Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Absolutely No Reason Not To

"If you're worried about how you look, you're cheating yourself out of opportunities."

At the end of this video it says that Chris' powerful courage is powered by the acceptance that he has for himself. Why can't I have that? All the time. Even when I mess up or do something a little less fabulously than I meant to. Why can't I get back to the place where I accept myself no matter what happens?

You know what? I can.

On Sunday one of the other Young Women leaders gave a very powerful lesson on Unity. She started out giving us an analogy of Redwood trees. They are gigantic and tall and they rely on each other and the support of the each other's root systems to stay standing. She had a bunch of really great quotes that I would love to get my hands on. During her whole lesson, there was a bunch of white balloons filled with helium in the front corner of the room.

As she was wrapping up her passionate, heartfelt rally for unity, she gave us each a sticker and a pen. We were supposed to write something on the sticker that was holding us back. Something that we struggle with that keeps us from being our best selves... from having a close relationship with Christ... something we needed to let go.

We folded the sticker in half on the string of the balloon and we went downstairs and outside. And then we let them go.

You wanna know what I wrote on my sticker? The thing that holds me back and keeps me from being my best self?

I wrote about the way I feel about myself and the way I berate and put myself down and the way I squash my own self worth.

That's what I let go of.

I want to be like Chris. I want to accept myself with all of my flaws and shortcomings. I want to unleash my awesome and do things that only I am good at. I have absolutely no reason not to.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Let Your Words be Anything but Empty

A couple of years ago, for a family reunion, my aunt organized a tour of the Make a Wish facility closest to us. If you have never done that, you totally should. They really work hard to make wishes come true and to make the whole experience amazing. I loved reading about all of the wishes hung on the walls. There are beautiful stars hanging from the ceiling with names of all of the kids on them. I hesitate to call them "lucky" because the reason they were given a wish is never for a lucky reason, but being granted a wish must be a really neat experience.

At one point during the tour, they took us out to a beautiful little garden with a pond and gave each of us a wish token. We could make a wish and toss it into the pond. I think I wished that I could know what Becca would wish for. This is a picture of Becca's token. I put it on a chain and I wear it sometimes, still wishing I knew what the desires of her heart are. 

I know her pretty well and I can probably guess what's wrong with her faster than you can, but there are still so many, many moments that I am at a loss for. I can't always stop the tears. I don't always get to a diaper fast enough. I get frustrated and she is not always the only one crying when something is hard or it hurts. I still wish I could somehow lessen her burden at the same time hoping that it doesn't always feel like a burden to her. I hope that our love for her and the wonderful things and people we try to surround her with help her to feel loved. 

It would feel weird to make a wish for her. It would be my wish, not hers. 

I recently ran into an article that articulated some of the feelings we have raising Becca. I wanted to share it with you with an explanation. I am mostly able to keep a grasp on the idea of having an Eternal Perspective. That is to say that I believe with all of my heart that Becca's disabilities are temporary. They are for this earth only. When she leaves this life, her spirit will be free from the hinderance that this body gives her. I also believe that this body is a protection for her spirit. There are so many negative influences that can't touch her in a body like this. She is pure.

We know our family looks different. We know if you do not have someone in your family with disabilities that there is no frame of reference for you to completely understand what we are going through. I do not understand what you are going through just from looking at the outside of you either! I know that people mean well when they say these things. I have even said things like this! I must say, though, that the longer I live, the more I live by the rules she outlines at the end. Someone who listens and who will make a genuine effort to be a good friend is usually exactly what I need. Don't we all? So, as you read this article, know that I have felt exactly this way, but that I don't always. I know you mean well. I know you are trying to help and be kind. And maybe something she says will hit your heart the right way and next time you'll try to say it differently. You'll do the right thing. I am surrounded by wonderful people in my life. Thanks for being one of them! Thanks for taking the time to read this and understand me a little better. 

Click here for Dear People Who Do Not Have a Child With Disabilities

Click here to listen to one of my favorite songs from which this title was taken: Brave by Sara Bareilles