Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Quietly spiritual

I am generally a quietly spiritual person. I have a religion in which I have faith, and belief, but I don't generally speak about God to many people. I know people who have experienced the same crisis my family has faced, and then share their testimony with others through church or groups. That isn't me. I guess I have my blog to share our experiences, but I will rarely speak about God here. For me it is a private belief, a private place for me to be at peace with myself and God.

My aunt posted this video from youtube on her facebook (Thanks Liz) and I think it fits the theme we try to live as a family. We teach all of our children that they are miracles. They are not defined by their looks, or their money, or their disability or illness (they all have "issues"). Rather they are defined by their character, and their abilities to help others. This is what I try to teach my children. It was brought to my attention earlier this year when Blondie brought home a biography type assignment early in first grade. One of the questions asked, "Why are you special?" Blondie wrote that she was special because she had brain surgery. It caught me off guard because that isn't what makes her special. She has incredible perseverence, and is FUNNY as ... heck. She is generally cheerful and outgoing. Now when Cheesie had the same question for her class she said, "I am special because I am Cheesie." Same family, different perspectives. So then I really took a look at how I speak to Blondie about the type of person she is, and we continue to work on perfecting things that have nothing to do with her body or therapy. I'm glad there are people like this man out there to give us all a little reality check.

We knew several months before my Dad passed away that he wasn't responding to chemo. I was stressed, I was sad, I was angry. I happened to go to my daughter's school that day and heard from the teacher that she hadn't done her schoolwork for a few days - unacceptable. I only had to look at her to hear the excuse. She told me that it was hard to concentrate because Granddad was so sick. I erupted. Shouldn't have.... but I did. "Don't you dare use Graddad as an excuse not to do your work." I went on to rant that my father valued independence and responsibility and found great honor in work. These things were important to him. There was never an excuse not to do your best, we might fail, but we had to put forth our best work. I later recounted this conversation to Dad, and it was the first time I ever heard him cry (we were on the phone). He said, "You get it Kelly, you understand what I believe." I promised to carry on that same philosophy to my girls, which I do everyday.

I believe God may expect the same things from us as people - disabled or not. We take whatever comes our way and we move through the experience. We can't hide from it, we must participate in it - painful or joyous. We need to learn from the experience and grow as people, not wallow in the negative energy. We are all miracles, but we need to learn to be as independent as possible and responsible for ourselves. We need to help others, and find honor in working.

I'm finished rambling. Enjoy the evening.


Jessie said...

I love listening to this guy speak. He has an amazing outlook on life. The verse that he mentions: Jeremiah 29:11, is embroidered on Jessie's backpack.

Recovering Noah said...

Oh my goodness, Kelly. That video is wonderful. Thank you SO much for sharing. You don't know how much I needed to see that.

Do you mind if I post it on my blog?