Isaac is One! And a Few Lessons…

IMG_0857Isaac turns one today! He’s learned a lot in just one year and I think maybe I’ve learned a few things too…

One of my 2014 highlights: while sitting with Adam on the back porch one evening, he looked out at Isaac crawling through the grass and suddenly said, “I love Isaac’s little hand. It’s part of him and I love it. I think it’s awesome.” (Is it weird to be married eleven years and still think your husband is too good to be true?) We all have our quirks. And you know what? When I stop and think about them—the birthmark on Micah’s leg, the little jump-hop-hand-shake thing Sky does when she’s excited—they’re actually endearing.

lovin his cake!I’m starting to figure out that Isaac doesn’t need more protection than our other kids. Maybe even the opposite. I fell in love with each of our children in their newborn days, but with Isaac that love felt different. It was tearful and fierce and anxious about the future. I admit I still have moments when I want him to stay safe and little in my arms forever. But I’m learning those feelings are worth fighting against. God gave us Isaac to raise, hopefully into a brave, confident man who believes he can do whatever God puts on his heart.

I’m learning to be oh-so-careful with my thoughts about the hard things other families are facing. Because here’s the thing: most of the time, having a child with a special kind of challenge is tough, but it’s not a tragedy. Death is tragic. A limb difference like Isaac’s is not. And there are lots of challenges that fall into that same nuanced space. A wise friend told me she’d never wish away her son’s Downs Syndrome because “that would change who he is!” She doesn’t want sympathy. She wants people to see that her son is tremendous just as he is, a total delight in her life, even though they have their share of unique struggles. Another wise friend pointed out that no one wants others to look at their child and think, “Well, at least we don’t have it as bad as they do!” I’m learning to see different situations less in terms of good and bad and instead find myself more interested in the story God is writing in their lives.

I’ve also learned there is a special sort of pain that comes with having a baby who doesn’t get a quick “all is well!” on the day of his birth. It’s one thing for your child to get sick or hurt or come up against a big obstacle at some point in his life. It’s something else when that challenge happens while he’s still growing inside your body. I’ve learned it’s not always easy to leave your pregnancy in the past. Sometimes it haunts you even as your hold your baby in your arms, regardless of how many doctors have told you it’s not your fault. But I’m also learning it’s possible to be happy even when your questions are not answered. It’s possible to take your complicated mess of emotions to God, to cry a little and sit with Him in the silence, and then somehow get up feeling better, filled with gratitude for your precious baby and the way God is trustworthy no matter what.

Isaac’s moving past his baby days now into life as a toddler and we’ve all entered a new year. For lots of people it’s a time to make resolutions and set goals and do better and blah, blah, blah. But for us, 2015 is about the opposite of all that. It’s about the happiness that fills you when you’re not trying to change everything, when you gratefully receive the life God has given you just as it is, with all of its mess and noise and imperfection. When it’s raining, Ad tells me not to use an umbrella. “Rub your nose in it!” he always says. It doesn’t come naturally to me, but I’m learning.

  9 comments for “Isaac is One! And a Few Lessons…

  1. GG
    January 13, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    I’m sitting at work, holding back the tears – this was so beautiful, Linni.!
    I can FEEL the mother’s concern, HEAR the ‘wisdom of God’, SEE heart-felt love you and Adam have for each other, and those babies, and my SPIRIT connects with the JOY you have in producing 4 of the most adorable little human beings God granted to you. Isaac is just what his name stands for – LAUGHTER. He is such a happy baby, so cute and enjoyable to watch, and it is a delight to see how the other children are with him.
    I don’t even notice his hand when I’m around him. Yes, it will be interesting to see what God does through him and with him in life on earth.
    God knew exactly what He was doing when he sent each one of those babies to you and Adam. They, are as blessed to have you as their parents, as you are to have them as your off-spring.
    I’m blessed to be a part of your lives for however long the Lord lets me be.
    One thing I look forward to – we will all live eternally together with HIM!

    You and Adam are such good parents, and a delight to watch as you grow as one family unit. LET GOD DO THE CHANGING – JUST BE WHO HE CREATED YOU TO BE……YOUR CHILDREN WILL FOLLOW SUIT because He leads, and you follow, they emulate you.
    Thanks for sharing your heart….love you ALL so very, very much.

    • linnea
      January 13, 2015 at 2:51 pm

      GG, your words mean so much to me! You are a wise woman and I’m glad we’re in your family. :)

  2. Aron
    January 13, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    Happy Birthday, sweet beautiful happy Isaac! It’s so hard to believe you are already one year old! Linnea, I love hearing the things God reveals to you (and then to us!) through your children. You and Adam are amazing parents and an encouragement to all of us who have the privilege of watching your lives unfold. Love you all so much! Give that brand new toddler nephew of mine a huge hug and kiss from his auntie, ok? And to his sisters and brother. :)

    • linnea
      January 13, 2015 at 2:52 pm

      Thanks Aron! I will definitely give him some extra cuddles from you. We miss you and can’t wait to make our big trip north to see you in May! :)

  3. Mom
    January 13, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    Linni, this may be your best post yet. It’s so wise and also so well-written. You have incorporated God’s wisdom into your life and then shared it so effectively the rest of us can learn, too. And isn’t that just like God, to bring such positive fruit from what seemed so difficult on Isaac’s day of birth? I love that you wrote that 2015 will be “about the happiness that fills you when you’re not trying to change everything, when you gratefully receive the life God has given you just as it is.” It takes most of us a lifetime to figure that out, and you’ve already got it. BTW, I love how you love Ad and how Ad loves Isaac’s hand. This is such a power-packed post! Thank you….

    • linnea
      January 13, 2015 at 8:38 pm

      I love that you’re my mom. That’s all. :)

  4. January 13, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    I think your mom summed it up perfectly – this is a power packed post, indeed. You have such a way with words, and I enjoyed reading every one of them here. May God bless your family always!

    • linnea
      January 14, 2015 at 8:26 am

      Thanks V! :) Love you, girl.

  5. Cousin Glo
    January 29, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    Wow, Linnea! What an encouraging post! Thanks for sharing your journey with us! I love seeing how God patiently keeps teaching us.

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