Lisa Leonard Designs


January 10th | older posts

Sometimes people ask me how I can be so positive when I have a child with a disability. I’ve been thinking about this lately. I’ve seen families come together and thrive during times of struggle and I’ve seen families fall apart. Why do some seem to weather the storms easier?

There is no doubt we were devastated when David was born. I had a plan and it didn’t include a child with a disability. I was heartbroken and sure that I would never experience joy again. The baby we hoped for didn’t exist and in it’s place we had a tiny little person with so many needs and unknowns. Everything felt out of control.

I believe that God is in control and he will do as he pleases. This brought me so much comfort. I gave up trying to control my life and decided to be miserable if that is what God wanted for me. Of course, through the letting go, I have experienced so much more joy than I could have otherwise.

I also believe that although David’s body is ‘broken’ his soul is whole. He is a precious person, loved by God and therefore valuable.

This gift from God did not look like I had expected, but it continues to change me from the inside out, and I am so grateful.

42 Responses

  1. Becky says:

    So beautifully put Lisa! Your family shines with the joy of God’s redemption and love, despite the pain! You encourage us all to embrace all of life.. even the tough stuff. Love you! b

  2. Jada2929 says:

    I’m not sure you realize how your blog has impacted so many people. Random times during the day I think of you and your family and how amazing you are. It helps me be a better Mom. So in short, thanks.

  3. Karyn says:

    “…his soul is whole” I love that. It is so perfectly and beautifully said. I’m glad that you have David and that he has such a wonderful, loving family. You just “make sense” together.

  4. Mandy says:

    I feel the same way about my special boy. People always say I am so strong–well they don’t see those moments when you receive bad news or what have you, but I am strong because his spirit makes me strong. And I have come to understand that wishing he was “normal” is wishing away who he is, and I would not be who I am today without being able to bask in his loving spirit everyday. Thanks for your words.

  5. Mandy says:

    Oh just another thought, I read once that God sends some of his most precious gifts imperfectly wrapped!!

  6. CATHY says:


  7. hannah m says:

    Lisa, I discovered your blog shortly after my daughter was born in August and we were in the process of discovering more and more health issues. I was in the midst of realizing that I was going to be the mother of a child with special needs, and my heart was breaking. It physically hurt. I, too, felt I would never experience joy again. To see you on your blog experiencing joy and surrounding herself with beauty (& creating beautiful things) inspires hope in me. And as I wear my lovely Lisa Leonard necklace each day, I am reminded of that hope and faith and beauty. Thank you for that. ( I hope that doesn’t seem too blogger-stalker-ish, but I am truly thankful I stumbled upon your blog when I did–it brings me such lovely perspective and kinship!)

  8. Hayley says:

    Once again, you have written something that has inspired me. My family right now is experiencing something pretty hard, and it is nice for me to remember that God does have a plan. What a terriffic mother you are.

  9. Teree says:

    Lisa, it takes a lot of strength and character to admit that we are all flawed, whether physically or emotionally and even more to recognize our disappointments in life but rise above them. Your words (and blog) inspire me to rise above all the daily hassles and disappointments.
    Thank you.

  10. Laura and the family says:

    Ditto! I’m in the same boat. I remember when everyone was whispering about my son, Ryan in front of me when I could lip read them. It annoyed me, but now they put their foot in their mouth because they realized he is so sweet and affection just like David.

    Frankly, before having another disability child did not impact me though I never see myself as a “deaf” disability. Once I have experience of having another disability child in my household, I became a stronger mom, advocate,loving, sharing and even better being more sensitive for with/without disability.

  11. Jan says:

    I so loved this post. My bedrock belief is that we are all children of God — and when you re-meet David in the afterlife, he will have the body he should have had here and the soul he earned. And it will be solid gold.

  12. Kristen Borland says:

    beautifully said. and david sure is precious.

  13. Stacey says:

    I believe that things happen for a reason. David is a gift and I love reading as you unwrap the many layers. You are an inspiration.

  14. Kate says:

    Amen, Lisa thanks so much for sharing your heart so clearly! It is a true encouragement to read your thoughts on here…my little girl has a prosthetic leg as a result of an accident. Her life and ours will be different from now on and no, it won’t be how I pictured it. But we have SO SO much to be thankful for and we have only one choice but to cling to the only One who makes sense when nothing else does! My heart is so encouraged to see God’s hope and love and peace shine through your words. Keep on walking, sister! And give your sweet boys extra hugs and kisses…they are just precious!
    In Christ our life,
    Kari :)

  15. Joy says:

    that is so beautiful. thanks for sharing your struggles with us–you and steve are so real and i love that aobut you guys. and i do appreciate the truth of saying that sometimes God’s gifts don’t appear as we think they should. we love you guys!

  16. Michelle says:

    I only discovered your blog a few days ago, and I’m so glad I did. It is visually beautiful, but more important than that are the thoughts you share, so eloquently and openly. Thank you for your honesty and for reminding me to be thankful for all the gifts in my life.

    You are so inspiring – how do you find the time to be a mum, jewellery designer, blogger, wife? I am so impressed by your ability to see the positive in what I can only imagine is at times difficult. You were meant to be David’s mum, he is blessed to have you.

  17. D@nielle says:

    wow that is so beautifully put into words, that what is important, thanks for sharing this with us !

