Lisa Leonard Designs

{red letter words}

January 13th | david, family

when david was born we were reeling from the shock of having a baby with so many issues. since my pregnancy had been normal, we hadn’t anticipated any major problems.

suddenly we had a tiny baby, with seven fingers, a g-tube and many unanswered questions about the future. we searched our souls to try to understand. we questioned God. why? nothing seemed to make sense.

some friends of ours told us that because we had sin in our lives, david was born with a disability. they said if we prayed with faith, that God would heal david. they meant well, but their words hurt our already fragile hearts.

then God brought john 9 to our hearts. steve brought his bible to me and shared the verses about a man born blind. the disciples questioned jesus, asking if the man who born blind because of his parents’ sin. Jesus responds ‘no, neither this man, nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.’

soon after, another friend came to us with the same verses from john 9. he said God had laid the verses on his heart. And {again without our knowing!} our pastor was also drawn to these verses and preached a sermon about how God displays his glory in the broken.

recently i met dee who owns an incredible business called red letter words. when she asked me if i would be interested in a custom, stretched canvas, this verse immediately came to mind.

she created a piece of art for us with so much meaning. thank you, dee!

i can say, from my heart, God has used david to change our lives in amazing ways. he’s taught me what makes a person valuable. he’s shown me what true joy is. he’s shown me that beauty and hope can be found even in dark places. and in these things, God is glorified.

visit red letter words here. read dee’s blog here.

155 Responses

  1. Leanne says:

    always amazes me that some people can be so ignorant…well meaning friends included. the art is beautiful and the message is lovely…

  2. Cathy says:

    what happened to the friends that said you had sin in your life? have they read this verse and if so what do they say about it?

  3. MichelleF says:

    absolutely precious ~ it is amazing how the Lord sends us hugs & healing through His Word & His people!!

  4. goldnuggt says:

    Thanks for sharing your story. I love it when God hits me from many angles with one particular verse. It cements in my mind that the words are for me from God and not just my “wishful” thinking or reading into the situation. God has a glorious plan for your son that will bless not only him, but everyone who comes in contact with him.

  5. Jadyn says:

    This brought tears to my eyes this morning. Thank you for sharing this. It is amazing how God speaks through his word. And your family truly is beautiful and such an inspiration to others. In that, too, God is glorified. :)
    The canvas is beautiful, I’ll have to check out more of her work!

  6. Heidi Diedrick says:

    God is good. Look at how he blesses you every day. Thank you for reminding us all that we are sinners, saved by the blood of Jesus, sent to us because God loves us. Have a blessed day and many more.

  7. kara s. says:

    i am loving this quote!! totally wanna say AMEN!

  8. gboll says:

    How beautiful.

  9. Paige says:

    Wow! Awesome story, but heartbreaking as well. People mean well and should really just hush. Having had several friends whose infants have died within the first few weeks of their tiny lives, I have listened to them tell me the horrible things people have said “meaning well”. I am glad that so many people were tender to God’s nudging in sharing John 9:3 with you. David is precious and his life is a picture of God’s grace and mercy!


  10. Jen says:

    We’ve been told that our eldest doesn’t, in fact, have autism… we just haven’t parented him properly. Broke my heart.

    • maggie b. says:


      • Jen says:

        Yeah. By my husbands mother, no less. Oh, and a few ‘friends’ who have perfect, well behaved children, and if I only parented like them, then Troy would be fine too. Never wanted to scratch someone’s face so much as I did at that point. Not my most ‘grace’ filled moment.

    • Shelley B says:

      o my Jen! have we been living in the same circles?? i have been told that same thing by “loving family”i am a firm believer in this..if your child is not autistic, i am not interested in your parenting tips :)

      • Jen says:

        Exactly. :) Or: You come live my life for a week (on a bad week) and then you’ll have a *little* bit of credibility with me 😉

  11. Brenna says:

    beautiful, Lisa.

  12. Jennifer says:

    I agree with Kara…AMEN!

  13. Beautiful story.. hugs…

    Thank for sharing.

  14. Marilyn says:

    I am glad you have special people in your life that can erase hurt feelings!

  15. I remember those early days and walking through this with you guys… and being amazed and inspired by you and Steve and your resting in God’s power and Word. You continue to do so through your life and words. Love you all!

  16. Mrs Montoya says:

    I am so touched by your willingness to share and how God’s word came into your hearts {so many times}. The canvas IS perfect for your family. What a treasure. Just like your sweet, David.

  17. Jen F says:

    You are such an amazing insiration, Lisa! You have a beautiful heart, beautiful children, and beautiful life. Thank you so much for sharing your stories with us.

