All of my children have special callings on their lives. As they grow I know we will begin to see more clearly which areas to help them grow and what areas to encourage them in. Today we realized that football is NOT Landon's calling. Comedy might be more like it! When Carter was only a year and a half old, we were traveling and had stopped at a McDonalds late one night. I was waiting by the condiment counter for Rich to complete our order, when an older, grey haired black man walked in. He had a beard and wore tattered clothing. He approached me and I smiled. I thought for sure he was going to ask for some money, or possibly a hamburger or something. But instead, he gently placed his hand on my little boy's head, looked me square in the eyes and simply said, "That little boy is gonna be a preacher one day." Then he went right on about his business. Ten years later, this verse comes to mind: "And do not forget to show kindness to strangers, for by this, some who, while they were unaware, were worthy to receive angels." Hebrews 13:2 I hope my smile counted as kindness! I do not know if Carter will be called to preach, but I know God has something great for him. Same for Lily Bean. I mentioned in my Selah post that Cassidy has a special calling on her life. It's very comical to me to think back to the first few years of her life and imagine that we would be where we are now with her. She graced the world screaming at the top of her lungs, and didn't stop. She humbled me. I thought I was super mom because Carter was such an easy baby. I must have been doing everything perfectly, right? Wrong. I was frustrated for about 3 years straight. She was a mess. I was a bigger mess. I was without a doubt MISERABLE. God made her a cutie pie, because He knew how she was going to be. I'll never forget the nurses in the hospital coming in and asking if I had a good support system at home....because my baby cries A LOT. That crying turned right into a very VERY strong will. Like throwing an entire tray of food all over the food court when she was 2 because she didn't get her drink fast enough. I know some of you are thinking, "Spank that child!"....I beg you not judge lest God give you a child like this! HA! My family and friends can attest to the consistent discipline she received. Her will pushed on. I used to whisper in her ear every day as she was screaming, "We are best friends".....praying that one day it would be true. As she learned to talk and got a little bit older, we noticed that she would adamently stick up for her siblings when they were in trouble. She was very defensive and would not let anything "unfair" (in her eyes) happen. As I said before, she was horrified to learn that there were children at that children's home who did not have a family or a home. It is not fair, in her little utopian mind. She wanted to stick up for them. I was very open with her (and all the children) as we prayed and talked about the adoption. I showed them pictures of children with Down Syndrome on the internet. I was amazed at their response, especially Cassidy's. They ohhhed and ahhhhed and smiled and laughed at the silly outfits some had on. They wanted each and every one. Some of the children in other countries are in such bad shape that it takes my breath away. Some of the children with other syndromes had extreme facial deformities. I was watching Cassidy's face and when one little girl's extremely malformed face popped up, she gasped, covered her mouth....and said "Mama, I want that one. Noone else will ever want her!" Her comment exposed such ugliness in me that I was ashamed of myself. Tears welled up in my eyes and she asked me why I was crying. I had nothing to say. I didn't want to admit to her that I saw these children with different eyes than she did. One Saturday morning, I surprised her and took her to the Special Olympics. She was in hog heaven just being there and watching all of the people playing baseball and seeing all the children with special needs. Again, I was amazed, and beginning to realize that she is different than other children. Soon after this time, a new thrift store was opening up right by our home. It is called the Pier Foundation and they employ people with special needs and help them to work in the community and learn independence. Cassidy was just dying to go when it opened. I remember wondering what on earth she was going to do in there...but as it turns out, she felt right at home. We walked in for the first time, and as I looked around at books and games, Cassidy spotted a lady in her 30's or 40's rearranging baby dolls in the toy section. She seemed to be thoroughly enjoying her work :) Cassidy asked if she could go over there and I nodded. I could hear the lady say to her, "Hi, do you like teddy bears? I love teddy bears." Cassidy said "Yes! I do! I have a whole bunch of them on my bed and I sleep with them." The lady replied with excitement, "I only have two, but I sleep with them every night too, just like you!" They went on to discuss baby dolls and TV and all sorts of things, including their names. We finished up and said goodbye. When we got in the van, Cassidy said, "Mommy, can I bring Jenny one of my teddy bears? She only has two and I have a bunch." I thought it might be awkward, but agreed that we could stop by on our way back to church that Wednesday evening. When we got home, Cassidy went in her room for about 30 minutes, and when she came out she had her favorite teddy bear from Build-a-Bear all dressed up with necklaces and a bow on its head. She asked if I minded if she gave her favorite bear away. How could I say no? How could I let awkwardness stop my little girl from doing what her heart said was the right thing to do? So on the way to church, Cassidy and I ran in really quickly to give Jenny a bear....and what happened next I will never in my life forget. Cassidy hesitantly looked around until she saw Jenny. She walked over to her and held out the bear. She said "I brought this bear for you Jenny." I don't think there are words to really describe Jenny's reaction, you just had to feel it. And boy did I feel it. She placed both hands on her heart and said "FOR ME? You're giving your teddy bear to ME?" Cassidy just nodded. Jenny took the bear in her arms and hugged it like it was the best gift she had ever received. (I am sure it's not! Jenny is very obviously very well loved and cared for) She then took Cassidy's hand, and then hugged her, and then took her hand again, and she looked her in the eyes and said "You're my friend, and I'm naming my bear Cassidy!" My heart almost exploded in that store. She hugged me too and told me that I was her friend too, and I am. As I walked out of the store with tears on my face, I remember thinking, "This is what the joy of the Lord is." No amount of money, no exotic vacation, no fancy car or diamond ring could ever make me feel that way. Since we've moved, we haven't seen Jenny for about 4 months or so. Cassidy was nervous that Jenny would forget her and was daily asking to see her, so we went by the store this morning. Suffice it to say that Jenny had not forgotten her...and they held hands the whole time. We actually had to pry them apart so that Jenny could go back to work! These are from this morning. Notice their hands.
|Jenny was talking about the TLC show 19 kids and counting and asked Cassidy if she had cable. Cassidy said no, and Jenny said "You should".|
An advocate for precious people, and friends, like Jenny. How do I thank Him for doing something like that?