With my whole heart

July 20th, 2013



There is a good side to living with people with disabilities that I have discovered, but it has to be embraced to be appreciated.



We have to hold plans with a more open hand–be more flexible–than we used to.



Early on in our journey with Verity, I saw this coming, and then deliberately chose to deliberately choose what God would deliberately choose for me.



In other words, I was going to learn to embrace every moment and make it as life-filled and joyous and even humorous as I could.



Since I am going to spend most of my time for the rest of my life caring for the very earthy physical needs of several sweet people with precious eternal souls…



…I may as well learn to enjoy it ALL and not have a complaining spirit, so that I am enjoying most of my life and not complaining about most of my life.



If I go to an event, I enjoy it with all my heart, and if I miss it, or leave early, then I enjoy the quietness at home or the one-on-one time or whatever I’m doing instead of attending the event, and enjoy doing those things with my whole heart.



Another way to state this? “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.”



God chose this path for me, and it is a path of joy for many reasons that others may not necessarily see on the surface.



Different people have very different standards as to what constitutes a good life, or a hard life.



My life doesn’t feel as hard to me as it looks to some other people, so I wouldn’t want them to judge our work load by their standards.



When sitting on the sidelines of a woman’s meeting with Katie and Verity, quietly keeping them occupied and listening in on the conversation, another woman might feel sorry for me…



…because she wouldn’t want to sit on the floor interacting with a couple of disabled children while there was an interesting discussion going on.



She might put her feelings onto me and think I had it hard, when in fact, I am enjoying myself immensely.



On the other hand, the average woman of two hundred years ago who was incredibly productive with her time would probably think I had it easy.



As for spending all we have on our children with extra needs, I would “very gladly spend and be spent” for Jesus’ sake.



He said that what we do to the least of these, we do to Him.



Will we really begrudge to pour ourselves out for Him, for the least of these?



I say bring it on; it would be an honor to be counted worthy of this privilege.



I will praise You with my whole heart;
Before the gods I will sing praises to You.

I will worship toward Your holy temple,
And praise Your name
For Your lovingkindness and Your truth;
For You have magnified Your word above all Your name.

In the day when I cried out, You answered me,

And made me bold with strength in my soul.




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32 Responses to “With my whole heart”

  1. Christie M says:

    Amen! and Amen!

    I am in awe of how much your sweetheart has changed in such a short time.   From starving to thriving! :)

  2. Rebekah says:

    May the Lord richly bless you for your spirit.  You have blessed me exceedingly by this post!  THANK YOU!!! 

  3. Theta says:

    Beautifully felt and shared!  This is a post I want to always remember.  My, your children are so very blessed. (And so are you!!)

  4. sue mitchell says:

    YES!!! Thank you SO much for this encouragement!!!!! I NEEDED these exact words today!

  5. Mary Winslow says:

    Thank you Susannah! You have blessed me greatly this day. I totally needed to hear this and read this. You are such a blessing and encouragement to us!

  6. Corrie says:

    Thank you Susanna! This applies so much even to those of us with “regular” children. Ann Voskamp recently said, “There are no interruptions in my day, only manifestations of Christ.” I think you are doing a wonderful job embracing that truth!

  7. I agree whole heartedly.  But I admit….sometimes I am a work in progress with it all.  On the days I have everyone sick at once…or so many appointments to get to my head swims….I have to refocus myself all the through that day and re-put things back into the proper prospective.   God is so good. He always helps me and gives me the strength. God has blessed us with our children.  Many people don’t realize how easy it is to love our children that are so special.  When we say they are a blessing we are not trying to make light of a “hard” situation.  They really are a blessing and bless our lives immensely.  My days are truthfully full of joy and happiness.  The hard things, like changing my 120 pound sons diaper, getting him on his potty or things like that I have to refocus on sometimes.  David Ring is one of my favorite preachers.  He has CP.  One of the statements he makes all the time is……Contentment is not getting what you want…..its wanting what you get!  Amen!   Great post!

  8. Heather5018 says:

    Lovely.  God has just recently put Phil 4:11 on my heart as well.

