the best kind of worn out

david, finding beauty By June 10, 2014 10 Comments

This post is from four years ago. I just ordered new shoes for both boys and they arrived yesterday–and I remembered this post. As soon as I looked it up, I got tears in my eyes and knew I wanted to share it with again. It gives me all kinds of hope.

worn-out-hand-stamped-jewelry*

these are the shoes david wears every day.

and guess what? they’re worn out.

there’s a hole right through the bottom of the shoe.

and you know how he did it?

exploring, walking, running, and generally getting into trouble.

wornout-hand-stamped-jewelry*

and we couldn’t be happier.

i remember when david was born

and the doctor told us he would never walk, or talk

that he may not see or hear.

and we cried.

and we wondered and waited.

and one day, when he was five years old-he did it!

for months, he’d been pulling up, cruising, but finally, HE WALKED!!

worn-out3-hand-stamped-jewelry

and now he’s wearing out his shoes.  love that.

here are some new kicks. get busy wearing them out, kid!

worn-out4-hand-stamped-jewelry*

and david we love you.

you are pure joy and silliness.

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the meaning of most important thing

an everyday moment, david By April 25, 2014 12 Comments

After I changed my third poopy diaper that day, I turned to my husband and said, “I’ll always change diapers. I will never NOT change diapers.” Our oldest son David has a disability and will likely be diapered his entire life. At the end of a long day, I felt defeated. I felt done. I felt empty.

Then my husband asked me, “What if changing diapers is the most important thing you do all day?”

“What do you mean?” I asked. How could changing a diaper be important? I create jewelry, I write a blog, I speak at conferences. How could something so menial and mundane, like changing a diaper, make even the smallest difference?

I’m blogging over at {in}courage. Hop over to read the rest! 

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david and goliath

david, finding beauty By April 4, 2014 121 Comments

If you sat through Sunday school every week, like I did, then you know the story of David and Goliath. When David was a young boy, he went out to fight the mighty giant Goliath. He didn’t wear armor and he carried no sword. Armed with five smooth stones and a slingshot, he rushed toward the giant, striking him with a stone between the eyes. The giant fell facedown to the ground. With God on his side, the mighty giant was no match for David.

Before David was born, we had already picked out his name. As I held my tiny son in my arms those first days, I marveled at how appropriate the name was.  Born with a syndrome causing a serious heart defect, two fingers on his left hand and global delay, our little boy entered the world with his own giant to face.

At eleven years old, my David faces his Goliath every day.

He has no words, but patiently takes my hand and leads me to what he wants.

He suffers from reflux throughout the day but is quick with a smile between episodes.

He’s eager to make a new friend. If you bend down next to him, he’ll likely throw his arms around your neck or climb up onto your lap.

He faces countless doctor visits, invasive procedures and surgeries, but instead of being bitter, he’s joyful.

He wakes up ready to greet the day and walks to school with a spring in his step.

My David battles his giant every day. He rushes toward the day with bravery. With God on his side, this syndrome is no match for David.

Are you facing your own Goliath? I would love to hear about it.

str-david

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a friend in need…

david, inspiration By February 20, 2014 3 Comments

Since David’s birth we have had many hospital stays, surgeries and difficult times. And during those times, we’ve had friends who have walked beside us and loved us well. I’m not sure I would have known how to love someone well, before experiencing such intense pain, sadness and stress firsthand.  It’s hard to be in need. I’d much rather be the one to encourage and bless, rather than receive. Wouldn’t you? But being needy means someone else gets to serve—and that’s a beautiful thing!

We just completed a short hospital stay and I was reminded of how small acts of kindness can carry such great meaning. I’d love to share some of the simple ways that others have encouraged us during difficult times.

I’m blogging over at {in}courage today. Hop over and read the five ways you can encourage a friend in need!

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I’m so glad you’re you.

david, finding love By February 4, 2014 8 Comments

for david…

I’m so glad you’re not like I expected you to be.

I’m so glad you have your own passions and hobbies.

I’m so glad you came along and turned everything upside down.

I’m so glad you aren’t perfect. I’m not either.

I’m so glad you changed my idea of what’s beautiful.

I’m so glad you showed me how to be a mom.