  18. Victoria says:

    I am so thankful and in awe of how God uses others in our lives (even blogger lives) to give us His message. I have been thinking and praying on this very topic today. I went to my 6 mon.old son’s Dr. appt. yesterday. The nuerosurgeon reviewed his post spine surgery MRI slides with me, and I cannot stop searching for a reason that this happened. His spina bifida came as a surprise to all of us at his birth. And, while he seems perfect right now, we know that his future may bring many challenges.
    I am thankful for our God, and His work that is being diplayed in my sweet boy’s life.

    Thank you for sharing this with us.
    Great piece of art!:)

  19. Michelle says:

    Amazing……….. *grace.
    be blessed,

  20. Katy says:

    I was so touched by this post. I am in a community group on Wednesday nights and I am going to share this with all of the wonderful women in my group. Thank you!

  21. Suzi says:

    Oh Lisa,
    You gave me goosebumps because I (re-)found this verse through a video almost 3 years ago when our youngest was diagnosed with Autism. It’s the verse I cling to every time my heart starts to worry about him when things aren’t going well. Just like you have experienced, we too have seen what an angel our little guy is — how much he has taught us, how he loves everyone unconditionally and how he truly brings glory to God with every little step he takes. Thanks for sharing this. I’m going to have go visit Dee! Here’s the video.

  22. Skimmed over the comments – and like so many, it always is shocking to me what people will say. How painful to hear such a lie at such a painful time and how tragic that human beings believe such untruths and embrace them. So twisted. Praise God for that verse. I wish I had wall to wall canvases of different verses all over my house. Sometimes I’m tempted to just start writing verses all over my walls really big so I can see them at all times. Probably won’t do that, but who knows.

  23. Katie says:

    I adore how the universe comes together with a single message. {I do not so much adore the couple who blamed your sin on your sweet babe +++Really?}
    Such a beautiful way to honor words that mean so much.

  24. sary stroll says:

    Our son that we adopted at age 2 was a shaken baby and had seizures as a result. Every time he seized, I would hold him and cry for him. He was a tiny, innocent victim and I still mourn for the losses in his life he has to suffer because of it. The things that get me through are knowing that God was always in control of the situation, and He provided our son with parents who loves him and will always take care of him. Thankfully, he has been seizure free for almost two years, has been weaned off his seizure medication and his speech is improving daily. We are grateful everyday for his life and the gifts he brings to our family! I always say that as his parents we are to be his strongest advocates – there are always going to be people out there who just can’t see life for what it is – and can’t see the possibilities and the joy these little people bring into our lives.

  25. Kimberly C. says:

    So glad your story didn’t stop with the advice of those first friends. Wow, that’s a heavy thing to tell someone. God is gracious and loving. Love that you have the encouraging verse on canvas. Thanks for sharing that.

  26. dawn says:

    God had used this same verse in our lives when our son was born with many issues…what a special piece of art. Last night I blogged about losing a special young man from our church…this verse would be a perfect description of his live as well.

  27. dawn says:

    I meant “life” not live. oops! :0)

  28. rhea says:

    love that verse. i had a fundraiser for anna and red letter donated a piece for the auction. the one that she sent me was hope is an anchor to the soul. my friend bid on it and won. guess what i got for christmas? i was thrilled that she gave it to me!!!! i have it hanging in my hall and everytime i see it i remember that many people are working to find a cure for her! God is good!!!!!!!!!!

  29. kristen says:

    ll, this is beautiful. & while it has special meaning for you & your family, it’s also true of all of us. i love the way you put it: God displays his glory in the broken. we’re all broken in some way — it’s called being human. & for us type-a perfectionists, remembering that our imperfections are where God displays his glory sure makes it easier to accept them. thank you for this inspirational post this morning, & your lifting thoughts almost every day!!

  30. Megan says:

    WOW! What an amazing verse. Thank you for sharing your story, your feelings, your heart.

  31. kate says:

    i can’t believe that “friends” would say that to you!! silly question but are you still friends?? I am so glad you found that verse, what beautiful words to kepp you going each day!! :)

  32. Mandi says:

    That brought a tear to my eye. What a wonderful passage … and a wonderful way to display it in your home

  33. Gussy says:

    oh Lisa, I’m so glad you have people in your life that are sharing the Truth with you. It’s so good to hear that you know your friends meant well, but even better to hear that you have John 9 to reflect on.

    I love this post.
    Your home/family/life is filled with many blessings <3

  34. Paige says:

    Reading this was so touching. Blessings to David and your family.

  35. denise says:

    He is glorified through your lives and david’s life indeed! AND He’s only just begun to be glorified.

    going to look at dee’s sight!

