These girls. These beautiful, fearfully and wonderfully made, precious girls. Words cannot describe the daily joys and struggles that being their momma brings. I often say, sometimes through tears, that I am sure we are living with angels. As we have been reading through 1 Corinthians, so much of what is said reigns true in our lives:
“For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”-1 Corinthians 1:26-31
In some ways, I feel like the girls have already made light of these truths in both my life and others. He has shed light on our own weaknesses, our own limitations, through the lives of Ally and Bailey Grace. He has glorified Himself by making His riches shine brightly and the world’s offerings dull and unpredictable. Him.
As I have been writing “the book”, I have found it difficult to find authentic words for the blog at times. I so want to portray all that God has asked me to in the book, and want to drain out every ounce of His goodness on those pages. That being said, there are some things that I just can’t wait to share. So many lessons learned from the precious lives that have been entrusted to us. While there are many, here are a few lessons I want to share today:
*God wants His children to thrive, not just survive.*
When you have a newborn (or two!), you expect to have to take care of all the baby’s needs. You find joy in each moment that you can offer that child nourishment, each second of hygiene taken care of, all the things that help that child feel loved. As Ally and Bailey Grace get older, their independence has not (yet) surfaced. I say yet because I have no idea what God has in store for their futures, but I do know that as of now, our day to day consists of taking care of two 16 month olds that are developmentally at the level of a six month old. We have somewhat stayed in the trenches of infancy. They do not feed themselves, and certainly do not have a sense of mobility or signs of independence. While my days have looked the same for quite some time, and in many ways this presents itself as mundane and challenging, I will tell you this: I love taking care of their needs. Not only that, but knowing their unique challenges makes me want to care for them even more. When I give them a bath, I want to treat each and every one like a spa treatment. I find such joy in making them feel nice and clean, and love their post bath massages and smiles as much as anything. I do not just want them to merely live; I want them to feel special in all their day to day moments. Friends, this is God-given. He does not just want you to walk around aimlessly. He finds intense joy in helping us thrive where we are; to bloom where we are planted.
“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”- Matthew 7:11
If I, in my own weakness and frailty, have the desire to give the girls good things, how much more does our heavenly Father want do this for us? Let me make something clear: good things, dear reader. Not things that we think we need, or things that might sound good but will do nothing for our relationship with the only One that truly matters. Riches from heaven not trinkets from earth. The intricate care that I find such joy in bringing to our girls is nothing in comparison to the love He desires to lavish on us.
*God loves what makes us unique.*
Friends, our uniqueness was His idea! He created and formed each of us, and the things that make us stand out or different are for His glory and our good. Some of the reason that our girls are perplexing to physicians is because their development is unique from anything many of them have seen. While their growth motor skills are over a year behind, their expressive language and social skills are barely behind. They have their own Bailey Grace and Ally “isms”, one of those being that they pat and tap everything. You know what? As much as I know that it is a little weird, I love it. If I saw another child doing it, I wouldn’t blink an eye. When they do it, I think it’s pretty cute. Odd, maybe. But special because it is them doing it. Their interesting traits make me love them more, not less. This is how God feels about you! The things that separate you from the crowd are often the very things He wants to use to bring Himself glory. Having the privilege of loving our girls has given me the desire to celebrate the unique qualities in each of us, “For as in one body we have any members, and the members do not all have the same function”, so it is with humanity (Romans 12:4). You were made the way you are for a purpose, and as every fingerprint is one in its own, this world would not be the same without your special qualities. God loves the way He made you!
“….Does the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’ or “Your work has no handles’?”- Isaiah 45:9
May we each be thankful and content with however the Lord deemed fit to create both ourselves and those around us.
*Wake up with a smile, go to bed with a smile.*
Since the girls were a couple months old, they have taken on this attitude. When I go into their rooms in the morning, each of them greets me with a smile. When I put them in bed at night, the last thing they give me is a grin. I believe it is their way of saying that, no matter what the day held, they accept it as God’s good gifts. Oh, how I could benefit from this attitude. They truly seem content in all circumstances, and have smiled through some times that many adults would find challenging. They spend each day wide open, ready to love every person they see with the fullness that I believe can only come from Him. The joy they offer is contagious, and you want to be around them because of the light they exude. No matter the circumstance, these girls can always seem to find a reason to smile. As Matt Redman’s song, “Bless the Lord (10,000 gifts)” so eloquently shares, I want to have a, “Whatever may come and whatever lies before me, let me be singing when the evening comes” mindset. Not because this life is easy, but because God is good; because He can be trusted in all of our moments- the hard, the easy, the unknown, or the predictable. The past, present, and future. All Him.
There are so many more lessons the Lord is teaching me, but these are the few tidbits I wanted to share today. Let’s walk through our moments with a smile, even the hards, knowing that He loves to see His children thriving, He celebrates the unique things that make you, “you”, and He is working all things together for His glory and our good. How wonderful it is to serve The Living God today!