I’m so glad you love to be silly.

I’m so glad you’re you.

Because you are truly amazing.

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hope for the broken

an everyday moment, david, finding beauty By January 10, 2014 47 Comments

Yesterday I took David to the Gastroenterologist {GI for reflux, etc} for a regular check up. As we started to discuss the daily pain David endures with reflux, I could see concern on the doctor’s face.

On an average day, David has between 30 minutes-one hour of pain. And it’s acute pain. On the pediatric pain scale, it’s a ten–he arches, screams and he’s inconsolable. It’s heartbreaking and he’s a troooper. Soon after a painful episode he’s happy and smiling and playful again.

Our GI doctor was concerned with the pain level and frequency. He wants to run some tests {endoscopy and Ph probe} in the next couple weeks to evaluate David’s current state of health and the severity of the reflux. For the endoscopy, David will be under general anesthesia–which terrifies me! But then the doctor and I started to discuss what the tests my reveal and how we would deal with potential issues. More surgeries, a g-tube and other possibilities were discussed. And that’s where I start to freak out. I let my mind wander to the ‘what if’s’. I’m aware how NOT in control I am. I don’t know the future. I have unanswered questions. I want David to be happy and pain-free. I want David to be healthy. And a lot of the time he is healthy–but in situations like this, I’m reminded that David’s body is quirky and things don’t work quite right. Some of them are small things, some are big things.

And I feel my heart breaking. It’s hard to see your baby hurt. It’s scary to face the unknown.

So today, I’m reminding myself about the things I know are true.

1. There is hope.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18  So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

2. God cares.

Psalm 147:3 God heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.

3. Today, this moment is beautiful.

Matthew 6:34 Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

Are you struggling with a broken heart? Share it with me! I am so grateful for the ways you come alongside me and love my little family. I want to journey with you too!

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david update

an everyday moment, david By January 7, 2014 17 Comments

Hello friends!

We are getting back into the swing of things around here. It’s a little hard but it feels good, too!

If you follow me on instagram and facebook, you may have heard that David hurt his foot last week. Thank you so much for your love and concern. Seriously, it blows me away. Since I’ve been getting questions, I thought I’d fill you in on all the details here.

 Last Thursday, we had a big family dinner at my parents’ home in Southern California. It was a fun evening filled with lots of laughing, opening presents and kiddos running around. David was very brave and climbed the stairs all by himself a few times. Steve took a video and you can see it here. We were helping him down and on the very last step, he slipped and immediately burst into tears. I thought it just scared him, so we cuddled for a while. But when we stood up to leave, he refused to bear any weight on his right foot. He was fussy and nervous. David doesn’t have any words, but he couldn’t have communicated more clearly–something was wrong with that right foot.

My brother is a doctor, so he examined it, but couldn’t find any specific problem. After debating for an hour or so, we took David to the ER for an x-ray just to make sure it wasn’t broken. The good news is, it’s a sprain–no broken bones!

He won’t put any weight on the foot, so he can’t walk. If you know David, that means he can’t explore and get into trouble like he usually does. It’s been fairly frustrating for him. He scoots around on his bum or knees but he’s not able to move like he usually does.

It’s been challenging bathing and diapering him–and I’ve been feeling very thankful that he’s able to walk and have the independence he usually does. It will take a week or so before he’ll be able to be up and around again.

Thank you for caring about our sweet David. It’s been amazing to see him communicate about his foot and to see his determination to get around and live life. We love our sweet boy!

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life lessons from david

david, finding beauty, finding love By November 22, 2013 42 Comments

David is eleven and a half years old. Sometimes I have to stop and absorb that–it seems like just yesterday he came into our lives and turned everything upside down {and made life BETTER}. When he arrived I felt broken to bits, but as we regrouped and healed, I began to grow and learn. He’s taught me about what’s important and what’s not. He lives life with passion–and I want to be like that, too.

But lately, I don’t know, it’s like he’s growing and changing and doing new things every day. He’ll walk up and take my hand and lead me to the front door–letting me know that he’s ready to go out for an adventure. Or he’ll climb up on the couch next to me and lay his head on my shoulder–completely melting my heart. When I arrive to pick him up from school, a huge smile takes over his face and he throws his arms around my neck. At dinner, he pushes away the spoon if it’s food he doesn’t want and pushes my hand toward the food he does want. He’s able to communicate his preferences and initiate affection–and with each step of growth it’s like a window into his soul. I know him better and I understand him more. It deepens our connection and it makes my heart want to explode

Here are some life lessons David’s been teaching me lately.

