Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Balance and the Family Vacation

I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
    he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
    their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
    he saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
    and he delivers them.
Taste and see that the Lord is good;
    blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Fear the Lord, you his holy people,
    for those who fear him lack nothing.
The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
~ Psalm 34:4-10, NIV ~

There are a few words that bring terror to my mind as a special needs mom – one of those words is vacation.

You see, my husband and I have very different views of this word, and my boys too for that matter, mostly because of our special needs daughter who has some complex medical needs and does not walk.

When my boys and I think of vacation, we think of heading to somewhere kind of beachy, with sand, water, a little breeze, the sun, sea creatures of some kind, and a pool.

Beach is NOT the image that comes to my husband’s mind. Vacation for him is seeing new things, napping, reading books. He had a pretty bad experience with the beach one time when our daughter was little, and our poor choice of accommodations made it hard to get her to and from the beach, cleaned up when we got in and cared for in general. No good memories of the beach for him.  

So, several times in the last few years, my husband has asked me to carry the boys to the beach by myself because this meets the needs of everyone. Yet, this arrangement splits up our family at the same time.

He has asked me to balance the needs of all.


So hard to achieve sometimes as the special needs mom. Balancing everyone’s wishes and needs. Knowing when to include and when not to force inclusion.

I believe in balance. I believe that our girlie cannot always be included while including her is what I wish most in the world. Because it may not be best for her, and best for anyone else for that matter.

Girlie has temperature issues when she gets overheated, she will have seizures, pretty severe seizures that can lengthen and intensify if she is not cooled down.  So, hot climate is not good for her. Beach – not a good plan for the girlie. Plus the fact that within 1 hour of morning time in the sun, she can get a severe sunburn.

But sometimes inclusion is the right thing even when it is the hardest thing. Bringing the entire family on a vacation of an indoor water park, or to a shaded amusement park in the fall/winter, or to the mountains where temperatures are more tolerable. Even sharing that hotel room with the girlie who refuses to sleep all night long when she is not at home in her own bed.


Finding what works for each person. 

God does that with us, his children.

Psalm 34:4 says “I sought the Lord, and He answered me, And delivered me from all my fears.” 
and verse 8:” O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
and verse 10: “But they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing.”

God cares about my juggling act. He cares that our family life can never be normal, and He cares about the balance. He holds the balance in His hand. And even more than that, He desires good things for my family.

Because of this, I can trust that He will give my husband and I wisdom in balancing the needs and desires of our family. He knows what is best for all. He knows all and sees all.  Something I don’t have to figure out how to do, even when it comes to vacation.

Please pray with me:

Thank you, Lord, that you want good for me, that I can take refuge in You. Thank You that You are concerned with the details of our lives and the choices we make. Please give us wisdom in how to love each other best, and love You the most.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful, Melanie! I've been a fan of your husband's writing. I'm glad he shared this link with me. Blessings on you and your wonderful family, especially your Girlie!