Saturday, January 17, 2015

Menial Important

If someone were to ask me "what's your least favorite thing about parenting special needs children?" my answer would be immediate. 


Sometimes I feel as though appointments consume my life. Medical appointments or procedures. School appointments.  Therapy appointments. There's rarely a week that passes without at least one or five or umpteen appointments.    They're always inconvenient, rarely enjoyable and suck up an exorbitant amount of my time.  Expected appointments are bad. Unexpected are worse.  I'm ashamed to say that I've been known to complain, at times, about the endless need for appointments. 

As parents, most of us enter into that phase of life called "I'm the chaffeur."  If we have one or two or more pre-license teens we often find our afternoons and sometimes Saturdays driving hither and yon.  One has ball practice. Another has violin lessons. There are student council meetings and church activities and, just when we think we can't squeeze another thing in,  we make room for the orthodontist too. It's exhausting, but usually fun and more than a little exciting to watch them grow up.  We cling with all our might to what we know is true...."it's a phase of life and someday we'll wish they still needed us like that."

On so many days, as I run from this appointment to that appointment, I feel like that chauffeur and it's not just a phase.  They're always going to need me like that.  They're always going to have medical needs and the bigger their bodies grow, the older my body grows and the more difficult it becomes.

 I can't let my mind take me to forever and them getting bigger and me getting older, because it scares me and overwhelms me and makes me want to pull the covers over my head.  God didn't ask me to do forever all at once.  He just wants me to do right now and He'll take care of the rest.  I'll chaffeur to this appointment today and worry about tomorrow when tomorrow comes. 

I am guilty, at times, of viewing my chauffeur role as a menial, thankless, waste of time.  As my son, Grant, often says, "I can never get that time back."  Appointments, even though they are a regular part of our life, disrupt normal.  They eliminate the luxury of staying in grubby-we're-not -going-anywhere clothes all day.  When you total up dressing time, driving time, appointment time and driving back home time, the day is half over.  And the I wish I had a dollar for every hour I spend sitting in waiting rooms or entertaining not so patient children in a 10X10 room.  It's not my imagination that the waiting has gotten dramatically longer since we first started all this fourteen year's ago.  And Obamacare has made the waiting exceedingly worse.

This week has been chock-full of appointments and in the midst of them God has given me a reality check on my woe is me attitude about being "just a chauffeur."  As much I don't like appointments, I can't deny the fact that these two little boys impact lives during them.  While some tell me about how God has touched them through Moise and Kruz, I know that there are countless stories that I know nothing about.

Yesterday I spent the day at the hospital while Kruz had two procedures done in the OR.  Following the surgery, one of the surgeons informed me that I needed to have Kruz at his office by 7:45.  This was not figured into my agenda for today and I felt that old familiar irritation rise up in me.  But this morning I dragged Kruz's little body, still tender from surgery, out of bed early and headed out the door.  The wait was long and I was growing impatient.  One of the office employees stopped to talk to us in the waiting room. She gushed over Kruz and then asked "how is Moise?"  She knows of all Moise's struggles and always seems to take a special interest in both boys.  As she was leaving she told me that she thinks of my boys all the time.  "Sometimes I think my life is hard," she said with glistening eyes.  "But then I think of Moise and how brave he is and it helps my day go better."

 And it hit me right in the Solar Plexus.   Menial? Thankless? A waste of time?  These two little boys of ours tell of Jesus and grace and peace in bigger and better ways than I could ever hope to do.  All of the appointments aren't just medical in nature, sometimes they're divine.  So often God uses them to speak, without words, to someone who needs to hear his voice.  Could it be that my most unpleasant task of chauffeuring is really one of the most important that God has ever asked of me?

Yet who knows whether you have come into the kingdom for such a time as this? Esther 4:14

What's your menial important task?

God is good, all the time.

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