocky Mountain National Park and had a little bit of time to just hang out.
Something about me (everyone who knows me is aware of this) is that I have a very abnormal FEAR, FEAR, FEAR of bears and mountain lions. This makes hiking or camping in the woods very difficult, if not impossible with me. Nathan and I have been married for over 5 years and together for over 6 and we have never been camping together, something Nathan LOVES to do.
I am amazed at how God works on me every chance He gets and shows me that He is in control, not me. When I am forced out of my comfort zone, He always shows me that I can trust Him because He is in control.
I prayed for days, if not weeks, before the trip that I would feel a peace and not have fear while we were there. I was blown away there was not one moment of overwhelming fear. I will not say I did not have moments of worry, but I never had a panic moment that I was expecting to have.
This made me think about our life in general - no matter what happens or where I am, I am not the one in control. I feel so blessed to have reached a point where I do feel a peace in most areas of my life. I would have NEVER thought after getting Zach’s diagnosis that this was possible. I never thought I would be able to say having a child with special needs really has been a blessing in ways hard to put into words.
I would never wish the struggle Zach will have in his life on anyone but then again who am I to say that his or our struggle is any more than the girl who has a hard time making friends, or the single person who feels lonely everyday, or the child with cancer who is cured after 2 years of treatment never to look back, or the widow who feels sad every time she sits down for dinner with no one to talk to, or the teen who started doing drugs to be cool and now can’t stop. Who am I to say that God did not ALWAYS know exactly what Zach’s brain would look like and every struggle that his body would have to move in a “typical” way.
As hard as life can be I have no doubt in my mind that where I am at any given moment is where I am supposed to be, hard or easy, happy or sad. My worries for Zach and what our life will look like in the future will always be there, but I am reminded at every turn that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel or a positive that will come from a negative, even if we don’t want to see it in the moment, it will come.
Knowing good can come from any situation has nothing to do with understanding why. I believe it comes from trust that Someone knows much better than I do what is good for me in the long run. We are all here to help each other. this life is not about us; it is about showing a love everyone longs for.
I got this as an email forward and thought some might enjoy it. I am still blown away at times the way people express themselves through writing.
Having four visiting family members, the wife was very busy, so I offered to go to the store for her to get some needed items, which included light bulbs, paper towels, trash bags, detergent, and Clorox. So off I went.
I scurried around the store, gathered up my goodies, and headed for the checkout counter, only to be blocked in the narrow aisle by a young man who appeared to be about sixteen-years-old. I wasn't in a hurry, so I patiently waited for the boy to realize that I was there. This was when he waved his hands excitedly in the air and declared in a loud voice, "Mommy, I'm over here."
It was obvious now, he was mentally challenged, and also startled as he turned and saw me standing so close to him, waiting to squeeze by. His eyes widened and surprise exploded on his face as I said, "Hey Buddy, what's your name?"
"My name is Denny and I'm shopping with my mother," he responded proudly. "Wow," I said, "that's a cool name; I wish my name was Denny, but my name is Steve."
"Steve, like Stevarino?" he asked.
"Yes," I answered. "How old are you Denny?"
"How old am I now, Mommy?" he asked his mother as she slowly came over from the next aisle.. "You're fifteen-years-old Denny; now be a good boy and let the man pass by."
I acknowledged her and continued to talk to Denny for several more minutes about summer, bicycles, and school. I watched his brown eyes dance with excitement because he was the center of someone's attention. He then abruptly turned and headed toward the toy section.
Denny's mom had a puzzled look on her face and thanked me for taking the time to talk with her son. She told me that most people wouldn't even look at him, much less talk to him. I told her that it was my pleasure and then I said something I have no idea where it came from, other than by the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
I told her that there are plenty of red, yellow, and pink roses in God's Garden; however, "Blue Roses" are very rare and should be appreciated for their beauty and distinctiveness. You see, Denny is a Blue Rose and if someone doesn't stop and smell that rose with their heart and touch that rose with their kindness, then they've missed a blessing from God.
She was silent for a second, then with a tear in her eye she asked, "Who are you?"
Without thinking I said, "Oh, I'm probably just a dandelion but I sure love living in God's garden."
She reached out, squeezed my hand, and said, "God bless you!" and then I had tears in my eyes.
May I suggest that the next time you see a BLUE ROSE, don't turn your head and walk off. Take the time to smile and say Hello. Why? Because, by the grace of GOD, this mother or father could be you. This could be your child, grandchild, niece, or nephew. What a difference a moment can mean to that person or their family.
From an old dandelion!
Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.
"People will forget what you said, People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
Besides how and where to spend money (like most couples), Nathan and I have the biggest differing opinions on having another baby.
I am so amazed at all the women I know who have or want more than one child. I must just be too selfish. I love the “idea” of a sibling for Zach, but if I think about it for more than a few minutes it scares the beegebees out of me. For me it is all about what it takes to have another baby - the sickness, the weight gain, the surgery, having two kids that don’t always sleep through the night, having two kids that can’t talk, having two kids that can’t walk, the unknown, THE FEAR.
I have said so many times that I am willing to try one more time, first because my husband wants another child more than anything and second because a sibling really is a good thing for Zach.
The biggest issue I have is WHEN? Every time I think I am ready and willing I end up changing my mind. I am still trying to figure out what it is keeping me from being “ready.”
When I look at families with more than one child, I get so overwhelmed at the idea. But when I look at families with just one, I think it is sad for the child to not have a sibling to play with. I just don’t know; it seems to me like I am just not happy either way.
So many people ask me if it’s because I am scared I could have another child with special needs? I really don’t think it is. I’m sure the fear is there, but it is not really something I think about. It’s more that I think about how different it will be to have a typical child. To have a child I have to run after, a child asking endless questions, a child who exhausts me physically, a child who is just like I thought I wanted, but now I don’t have a clue what to do with.
Will I have enough time to work with Zach like he needs? Will my other child feel left out because we are always doing things for Zach?
I really do believe God knows better than I do what is good for me, but the selfish part of me is having a really hard time letting go and letting Him be in control right now. I want to allow Him to lead me and show me what is best, but my fears always end up getting in my way. I have allowed my fears to control me for most of my life and I think it’s about time for me to let go and think about positives and not think about the fear.
I am a follower of Christ, a wife, a mother, massage therapist and more. I love my family.
My job is now being a mom to my little man who keeps me busier than I ever imagined. My son has Cerebral Palsy so my life is pretty much filled with running him from appointment to appointment just hoping that they can in some way help him to have a "normal" life as he grows. (what ever "normal" means anyway) Being the mom of a special needs child can at times be overwhelming but I feel so blessed that the Lord saw fit for me to have this job.
I love my husband and thank God for him everyday. We are so different but I couldn't be happier about that or we would never make it through the tough times in this life.