After our post sharing the great news about Sam’s one year post-op checkup here at Mayo Clinic, a dear friend pointed out a thought that grew with every hour yesterday….what a wonderful Christmas gift for Sam and all of us to get such a positive report! Happiness. Real Happiness for me is not that life does not have difficulties. It is becoming more aware of God’s care for us in the midst of those difficulties. Happiness is the gift of friends and family whose prayer holds us up when we grow weary, gives us strength, and most importantly ~ I believe with all my heart everyone’s prayers are the reason Sam is doing so well! We thank you with overflowing hearts! As I went to sleep last night I wondered how Jenny’s Christmas dance at Gigi’s Playhouse was. This morning I woke to the gift of this picture a girlfiend sent to us. How could anyone resist smiling looking at these two sweet faces?! This was taken at the Christmas Dance at GiGi’s Playhouse ~ while we were so many miles apart. Brian is one of Jen’s very beloved friends. ❤️ Joy radiates from their entire being! I wish everyone in this world could experience that special joy; the inner child like freedom these young adults who have Down Syndrome possess. ❤️ I often ponder how we have to struggle through the dark to see the light that God’s Love brings. No suffering, no difficulty can extinguish its beauty.
Difficulties, problems, suffering in life sometimes threatens to keep me from seeing God’s loving hand too. Why do problems overcome me, want to swallow me up; snuff out all joy; keep me locked in within a dark cloud? Why do big difficulties, and even sometimes small things pull me down, make me anxious and crabby with other people? It happens whenever I fail to realize that “the control” over much that happens in our lives is not ours at all and that Gods Love directs every tiny detail. Every single person on earth will experience ups and downs, difficulties and tragedies. But this does not mean happiness can never be ours. Yesterday as we savored every joyful moment of an Auntie and cousin who drove here to keep us company. Little Bernadette received the unexpected gift of a slumber party with her cousin here at the hotel. By afternoon, we received the gift of Sam’s good check up. Why then, did my heart still feel in a knot? The good news of this Christmas gift God offered took a bit of struggle to be unwrapped. Earlier, in the morning anxiety took over at the point when one of the doctors wanted to see Sam early; I was sure something very serious was wrong. My mothers worry took a grip on my entire being. I spent the next couple of hours just trying to prepare myself for the worst. Instead, what followed was good news. As we walked around town, I kept my focus on taking pictures, struggling to let go of all the tension in my mind, heart and body from earlier.
Then another dear friend of Sam’s came to visit. It was not until we all went out for a meal at the end of the day and the children ordered hot wings and truffle fries, that the grey clouds started to fade.
As creamy warm potato soup and delectable chicken soup and juicy Lucy burger came to the table, as the laughter started to increase, my heart could finally relax ~ the moment that we all prayed. It’s kind of strange how worry and anxiety can really get its grip on your entire being, dominate as a grey cloud that does not want to go away. It was not until that moment of prayer….when we all bowed our heads to pray grace, and a Hail Mary in thanksgiving for Sam’s good news that my heart could be fully open to the joy God wanted to give us that day. During prayer, it was me God changed. It was the light from our gratitude that allowed the happiness that came with Sam’s good news to fill my heart. Then the laughter, the joy grew and grew. The night was filled once again with joy and peace.
Friends, it is my wish for each and every one of you that no matter what difficulties you face this blessed Christmas time, that you will be able to see, have peace, and know God is watching over you, taking care of you, even giving you little gifts on the way of any thorn filled path. When we trust in God’s mercy and love, only then can happiness grow. ❤️🌲❤️
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