Thursday, September 29, 2016

8 Reasons Why I Overshare

1.  Because it’s my purpose.

A few things happened when our story spread over social media this past summer.  First off, I got pretty sick of myself!  I’m a homeschool mom, Sunday school teacher, and girl’s youth leader.  It’s my sole responsibility to put Christ in the center my life and the lives of those I teach.  The spotlight is hot for a reason - we shouldn't get too comfortable.  However, the most important lesson I learned from that time is that God has given me an amazing purpose in this world.  His plan is so much greater than anything I could have imagined.  The tragic truth is that babies are dying by the thousands every day.  Horrifically, inhumanely, meaninglessly – Dying.  If our story or video speaks to one momma, and saves one life, then of course it was worth it.  It will always be worth it.  So I’ll keep on. 

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans for a hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11

2.  Because I know who cares and who doesn’t. 
This is a fortunate and unfortunate by-product of oversharing.  I’ve been hidden, ridiculed, and deleted, but the funny thing is that I understand.  I do.  If someone isn’t invested in me or my daughter, than I’m sure my crazy amount of pictures and videos can get quite annoying.  The positive side to the hiders and haters is that I know who does love us.  I know our supporters and I know our encouragers.  And YOU, my precious friends, are Loved and Appreciated.  More than you’ll ever know.

“A friend is always loyal, and a brother (or sister) is born to help in time of need.”  Proverbs 17:17

3.  Because her milestones are a big deal. 
Her milestones are huge!  I have lived under these suffocating blanket statements since before her birth.  She’ll never do this, she’ll always do that; her tongue this, her eyes that; she’ll have this; she’ll never have that.  I’ve simply had enough.  By sharing in her milestones and her accomplishments, I’m cutting holes in all those blankets.  Pretty soon there will be nothing left of those statements but a bunch of hot air. 

She can do All things through Christ who gives her strength.  Philippians 4:13

4.  Because someday she’ll understand that I championed for her.

There will be a day when my little girl will look back and see how much her mommy, daddy, and sisters adored her.  She will see how crazy we were about her and how we believed in her from the very beginning.  On that day, she’ll already understand who she is and she will already be confident in our love for her.  But to look back and see that we were always her champions will give her all the more strength and perseverance.

“And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you can be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”  James 1:4

5.  Because I’m her voice to change perspectives and to inform.
She doesn’t have a voice yet.  When she does, I have no doubt that she’ll use it to change perspectives and inform in her own perfectly beautiful way.  But for now, I’m her voice to show the world anytime she breaks out of an ill-conceived, fragile, or misinformed mold.  Anytime she displays her own personality, her intelligence, her adorableness, I’m going to share it.  The world needs to see that she is unique and perfectly made to fulfill a greater purpose, hand-selected by the God Who created her.

“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.  Before you were born, I set you apart and appointed you as My prophet to the nations.”  Jeremiah 1:5

6.  Because her accomplishments can inspire. 
Before her diagnosis, I knew absolutely nothing about Down syndrome.  If I did hear anything, it was negative or ugly, filled with low expectations for my child.  Emmy does more at her age than I was given hope for her to do.  I know I’m not the only person out there who has a child who wasn’t give much hope to succeed.  I share because there are no limits with God.  And that’s why I praise Him with every hurdle she jumps, climbs, or even crawls over.  She is His testimony. 

“God is able to do far more than we could ever ask for or imagine.  He does everything by His power that is working in us.”  Ephesians 3:20

7.  Because other mommas need to know that I get it. 
I share because there are countless other mommas out there just like me, and it feels really good to know that there are others out here who understand.  We are not always up.  We face sadness, disappointment, and heartache.  But we are a blessed minority to take every single moment captive and celebrate those little moments, which are never really little.

“Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up, just as you are already doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

8.  Because she’s cute.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Your Typical Child

He’s by her side…

And it hurts.  No matter how many times I tell myself not to compare, I do.  I’ve watched him all his life, fly past her.  It’s so difficult to admit that sometimes it makes me sad to see him soaring when she’s just finding her wings.  When she was learning to sit, he was walking.  When she finally crawled, he was running.  He was saying ‘mama’, while she was making her first sign.  He reminds me that her future might not be easy, and I struggle to push back the negative thoughts that continue to remind me that this world is not going to always be kind.

But he’s by her side.  

Then I get up the courage to take a peek into the future.  Most of the time that’s very difficult for me, but this time I see them when they’re three years old.  He’s handing her a balloon and they’re bouncing it in the air. He’s holding her hand, and they’re running through the church while the parents are talking after service.  He’s stopping to wait.  She’s giggling, and she runs ahead. They’re singing songs, acting silly.

And he’s by her side.

Then I see them when they’re ten. He meets another child at his school with the same eyes as hers, and he wants to be friends with him because he knows the secret.   The next time he sees his Emmy, he’s excited to share with her about his new friend.  He gives her a hug, because they’ve always been friends, and that will never change.  I see him with his arm around her, proud to make her smile.

And he’s still by her side.

I see them when they're sixteen and he’s defending a boy in his school who’s being bullied.  He tells the others just why that boy deserves to be respected and treated with dignity, because he can’t imagine anyone hurting his Emmy that way.  He can’t wait to see her because somewhere along the way he’s decided that he will protect her and any extension of her.  He gives her a hug, just like he always does, and sits down next to her in church.

Right by her side.

I see them when their grown, and he’s raising his own children to love everyone, no matter the number of chromosomes.  He’s spent his whole life cheering for her and celebrating her victories.  She’s spent her whole life cheering for him and celebrating his victories.  Their friendship won’t just change who they become, it will change others who have the privilege of knowing them.

Because he’s by her side.

Back in this moment, I look in the nursery and it hurts a little less.  He’s playing the drums, and she’s playing the xylophone.  I take notice of the milestones she’s meeting and the similarities they share. They’re smiling, he’s laughing and they're building a bond that melts me.  Because he’s right where he’s supposed to be…

By her side.