December 19, 2011


Woven through my heart are the little joys that complete my days. A syndrome I used to think could only be a curse has revealed beauty so intense it takes my breath away. I have learned to see the treasures that only hardship can produce.

Navigating this holiday season is different for us - a family with a special needs child. I struggle to explain the pain that accompanies the realization that we will always have to do things a little differently. Loud noises, changes in routine, surprises, and even boisterous salutations can be instruments of anxiety for our oldest son.

I can't help but to think of Mary and how she had to adjust her expectations. Birthing her first child far from home in a smelly stable couldn't have been part of her childhood dreams. Rather than getting caught up in the less than perfect scenario, she cherished the beauty that could have only come from such a situation.

But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. Luke 2:19

This Christmas season I have released my expectations of what the holidays must look like for our family. Aaron and I have taken it upon ourselves to discover different ways to make the joy of Christ's birth real for our children. Like opening a beautifully wrapped gift, we eagerly anticipate the traditions our family will call our own as the boys grow older and we determine what Grant can handle.

For now I will treasure what I can...

~ Instead of hearing my oldest son, who at age three still cannot talk, yell in excitement over Christmas decorations, cookies or presents, I treasure watching him quietly listen to the Christmas story read by Daddy.

~ Instead of watching Grant rip open presents, because of his lack of understanding and struggling fine motor skills, I treasure his joy in throwing the wrappings in the air and hearing him laugh.

~ Instead of listening to Grant sing happy birthday to Jesus, I treasure watching him take his brother's hand as Aaron prays to thank God for our blessings.

There is so much to treasure.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Baking Christmas cookies together was great fun. Aaron guided Grant's hands to cut out shapes of stars and Christmas trees while Wesley insisted on using the bell cookie cutter.

Letting go of my need to control each step, I allowed the boys to put the final touches on their cookies.

Naturally, one must try a cookie to make sure they turned out OK...

The boys enjoyed running through the rows of Christmas trees at a local farm. The sound of their laughter perfectly fit the mood of the season.

Merry Christmas!



  1. Oh you and your pictures! that picture of them holding hands brings tears to my eyes, it's so beautiful! I'm a little sensitive today.... ;-)

  2. Merry Christmas to you and your precious boys.

  3. thank you, again, for focusing on what is good, wonderful, and amazing! love the pictures!

  4. “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These people have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” Kuhbler-Ross

  5. Karen - we don't know each other but my son also has FXS and the holidays are joyful here as well.

  6. Thank you for stopping by my blog! I very much enjoy reading your comments. While you will often read posts expressing the many emotions I experience as a mother of a precious boy with special needs, my favorite posts will always be the ones sharing the many joys with which I have been blessed... My cup runneth over with love for my family.

  7. Your post makes me reflect on Philippians 4:

    4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

  8. "...And the God of peace will be with you." What a wonderful promise! We just need to abide in Him. It makes me think of the hymn, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus":

    What a friend we have in Jesus,
    all our sins and griefs to bear!
    What a privilege to carry
    everything to God in prayer!
    O what peace we often forfeit,
    O what needless pain we bear,
    all because we do not carry
    everything to God in prayer.

    Have we trials and temptations?
    Is there trouble anywhere?
    We should never be discouraged;
    take it to the Lord in prayer.
    Can we find a friend so faithful
    who will all our sorrows share?
    Jesus knows our every weakness;
    take it to the Lord in prayer.

    Are we weak and heavy laden,
    cumbered with a load of care?
    Precious Savior, still our refuge;
    take it to the Lord in prayer.
    Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
    Take it to the Lord in prayer!
    In his arms he'll take and shield thee;
    thou wilt find a solace there.

  9. This is absolutely beautiful. May your family be richly blessed this Christmas season!!! Cassandra @ The Unplugged Family...

  10. tiddlywinks-christy.blogspot.comDecember 26, 2011 at 1:24 PM

    My husband is a counselor, and he says we're all a little weird. There's no such thing as a normal person! I find that very encouraging. :) We desperately need to hear your stories about living with a special needs child, because we're all special needs on the inside. Thank you so much for opening your life to me.

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