Our journey through a prenatal Trisomy 21 (Down syndrome) diagnosis and beyond

I wish it were possible to recognize at the beginning of our life’s story what an incredible journey we are truly on. If so, I would have sat down years ago and begun documenting all the ordinary and extraordinary events in this amazing life I have been blessed with. Sometimes, though, it may take just one more thing to open your eyes into the beauty of the life you have led and causes you to pause and truly count the blessings that are now so many they will never be enumerated.

If you are just joining us, please go back to September 2012 to get caught up.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Serving joyously

Serving joyously

My favorite line from "a good and perfect gift" so far.

One of the most interesting parts of this journey so far for me is re-evaluating my life's goals and my goals for our family and children.

Before this, I would have said my goal for my kids was like that of my goal for my students all those years that I taught - to create happy, well-adjusted goal-mnded independent citizens who contribute to society in a worthwhile way.

I wanted to create little people who would be independent thinkers that went out to do good.  
They would not become a drain on society.
They would not conform to others' thinking.
They would be individuals.
They would have a sense of focus and goals.

I think my time at home and "out of the work-force" has caused my thinking to change a bit.  I really want for them to have the life that makes them happy.  I hope that all we instill in them will encompass the other list, but truly without happiness, it will all be lost.

I LOVED my job. It was my calling.  To teach and guide and watch learning happen.  I thrived on it. Especially in my last position where I worked with adults working with kids.  Having conversations that mattered about the teaching and learning process with students and teachers was AMAZING.  Then fold in the professional development and data - well, I am just too big of geek to go into that here, but I felt it was my calling and the way for me to be a servant leader.

Then we found out Colton was on the way.  I must say, that this was the God wink that I had needed.  I loved my job, but I LOVED my family.  I was getting caught up in the craziness of working mom life and I needed peace in my heart and soul and mind.  I really believe that Colton was God's way of saying "It's ok to walk away from this role.  I have a more important calling in mind for you right now."  And boy did He.

I have found other ways to keep my toes in the waters of education.  Helping with curriculum at church (I am such a geek, but I love it!), teaching small groups at church, teaching online courses. I can remain as involved as I would like and this has been a nice balance for my teaching/learning soul.  I am able to do these things and with joy.

Does this mean I am still working towards my goals?  Yes and no.  My own personal goals have shifted.  I completed my second masters in Administration 4 months after Colton was born.  I had planned a career in working with curriculum and development.  Plans change.

My new goal is perfectly summarized in those words "Serve joyously."

I want that for my kids.  I want them to choose a life path where they can use their gifts and talents to impact society in a positive way.   I want them to find ways to serve joyously.

That allows me to accept part of this diagnosis that bothered me.  "What will my child's future look like with a the road blocks that Down syndrome might cause?"  My new outlook:  As long as he/she is serving joyously, does it matter whether or not he/she completes schooling after high school?  Does it matter if she/he lives at home much longer that expected?

My answers are no. If this kiddo (or any of them, for that matter) find a way to contribute to society in a productive way that allows them to use their gifts/talents and serve joyously that will mean a lot.

I feel this might become my mantra for a while.  Who knows, maybe it will help while cleaning bathrooms (which I despise), or cooking on a night when I am worn out, or taking the time to snuggle when I am DONE for the day.  I will serve my family joyously.  They deserve it.  I deserve it.  He deserves it.

Life could be infinitely worse than I could ever paint it to be.  It is too short to not live with JOY.

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