Giving Thanks and Giving Back

Do you ever just know that you are supposed to do something, but for some reason hold off?  Talk about it, pray about it, dwell on it, and pray again?  Decide that yes, you will do this – but first must complete the steps “necessary” to ensure that all goes according to plan?

The other morning our favorite local bookstore left a message for me.  The books I ordered were in.  Gulp. Did I order books?  I’m positive that I went in a few weeks back to inquire about the pricing of two specific books if purchased in bulk.  They were generous to give me a large discount, but upon further research the on-line bookstore won out as far as price was concerned – by a long shot.  But the books are here, and I’m certainly not going to ask them to send them back – even if I never ordered them.

Why all this talk about books?  I’m quite certain that the arrival of these books is the equivalent of a swift kick in the pants by the Lord.  A reminder that it doesn’t have to be “perfect.”  To just do it already.

But first, a brief explanation.

It is hard to believe, but Charlie is almost fifteen months-old, which means that Down syndrome – in many aspects –  has rapidly become a part of our lives.

When Charlie was first born we received an outpouring of support from family and friends.  Often our house was filled with people, and yet I had never felt so alone and isolated.  No one we knew had ever had a baby with Down syndrome.  As far as I was concerned, no one really knew what I was going through.

When Charlie was one month old, a family friend gave me the book Gifts, Mothers Reflect on How Children With Down Syndrome Enrich Their Lives, edited by Kathryn Lynard Soper. One afternoon when the boys were taking their naps, I curled up on my bed and opened the book.  I couldn’t read the stories fast enough.  I finished the book and started again. A few months later I ordered my copy of the newly released Road Map To Holland, How I Found My Way Through My Son’s First Two Years With Down Syndrome, by Jennifer Graf Groneberg. The pages flew by.  Again, upon reaching the end, I turned back to the beginning.  Both books were written by mothers.  Mothers who have walked the path before me.  Mothers who understood what I was experiencing.

Both books had prominent positioning on my nightstand.  I frequented them often.  And I know that they are still there on the days when I am struggling.  When I need a reminder that I’m not in this alone.

And so today, I sit typing with a stack of books waiting for me at the bookstore.  Books that are meant to be shared.  Given to a mother who receives a prenatal diagnosis and worries about what the future holds for her unborn baby.  Shared with a family that just welcomed their new baby and received an unexpected diagnosis.

Today I have the gift of perspective.  And I want to share that gift.

So this is the unglamorous unveiling of my “project” which is terribly jarring to my type A personality.  I was planning on having something witty typed up, perhaps include a “blog button” to help spread the word, and jazz up my current blog.  I haven’t yet priced everything – the shipping costs, envelopes, etc.  And what about the cute little bookmark that I was going to include with each book?  Of course there is always the element of cost – How long can we reasonably buy and ship books for others?  What if the demand is too great?  There are a great many details to still consider.

But again, that isn’t the point.

Life doesn’t come at you in a neat and tidy package.  It can’t always be perfectly planned out.  But often in the midst of chaos and when we least expect it, we receive an unexpected gift that touches our hearts and meets us right were we are.  This is my hope.

He has clearly reminded me what an honor it is to share.  To not worry about a time line – that He will guide me through this process.  That really, this isn’t about me, but instead it is about me being faithful.  Handing it all over to Him, so that we can share a bit of our joy with other families.  Giving thanks and sharing our blessings one book at a time.


And just how are we planning on sharing these books?  Be on the lookout for my next post, where all of the “housekeeping” details will be included.


4 thoughts on “Giving Thanks and Giving Back

  1. What a beautiful family you have! You are very impressive. I have a cousin who is down syndrome.
    He too has brought great joy to our family. Best wishes in all your future endeavors.

    A fun women’s website with recipes, women’s topics on their blogs and articles is:

  2. This is really interesting and sounds like such a neat idea. I’m reading a biography on the life of Susannah Spurgeon – Charles Spurgeon’s wife- and she was a huge help in their Book Fund. Looking forward to hearing more about this:)

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