Wednesday, December 21, 2016
I have so many things to tell you! No card again this year, but here's a blog. Maybe next year? We made it through 2016, friends. We made it together. Hopefully we are all still friends. That's a joke--of course we are!!
Let's start with our youngest. Reese turned 9. She had a banner year. A banner year! Not one respiratory illness in 2016. We had one hospital stop, as the altitude and allergy combo in Flagstaff was not Reese's favorite thing. One ambulance ride down to Phoenix, no biggie. But other than that, she's been HEALTHY! And Happy! And laughing and communicating and loving because that's what she does best. Cannabis oil (CBD) has reduced her seizures by 70%, so whenever you hear people talk about Medical Marijuana as a "charade", etc., please tell them about the sweetest girl you've ever known. We have to be her voice! I was just thinking today about all of the love Reese has brought into our lives--first and foremost, just in being who she is. She's 100% love to us. She also attracts love to our home. Her therapists and nurses and teachers and doctors and fellow special needs families. We are surrounded by a lot of loving people, and as one friend recently commented, she has increased our capacity to love. I loved that. So to you, I want to say, if you are dealing with something hard right now, just wait. Stay close to God and know that He can make it beautiful. Not just OK, but actually beautiful. Just wait and watch and allow him to increase your capacity to give and receive love.
Olivia. 12. Sweet little thing. She surprised all of us this year with her performance in Elf the Musical. She told me her audition was terrible. She said was so nervous and awkward. And we believed her! Then they gave her a lead role and she shocked us with her ability and confidence. It was a joy to watch her because of all of those things. She loves music, her friends, and animals, and being creative, and she started a "slime" business with her buddy. If you're wondering what that is, you can follow them on Instagram at ThoseSlimeGirls. Little entrepreneurs, those two. She's a joy to live with--God speaks wisdom through her to me all the time. This morning she told me, "I was praying before I went to sleep, and then I said Amen and I woke up and it was morning!" Special kid. It's really awesome to be her mom.
Mia. 15. Full of life. Everything about Mia is big. Big voice, Big beauty, Big personality, Big heart. She's fun, independent, witty, smart and loyal and sometimes a little crazy.:) She loves her friends and music and singing loud for all to hear and softball and good books and Reese. She's her sister's keeper, which is one of my favorite things about her. She loves her youth group too--yea for youth group! And she entered her first voice competition this year, where she received an Honorable Mention from the judges. I was so proud of her! Hooray for courage! She can't decide if she wants to be a NICU nurse, an Occupational Therapist, work on Broadway, or pursue softball, but whichever way, she's going big.:)
Faith. 17. Tender-hearted one. Faith is full time at Shadow Mountain High School this year. First time in public school, which she described as "The best thing that has happened because I've learned how to really trust God day by day.:)" She officially signed to play golf at the University of Montana in November. She will be leaving us in August to go off and turn into an adult or something. We are so proud of her and she's so excited, so we are all excited. She's a sweet spirit, family girl...who's moving far away to Montana. But because God describes himself as one who does "more than we can ask or imagine," I'm not surprised that one of her very dearest life-long friends may be joining her and rooming with her. I mean c'mon. More than we could ask or imagine. She loves the Lord, loves to engage in important conversations, she's funny and fun, and she's so beautiful inside and out. I'm going to miss her like crazy, but we have plans to FaceTime every night during dinner, so I'm thanking God for technology. Right??
Mario. Let me tell you a story. The other day I met a grandpa who lives in Texas. He told me he remembered Mario from Mia's 8th grade graduation (His granddaughter was in her class). He said Mario prayed at the end of the ceremony, and he approached Mario afterward and said, "You pray like you know Him." Then he said, "I'll never forget what he told me next. When I asked him about what he does for a living, he told me that his mission is to make sure everyone knows about Jesus and then to get the heck out of here. I've never forgotten that and I tell people about him all the time." That pretty much sums up Mario. He knows God and He really loves Him. And He wants everyone else to know Him too. So he's dedicated his life to make sure that happens. (He runs a non-profit called Death2Life Revolution, in case you don't know: d2lrev.com) And the truth is, when doctors tell you that your child will beat you to heaven, you really keep your mind and heart there. Some of you will totally get that. But then again, Jesus told us to set our minds on things above, not on things here on earth, so it all makes sense anyway. He's always been Faith's number one fan, and now he will be the Griz Nation's number one fan--get ready for Mario, Montana!
Kerry. God has moved things around in such a way that I have to accept nursing help. Our favorite nurse left for a hospital job earlier this year, but now she has decided to come back. I told you Reese attracts love! She can only do so if she works more hours. So I have lots of help and it's such a good thing. But it does kinda make me laugh to see how God made it happen because I hadn't always accepted it. After dreaming and researching for the last year, I launched an online clothing boutique in November called Ellie & Adair: ellieandadair.com, and it has been SO MUCH FUN. It made me realize that God IS so much fun. Matthew 11:30 (MSG) says "Walk with me and work with me--watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." He's taught me that I need to actually enjoy my life. I can choose to walk in duty and stress and to-dos, or I can just enjoy my people and my Savior. I don't know if you've done that your whole life, but I don't think I have. I will have 3 teenage girls in February. Of course that comes with some challenges, but one thing that has been really delightful is watching them turn into the type of people I would choose as my friends. I didn't expect that.:)
We love you so much--you, the one reading this. As I write this and think of you, I feel LOVE for you and from you. YOU have unique gifts that no one else has--really, NO ONE. Some people may have similar gifts, but no one has the combination of gifts that you do and no one ever will. Consider it. Don't ever ever lose sight of that, and know that you are LOVED by God (so loved--take a moment to ask him to show it to you) and by us, and you are needed and valued and YOU are so special. It's true. We have lost friends to suicide this year. The enemy of our souls is a liar, and he doesn't want you to believe the truth about who you are. I hope you know that you matter and the world would not be the same without you. And I hope you know that you can always talk to us or someone at www.d2lrev.com if you want to be anonymous. I just had to make sure you heard that!
Now to another really important part...
I love this translation of Isaiah 9
For a child has been born—for us! (That's Jesus)
the gift of a son—for us!
He’ll take over
the running of the world. (You know how you're worried about the government? That's on Jesus)
His names will be: Amazing Counselor, (I need one of those)
Strong God, (Yes, Jesus is God)
Eternal Father, (He will never leave us and cares for us like a good father does his own children)
Prince of Wholeness. (He makes us whole)
His ruling authority will grow,
and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.
No limit to the wholeness he brings! That is the good news of Christmas. May you experience that "no limits" kind of wholeness this year. We love you.:)
Love, Kerry, Mario, Faith, Mia, Olivia, and Reese
Posted by Kerry D. at 5:37 PM