  36. Thank you so much for sharing that. Isn’t it beautiful when God sends a verse to you {especially when it is over and over!}. Hugs to you today!

  37. Lisa, thank you for sharing this very personal, meaningful story. What beauty has come from such times of heartbreak and uncertainty.

    One reason that I read your blog daily is because of the amazing strength and positive ways you embrace your family and the life God has graced you with.

    I love the verse you share and love that it will now not just be felt in your hearts — but be displayed prominently for you to see!

    Thank you for sharing!

  38. My dear…what an inspiration!!

  39. Hi-
    I work with children at a church in the Atlanta area. We write our own curriculum for children and during the month of March we are teaching our kids about Faith. One of the stories that we are teaching is this story in John 9.

    I just finished working on it. I love this story and think it’s so important for our kids to learn that a big part of faith in our Heavenly Father is trusting that He promises to work ALL things together for good. Even the really tough, impossible to understand, heart breaking kind of things. Faith is believing that God is telling a bigger story with our lives.

    Our kids will be learning this verse as they learn about Faith.

    “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

    I’ve been through some very painful, impossible to understand, completely unfair kind of things with my own children. It gives me great comfort to know that God is telling a much bigger story in this world and that he promises to work it all together for good.


  40. Kelly says:

    Thank you for sharing your story with us Lisa.

  41. Lori-Anne says:

    That was a beautiful testimony (yes, it brought tears to my eyes)! It also brings to mind the verse, “in my weakness, He is made strong.” May God continue to bless you and your amazing family!

  42. Linda says:

    Beautiful Lisa, some people just don’t get it until they are placed in our shoes.

  43. Jackie Klayman says:

    I was a special ed teacher for 5 years. To see life through their eyes, to see God touch their lives, use them to bring Him glory, to be able to help “teach” parents the value of their amazing gift of a special child- it’s my hearts desire. I saw so much life in my students eyes, most were unable to speak an understandable word to the world, but they spoke volumes in their love, their hugs, their frustrations with the world. I kept that verse on my desk- a reminder that GOD chose them for HIS purpose as they are- perfect, amazing, beautiful in His eyes (and in mine) :)
    Thank you for sharing your story- You’re doing an amazing job with him, he seems like the sweetest- most loved little man :) He’s a lucky boy that God gave him you! Have a great day!

  44. Alli says:

    Our best friends on the planet had a little boy born three years ago with Down Syndrome – I can say without hesitation that he is a light in all of our lives and truly a gift from our Father in Heaven.

    I know David is a blessing in your life as well – a blessing with challenges, but a most tender blessing indeed :-)

    Love ya Lisa (come say hi)

  45. leslie says:

    this is so beautiful, thank you for sharing such personal thoughts, lisa! makes me like you even more. :)

  46. tammy says:

    love, love, love your examples of faithfulness! you are a blessing to many!

  47. Tiffany says:

    What a beautiful post Lisa. Sometimes, people say things that hurt, even though they mean well. God is so gracious and wonderful that He brought His Word to heal your tender and broken heart. I love Him so much and this post just makes me love Him even more.

  48. Becky K. says:

    Your story of faithfulness to God and God’s faithfulness to you gives me chills. Thank you for sharing! It is so evident that He really does work out all things for the good of those who love Him! Be blessed today!

  49. Julie Hare says:

    As a sister to a “Blessing Child “, I know several people shared the same sentiments about the sins of the parents with my sweet mom and dad. It was hurtful . While there was initial heartache, their faith never faltered. Our Heavenly Father taught us much throughout her short life. Much good came from her walk on this earth. ;0)

  50. Haley's Mom says:

    This touched me deeply. I am sure that I have read John 9 in my lifetime, but I have never thought of it in relation to my daughter before (my mind immediately went to her when I read this.) I stumbled across your site when I visited another special needs mom’s site and I am always thinking of my daughter when I read other mom’s sites. I hope you don’t mind, but I am going to link to this post on my site.

    Your site is beautiful, by the way.

  51. Ramona Gordy says:

    Hi Lisa
    God Bless you and your family abundantly. I am so glad that you were blessed with the truth of the scriptures.
    Our Heavenly Father loves each and every one of us, and one our reasons for being here on earth is to love one another,become a family unit,and if you are blessed with children, love them and nuture them in the admonition of the Lord.
    You are truely inspiring to me.Keep on doing what you are doing.

