migration and musings

Over the weekend, we celebrated a couple of birthdays, and to add to the fun, a flock of flamingoes migrated to our lawn.  They rested for two nights and are now on someone else's lawn... 

It's part of a youth group fundraiser - pay for the flock to fly or pay for immunity.  If you are curious, check out this link.  

Sophia shared her birthday with Alex - the two girls had great fun with their friends at Heartland Forest.  We all loved the cupcakes, complete with little people asleep in their candy beds!

Rachel continues to love riding the bus to school.  Her legs wiggle, and she grins as soon as the bus pulls up to the driveway.  By the end of her afternoon, she is usually asleep - or almost asleep.  We are so thankful for her team of teachers, therapists, and assistants.  

Yet, we have been concerned with her muscle soreness, especially in her back and hips.  We wonder if the scoliosis is having an effect on her posture or is aggravating her.  It is tough to figure out what is causing her discomfort at home when she cannot tell us.  She grinds her teeth loudly when she is not comfortable, so we are trying to help with pain meds, massage, and repositioning.

so tired at the end of the day!

This past weekend, I took part in a workshop that discussed how churches can help families affected by disability.  There were some very good conversations, and I found those ideas linking with thoughts I had from the previous week -after reading more of Ian Brown and John Piper.

Funny how two very different men - Brown (columnist for Globe and Mail) and Piper (pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church in MN) - can have a significant influence on the reflections of my life right now.
Ian Brown writes about the absence of normalcy freeing him to experience his son's life as unique as his son is.  I find the absence of normalcy more frightening than freeing at times....

John Piper preached a sermon earlier this year on the text of John - where Jesus' disciples ask Him about a blind man begging alongside the road.  Jesus doesn't dwell on the cause of the blindness, but He instead points to a purpose within the disability.

To be honest, the sermon is a difficult one to hear.  

Do we spend too much time concerned with the cause of our suffering and not enough time considering the purpose or the good stuff that might come from/with the suffering?

I know, deep question.

I think many of us will spend our entire life trying to find purpose in/with our earthly struggles.  

Yet, I am convinced that we can be robbed of joy and life when we consume ourselves in the futility (Piper's word) of understanding the cause for suffering.  I am not talking about the times or seasons when we have our questions - but there is the risk we can become so consumed with the why and the why not, that we become blinded by our fears. 

When we surrender to this idea of the absence of normalcy, we need to find Freedom midst the fear.  

* * *

Then there were the reflections from Mark Stephenson this weekend, director of Disability Concerns with our church denomination - in caring for a family or a person affected by disability, we must also give them a chance to feel empowered or worthy.  

Sometimes, our intentions to help and care for a person affected by disability can rob them of a feeling of self-worth.  Not only must we support, but we must also allow for that person to feel worthy. It's not just about the disability, the inability - the cause, but there can also be something - a purpose, often very small or insignificant in the world's eyes that creates worth and ability.  

* * *

What purpose do my children have now? That's where that concept of the absence of normalcy comes to mind.  I will trust God's plan will help me feel free to embrace the unexpected and not be so fearful of the unknown. 

Somehow, there must be peace in accepting the life as it is right now, and also choosing to step forward. Somehow, we must reinvent the world's concept of what it means to be to have value. 

*  *  *

I found myself stepping outside the perimeters of normal today when Janneke's therapists suggested a clip-on tray for Janneke's walker.  Though most of us don't read while we walk, we noticed that when Janneke moves in her walker, she is far more engaged in stuff than when she sits in her chair. : )

Into the week we go: More birthdays to celebrate this weekend, a pumpkinfest at Heartland Forest, and my dad's retirement celebration in Guelph.

Sterkte - for tomorrow and the days to come.

Hmm, here's a postscript - because I am absolutely loving the fall colour in my home: Not only did I enjoy driving the Prins Grow Sprinter, I am now really enjoying some Prins Grow amaryllis - shameless advertising, I know.