  18. Judy says:

    being the mother of a recently diagnosed son with a hidden disability i find comfort in reading your blog and knowning that I am not the only one and that I can make it through each day whether it is cloudy or sunny we will weather this storm that God has presented to us.

  19. Kristen says:

    beautifully said – thanks for your honesty and sharing your heart.

  20. plumtickled says:

    Very valuable indeed! He brings those who have never met him in person joy as well!

    Thank you for such a warm way of the telling of your love for your sweet boy!

  21. Karen says:

    I couldn’t have put it better myself. Our journey has also been joyful (most of the time), and we are grateful too.

  22. Diane says:

    David is a gift from God and he is here for a very specific reason. He’s beautiful!

  23. Kelly says:

    I couldn’t have explained it better myself. Especially the part about “letting go of trying to control my life!” That was key for me in coming to terms with my daughter’s disability!

    Thank you for this post – I really needed it today!

  24. Earen says:

    I feel the same way about my sweet sister who has disabilities as well. She has the most tender & loving heart towards the Lord & it’s an example to us all.

  25. grey like snuffie says:

    He does make beauty from pain, in His time, in His way

  26. Jennifer A. says:

    I love coming to read your stories of inspiration. I believe that God has a plan far bigger than we could ever dream of for our “broken” children. Not that I don’t pray for a cure daily for the disease that ravages my son’s body, but the Lord knows so much more than I. You are a true inspiration as a mother and an artist.

  27. Amy says:

    how well put…thanks for sharing the joy and pain of your little boys! You make beautiful art and beautiful boys! hugs Amy

  28. Miracles says:

    Lisa you have me in tears right now! I can totally relate to having a “plan” and it not turning out the way it was suppose to. But, somehow in someway we all accept certain challenges that we are handed. I have come to believe after all I have been through with my girl’s that God only gives you what you can handle. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Have a GREAT weekend!!

  29. Ev Straker says:

    Amazing. I find in life the letting go is the hardest part. But fighting with God for the control is a fight I’ll never win. I definitely want the peace that comes with the letting go. You have inspired me to achieve that.

  30. Cathy says:


  31. borcherding says:

    Wow. just WOW..

  32. Domestic Goddess says:

    You know, someone asked me this a while back. How can I be so positive? How in the world do I do this? What makes me so strong?
    I mean, am I SUPPOSED to be depressed? Negative? Hurt? What good would that do? All it will do is limit my ability to parent this child (children) the way I am supposed to.
    My son’s name means, “Gift from God” and boy, is he ever! A true gift, he is full of peace and joy and happiness. This is all I have ever wanted. Everything else is just extra blessings.
    I won’t say it is easy, but it IS good.

  33. Denae says:

    I think that is something everyone has to learn at some point in their lives. That our plans may not work out but God loves us. I am trying my hardest (after 3 miscarriage in the last 2 years) to give up my life plans and be positive about it but it is hard for me. You are a great example.

  34. katie says:

    I love David and I thank you for sharing. Love you!

  35. Heidi says:

    I followed a link here and wow, I am crying. You are so honest and probably many of us have felt those same feelings… I know I did 12 years ago and now I have the most wonderful young man. Thank you for sharing and I too believe they are all children of God (even if they act like little devil’s sometime!)

  36. Nina_VK says:

    I totally know what your saying. I took care of a little boy that different disability and I thought, wow how am I gonna do this. But he brought me so much joy, love, and patients. It really does change you from the inside out! I too am so grateful to have him in my life!!!!!You said it all girl, and so lovely! :)
    God Bless you and your family! :)

  37. ELLIE says:

    Your entry is absolutely beautiful – you are truly amazing – !!!
    Thanks for sharing such a touching reflection!

  38. jennifer says:

    My daughter and I are blog surfing together, reading, discussing, spending time together before she becomes too cool to spend a moment with Mom. We really like your site and I plan to Link you to my blog. If someone doesn’t find hope, inspiration and beauty on your blog, they are hardening their heart to it. It will be an honor to lift you in a prayer of thanksgiving……Jennifer

  39. Kristy says:

    My friend had a link to your blog and I was reading it and it brought back a bunch of memories for me. I had a little girl that was born with disablities and she only lived until right before her 5th b-day. Your post is exactly how I feel about having a child with disablities. She has been gone for almost 9 years now, it seems like that was another life for me. I always use to get the comment how do you do it as well. For me it I had to make the choice sink or swim…I decided to swim. Thanks for sharing.

  40. IsabellaCloset says:

    What a beautiful post and inspiration you are.
    It can be so hard to stay positive having a child with special needs and even harder trying to keep the family together….I understand some of what you are going through. My heart goes out to you and your sweet son. David is a precious child and sounds like he is blessed to have you as his Mother. Blessing ~Mary~

  41. Jennifer says:

    You are a woman of great faith & are so inspirational! Thank you for this wonderful post!

    Jennifer :-)

  42. Gunhild says:

    I just discovered you blog, and it touched my heart right away. Especially these words- and how you think and feel about your son, David.
    Our closest friends have a daughter with disabilities (pardon my english, not very good…), and I see every day how they always try to stay positive, with hope and faith. We know that their daughter won`t live up, but she`s still a strong one and she gives us so much!
    Just wanted to say Thank you for this wonderful blog, and for sharing your beautiful jewelry with us.

    Love- Gunhild.

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