  52. Amen!
    thanks for sharing your story. it really touched my heart today.

  53. Bethany Rogers says:

    Lisa, Bless you in your journey of faith. Your reflection is a great reminder of God’s work in our lives … through all things. Thanks for sharing your heart! Bethany

  54. Prudence says:

    Hi Lisa ,
    I am finally getting over here, you bought one of my Lollibag’s at CCevent. I’m so glad I hopped over here to read this post. What a beautiful verse that is. I will take it for myself also. My 4th child has mild tourettes syndrome and I was told by someone well meaning I’m sure, that she and I were possessed by demons. and I had let satan devour my child and I needed to get to a church right away to get that demon out.
    What silliness! Good thing I read my Bible for myself and know the TRUTH.
    God bless you!

  55. Little Mochi says:

    Thank you for sharing your touching story it has also touched my heart today.

  56. Meghan Hall says:

    thank you for sharing- beautifui

  57. wow, it saddens me that “friends” would say sin in your life was the reason David had a disability, that is crazy! Thank you so much for sharing your family and faith with so many, sounds like those “friends” need to look at their own lives and do some reflecting and prayer.

  58. Kelly weekes says:

    Your posts always move me but this is just beautiful. The artwork and the story. We also have questioned God about our special needs daughter and come to the same passage.
    Thanks for sharing your story!

  59. Cindy D says:

    beautiful. thanks for sharing. your blog always brings a piece of happy to my day. isn’t it great how our passion for creativity (letters, jewelry, photography) can be an outlet for our souls and heal us, while connecting and inspiring others?

  60. erin says:

    oh, i love this. thank you for sharing– and i am astonished that someone actually told you that your sin had brought about david’s differences. sheesh. i love reading about how much you love him.

  61. Michell from normal says:

    Lisa, you don’t know me…but I am sitting here at my computer at work crying after reading your story. God is not only working through David, but you as well. May God continue to bless your family as you serve him.

  62. fran says:

    How special of your close friends to bring you a healing scripture and to create a special piece of art for you. I hope David continues in healing as obviously your heart is.
    Hugs from the Hummer

  63. liz r. says:

    Beautiful post, Lisa, and a lovely piece of art.

  64. Lea says:

    What a beautiful piece of art, what beautiful words. It fits you perfektly.
    from Germany

  65. Marnie says:

    Great scripture and what a blessing to display something that holds so much value in your heart. Funny how something as innocent has faith and scripture can be used to hurt but also how an innocent child has brought you so much joy to your lives which makes him much more whole than the rest of us.

  66. carly says:

    I’m so blessed by this verse this morning. My son was born in July with a heart defect that will require a total of three surgeries (one already under our belt). Sadly, we heard the same things from people. “It’s because you haven’t been in church…” No reason needs to be given but since my pregnancy was rough and I was hospitalized many times- my bed felt like the best place to be:) An amazing pastor once said “Telling someone who is struggling to ‘just have faith’ is the worst thing you can do. It ruins a person. They can have all the faith in the world, more than me and this entire church put together, but that doesn’t mean they don’t hurt. Our job is to BE there in their hurt and to say ‘let me carry this for you.'” Hearing that changed my life and thankfully I heard it before I was even pregnant. My favorite has always been “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” AMEN! May God bless your little boy with the fullest life!

  67. Sheila says:

    David is perfect because that’s how God made him.

  68. Lisa, thanks for sharing your very personal and sensitive story. you are very much an inspiration to many women and mothers who follow your blog and enjoy your beautiful jewelry.

  69. Donna says:

    Lisa, I read your blog every day and it is always a blessing. However, this is my first time to leave a comment. As the elementary principal of a Christian school, I have shared these verses with parents many times. I have parents insert a blank where ‘blind’ is and insert their particular circumstance…’ADD’, ‘autism’, or whatever! God creates us – uniquely – and exactly to His specifications – for HIS glory! Thanks for sharing! (The sites you referenced were not linked, but I will definitley try to find Dee’s blog….If this is a problem others have experienced, would you mind reposting?) With much love and admiration!

  70. Kelly H-Y says:

    Phenomenal post and amazing words/verse … simply beautiful and so very true. I’m still so stunned that your friends said those harsh words to you … I know their intent was good, but they don’t hold true. We ALL are sinners … and by God’s grace we are all forgiven, not punished! That verse each of you found says it all!!

  71. W-O-W!
    I love those “hugs” from God. Very cool, and I LOVE the way she displayed it on the canvas. My heart swells with love for you, you courage and your strength – and I don’t even know you!


  72. Matt says:

    Very powerful. Thank you for this. Someone, may have said it and I didn’t read all the comments but if sin in our lives caused disabilities then everyone would be born disabled.
    It is only by Grace that any of us breath a single breath.

  73. suzi s. says:

    you and your family are a true inspiration to me. God bless.

