Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Slowing Down

Well, I had the complete privilege of getting away to the beach with my beautiful family for an entire week…and I still have “vacation brain.” (I know it has been 2 months, but I still have it!)

I finally had the chance to unwind and truly enjoy my family. Unfortunately, because I work full time, and between therapy appointments with my daughter, and sports activities with my son, I don’t get to actually enjoy the blessings that are all around me every day as much as I should.

Sooo…between the lazy river, the pool, and sitting by the beach---I had plenty of time to talk to the Lord, and watch in amazement as my children took in all the sights and sounds of our beautiful surroundings.

Because of treatments my daughter received over the summer for her muscles, prior to this vacation, she had casts on both of her legs for 6 weeks.
And four days prior to arriving at the beach, she had them removed. So, as you can imagine (especially if any of you have had to wear a cast for any length of time), her gait was very different, trying to adjust to her newly-stretched out muscles….And, because she normally wears braces on her legs daily, her muscles were fighting to keep her balance without them as we trekked to the beach and pool several times a day.

So needless to say, for the entire vacation her gait was very unusual, and she fought every second of the day, just to stay up to walk.

Because of these factors, I had no choice but to slow down.


God knew I needed to slow down, and take my time to enjoy this vacation, and He created the circumstances so that I was forced to move slower.

And in the midst of me having to do everything slower, in order for her to be comfortable, I learned an amazing lesson.

Because I was moving at her pace, on her time, I got to see what was really important.

I actually focused on her beautiful face, and how much she is growing before my eyes.

I took the time to listen to each word she spoke, and tune into her amazing curiosity.

As her little body was struggling, her spirit was shining.

In the midst of her using every bit of energy just to stand up and walk, she was full of joy.

True, pure joy that can only come from a child.
The kind of joy our Lord wants us to have on a daily basis.

I learned this simple life lesson, from the most beautiful vessel He placed in my world seven years ago. She knows life no other way—and she perseveres each and every day. She is the epitome of God’s joy, strength and grace.

If she can have joy in the midst of her challenges than what excuse do I have to complain or fret about any challenge I have to face?

So I meditate on Romans 5:3-5, “ …but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.”

Slow down.
Gain hope.

A simple, yet profound lesson from my little girl.

And from my God.

Maria and her family reside in NE Ohio. She and her husband are the parents of two. Their daughter is a person with hemipelegic cerebral palsy.Because of her experiences, Maria provides parent-to-parent support for families involved in her local early intervention program. Her gift for writing has come directly from the Lord since her daughter’s diagnosis. She writes a monthly column entitled, “Special Parents, Special Kids” for the Mahoning Valley Parent magazine in Ohio; and has expanded into Parent magazines in parts of Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
She is also a contributing author at http://www.mommiesmagazine.com/.Maria's first published work is in Jan Ross and Jeanice McDade's Women of Passion's anthology, "Ordinary Women Serving an Extraordinary God". Both Kim and Maria have been selected to have their work tentatively included in Lori Wagner's upcoming book, Quilting Patches of Life, Volume 2.

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