Day 22- Being Thankful Where You Are

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Sisters please take a moment to grab our “30 Day Being Thankful Challenge” Button, if you have not done so, that others may join in on this amazing challenge that has been put together by 30 amazing women. ~Thank you

When my husband and I found out we were expecting after our honeymoon, it was the perfect completion to what had been a whirlwind fairytale romance that included him proposing 6 weeks after our first date, a romantic wedding in a 200 year old church in Scotland, and a honeymoon traipsing around Europe. We were even more filled with joy to find out we were expecting identical twin boys.
I was fortunate to have a fairly easy full-term pregnancy and life was perfect…for about 9 months.
We had a hard delivery.  Babies that should have been taken in hindsight by caesarean were left languishing in the womb trying to be born. My first born, Sean, was eventually extracted after 19 hours via vacuum and forceps. He suffered a head injury. My second born, Timothy, went without oxygen during delivery. In hind-site, all three of us were lucky to have survived it, but it left both my sons mentally retarded.
Being a pediatric speech-language pathologist, I knew something was “not right”, right away with my babies. At a year, they couldn’t sit up. At two years, we still had no words and all fine and gross motor tasks were challenging if not impossible. Two years later, an autism diagnosis which turned out to not be correct. What a journey my husband and I were on, we were barely hanging on by our fingertips. Being a therapist, I should have been accepting of the boys and their limitations, but I was too angry and I was going through the motions of trying to find any kind of happiness in my new special needs parenting life. I was angry at everyone, and I felt this way for a couple of long years~~years full of Dr. appointment’s and therapists in my home and watching all my friends with their typical children. My heart was broken. 
When the twins were 4, a sister was born. A perfect typical sister. I was better, but still in a mire of busywork and depression where my boys were concerned.  I felt punished by God. A dear friend of mine at the time was going to seminary. He called me and after I talked for awhile, he reminded me of something very important that I had been forgetting “Katie”, he said…”God is not in the punishing business”.  He continued…”God is in the loving you extravagantly business, and  you need to realize that , well…maybe this is not about you. Maybe he has a plan for your daughter that would not be able to come to pass were it not for her experience with having special needs siblings.  Who knows what amazing things God has set in motion here. You don’t know what God’s plan is, but you have to trust it…and you have to find what you can be grateful for”.
I would love to say that in that moment, my attitude was changed. It wasn’t, but I felt a peace I had not felt in 4 years and I was set on the path to start viewing things differently. By trying to actively practice gratitude towards God and others, soon I realized that there were alot of things worse than raising two children with special needs with a husband who loved you and helped you, who had a good job and could provide for us a nice home. From the therapists who came to treat my children, to my own expertise in speech and language that I was now utilizing 24/7 with the boys,  I had alot to be grateful for.
When the boys were 6 we were asked by the lawyer who was working on our living trust if we were interested in filing a malpractice suit. My husband and I decided we were not going to spend the next year(s) reliving the past through a lawsuit trying to lay blame. We decided we had to much to be thankful for in the present to go back to the past.
The boys are 11 now. We homeschool them along with the three little sisters who have since joined our family these past few years.  My career as a speech language pathologist hit a new level when I realized I was in the unique position to really understand what my clients parents were going through. I had now lived experiences on both sides of the therapist table…as service provider and parent. 
I have learned through practicing active gratitude that there is always something to be thankful for. Even with the boys, on bad days, there are a 100 things to be thankful for  if I take the time to look at them. Boys who have learned to talk, boys who can walk, boys who love things that little boys love. And I realized that I was truly thankful there were two of them, because they have a built in best friend, something that most children with special needs and even some typical children spend their childhood without.  I look around at my home, the 7 people in it, my ability to homeschool, to go back to school for another degree this year, for it all, and realize with each breath…“God does love me extravagantly, and while I am undeserving, I am so thankful”.
Katie with her boys now 11 🙂
Thankful Challenge:  
Do not compare your path to others. Let go of paths untaken and embrace the path God has led you to. Be thankful he has chosen you for the path you are on and pray for guidance to use it to make a difference for others.
Thankful Challenger:   
My name is Katie. I am a Christian, a Jane Austen lover, a wife to my own Mr. Darcy and mother of 5 blessings, ages 11-1, including twins who have special needs. A pediatric speech language pathologist by trade, I am back in school working on a new masters in history and French,while I continue homeschooling. I miss sleep.  I pen my usually fairly humorous tales of  homeschooling, homemaking and homesteading journeys at the Brighton Park Blog and facebook page and tweet about them as @kateinbrighton.

Link up to the challenge:

I’d like to invite you to link-up if you are participating in this challenge, or if you have written a post that will encourage women to be more thankful.

If you are not a blogger you can link up too – just use Becoming a Strong Woman of God URL in place of your own to indicate that you are committed to this challenge.

Bloggers, if you are linking up below, may I ask that you post the “30 Days of Being Thankful” Challenge button on your site so that other women will join in the challenge as well.

Serving Him With Joy,

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About Sonya

I am a sinner saved by grace trying to move through this broken world as a wife, mom and homeschooler. I have 3 gorgeous sons {24, 17 & 11} and a wonderful husband of 13 years, that have my heart! I don’t have all the answers however sharing my life with you in hopes that it will drawer you closer to Him. I pray that when you leave here you walk away knowing Him better.

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