  74. desiree says:

    I love this verse – God has a plan for everyone & in ever circumstance. Hugs to you and your family. -dez

  75. Megan says:

    Beautiful verse for your beautiful family and, yes, God’s might IS displayed in your lives!

  76. so beautiful. and so sorry for hurt and pain like that. i had no idea someone had said that to you guys.

    love you.


  77. I can’t imagine a “friend” saying that. Babies are blessing and they come in all shapes and sizes. You are truly blessed. And to have a husband who is so strong in his faith also is the cherry on top. Hugs Lisa!

  78. Laurie says:

    Amazing verse! I can’t believe people said that to you. I’m happy that Steve came across John 9, You are an inspiration!

  79. Lea Culp says:

    What a superb entry! It is evident that you and your family have chosen to glorify God in all of your lives, not just with little David. Blessings to you and your “boys.” You always inspire me!

  80. mary says:

    beautiful in so many ways. xo

  81. heavy…. so amazing!!!!!!!!!

  82. kat-in-texas says:

    I’m so glad to happen upon another Christian blog author!!! Your kids are blessed to have parents like you and Steve.

    Remember to cling to those precious verses in the Bible….they are living and breathing words from God Himself!!!

  83. Leigh-Ann says:

    this is so special, what a great truth for your family to be reminded of :)
    xo, Leigh-Ann

  84. Being in full time ministry with my husband I can honestly say I think I have heard it all……I could preach right now…..
    God will always lead us toward Himself, not push us away with condemnation. Praise Him for being faithful to do this via other friends and your pastor.
    Heading over to see some of those pieces of art in the form of letters!!!

  85. Gina says:

    What a lovely post. everything happens for a reason – sometimes very big ones.

  86. Jessie says:

    Love that passage! It really says lots! Enjoy your blog!

  87. Nancy Lefko says:

    I am so incredibly moved by this post. You have an amazing faith and God knew what He was doing when He sent you such a beautiful and special child. God bless your family!

  88. Karen H says:

    When my husband was told he needed a double lung transplant, he thought he was being punished by God. He didn’t have a relationship with Jesus and believed that he was going to die because he didn’t live the “right life.” I will NEVER forget the day that my husband asked Jesus to heal him and come to his heart! With that tiny pray… started our miracle!

    It is hard sometimes because we do question God… and ask why… what have we done wrong, but… He just wants us to draw closer to Him!

    You are an inspiration to many Lisa… as David is one to you! THANK YOU! You should make a peice of jewelry incorporating this verse!

  89. Erika says:

    I adore your jewelry and wear it every day . . . but the fact that you love God and are not afraid to share it, makes me love it even more!

  90. Rosie says:

    Amen and Amen!
    Because of David, you are nearer to God and a blessing to many! God Bless you and the lives of all you touch!!
    For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that who so ever believed in Him shall have ever lasting life!

  91. McKt says:

    Your words are lovely. I hate that someone was so cruel to you during such a hard time in your lives, but I love how the Lord has provided us all the answers, we just need to run to His Word. The artwork is beautiful and I love the idea of displaying The Word in such an amazing way. So glad He has given you peace, comfort and confidence in your precious little boy!

  92. Jennifer L. says:

    I’m appalled that your “friends” would say such a hurtful (and ignorant) thing to you. David is a gift! Love your heart, and love the verse.

  93. Tina says:

    You always find a way to express the right words at the right time. Your hope and faith are a true example of how to look at each moment and savour the life we have.

    I wish you and your family all the best!!! It is wonderful to stop and count the blessings we truly have and the unexpected joy they provide everyday to our lives!

    Stay positive!!!

  94. Lisa says:

    Wow. The old saying “with friends like those…” comes to mind here…

  95. I’m in tears right now.

    The Lord has blessed you with a huge audience to write and share about His work in your life. It’s nice to see you use that gift and not conceal it with a fear of what others may think of your faith.

    I’m thankful for the verse that you shared tonight. I have been struggling this past week with grief. I just hurt.

    Sometimes, I can’t explain my heart and what I feel.

    Sometimes, I just don’t understand.

    Sometimes, it takes times like this, when I read a post that brings me an answer for a short time.

    Faith….. It’s kind of like fuel for the soul. It keeps you tugging along.

  96. P.S. David is a beautiful miracle, straight from the hands of God! :)

  97. Kristin S says:

    Lisa, your hindsight perspective is gracious. Whew, I’m sure your friends meant well but that must have felt like a punch in the gut.

    So, not biblical.

    Your post made me cry. Cry that at those wounding words but also cry at how the Lord redeemed through His Word.

    From the pictures you post, David appears to bring such joy to your family and I’m sure you can’t imagine life without him.

