Monday, March 28, 2011

Holding fast

Dearest Lily,


These past few weeks have been a time of real soul searching for me.

So much is going on in the world around us; earth shaking, life changing events for so many, that I find myself wanting to "hole up" in our little home, holding you closer and closing my mind to the despair that tries to creep in.

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I read about Japan and the aftermath of the earthquakes and tsunamis, and try to imagine what those people are going through right now...I can't even comprehend that kind of loss for so many, can't wrap my mind around what kind of pain they must be going through.

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Since having you our eyes have been opened to what children with your diagnosis face every day in many parts of the world. Part of me wants to go back to a simpler life, when I really thought rejection or ridicule was the worst a child with Down syndrome would go through because of that extra chromosome.

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Part of me wishes I could forever shut out images of children left in cribs to die, never knowing the love of a mother or father. There are a lot of horrors I can close my mind to in life- discarded children isn't one of them. Last week when I read about a judge in Russia denying a family the right to adopt a little boy, simply because he had Down syndrome, my heart literally, physically hurt. I wish sometimes I didn't have the kind of mind that instantly places myself in someone else's shoes...because as I read those words, I was right there in that mama's place, standing in a courtroom, being told I couldn't take my son home to safety.

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Lily, my problems and trials and little hurts in life seem so petty right now, in light of what that Mama is going through. When I think about what that little boy is facing, barring a miracle of God, I am so ashamed of complaining about anything in life...

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I've had some little arrows thrown at me lately...just words, and yet it's amazing what just words can do to my heart. I've lost a friend or two over the past few months as well, because of making a stand about some things I believe in. And truthfully, those little arrows caused me to question so much about what I'm doing with this "wild and precious life". I don't like having my motives questioned by others, but the good thing about that- the very useful thing about that- is that it cause me to question my motives.

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I didn't start out on this journey with you with all the perfect answers, Lily. I had my moments of doubt, my nights of uncertainty, when I questioned it all...my life, my faith, my purpose. I still have those moments, especially when I see such injustice in the world, and especially when it involves the least of these.

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Sometimes I feel so desperate to fix those injustices, and I have a very hard time feeling guilty for enjoying anything in life when so many others are hurting and hopeless. I read a quote on your friend Grady's blog the other day...it really struck a chord with me, because it so summed up what I've been feeling lately...

I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day. E.B White

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So as I weigh the heaviness I feel in my heart about tragedies and injustices and even trivial hurts in my own heart, I have come to a conclusion.

I can choose to forgive and love and move on.

I can't choose to close my eyes and pretend there isn't sin and evil in the world- at least not without hardening my heart and deliberately turning a blind eye to those who are on the receiving end of that injustice.

I can pray and believe God to move mountains that just seem too big and too impossible for anyone else to move.

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I can commit myself to doing what I know to do- praying and believing and lifting up my voice for the least of these, no matter how many find that message discomforting or offensive or dull.

I can enjoy the blessings God has given me; a wonderful home, a faithful husband, and a quiverfull of blessings...not the least of which is you.

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I'm going to strive hard to find that balance, sweet Lily. Some days I might find myself so overwhelmed by the mundane, that I just can't seem to pray or speak or think with any kind of productive faith. Some days I might find myself so wrapped up in the sweetness and simplicity of life's blessings that I forget for a few moments the things that normally weigh so heavily on my soul.

But I am making up my mind- once again- that when life seems to be throwing everything it can at me, and the enemy of my soul is trying his best to bring me down with worry and grief and despair, I am going to choose to trust God.

“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”


—Psalm 91:14-16


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Loving life, and loving you,


Mama oxox


*p.s. thank you Stephaniefor inspiring this post:)

16 comments:

cathy said...

BEAUTIFUL Patti.........

xoxo
cathy

stephanie said...

Oh Patti, i know!!! I so know how you feel. In the past two years since my eyes were opened i have felt emotions I never knew existed. My heart has felt joy and sorrow to the absolute extremes. Thank God this beautiful community can lean on each other when our hearts are full of sorrow, NO ONE ELSE CAN FULLY UNDERSTAND.
Everyone can understand joy, but unless you feel the same sadness in your heart you just cannot fully understand.
love you!

Janie Fox said...

so lovely. the pictures, the words. God bless you!

tekeal said...

I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day. E.B White


thanks for all that you give and share and do.... it's surely not always easy to have a heart so open. i struggle with many of the things you've written about and hope to choose trust more often through it all.

take good care of yourself :-)

Krista said...

Take heart. You are doing so much for so many and God takes it and multiplies it.
Love that quote!

Scott said...

Well said, Patti, well said. Since I just spent so much time writing a lengthy comment over on Stephanie's blog, I only have time for a very short one here (have to go to work!) ;-)

Have you seen "Shadowlands" yet, or did you lose track of it?

“You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time”. Abraham Lincoln

Mrs. K said...

This may sound so trite a response but think about it. It is something I read once and must bring it to the surface of my mind many a time.

"WORRY IS THE DARKROOM IN WHICH NEGATIVES ARE DEVELOPED."

It is ever so hard but we must "let go and let God."

TRUST, He wants us to trust in Him. Sometimes things happen to bring about honor and glory to Our Majesty. It may seem cruel but He has His reasons. Yes, we mear mortals can storm heaven with our prayers and sometimes we can take action. Action is what Reece's Rainbow does and what we can do through them. Stand strong, my daughter, stand strong and know that God works in mysterious ways. Everything is possible through God.

I know He will say to you "Well done my child, well done."

Mrs. K said...

