Elizabeth and I taught at the same small Christian school, so that’s how we met. However, I think we had all of ONE conversation while co-workers, standing in line for a casserole buffet line…so I wouldn’t say we were all that tight. 🙂
After we both left to begin our illustrious careers as Stay-At-Home Mothers, we realized through Facebook (which incidentally does have some positive uses) that we had a lot in common. We were both bloggers, homeschoolers, loved the Pioneer Woman and Hobby Lobby, and had families that were shaping up pretty similarly.
We both had two sons, and we were both equally thrilled when we found out we were expecting daughters for our thirds, both of us individually relishing in the visions of bows, dresses, weddings, and those sorts of things.
When Elizabeth’s adorable little girl was four months old, Life As They Had Expected It came to a crashing holt.
At 4.5 months old, Elizabeth’s daughter was diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome.
I will not easily forget reading her blog post, “The Most Heartbreaking Post I Have Ever Written.” There was grief and shock and disappointment – all of the things you or I would surely feel.
But from that day forward.
What an absolute GIFT – truly, a gift to me – to watch is the steadfast, resolute determination this little family has to CHOOSE JOY and CHOOSE JOY and CHOOSE JOY all over each day.
They don’t waste time wallowing, blaming “the system,” grieving what may have been lost.
They are enjoying their daughter.
“From the moment we learned of our daughter’s diagnosis,” Elizabeth blogged, “we made a conscious decision that no matter how heartbroken we might feel at times, we would choose joy…we would keep our eyes open for opportunities to be grateful…we would seek for our most difficult moments to be used for the good of our family and the glory of the One who made us.”
I love her post, “Year One: Choosing Joy,” where she says, “The day we found out, we made two deliberate decisions: 1. We determined we would not live as victims. Our daughter is not a victim… And, 2. We would go on, we would move forward…”
Elizabeth and her family celebrate every precious milestone with chocolate chip cookies and a party. I cannot help but think it. How gracious of God to give that little girl such a mother! I love the way Elizabeth speaks of her little girl. In this age of social media, it is easy for us Mothers to forget that our children will see what we read of then. When this little sweet thing is grown, she will read her Mommy’s posts and pictures and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that she was loved and treasured.
On her daughter’s birthday, Elizabeth posted a picture of her with this caption. (I cried.)
“Happy birthday baby, girl. You aren’t exactly what we expected…you’re better.”
Elizabeth, thank you for being an example to the rest of us that Life is what you make it, that blessings are everywhere, and that God does not make mistakes. You are one of my heroes.
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