  98. Angela says:

    God does not make mistakes. He designed David. Your son is a precious gift from God.

  99. Beth Logan says:

    lisa, your last paragraph in particular touched my heart and brought me to tears. my own pain of suffering a miscarriage later led to the awesome love and joy of being a mother to two incredible little boys that my husband and i adopted. truly, through the dark places, God does indeed bring such joy.

    thank you for sharing your beautiful family, your life, faith, and your story with us.

  100. tammy says:

    this is such a lovely post, lisa! thanks so much for sharing. such a beautiful story of God’s love and grace!

  101. Linda J. says:

    One of our DDs uses a powerchair and every so often a (we hope) well meaning soul will ask, “What happened?” I was particularly impressed when one day she answered that query with, “God happened. I’m a blessing.” I would certainly count David as “many blessings.”

  102. Janae says:

    I found your blog through a friend of a friend and have been reading daily since…I LOVE reading your words and although you don’t know me from Adam, this post really feels familiar.

    My husband passed away five years ago (I was 22) and so many people said silimilar things to me. The one that always haunted me was that I didn’t love God enough, so he took those things (people) I loved from me. As a Christian, I knew that to be absurd, but one can’t help but let those words hide somewhere in the back of your heart…replaying when you just wish they would go away.

    Five years later, I am re-married and have a five month old daughter. There are times where I wonder, ‘do I love my baby too much?’ or ask God not to take her from me. I know is sounds crazy, but no matter how strong your faith, people can sometimes really rock your foundation with harmful words.

    Anyhow, sorry for the rant…I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for your honesty and for sharing the truth of God’s word!

  103. Morgan says:

    This is such a beautiful story. David (and your whole family) is absolutely amazing.

  104. Maria Leticia says:

    not much to say… just that I have goose bumps and tears in my eyes!

  105. Clare says:

    What insentive people, it often amazes me what things people say, the poem ‘The special mother’ by Erma bombeck sums it up for me.x

  106. Pam says:

    This is beautiful!

  107. jennifer says:

    oh my goodness, i am completely horrified that your ‘friends’ actually had the audacity to say that. granted, it made you get to the place you are today where you can post about what you’ve learned and the wonderful verse, but holy cow. I’m so sorry. and so happy you are where you are today.

  108. erica yake says:

    wow. powerful words.

  109. Carmen says:

    I love the artwork- have been eyeing the website for weeks! 9 years ago, after a normal, uneventtful pregnancy we got a little unexpected gift from God- a beautiful baby boy who had 4 thumbs and Down Syndrome. Like Lisa, we were uncertain about the future. But our pastor said we needed to celebrate his life- just the words we needed to hear. We’ve been doing just that ever since!
    Lisa-love your blog and your jewelry!

  110. Jen says:

    So powerful, Lisa!

  111. Sharon says:

    So special. Love the necklace.

  112. sarita says:

    all I can say is amen sista , be blessed friend

  113. Shanna Watson says:

    love the verse…thank you for sharing. my brother was born with spina bifida and is now 27 years…well beyond the years the doctors gave him. i will certainly share this verse with my mom & dad…i’m sure they will find comfort in it.

  114. Tina Kay says:

    Thank you for sharing. Sorry to hear that your well meaning friends were thoughtless. I have had that also in my life.
    That verse has helped me through some tough circumstances in my life. Glad to see that God gave it to you and those around you. He does work in mysterious ways.
    What a neat idea to put it on canvas like that. I just may use that idea.
    Tina Kay

  115. sarita says:

    after reading this post i was in tears – then seeing how many comments there were (121 at the time) i was amazedhow many people were touched by your story. God does put people in our lives when we need – and i think YOU have been put in my life to show the beauty that can be in our lives..thank you.

  116. Dania says:


    You never cease to bring me to tears…in a good way! Your family is inspiring to me, and David – well, he is perfect, beautiful and full of joy. You are a blessed woman.

    In your darkest hour, when you most questioned your faith, when your “friends” offered well-intentioned but pointless advice, God pulled you out of that darkness with the grace of His word. I’m thankful for people like you that remind me just how blessed I am to love the Lord and trust in His works.

  117. Joanna Vanderkooi says:

    I have perfectly healthy kids (now 22, 20, and 17), so I cannot relate to the needs your family has and what you go through on a regular basis, but I DO know the Lord makes no mistakes (something I am sure you have tested and proven to be true!), and the Lord is using you to be a blessing to others that I never could be/do! Keep on keepin’ on, and keep on lookin’ up, too, from whence comes your help!! Blessings to you and your family today! (I also love the fact that you are a mom who wants to be with her kids, and finds a way to make it happen…almost like the Lord was planning it FOR you, eh?)