  9. Blessed says:

    Thank you for this post!  I needed to hear this–and I think I’m going to have “I saw this coming, and then deliberately chose to deliberately choose what God would deliberately choose for me.”  written down by my computer for a while, because those words–that outlook–are exactly where God wants me too.
    The photos are precious!

  10. Lorena says:

    Thanks for this wonderful perspective.  I was going to say “brave perspective”, but your true joy shines through, and I do not find myself feeling sorry for you, but inspired, instead, to follow in your footsteps.

  11. Amy says:

    Amen, my sweet friend!  Thank you for putting my heart into words!

  12. Audrey says:

    Dear Susanna,
    You are such an inspiration to me as I read your posts.  I came across your blog from a mutual friend and have been following it since verity was born.  I have loved your Christ centered approach in parenting. And have admired the way you have opened your home and heart to these precious souls.  What a sweet post you have written today….such a wonderful reminder on contentment and joy for where God has placed our boundary lines…The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places, indeed I have a beautiful inheritance.

  13. nicole says:

    :) I just know what you mean…

  14. MamaV says:

    This comes at just the right time for me. Thank you, Susanna!

  15. Valerie D. says:

    With tears in my eyes, I thank you for this post, Susanna…it is a privilege and joy to raise my children and it is what God has called me to…if that pulls me away from things at times…then praise the Lord for the opportunity to serve my God by raising up six young men for Him.

  16. Colleen says:

    Once again, words that are perfectly timed… I thank our Lord for you and your sweet blessings!!! God bless you, sister!!!

  17. Katie says:

    What a beautiful reminder.  
    Random question – did Katie do that puzzle by herself?  Or did you help/hand over hand with her?  My friend has the same one and I work on it with her daughter (who also has DS) often!  It’s her favorite because it has sensory pieces, but the sensory input also distracts from the goal of putting the puzzle piece in the puzzle.  
    Also looks like she got her hair cut?  She’s so precious and getting so big!  Bless you, friend!

  18. Kathy Gandy says:

    I would be sitting on the floor with you and your little ones, Susanna. 

  19. Cindy W says:

    SO well said- as usual Susanna.  Thanks for the pictures too- your work is enjoyed by each of you- encourages the rest of us!

  20. Stori says:

    Susanna, you are a treasure.  I wish that I always had your perspective and attitude straightaway!  What a blessing your blog is to me.  I hope that you will continue to share your Godly attitude as encouragement to the rest of us.

  21. Holly says:

    Great post!  You kinda put words to concepts that rumble through me often.  Thanks!  :)

  22. nicole says:

    I forgot to say these pictures are so precious of Katie ! She looks so beautiful !!!

  23. Jane says:

    Wow.  Thank you.

  24. Susanna says:

    Hello dear Stori! I wish I always had these attitudes straightaway, too!

  25. Susanna says:

    Katie, yep, trimmed her hair again, way up off her neck this time.

    Katie is still where I described her in the last big Katie update. She does all her appropriate play hand over hand except for a very few noise- or music-making toys.

  26. Kim says:

    Susanna – this was wonderful!! I need to tattoo this on my forehead :)

  27. Beck says:

    Thank you for this post.  It was a good reminder for me yesterday when I missed some time with friends because of the needs of my kids.  Remembering your post helped me to choose to enjoy my time with them instead of resenting what I thought I was missing.  As you share what the Lord is teaching you, it is so encouraging to me as well!

  28. Ilisa says:

    Perfect and I sure wish I lived closer to you!  :)

  29. Melissa says:

    I absolutely adore Katie’s bob. She looks like she could have stepped from a piece done by Mary Englebreit!
    Thank you for the reminder to be content. I have had to remind myself of this over and over the last year.

  30. Katie says:

    Just saw such a nice story in my Facebook feed, and I thought maybe you and your kids would like it.  Maybe you have already seen it before, but just in case, here it is:  http://tbo.com/northeast-tampa/temple-terrace-dancer-with-down-syndrome-delights-audience-20130723/
    Here is video of her dancing, and there are several more, as well, in different styles.
    Love reading your updates!

  31. Susanna says:

    Katie, thank you! Wish I could see her in action!

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