Now for you my Miss Lilymunchkin:
I just love your dress, the print is so dainty just like you. I sse that you are ambidextrous when it comes to thumb sucking. Love the pictures of you waving and the last one of you...you look like you have the woes of the world on you shoulder and you are pondering "what shall I do?"

Always love your pictures, you are ever so precious to Papa and I as are your siblings. Good thing I am not there or I would be squeezing you so hard just to say how much I love you. Kiss Mama for me little one. God Blessings be upon you. Grammi

Anonymous said...

Oh Patti- I love how you just write from your heart. You are so open and honest and real. I love your heart, and I can SO relate to what you are writing. I remember the first time I found Reece's Rainbow and began loving these orphans with my soul. Then, I began praying. And shortly after, I was led to your blog and discovered Olga. And there the journey began where I have opened up my heart to these orphans. And I cannot look away- I just cannot.

I also battle that balance, and I am so glad you brought this up. Sometimes I wonder if it is just me. But I do want to enjoy all the baby smiles and play in our home. Right now as I type, Mary is in a ladybug outfit being led on a leash by Anna Rose in a dance outfit. She is calling herself a princess, though. I love it. It is beautiful. But I battle the same emotions as you. My heart aches for the hurting people in this world. I cannot imagine what they are going through in Japan. I cannot imagine having my family swept away by a tsunami or destroyed by an earthquake. Or not know what to give my kids to drink because of the toxins. I know the feeling of being poisoned and having my children poisoned as we walked through toxic mold poisoning. It ached my heart as we faced symptoms that only God could heal. And I still just pray for healing for their little bodies. And He did uphold us with His Righteous Right hand and was truly our Great Physician as we depended upon Him and still do. And I cannot imagine radiation in our water. I cannot imagine being those parents in Russia or these other countries with my kids in orphanages because they have down syndrome. I wonder if they love them?? My heart aches as I think of these kids like Olga alone and without a mommy to kiss them and hold them and comfort them. And even more than that, the abuse they are facing. The lonliness they are experiencing. My heart hurts as I think of the abuse on children. And I know it could be happening just up the street as well. Because there is SO much evil in this world. SO much!!

But I know that we do serve an Awesome God as Christians. And He has a plan through it all. He is good, and He does desire us to seek Him in prayer and depend on Him for everything. I am seeking Him for the Krill family with you. The kids and I were begging Him for a miracle this morning. Since our church began prayer on Sunday nights, we have watched miracle upon miracle. And we have seen the hand of God at work in amazing ways. He desires us to depend on Him. He does not want us to turn a blind eye or walk away or pretend we do not see. He calls us to pray to Him and He uses us to accomplish His Will through us. I have found that we are open to more pain in our hearts as we seek His Will. The pain in this world is so great. But that is the cost I believe. Many people just look away and choose to not look. They use that defense mechanism they have created, and sadly, they harden their hearts. They choose to walk away.

I love you Patti. I do not know why these people have questioned your motives. I wish they would look at themselves and examine their own lives. But I am SO glad God is using it for good in your life and you are choosing to forgive and love. You are choosing to be a voice for these orphans and choosing to be a voice for children with down syndrome. You are choosing to sacrifice so much time for others because you love and you care and you desire to be doing the Lord's Will. And on this blog, we see just a small part of what you do. I know the demands you must have as a pastor's wife, as a mother of TEN kids, as a friend, daughter, etc., etc. I thank you for that and we are continually lifting you and your whole family up to Him because I know that none of this is done without a cost. You are taking up your cross and following Him. Much, much love to you today, Cara

Rochelle said...

Beautiful as always friend! LOVE the pic of Lily sucking her thumb...pricelesss.

Anna Theurer said...

Patti,

Beautiful post! You have put into words what I have been feeling since I first learned about the orphans through Reece's Rainbow in addition to all of the other disasters that occurring around the world. The battle to bring K home really crushed my heart. . . I often times find myself so worked up that I need to take a step back and remind myself to pray and let it up to God. Again, excellent post.

Jane@flightplatformliving said...

i know what you mean about wishing you were in a more innocent place, the faces of those children are keeping me awake and i feel despair that i cant just swoop down and collect them all up into loving arms! and krill's current dilema is also making my heart ache day and night to its core, i cannot sleep and i cry for his beautiful mum wanting to bring him home! i cannot imagine our world could be such a cruel one, i havent prayed in ages but i am now! patti, you have helped open my eyes and for that i thank you, you are simply wonderful jane xxx

Rebecca said...

So beautiful. I have tears streaming down my checks. Your Lily is just so precious as are you. It's a challenging time in this world we live. Such sadness...but such beauty and hope can arise.

Your blog makes me want to go to work each day (I am a special education teacher) and put even more than the 110% of myself that I put into my amazing students already. Your blog is making me want to fight harder and work harder and love even more.

Thank you for the inspiration!

jesshaydel said...

Hi WOW. Let me start of by just saying WOW.

You are an phenomenal writer and an inspiration to all. You write beautifully, youre daughter is a gift of heaven, and your pictures are wonderful.

My daughter was recently diagnosed with Williams Syndrome a month and a half ago she is now 3.

It is a new time and developmentment in our. Our children unlike your have a missing chromosome. chromosome 7 which holds 27 genes some being deleted delayed. I am glad I stumbled along your blog to be able to feel happiness and inspirationg through you.

NikkiB said...

Those pictures of Lily are just adorable!! So sweet and such a sweet dress.

luv ya!!

Scott said...

Realized in looking for "Shadowlands" that I need to be very specific for those who don't know what I'm talking about and might find the wrong thing! It's a movie about C. S, Lewis and Joy Gresham. You can get the whole scoop at IMBD, http://amazon.imdb.com/title/tt0108101/
It's really a very good movie, and will tug very hard at your heart.