  118. diane in texas says:

    lisa, your post was very heartfelt….there is no reason for you to remember, but my daughter-in-law had a cancer scare this past summer (i sent you our story as to WHY we ordered what we ordered — we orderd two washer/necklaces with our fave bible verses on them + the family initials: ABBA).
    people really do mean well, but they don’t know what to say (lots of time it’s best to shut your mouth and LISTEN!!!)…stuff just comes out. at the time, the ‘good info’ and the ‘stupid info’ didn’t mean much of anything to me (but it’s funny how you DO remember the un-helpful info!!!!!!!).
    annnnnnnd because of what you are living, and because of what we have experienced, we all have been given new ministries in life….we have empathy for others who are experiencing what we went thru:
    Praise be to the GOD and FATHER of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, the father of compassion and the GOD of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from GOD. 2 Corinthians 1:3,4

    your precious family is a blessing to all of your ‘web friends’. :)

  119. Nicki says:

    Those friends should not be called friends. Or they should know better. God is good and is not punishing people. There is beauty in each and everyone. People just sometimes are too blind to see. We hug you. You and your family are really sweet.

  120. Jennifer C. says:

    Thank you, thank you for your brief testimony. It’s so uplifting to others, and your outlook is a beautiful, godly one. Wonderful to read about. I pray the Lord’s richest blessings on you and your family.

  121. polly says:

    i can not believe that people would say something so hurtful to you at such a difficult time … that was there own ignorance talking and clearly you have come to learn to blessing a child with special needs can bring to your lives!

    i just received a new year’s card and update from a friend who has a little girl with down’s syndrome and she wrote much of the same things that you have said here. her little mia has taught their family so much. she said even her kindergarten teacher has seen how her classmates are more helpful and kind, not only to mia but to each other “because” of mia.

    i LoVe your canvas quote … it is perfect!

  122. KDL says:

    like others I am extremely saddened that people can be so insensitive to suggest that disability of any form is a punishment as the result of sin…I’m glad God’s word teaches us otherwise. John 9 is a great passage for that. I’m glad God gave you that verse to refute falsehood AND that you’ve shared it with us here. God bless!

  123. Wendi says:

    Well Ms Lisa, I can so relate in many ways and love to see when God speaks to His children! Its all good! My Jenny,who has Williams Syndrome, has been my greatest joy, blessing, pastor, helper and friend. She inspires me in little ways and great ways and gives me hope to slow life down and to take in just the hints and hiccups! May you just continue to grow and inspire!

  124. simplyblythe says:

    sin, shmin…david is beautiful!

  125. Jessica says:

    Thanks so much for sharing! I am encouraged by reading your post and so thankful that you were given such an incredible gift in your son. I’m so thankful that God sent so many to encourage you when you needed it the most. He is so good. I have been reading your blog for awhile, thanks for sharing your life!!

  126. Sarah says:

    Amen!! I love that verse…

  127. Melanie says:

    Oh, Lisa – I cannot believe how ignorant some people can be. Your post made my heart ache – and sing, all at the same time. Your David is beautiful and unique and made in God’s image just like everyone else. So he has 7 fingers and most other people have 10. So what? Does that make him any less of a human being? We are ALL precious in His sight.

    May God continue to bless you and your beautiful family. xoxo

  128. Brittany M says:

    Beautiful beautiful thought. God has received so much glory from your testimony and your precious son!

  129. debhall says:

    wow – that is a great story, and a powerful scripture. I’m not sure which quote I’d enjoy more on a piece of canvas, but I’m defintely going to search my favorites and get something. how great!

    ? – where will you hang yours??

  130. Angie Ulseth says:

    Beautiful verse. Thank you for sharing the background story of its meaning in your life.

  131. cindy says:

    Lovely verse! Know that God chose you and Steve to raise this child, to weather the storm, and to receive the love of such a beautiful child. My autistic son is now eleven years old, and the love of my life. He has taught me so very much, made me stronger, more patient, and oh so much more aware of God’s blessings. Thank you Lisa for sharing your story, and for the beautiful inspirational pieces that you create. I received my first piece just last week, and look forward to ordering many more!!

  132. Alana Erickson says:

    what a beautiful testimony. thank you for sharing. may you continue to be filled with blessings.

  133. Emily says:

    Oh Lisa! 😀 God has been such a blessing hasn’t He? Even in the dark places He calls us deeper and it is so sweet to see your precious little David. God is good ALL the time. I am experienced many bumps in the road and have had friends and even good meaning people say the same to me. The hurt from such idle lips can really discourage you. Thankfully for the Word of God I have been able to overcome and conquer the plans of the Enemy in my life. I am so happy for you and your family. We will be praying for your strength and courage as you step out in the things that God has called you in. Be encouraged and take heart! ;-D

    Be blessed!


