Tuesday, December 12, 2017

This One Moment

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You guys. This month is slaying me. Slowly but surely. Yesterday as I was finishing teaching a lesson, I suddenly couldn't even stand up. I propped myself up on a stool and leaned like the Leaning Tower of Exhausted Mom Pisa.

It's not just one thing. It's all the small things jumbled together that somehow make one big ginormous thing that represents my current schedule with no breaks to take a breath or think complete thoughts or fold my laundry.

(Be a working mom...they said....it will be fun....they said...LOL)

On top of my physically demanding schedule, there's the emotional toll of just so much going on all around me. Stories that aren't mine to tell. But very real stories that wrap themselves around my heart and squeeze in painful ways. I know I am an empath. I know I feel deeply. This is a blessing and a curse. Somedays I just can't take the emotional weight of how complicated life has gotten.

(Be an adult....they said....it will be fun....they said...LOL)

I can feel the weight of the world pressing down on my shoulders and at times I just can't breathe.

The last week has been especially bad. I felt like I was clawing through the busy to try to get to "Be Still And Know That I Am God". I felt like I was wading through oceans of schedule to get to the moments of quiet reflection. And I couldn't.get.there.

No matter how I tried to calm my thoughts, they refused to untangle.

Until Sunday. When I was sitting in church, and I looked over and saw Addison bent over a piece of paper with her perfect pen hold and furrowed brow and her name printed in such a beautiful, controlled, mature handwriting. Within an instant the cloud around me disappeared. (I posted about this on IG.) The celebration of that moment stole my entire concentration. She wrote her name the most perfectly that she ever has.

It was beautiful! "Addison". Like a pro! Look at my girl go! My heart pumped with wild pride and tears dotted the corners of my eyes.
For the first time in days, my thoughts focused only on this one thing. This moment of joy, of light, chased out all the dark.

This happened again this morning. She came in to wake me up (as she does. Ha!). The minute my eyes popped open, my mind flooded with all the things. Addison sat calmly on my pillow and stroked my hair as she started to talk to me.

At first she wanted to know if she was going to school today. This evolved into asking about after school which evolved into discussing that she rides the bus home on Tuesdays. I asked her how she liked riding the bus and she nodded shyly and said that she did. And then she volunteered, "It is bumpy."

Wait a second. SHE JUST VOLUNTEERED DETAILS ABOUT AN EXPERIENCE SHE HAD. This is huge for her, and it is a rare occurrence. She didn't have to be prompted. She didn't have to be cued or quizzed. She just...said it.

As I got up for the day with now a smile on my face, I couldn't stop musing over how cool that was.

And as thing on top of thing stacked on top of today, I couldn't let go of the thought that maybe Addison is in my life to be a reminder from God to "Be Still And Know". Maybe part of her disability and design is intrinsic to focusing in on his creation of beautiful moments that make up the complicated big picture. Maybe one of her gifts is to untangle the confused world around her and remind us of the miracle of the moment in front of us. To be still.

The way she twirled in front of the mirror this morning, admiring her outfit with such a shy smile on her face, her eyes twinkling.

The way she took charge last night and watched over Morgan (newly sleeping in her room) and fell asleep with her face pressed against Morgan's Pack 'n Play, watching over her sister with such diligence. (She says that she is the teacher and is IN CHARGE and will make sure the baby BEHAVES.)

The way she smiles at me.

The way she practices her dance moves for an upcoming concert at school, biting her lip in concentration and spinning on those tiny feet like she was born to do it. Hair flowing behind her.

The way Morgan woke up crying way too early this morning and when I went in there, Addison had already woken up too and was reading Morgan a book in an attempt to calm her. The page she was reading apparently said, "Don't cry baby." (-;

Addison has a way of pulling scattered attention right to the now, transcending all the things swirling around causing angst and trouble and making them temporarily cease while we admire her "now".

In drawing us in, she helps us be still and in that now, remember the amazing God who created not only her and us and the beautiful "now", but also the troubles pressing down on our shoulders. Not only did he create these troubles, he provided the strength to fight through them. The patience to persevere. The joy to push on. The hope of eternal life.

Sometimes Down syndrome is the easiest thing about life. (I once thought that no problem would ever be bigger than her diagnosis. I was wrong.) And sometimes...Down syndrome provides a window to a new view I hadn't considered before. A view I really really needed but didn't even think to ask for.

Sometimes this view narrows ALL THE THINGS to the one breathtaking moment in front of me that I would have otherwise missed.

Grateful.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Psalm 46:1-7