Today’s guest blogger is Stefanie. Stefanie is my wonderful, beautiful daughter. She has an incredible walk with God and she is an amazing parent to her two children. I’ll be giving away a free copy of The 30 Day Praise Challenge to one lucky winner who comments on her post.
Energetic, passionate, strong-willed, sensory sensitive. These are the euphemisms I have often used to describe my “less than easy” three-year-old. Charlie fights harder, he screams louder, he argues longer. As I have blubbered my way through parenting a spirited little one with a Sensory Integration Disorder, I have fallen to my knees more than I ever imagined begging the Lord to “heal” my little man, to make him easier, more obedient, less overwhelming.
Several months ago I was driving home from the store with Charlie and Selah (my 15-month-old) in the back seat. I was listening to music and in my own little world when the back seat erupted into fits of giggles. Snapped out of my beautiful and rare moment of quiet, I looked into the rearview mirror and asked Charlie what had him cracking up. He said, “Mommy! The sun is tickling me sooo much!” My eyes filled up as I realized that I had been making a huge mistake. I had been petitioning the Lord to change my little boy where he had been created purposefully to bring glory to Christ.
As parents, it is so tempting to resent our child’s unique qualities that sometimes make him/her challenging, but it is our calling to praise the Father for the way He designed our child. Charlie taught me that his sensory sensitivity, his spirited personality, his uniqueness is a blessing that is praiseworthy. You see, what I had always viewed as adversity, Charlie had learned was a special gift. As a baby, Charlie used to scream and writhe in pain when the sun struck his face in the car. At three, he learned to enjoy the odd way the sun stimulated his senses and laughed in joy at the funny way it made him feel. Charlie is BLESSED to experience the world in a unique way that most of us never will. His sensory “disorder” gives him an awareness of creation that offers him a closeness to the creator. I have not once since that day pleaded with the Father to heal my boy, but I have learned to praise Him for my son’s unique qualities that the Lord has graciously blessed him with.
This is wonderful! What a blessing Charlie is and what a blessing you have shared with us!
Thank you, Stephanie, for realizing what a gift your special boy is. As the mom of another challenging child, I can relate so well to everything you shared. As frustrating and challenging as it can be to be the mom entrusted to care for and nurture our uniquely created children, I find that it helps me to grow into a better person, a more compassionate and empathetic being, a more appreciative child of God myself. Oh sure, there are days when I just want to quit and I wish I had the “easy” kiddo. But there are so many more moments of reconciliation and wonderment and sharing and love . . . and it is in those moments I am the most thankful for having my unique and “special” child. God wouldn’t have let me be my boy’s mom if He didn’t think I was the right person for the job. I just have to remember that and embrace the privilege.
Thanks for sharing this beautiful story about your wonderful son! He is blessed to have a mama who appreciates the precise and purposeful way he was created. May we all as mothers embrace this truth about our own children – especially when at times raising them feels challenging.
Thanks Stef for sharing your wonderful story of your son. As a mum of a 3 year old boy with global developmental delays, I appreciate your insight on your little man and our Lord’s grace and blessing. I was blessed to be your college roommate for one semester and now you have blessed me once more with this powerful testimony of God’s love and demonstration of faithfulness.
Oh my goodness! THIS is powerful Stef. You are seriously one amazing momma that I look up to sooo much. The way you have been parenting your little ones is such a mirror image of the way the Lord gently parents us. You are such a role model. I love you and those kiddos SO much! xo
Beautiful, Stef! Thanks for sharing. Love you and your amazing children so much. Love how intentionally you parent and how you seek the Lord. He is our helper!