  134. Lori says:

    I have a dear friend whose oldest daughter has down syndrome and that was something she and her husband questioned after she was born…how i wish i had the wisdom to have given them that verse at that time. This was 18 years ago. Although, i know they think differently now. They had twin boys 3 years later and one of the boys passed away 3 weeks ago in a farming accident. Ironically, I was on your website looking at the necklaces for a gift for her when i stumbled onto your blog. I am trying to decide if it would be appropriate to have his name on it or something else. Thank you for sharing your lovely post.

  135. Jenny B says:

    Thank you for your lovely post. We have a beautiful boy w autism who will turn 8 next week. I see God working in our lives every time I see his face. Special children have special parents. While I would make his journey easier in a second, I wouldn’t change our journey and experience raising him for anything.

    Just what I needed to read this morning–thank you.

  136. Thank you for sharing this! It was a huge blessing to me. I have an 8 year old with Developmental Apraxia of Speech (a neurological speech disorder) that impacts every aspect of her life in ways most people don’t understand. I have beat myself up wondering what I did wrong for her to have to struggle so much just to talk. This verse means so much to me as well. I just found your blog and love it.

  137. Honey you are truely blessed! Thank you for sharing your heart and such a great verse. Abundant blessings to you and your little family. And…YOU CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS YOU!
    Phlpn 4:13

  138. i stumbled upon your blog last night, and I feel incredibly blessed that I did! My son Thomas was diagnosed with medulloblastoma brain cancer back in June of 2009, and unfortunately someone uttered similar words to me back in the day. It WASN’T what I needed to hear, and definitely made me feel incredible guilt for what my son Thomas was going through.
    Now today he has been cancer free for a year (Thank God), and looking back I know that God is not a car wrecking, CANCER CAUSING creator. He is a loving, life giving Lord. He wants you to have life and it more abundantly (John 10:10). The devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:9). He is a GOOD God and LOVES His kid’s. He only blesses us and tests us with good things, not things that will hurt us.
    Thank you for your post. I feel like I should have that verse posted in our home too!

  139. danielle says:

    so true. what a blessing he is in your life!

  140. Marianne says:

    beautiful canvas…may God use your son for His glory!

  141. jenn says:

    What an amazing story. I love how certain verses can present themselves at just the right time to convey such a deep and personal meaning in our lives. And the canvas is a sweet reminder of the one that brought hope and healing to you. BEAUTIFUL.

    I have loved your work for a long time and have a certain piece permanently affixed on the top of my wishlist until I get it! I am *so glad* I found your blog today~ the video you posted brightened my day!

    Hope you are having a wonderful Tuesday.

    *peace & blessings+

  142. nicole i says:

    Thank you for your vulnerability.
    the verse is perfect because in Him we find all we need.
    When our daughter was born deaf we were told by people at our church that if we just had enough faith and prayed enough she would not be deaf. Huh? Really the miracle was that with the aid of modern technology she did learn to hear and speak and is accomplishing many great things…all glory given to God for in such a time as this.

  143. DJ says:

    Wow. That verse was the perfect thing for me to read – we have a 26 year old daughter with disabilities. She was born weighing 1 lb 2 oz at 25 weeks and had many complications and was in intensive care until she was 21 months old. At 5, she was diagnosed with liver cancer and the dr told us to “not even get your hopes up, she’d never make it.” Well I’m very happy to say that she made it and is a great joy to us altho she still suffers many problems. There have been times that have been so hard to deal with (she can be quite difficult) but I can’t imagine my life without her. I think you are so inspiring the way you and your family deal with everything and I truly enjoy reading your blog. Thank you so much for sharing your story and this wonderful verse.

  144. Gül says:

    He’s our Savior.. Let me be angry about wounding words, your feelings are needed by two babies.

  145. brittney keller says:

    Hi Lisa and David…. Wow!!! I’m so filled with joy that I’m brought to tears reading your blog on David. David was in my home hospital program years ago, do you remember me Lisa? He was about 3 back then? Wow, he has surpassed all of our expectations! Glory to God!! I love this scripture, I think so many of us want healthy happy babies, but what we consider “healthy and happy” is not always the same way God sees it. David has touched my life, I think about him a lot! I’m so happy to hear you guys are doing so well! Please keep me in your blog loop.
    -brittney keller (back then, baker)

    • Lisa Leonard says:

      brittney! how fun to reconnect. you are so sweet. thank you for your sweet words. God is so good. yes, let’s keep in touch. xoxo

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