Wednesday, March 18, 2015

It's The Little Things

Photo image courtesy of Sergiy Bykhunenko via
There are four small creatures,
    wisest of the wise they are—
ants—frail as they are,
get plenty of food in for the winter;
marmots—vulnerable as they are,
    manage to arrange for rock-solid homes;
locusts—leaderless insects,
    yet they strip the field like an army regiment;
lizards—easy enough to catch,
    but they sneak past vigilant palace guards.
~ Proverbs 3:20-28, MSG ~ 

I don't know about you, but I am struggling right now with the people lounging on beaches over spring break, on grand vacations, toes in the sand, waves swooshing along the shore, sun glistening in a clear blue sky, and favorite beverage in their hand.  Not that I am bitter or angry.  I may be just a tad envious.  It just seems that these types of getaways are assumed to be what everyone does, a typical annual or semi-annual ritual.

For families like us, those incredible magazine picture retreats are elusive.

The good news is that this is partially responsible for teaching us to fully appreciate the little things.  It starts early on.  We find ourselves grateful for that one day, or if we are lucky, one week, that we don't have to visit a specialist, a pediatrician, a therapist, a pharmacy, or treatment center.  The little things shine brightly through the form of a friend showing up with meal we didn't have to cook, a fistful of fresh cut flowers, or supplies to help us tackle our housecleaning.   We find simple thankfulness through a gift card in the mail to put some gas in the car for one more week.  A hug from someone who cares is like gold in our weariness.  And laughter offers us that much-needed abdominal work-out we don't have time for, while lightening the darkness of difficulties.

As life progresses, we come to discover the details and nuances of ordinary life don't come to our loved ones without much work and hard-fought battles.  Every tiny sign of progress is a HUGE deal.  Many kids will never be physically able to sit on their own without help.  The moment when that child can actually turn their head or grasp something in physical therapy is an ENORMOUS deal.  Just BREATHING, a basic function of life, is a miracle for many of our children.  Asthma, allergies, breathing tubes and nasal cannulas are all reminders that every inhale and exhale are precious, precious gifts.  

In our family, the miracle of the clotting cascade makes us beyond grateful for the little scab that others take for granted after a wound.  At least 21 biological reactions have to occur in sequence, much like dominoes falling, in order for a human being to form a stable blood clot.  Simple, but not so simple for those of us in the bleeding disorders community.

When people who don't understand the little things demand that we just "get control" of our children who have autism, Asperger's, ADHD, or other psycho-social issues, they cannot grasp that they are inflicting a GIGANTIC, unreasonable expectation on us.  Simply learning to articulate that a sensory sensitivity is going to make her snap is a MASSIVE stride forward for our daughter.  It wasn't until she was in 7th grade that she was able to gain the self-advocacy skill of telling us that chewing gum helped her concentrate, assisting her ADHD in school.  Now, if we could actually get her to consistently sleep all night every night for more than a handful of nights in her own bed, that little thing would be LIFE-CHANGING!

Yes, this parenting journey of ours, with all of its unique demands and challenges surely brings us the great privilege of appreciating life's little things like no one else can.  How can we not praise our Maker, who not only spoke into existence entire planets and species, but who also cares about every tiny detail that makes such a BIG difference in the lives of those He loves!

PRAY:  Yahweh, YOU are the God of the big and the small.  Thank You that You care about every little thing that equals a big blessing in our lives.

~ Barb Dittrich

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