Tag Archives: blessings

What Tests Can’t Measure

As Noah threw his arms around my neck today and hugged me the way only he can, laughing his hearty laugh, it struck me that there are certain things that will never show up on a standardized assessment.

Things like how it feels to Noah to be a part of a Sunday School class, an AWANA group.  Things like his unique ability to change the mood in a room simply by entering it.  Things like his way of making love tangible just by his smile and his touch.  Things like being used by God to touch the hearts of those he feels inclined to throw his arms around or even give a high five to.

I have seen more than one burly grown man get down on one knee in order to look into Noah’s eyes and experience his joy – as if connecting even for a moment will feed something in their soul – and it does, because the next time they see him, they do it again.

So many people struggle their entire lives to learn how to bless others, how to love wholeheartedly, how to show affection, how to look on the bright side, how to let go and let God, how to live in the moment, how to embrace the blessings all around them.  Noah’s got it down – and he’s 6.

Nope, no earthly test will measure all that, but if it did, he’d be off the charts.

Heard Around the Henhouse – Eden

“Mommy, why are all these bad things happening to us?”

Those are the words that break a Momma’s heart.  That was Eden’s question the other day between Noah’s (5 with Down syndrome) doctor visit and hip x-rays in an effort to track down the cause of his limp.   (Eden is referring to all the medical mahem that has been going on in our family, scoliosis, brain surgery, Noah’s issues, headaches, Andres’ evaluations, etc.)

I’ve stopped panicing when my kids ask me ddep theological questions like this since I learned the freedom of three little words, “I don’t know.”

But for this question, I was actually prepared with an answer.  Not because of my uncanny maturity and wisdom.  Darn.  It was only because the week prior I had been mulling over the same simplistic question in my own childish mind.  Surely, sometimes it seems we have more than our fair share of trials and tribulations. 

But here’s the thing.  If we ask the question, “Why are all these bad things happening to us,” then we have to ask about the other side of the equation, “Why are all these good things happening to us?”

I mean, we had some pretty amazing things happen to us last month.

Andres had brain surgery the afternoon of August 7th and got to come home, with very little pain, the morning of the 9th.

The surgery Andres wound up having was actually less major than what the neurosurgeon had planned.  The difference meant a faster recovery time and a huge decrease in the risk.

While at the hospital, a volunteer group brought around a cart and allowed Andres to pick out a brand new book and toy just for being a patient.

My mom made it possible for three of us to fly to New York for a family reunion and stay at a luxury rental home on the water on Long Island.  Talk about a dream vacation!!!!

We had a dear friend give us multiple gift cards for restaurants during Andres’ hospital stay.

Noah’s x-rays turned out to be negative and his limp resolved.

Our landlord paid to have both of our bathrooms completely remodeled.  Then, to top it off, he returned our rent check to us for the month saying he wanted to compensate us for having workers in our house for two weeks.  Talk about heaping blessing on blessing!

We’re supposed to be getting about $600 coming in a month from an old debt, but the debtor has been in arrears for years.  He suddently started paying again, so we’ve had an unexpected $600 a month coming in for several months.

Trinity applied for a “dream job”, she got it, and she loves it.  It’s 20 minutes away (which is great since we live out in the country) and she’s making good money.

In addition to the little every day blessings of my husband having a job, our family being together, being able to pay our rent every month and put food on the table every night, the Lord continues to allow us to live on one income and homeschool our children.

This innocent question of Eden’s gave me pause to stop and count our blessings, and we have so many.

The question of why are all these good things happening to us is just as unanswerable as why are all these bad things happening to us.

And just as answerable.

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,

And naked I shall return there.

The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.

Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.”

–Job 1:21-22

And a promise:

“I will go before you and make the rough places smooth:

I will shatter the doors of bronze and cut through their iron bars.

I will give you the treasures of darkness

And hidden wealth of secret places,

So that you may know that it is I,

The Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name.

For the sake of Jacob My servant,

And Israel My chosen one,

I have also called you by your name;

I have given you a title of honor

Though you have not known Me.

I am the Lord and there is no other;

Besides Me there is no God.

I will gird you, though you have not known Me;

That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun

That there is no one besides Me.

I am the Lord, and there is no other,

The one forming light and creating darkness,

Causing well-being and creating calamity;

I am the Lord who does all these.”

–Isaiah 45: 2-7

Even looking back at the darkest times of my life, God’s mercy was always greater than my troubles, although, of course, it didn’t feel that way at the time.  I guess that’s perspective for you.

Here’s praying that your blessings outweigh your needs and your gratitude outweighs your sorrow.