"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." - John 16:33

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Becoming Blind to Your Blessings

Some of you may or may not know, that aside from my duties as a mother, teacher and therapist to my children, I am also a Registered Nurse.  I work one day a week in a local doctors office to maintain my licence and my skills.  Many times I joke that it is my day off.  I go to work to get time away I guess.
This past week, a 22 year old patient was brought in by his parents to be seen.  I was told ahead of time that he was disabled, non verbal and may not even enter the office.  New situations caused him great anxiety, but his parents would try their best to get him in.  I can't tell you exactly what his disability was.  What I can tell you is I understood what it is like for me with a toddler with a developmental disability, who is verbal,  in a situation that caused them anxiety.  I can only image what that would be like with a 22 year old man.
When I am given a "heads up" like this I never know what to expect.  The patient could be agreeable, or not.  They may like me, or not.  The parents might be model parents, or they may not be.  I might be able to do my full job and get a complete set of vitals, or not.
I went out into the waiting room and called him back.  He was standing in the waiting room, obviously having some difficulty being there.  His father told me he had already tried to bolt.  I introduced myself to him first, and then to his parents.  I was able to get his temperature, which was in his case the most important.  The entire time I was in the room with them I was encouraged at how great these people were with their son.  Although he was non verbal, they knew exactly what he needed and was trying to communicate.  They were attentive, explained everything to him.  They were firm with him while at the same time also gentile. Never once did they seem stressed.  Never once did their tone get aggravated.   I felt that I was blessed to come across a couple fantastic parents.  After I had him ready for the doctor, my day went on.  It was a late day for us and I was glad to get home and relax.
The next day we started as always on a Sunday morning.  My husband leaves first to get to church (he is on the media team).  I got the kids fed and ready and off to church we went.  As we were walking into church the kids saw a family member at the door and went running towards them.  I was okay with it because they were on the front sidewalk away from any cars.  As I was about to tell them to slow down, Sassy fell and scraped both her knees.
I knew in the instant she began to cry that we were now going to have a rough day at church.  When Sassy gets injured she has issues recovering emotionally.  This could last from 10 minutes to all day.  She clung to me most of Sunday School and Service.  This made things difficult for me in general.  It's hard to set up a nursery with a 3 year old toddler on your hip, screaming at any move you make other than to rock her.  I always feel so terrible for my little angel when she feels like this.  I'm grateful that I can soothe her and help ease whatever discomfort she is feeling but I just wish she didn't have to feel it to begin with.  My stress began to become obvious to the others around me, and I'm sure also didn't help my little angel deal with her discomfort either.
As I sat in service I honestly began to feel sorry for ourselves.  I felt sorry for my kids and their daily struggles. I felt sorry for myself for all I have to do on a daily basis. I felt sorry for my husband who works himself to the bone to provide for us. I felt sorry for our family and friends who sometimes are put on the back burner.  I knew I shouldn't feel this way, nor did I want to feel this way, and so I began to pray.  Service continued and the preaching began and I sat and listened and absorbed all that was being said.
Suddenly,  I began to think of the family I had encountered at work and I realized how stupid I was being!  Here was this family with an adult child who had a severe disability and I was feeling sorry for myself?  Yes, Peanut and Sassy have a disability but so what?
The things in our lives could be terrible...but they are not.  God has blessed us more times than I could count.  What did I have to feel sorry for?  I asked God to forgive me for being blind to my blessings and enjoyed the rest of an amazing service.
I think many of us out there fall into the same trap.  We focus on the difficulties in our lives and we become blind to all of our many blessings God has given us.  We have a roof over our head, food in our stomach, clothing on our bodies, 2 beautiful children.  We have seen miracles performed in our children.  We have the ability to provide for their many needs.  We have been able to watch as they have overcome many of their struggles. Most importantly...we have God in our lives. Without him, none of this would be possible. What more could we ask for?
Now, the next time I start to feel bad for us, I'm going to think back to our many blessings and turn my prayers of sorrow, into praises of thanks.

"Sing to Him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts."  1 Chronicles 16:9 (NIV)

God bless,
Mommy Provost


  1. I think of your post about the other family and I think, "There but for the Grace of God, Go I" I love your attitude. You and Adam make me so proud.