You know that stage in life when a baby begin to responds with eye contact, a smile or maybe a ‘coo’? That’s my favorite stage of growth in a baby. Before this they really can’t do anything or respond in anyway and after that they start to run everywhere and you start ‘mobile parenting’.
I’ll never forget the day that Jack was born, nor the day, weeks later, that we left the hospital, nor his first day of school and his apprehensive excitement to ride the bus. It’s truly amazing how God has given us this capability of making memories that come back to us at random times.
Almost 3 years ago we traveled home to Australia to see my family. While we were there we visited a wildlife sanctuary. Jack was very drawn to the kangaroos. It’s where his love for animals was born. His attraction to animals is unstoppable, if he even gets close to an animal his attention is exclusively drawn to it. This is one of the reasons we have Jonah the dog. Jonah is a Chocolate Labrador graciously gifted to our family in order to be trained as a service dog to help Jack in his daily tasks. (You can follow Jonah’s adventures on Facebook at Jack’s Dad Blog).
Another great memory comes from last summer when we traveled north in the Adirondack mountains to Word of Life Family Campground. While we were there BJ, Jack and Connor had the chance to go on a little horse ride. While all three boys loved the experience, at the end of the ride Jack was “reluctant” to get off the horse and simply sat at the horse’s head while it ate grass…even grabbing the horse’s nostrils to keep its attention. Did I mention he loves animals?
Memories are ‘mile markers’ in our mind. They usually come up in conversation with “Remember when…”. I think it’s super neat how the Lord gave us this memory capability to remember events that bring joy to our hearts and a smile to our face. One of the major reasons I believe God did this was so that we can recount to ourselves and others the goodness of the Lord and how He provides for us through both great times and difficult situations.
When I think of these memories, my mind often goes to the account in the Bible where Joshua was leading the people of Israel through the Jordan River from the desert into Canaan and onto Jericho. He knew this was going to be a monumental occasion and so asked 12 men to grab 12 stones from the middle of the river as they went through to the other side. The purpose of this exercise is found in Joshua 4:7-8. The great leader, Joshua, simply explains that when all the moving into a new country is done and the dust has settled, when you make it back this way and you see the stones it will be a memorial for you to remember what great things God did…and you’ll also be able to tell your children.
Do you spend time remembering great joyful moments in life of your child with special needs? or is the diagnosis a chasm that can’t be crossed? Is the daily grind keeping you eyes down?
My encouragement to you this week is to remember the great things that God has done in and through your child with a disability. take special notice today and this week of the events that you can turn into ‘memory monuments’. Also, look back through your Facebook account at pictures you’ve posted over the past several years to help remind you.
Let those ‘memory monuments’ bring warmth to your heart and a smile to your face. At the dinner table, start a conversation about those memories and begin with, “Remember when…”.
If you’d like to share some memories, we’d love to hear from you…leave a comment below.