Sunday, July 22, 2012

Be Thou My Vision

Be Thou My Vision....

"Without God's Word as a lens, the world warps."  
- One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

Today is National Fragile X Awareness Day, 2012.  I thought I had posted on this day for the last few years, but apparently I missed one for here is a peek into what all is happening in the Wilson's home these days...

This has been an amazing summer so far.  If you have been keeping up with us through Facebook or this blog, then you know that God blessed us with two amazing trips without the kiddos.  We had life-changing experiences and feel that we learned what it really means to relax, and that has been so refreshing even since we have been home.  It's like we have lived in constant adrenaline mode since the day Landen was diagnosed on January 16, 2001...and your body and mind just sort of get stuck in that gear to survive and cope.  Of course we have been blessed along the journey with wonderful family, friends, and a sense of God's overall peace in the midst of it; however, we definitely realized that we must make a point to get away from stress and sort of re-sync our minds and souls.    After Hawaii (if you missed that one see post below) we went to a work conference for Mark in San Diego.  The hotel was awesome.  We made some new friends, ate great food, and they had a phenomenal pool.  One day when Mark was in meetings, myself and a few other wives laid out while being served lunch and cocktails...uh, yeah, i could get used to that!  We also visited some beautiful wineries...

One particular thing that I have continually felt the Lord granting layers, in spiritual, digestible nuggets, is something that is very important in the heart of any parent, but especially for the FX parent, is COURAGE.  For many months God has shown me various verses, spoken through a friend, or whispered to my heart a growing sense of confidence that Landen is, can, and will continue to develop in ways that will free our life in many areas.  So often the strain of what we CAN'T do with him weighs so heavily on us that we easily slide into lowering our expectations.  I think it's easy to do that when you have a child with a disability...on one hand you are their greatest cheerleader and you want to prove to the world that they are still awesome, delightful human beings that have so much to contribute to the world...on the other you are constantly learning to see them through the lens of FX in an effort to understand them, to cope, to be realistic.  Every birthday that passes for him seems to feel harder and yet easier all at the same time.  Over time I have accepted his situation, even embraced it.  But I also die to dreams of things that he's not able to do at every passing age marker....afterall, other 13 year olds are studying algebra, trying out for football, starting to notice girls, and hanging with their friends.  Landen is still watching Elmo, can't ride a bike, and can barely write his first name.  But, this is where the little flame of courage that God is fanning in me all the time sparks new hope and new expectations.

Many months ago I pulled out some Scripture verse cards that I had received at one of our womens' retreats a couple of years ago.  They are really neat because they printed each verse with each woman's name inserted into the Scripture that caught my heart's attention reads: "So it's you, Jessica, who is in charge of keeping the entire commandment that I command you today, so that you'll have the strength to invade and possess the land that you are crossing the river to make your own." (Deuteronomy 11:8)  I knew that the Lord was speaking to me about taking courage in and through Him in the midst of many situations in my life that God has given me responsibility for, authority over, or a calling to a deeper faith.  Some of this applies to my ministry life at the church and in the outside world, and some of it is to encourage me to champion Landen into new horizons.  That's the beauty of following Jesus...when He gives Truth, He gives WHOLE Truth that speaks life into so many parts of life.  There is not one thing that He wishes to withhold from us, from me.  He is delighted in me when I can hold up the broken, shattered parts of my life that don't make sense, and ask Him to put them together, forming a masterpiece for which only HE has the complete vision.  And Landen is a part of that.  I know in the depths of my heart that God has put such beautiful, eternal qualities in Landen that are unearthed because we have to search through the lens of FX to see them...his condition essentially summons a spotlight onto what God has made in him, because it can't be explained away by typical and external factors..

One benefit to a greater sense of courage in me is a new found determination I have to get Landen back into more public outings!  Some of you know that he doesn't like to go to restaurants or movies, etc and so we are extremely limited in what we can do as a family.  But I see him growing in his tolerance level, building trust in us again that when we take him somewhere he will actually survive it, lol....and I'm sure he picks up on my decreasing fear over at least trying.  We have a weekly outing to Target...he goes in, pushing the cart, and stays much longer than he used to.  He also will go with us to get frozen yogurt- he likes the independence of the self-serve and getting to choose what he wants.  He has also been to the outdoor shopping area of Market Street in The Woodlands now a couple of times...and that is HUGE for him!  He has a wonderful nanny named Lindsey who loves taking him out too...she is very brave!  haha!  But he does so great with her.  I am so very thankful for her courageous heart to know and love Landen unconditionally, and to help me create new experiences.   My next goal is a movie...we'll see =)
kissin' "Izzy" at Chick fil-A

Another HUGE happening in our life is that Bethany just turned 18!  It's so wild!  How did that happen??!!

Then I turned 38..Landen got to sing to me...

I love this piece from One Thousand Gifts: "What will a life magnify?  The world's stress cracks, the grubbiness of a day, all that is wholly wrong and terribly busted?  Or God? ...God is not in need of magnifying by us so small, but the reverse.  It's our lives that are little and we have falsely inflated self, and in thanks we decrease and the world returns right.  I say thanks and I swell with Him, and I swell the world and He stirs me, joy all afoot."  

The lens through which I see the world, my world, is so much clearer when I view it through the heart of Christ.  His view pans out to such a bigger picture than whatever earthly stressor is dominating my attention.  And yet it also laser focuses in on the tiniest appearances of His beauty, grace, and handiwork in my life.  For that, I am eternally grateful.