Donna Weston, Founder and Executive Director
This is my first Christmas in our new home. I loved putting up the Christmas tree, decorating the mantel, hanging a wreathe on the front door. All three of my adult sons will be able to be with us for Christmas…two of them coming all the way from LA! The Christmas season can be amazingly wonderful. It can also be amazingly complicated. Actually, life continues to be amazingly complicated!
One of my favorite Christmas songs of all time is “Breath of Heaven” by Amy Grant (a link to the full text is at the bottom). It is a musical version of Mary’s prayer when she was told that she was to carry the Son of God. I remember listening to the song with my hands lifted high as she communicated my heart, my concerns, my trust – or at least my desire to trust my Father in heaven.
“…I wonder what I’ve done
Holy Father, you have come
And chosen me now
To carry your son”
Of course, I make no claims! However, what I do believe is that God chose me to carry my son, Ryan. The Lord trusted me to love him unconditionally, to make wise decisions for him, to grow even as I was helping him to grow…to be Ryan’s mother. What a privilege!
“I am waiting in a silent prayer
I am frightened by the load I bear
In a world as cold as stone,
Must I walk this path alone?
Be with me now”
It is so ironic that in the middle of a family and church community I would feel alone. But raising a struggling learner, or a child with special needs of any sort, can feel isolating. I remember people with “average” or gifted children blaming me for my son’s behavior, as if I could control all of his choices and I was okay with his misbehavior or social gaffs. Add to that the hours of trying to help him learn…Ugh.
Privilege, yes. Easy, no. What I didn’t have then is a team. I needed others: teachers who understood (unfortunately rare), wise friends to listen and counsel who had been where I was, therapists to help him in ways that I could not because I had to focus so hard on being his mom.
“Breath of heaven
Do you wonder as you watch my face
If a wiser one one should have had my place
But I offer all I am
For the mercy of your plan
Help me be strong”
Ryan is now an adult. The raising part is over, but the loving is not! Much work and prayer went into the complicated family life we had. Today, Ryan is an amazing man, navigating the complicated life he has with honor, integrity, and great love for and from his family. He is a source of great joy.
I am confident that the Lord designed your child for your particular family. I am praying that through this season, you will grow in wisdom and strength, that you will stop and enjoy who your child is, and that you will find and take full advantage of the team you have. And, I pray you will know His presence in your life:
“Breath of heaven
Hold me together
Be forever near me
Breath of heaven”
Breath of Heaven goo.gl/dL93sC
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