Thursday, January 23, 2014

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander...

I can remember right after Jack was born that I couldn't go an hour without asking God to give me strength.  I often go back and read the blog entries where I shared these fears of what I thought life would look like and the deep emotions I was having.  Why is it that when things are tough, I am on my knees until I am able to get up again...only to humbling ask Him to forgive me for taking back the reins.  There have been times I have had a desire to go back to those days and be fully reliant on Him, like I was in the first few weeks.

So I start off this 2014 year with the goal of not waiting until those events present themselves, to bring me back to my knees, but to daily TRUST and put FAITH into asking God for His guidance.  Charles F. Stanley writes in the Life Principle Bible that adversity reveals our level of faith.  Fear always accompanies adversity; in fact, a degree of fear is what makes something an adversity instead of just another experience.  Wow, how getting a diagnosis at birth was adversity for us, the fear of the future, the fear of the unknowns...a different plan than we expected...but now...Down syndrome is just a small part of who our sweet Jack is...and hard to define as adversity.  Fear causes us to project the very worst that can happen-that we will never recover, that all hope is lost, that we will never again enjoy some treasured thing.  Many of my first initial thoughts when hearing the words, Down syndrome.

And then there is faith...

Again, music expresses what my heart yearns for.  Oceans (Where feet may fail) by Hillsong United (please click the link and listen to how this song will move you) orchestrates an amazing picture of Peter leaving the boat when Jesus called him to TRUST and walk towards Him on the water.  The disciples had been out at sea when a storm hit and Jesus came to them walking on the water.  They didn't believe that it was Jesus, more a ghost, so Peter asks Jesus to command him to walk towards Him, on the water.  As Peter begins to walk towards Jesus, he starts to doubt the call that God commanded of him, and starts to sink.  He was focusing on the wind and the waves and not focusing on Jesus.   

Spirit lead me when my trust is without borders.  Let me walk upon the waters.  Wherever you would call me.  Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander.  

I can say that I would have never asked God to give me a child with Down syndrome when I was pregnant with Jack.  My faith was in God but it was in what I wanted and envisioned for my life.  My faith...was in Christ but also in myself...and now that faith, that I cling to...has taken me deeper than my feet could have ever wandered...

You've never failed me and You won't start now.

Luke 11:28 states that obedience always brings blessing.  In the past 10 months, I have felt the many blessings of walking on the water, trusting Him.  It has been one of the best years of my life and I know it's because I have relied fully on my faith in Christ.  The waves may crash and the oceans rise, but the times I have trusted God and been obedient to His calling for our lives...the fears have subsided.

My prayers have changed...take me deeper than my feet could ever wander...may my faith be made stronger.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

9 months...little guy, big potential.

On Christmas day Jack turned 9 months old!  We had an awesome holiday celebrating with both of our families.  We are so blessed with amazing siblings and parents!  We were also able to spend the month celebrating the birth of Jesus with caroling at the local nursing home (eek...5 moms and 10 kids under the age of 4...quite the adventure), Macy's 8th floor display, two women's Christmas events, my annual favorite things with the home girls, precious moments reading books to Luke and Jack about the birth of Jesus, putting up the tree, sharing gifts with each other, a wonderful candlelight Christmas Eve service, and the boys' Christmas program at their daycare/preschool.


Here is a short video of my energetic cow and adorable little lamb at their Christmas program:  Luke and Jack's Christmas Program


Jack's thyroid test results came back lower than the first initial test but still higher than normal.  This time it was 5.7 and 4 is the normal range.  We go to meet with an Endocrinologist on January 9th to get more information on the thyroid and what the future will look like with this medication.  

I absolutely love going to physical therapy!  We go once a week and our PT works Jack pretty hard and he is doing amazingly!  It is such a blessing to have such a wonderful place to go that has high expectations and we all enjoy going!  Luke asks to go to the PT's house because he has so much fun and she has the BEST toys...sorry's not her house (it is her business)...but it does feels like home to us! :)  He is still working on that six pack so many exercises are spent on his core muscles.  He has been working on transferring his weight to the opposite side to grab things and has also gotten into the crawling position!  What a champ!  I always leave there with such excitement on the progress he is making.

We started treadmill training this week.  I posted about this in June, as Chris had talked with Dr. Ulrich, who has conducted numerous studies and published many journal articles on kids with Ds, as treadmill training improves developmental outcomes with walking.  Jack owned the treadmill like a boss.  :)

Little guy, big potential.  

So I wanted to share some of the videos that really encouraged me.  In the early days I used to stay up way too late and try to find videos, information, and pictures of what Jack's life would be like.  Again, I reflect on those days realizing that fear drove a lot of my thoughts and feelings about Jack having Down syndrome.  Will he be able to talk, walk, read, have friends, get a job, live with us forever, and on and on.  I had made assumptions of what persons with Ds could and could not do...boy was I wrong!   I do know that just because someone has an extra special chromosome doesn't mean that my Jack is going to be like them...just like we can't generalize ANYONE!  When we do, we miss out on some amazing individuals because of our own ignorance.  Check out some of my favorite people and how their lives encourage me!

Meet Teddy Kremer. I watch this video at least once a week.  He is a baseball fanatic and is the batboy for the Cincinnati Reds.  Teddy your love and excitement for life makes me smile! :)

Meet Tim Harris.  He's owns his own restaurant...and I would love a hug from this guy! I received this video two days after Jack was born.  I remember watching it in the hospital.  How many of us dance ourselves into our job everyday...can you say JOY????

Meet Rion Holcombe.  His mom captured him getting his acceptance letter to college.  I love the moment when he realizes it and looks up at his mom...gets me every time!  College...breaking stereotypes left and right!  Way to go Rion!  

Meet Jack Carroll.  Little guy, big potential.  YOU have been one of the BEST GIFTS I HAVE EVER GOTTEN and over 24,000 times people have read about you changing the world.  I am in awe of God's goodness and I am so thankful to get a front seat.  You have big potential, HUGE! I love you buddy and honored to be your mama!

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About Me

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The name of this blog was inspired by Kristin Armstrong's devotional book, Strength for the Climb. I am a midwest girl married to a handsome, hardworking, God-fearing man and the mother of two boys. My eldest son, a social butterfly that has enough energy and excitement to make anyone tired and a personality that will make you giggle with laughter. My youngest son, can cuddle like no other, and his eyes will speak right to your soul. Both of my sons have taught me more about God's grace and goodness. We are blessed to have an extra chromosome in our family as our sweet Jack was diagnosed at birth with Down syndrome. With that, I am reminded daily to trust and rely on God's perfect plan on this journey called life. I am a child of God and grateful to my Heavenly Father for His continued blessings, guidance, wisdom, and most importantly for saving my soul.