Sunday, July 24, 2011

Blessings

As I sit here thinking about all that's happened the past few months, I continue to thank and praise God for the enormous blessings He's given us. The move from Texas to Florida couldn't have gone any smoother. With the help of roughly 20 people from our church, our apartment was empty and Uhaul jam packed in roughly 2 hours. I hardly lifted a finger that morning and was able to spend some last minute quality time with the Lin family before beginning the 20+ hour drive. The next morning consisted of a quick Chick fil a breakfast and loading up three women, two men, a baby and a beagle. Off we went! We spent the night in Mobile, Alabama that night and continued the trek the next morning. The weather was terrible but it made for good sleeping and conversation. Ben did great! Only fussed a couple times the whole trip. Such a trooper! Roxy was good, too. She had her own little seat in the Uhaul and got so attached that she almost hated getting out to stretch her legs. We made it to Tampa and promptly hit the hay.
Monday morning was another whirlwind of people coming to help unload. A group of campers from Lake Denton Camp made their way down and unloaded the truck quicker than I could process. Before I knew it, boxes had been strategically placed and pizza was being handed out in appreciation. I was determined to get unpacked by the end of the week, so I busted my butt and got everything done by Wednesday. The decorating, furniture shopping and other fun stuff commenced and I went to bed Wednesday night finally feeling like this was home.
Becoming a parent changes everything. People used to tell me that all the time and now I know what they're talking about. Ben has changed my view of children, disabilities, parenthood, family and home. Suddenly being near grandparents and other family is important. Suddenly Micah's job title and current location is immensely harder than it was before. Suddenly having a home to "settle in" is exciting. Suddenly... I'm a mother.
Our new nest is fantastic. There's nothing I don't like about. I don't miss being attached to noisy neighbors, dreading climbing chairs or making a trash trail all the way to the dumpster. Micah will be home in a matter of days and I can't wait to see what it's like to be a family. We are truly blessed beyond belief.    

Monday, July 11, 2011

Balance

Between acknowledging he's different and ignoring it completely.


Between falling down and standing strong.


Between ignorance and bliss.


Between right and wrong.


Between too much and too little.


It's hard to know where the balance is, isn't it? I've been wrestling with that ever since we found out about Ben's secret. (It was his secret, after all. Sonogram after sonogram of trying to find his face that just so happened to be tucked safely away in my hip. Refusing the blood test because "it wouldn't matter anyway.") I don't know where the balance is between ignoring and acknowledging his differences. To be honest, I don't know if I'll ever find it. People stop and stare at my son wherever I go. (Yes, he's just that cute.) Sometimes I wonder to myself, "Do they know?" Sometimes I want to announce that he has Down Syndrome just to clear the air. Sometimes it's like the elephant in the room that everyone's ignoring. Sometimes I wish I could answer questions before people ask. I know people want to ask. Sometimes I wonder about the future. But, most of the time, I snuggle my little guy. I do the same ridiculous thing over and over just to make him smile. I put out my pointer finger because I know he'll grab on. Most of the time I'm just... Ben's mom. And Ben is just... Ben. The normalcy I thought I had lost was just hiding for a day or two while I mourned.  God knew to keep Ben's secret until I had an army of friends and family around me. God knew to have someone post on my wall about moving back to Florida. God knew we would need this job. God knew what I could handle. He always does.


Micah loves to work out. In Afghanistan, he has rallied a group of guys together and they all hit the circus tent before their shift. Micah's a leader. Always has been; always will be. He takes charge of a situation better than anybody else I know. His gift is especially evident when he's doing what he loves. I've been saying for years that he needs to be a personal trainer. My favorite encouraging catch phrase of his? "You're always stronger than you think you are." He makes people push their limits by sneaking in extra weight or making them do more reps than they think they're doing. He knows what people can handle and is willing to make them strive for it because he knows how much better they're going to feel about themselves when it's over.


You're stronger than you think you are. God knows what you can handle. Promise.  

Friday, July 1, 2011

Goodbye

Ever researched the origin of that word? Saying "goodbye" to someone back in the day literally meant "God be with you." I used to hate that word until I discovered that interesting meaning. I used to think saying "goodbye" was a bad thing. I've changed my mind because, the truth is, I sincerely do want God to be with whoever it is I'm leaving. Though this journey I've learned how important my relationship with the Lord is. I've said this over and over but it's still (and will always be) true: I don't know how people can walk through life without a personal relationship and enduring, merciful love of a Savior. I could give you example after example of how God has proven that love for me. My prayer and hope is that all I come in contact with are willing to experience that abiding love I know He's so willing to give.
I'm looking forward to this new chapter of life I'm about to embark on. It's exciting to see how God works in the lives of His children. Throughout my busy, overwhelming days and pity-party nights, God continues to prove that His mercies are new every morning. (Lamentations 3:22-33)
As the move away from Longview is staring me in the face, I'm reminded of how blessed I truly am. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in the box-filled dining room and the overwhelming thoughts of the unknown that I lose sight of the fact that I've been blessed with great friends who have helped fill those boxes with precious memories of the amazing Texas chapter of life. And those thoughts of the unknown are not as overwhelming as I think they are. "Unknown" will mean lots of new and exciting adventures and, if nothing else, some good future writing material. I'm not a pessimist by nature, but the devil roars that ugly head of his far more than I would like. Putting scary and uninvited thoughts of what could be, trying to make me lose sight of that loving Savior that has promised to take care of me.
In other news, my sweet Benjamin is thriving nicely, thank you. I find myself constantly wondering what I ever did without those deep blue, almond shaped eyes and great big smile that welcomes me every morning. Just another one of those reminders of new mercies, I think. So far, we haven't discovered any of the physical health issues that sometimes go along with having an extra chromosome, so we're grateful. Either way, though, my baby is just perfect. He sleeps soundly at night (and for about eleven hours at a time - true story) and usually only fusses if that cute tummy of his is asking to be filled.
Micah is doing well, too. He's been busier than he was before his month off for two reasons; 1) they're severely short handed so no half shifts off like before and 2) the weather is good so being down for weather is rare. We're ready for the much needed break that August 9th-September 17th will bring and I'm so excited to finally see what it's like to be a family of three. (Well, four if you count Roxy).
Only two short weeks left. So, goodbye, my dear Texas family. Don't forget how blessed you are. Be encouraged in the journey. I look forward to continuing to encourage you with mine.