Friday, September 21, 2012

Learning - Growing - Changing

It's inevitable.  Every new thing we try is bound to have some kinks.  Just because we chose to step out doesn't mean the path will be smooth.  Just because we said 'yes' doesn't mean the journey will be easy.  Sometimes it's hard.  Parenthood.  Special needs.  Adoption.  All of it.  

We chose it, yes.  We chose all of it.  Adoption.  Special needs.  Parenthood.  Our boy is a chosen boy, for sure.  And we would do it all over again a million times.  Wouldn't change a thing.  

But that doesn't mean that sometimes we don't stop and say 'whoa - this is harder than I thought'.  It doesn't mean we were ill prepared.  It doesn't mean we were ignorant.  It just means that sometimes, life surprises us.  

But life is good.  God is good.  We are blessed, immeasurably.  Although it's been rough around here the past few weeks, it's getting better.  
We're learning, along with Carter.  
We're growing, right alongside our boy.  
And as God shapes him and his little heart, He is working on us, too.  

Tonight, I laid my boy down in his crib feeling like I've never loved him as much as I do now.  His complexities, his quirks, and all of the mystery that is wrapped up in this little boy.  I love all of him so very much.

Sometimes its good to go through rough patches.  It's good to walk through the valley.  Because then, how much more beautiful are the fields of blessing? 

In fact, maybe the valleys are blessings, too.  

Maybe how we respond in the valley is important.
And maybe I haven't responded so graciously in this most recent valley.  
Maybe I let myself get in a slump.  Maybe I started to check out.  Maybe I let anger - frustration - sadness - and worry overtake me.  

Maybe, more than anything, I just needed an attitude check.  

Parenting is so much more about learning than teaching.  It's about learning.  It's about loving.  It's about giving grace.  And those are things I'm learning.

And parenting a child with special needs?  Talk about learning.  In the past two weeks, I've learned more about my child than I did while working with preschoolers for 7 years.  There is MUCH to learn.

But I can take delight in learning about my boy.  I should take delight in learning how to best love and care for him.  I've got a lifetime ahead of me - and I can choose whether I'll enjoy this journey, or loathe it.

I choose to enjoy.

Today as we were having fun at our table, painting our little pumpkins, I remembered from when I was teaching that we would call this 'process art'.  In other words, the art and learning is found in the process of the activity - not on what the finished product looks like.

There is some comfort in that, no?  This journey of parenthood has no requirements on what the end product should look like.  The learning takes place in the process.  The art - the beauty - is in the journey itself.

Here's what is important today:
Carter knows he's loved beyond measure, by a Holy, Faithful God.  Period.
Carter knows his mama & dada love him a whole lot, too.
That's about it.  

The rest is just part of the journey.  The process.  And it's being used to form us - shape us - mold us.  So it's good.

It's all good.  

One Thing I Know For Sure: "But he said to me "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." 2 Corinthians 12:9


  1. Hang in there, Ash! And don't forget to call if you need to, ok? :-)

  2. Beautiful blog sweet girl! Have I told you lately how very proud I am of you ? There.....I just did!
    Mama G

  3. Sorry you guys have had a hard few weeks. I always say parenting is a marathon not a sprint. ;)
    Carter is blessed to have you guys!

  4. Thank you for this beautiful, so true...all of it.

  5. You are a great momma and Jake is a great papa! I am so proud of you both! Carter is one blessed boy and I love watching you all grow through these updates. Yes it is hard at times. Mind numbing, heart breaking, spirit crushing hard at times but through it all we are loved by a Holy God and he will carry is through. Know that you are loved and have cheerleaders along the way. Love The Horners


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