Although I am not on the “30 days of thankful” bandwagon, today I feel a strong need to participate. Our sermon last night was about the simple act of being thankful always, in all circumstances. Not that we are thankful for the specific bad or hurtful circumstance itself, but that in the trials, we remember all that Christ has done for us, and are thankful for that ALWAYS!
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says: (MSG)
Be cheerful no matter what, pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.
God’s desire for us is to live a life of joy, of prayer, and of thanksgiving. He is telling us that by being in constant contact with Him, we can not live without constant joy! If we are always in conversation with our Savior (in prayer), how could we not be always joyful, always thankful, always praising Him. He is so awesome, how could we not want to live like that? How could we ever want that conversation to end?
But it does end, doesn’t it? We get busy, we get tired, we get distracted, we get human. We forget to communicate with each other, let alone with God. It’s the enemy putting that space there between us and our Savior. He doesn’t even need to put a physical barrier there, just a space; we all know what time and distance does to a relationship, don’t we?
I try to live a life of thankfulness and praying without ceasing. I stop and pray when I get an email, when I see sirens and lights, when I have a moment to breathe. I know I fail in this frequently, and perhaps am not as vocally thankful as I should be, as often as I need to be. And then there are those times when my heart so overflows with thanks for the mercies He shows me that I can’t verbalize it, because my throat is overcome with emotion, the tears pool in my eyes and I melt into a puddle of amazement. The Gift He gave all is so wondrous when you truly see it, that you cannot help but be overwhelmed. (That Gift of Everlasting Life is given freely to all who call him Savior! John 3:16)
So in the spirit of overwhelming thankfulness, that choking in the throat, tears in the eyes thankfulness, I write this post tonight.
Today I am thankful for the healthy, happy, emotional, wild 4 year old boy that I have in my life RIGHT NOW. Devin is a madman, a fly-around-the-house and break-into-dance anytime, anywhere kind of kid. He is a jump-in-the-river-to-play-in-the-water-fully-clothed kind of kid. He is also a bibliophile, sitting in his bed, paging thru books he can’t even read yet, piling them around him and all over his floor. Devin melts down in a moment if I tell him no more TV, or Nook or computer games… he loves his screens! He is also a lover of his mama, smothering me with kisses, rubbing checks, loving as I kiss on his ears and neck. Such a sweet, smart little man, our Devin.
I often get so frustrated by his antics, his run-thru-the-store-only-stepping-on-the-blue-squares and running into people while he does it little-boy-ness. He pushes my parental buttons for sure. But I have to remind myself, “Don’t wish away the crazy in your boy, it is his nature.”
Crazy is a blessing not all children are given.
Devin daily reminds me of what Cayden only wished he could be, what Cayden wished he could have done, and what Cayden tried so hard to accomplish. Cayden wanted SO much to be crazy and couldn’t. Instead, he had to work SO hard just to hold his head up and look you in the eye, but then he would shoot you an awesome smile and (if you were lucky) a coo, a giggle and a wing flap. Those were awesome greetings! How I miss them!
Right now, as Devin is about the age Cayden was when he went to Heaven, I remember the frustration I saw in Cayden as he would push himself out of his wheelchair wanting to walk, instead sliding down into a puddle on the floor on legs that didn’t work. I remember how he loved the feeling of the wind in his hair as he drove his power chair as fast as it would go down the street, bumping over the neighbors’ yards and giggling the whole way. It the closest he ever got to running. I remember how he laughed when we ran him naked through the house after a bath, his feet on ours, chasing his naked sister, and being chased by the dogs. I remember and treasure those moments when we were able to help Cayden find his crazy, because he couldn’t do crazy on his own.
So I remind you to be thankful if your boy can run and walk, laugh and talk, eat and dance and sing. If he can do that, he can push your buttons, and make you insane, yes. But it also means that he is not tied to a wheelchair, a feeding tube or a computer to help him talk. He is not spending endless hours in therapy, or too many weeks in hospitals. He is able to spit out the food he dislikes, and tell you he won’t eat it, stomping his feet as he runs away from the supper table. Some kids (like my kid) just aren’t given that simple gift. Skinned knees and stitches, the occasional broken bone, means your child is a perfect little boy, snips and snails and puppy dog tails and all.
It is a blessing not all children are given, and one that we special needs mommies envy. I was blessed enough to be given a second chance to parent a crazy boy, and I truly am thankful for that gift.
Enjoy your boys the way God made them, the crazy wild little men that they are!