1. Give kisses. Lots and lots of kisses {over and over}

2. Take baths whenever you want. Take multiple bathes a day. If you’re dirty, sad, your tummy hurts or if you just need a good soak–go hop in the tub.

3. Hold hands whenever possible.

4. Eat your favorite foods every day–especially vanilla yogurt.

5. Smile at strangers

6. Music heals the soul and should be played as loud as possible all hours of the day and night.

7. Always keep a cozy blanket nearby

8. Don’t hold a grudge. It’s not worth it.

9. Jump in puddles and dig in the dirt.

10. Soak up THIS moment and don’t worry about tomorrow.

Oh friends, just writing this list is making me tear up. I want to live more simply and soak up the moment. I want to be happy and not grumpy. Are you learning any life lessons lately?

 

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what is, is beautiful.

david, finding love By November 12, 2013 11 Comments

I shared this post a couple years ago and this is still my heart today!

the other evening after tucking the boys into bed, steve came downstairs and said, ‘i just had the most surreal experience. i was telling david to lay down and kissing him good-night and as i looked at him i saw a nine year old boy–no disability. just david. it was like our souls had a connection.’

as soon as he described the interaction the tears began to roll down my cheeks. i knew exactly what he meant–there are times, small moments, when i see beyond david’s disability and into his soul. and i see a little boy stuck in a body that won’t cooperate with him. i see him wanting to speak words and unable to get them out. i see him wanting to tell me something, to ask for something or describe something but there is a chasm between us and it’s too wide to cross.

and sometimes in those moments i let myself dip my toe into the dark, scary pool of what if? what if david wasn’t born with a disability? what if he had ten fingers? what if he could munch on a hamburger and fries at mcdonald’s and begged to play just one more game on the ipad? what if he could imagine stories and tell me all about them and illustrate his ideas on leftover sheets of computer paper?

the truth about ‘what if?’ is, it doesn’t exist.

the truth is, i will never know ‘what if?’

the truth is, david was born with a disability. he has seven fingers instead of ten and he can’t speak words or express complex thoughts. he is a soul stuck in a broken body.

and the truth is, time spent thinking about ‘what if?’ is time wasted.

today i choose to focus on what is. today is a new day with joy waiting to be discovered. today is a new day with mercies waiting to be uncovered. today i am grateful for what is. grateful for an eleven year old who is healthy and silly. a little boy who is curious and loves to explore and learn new things. grateful for my sweet son who loves to cuddle and kiss and be tickled.

what is, is beautiful.

For David, for hope–go find our more about the ‘tied to my heart’ necklace here!

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love to celebrate life and unique ! {David turns eleven!}

celebrate the every day, david By July 9, 2013 19 Comments

David turned eleven on the fourth of July! And we were happy to have a mellow evening at home with friends. I hung some bunting on the front door to welcome our guests.

He’s small but mighty. David was only 4 pounds 2 oz. at birth and he grows slowly. But he’s full of love and spunk and determination.

Definitely cause for celebration! So we broke out our fun cake topper.

We had lots of soda on ice for the kiddos {including mexican coke which is 10x better than regular coke!} and make-your-own-mojitos for the adults. Yum!

We ran by Target earlier in the day to pick up a few things and Matthias ended up with a new set of Halo mega blocks. So while we prepped for the party he was building.

We BBQ’d burgers and hot dogs, and I blended up a hot dog and bun for David. I squirted a little ketchup on top. It looked disgusting but I’m sure it tasted awesome. I seriously love a good hot dog.

We sang ‘happy birthday’ and David ate the frosting off his cupcake. Then he had a sugar rush and danced around a while.

While the sun was setting we went out into the front yard and played with poppers and snappers. It was a blast.

David got lots of love and snuggles on his birthday. I’m so thankful for you, David! We love to celebrate your life and how unique you are! What will this year hold? I can’t wait to find out.

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