Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving: Lessons from the Mountains

Last summer, we spent a week in the mountains of Wyoming. Now that Thanksgiving is fast approaching, God keeps reminding me of a conversation we had as I sat in the middle of a cluster of large rocks. I had the perfect view of mountains below me, around me, and behind me. God's work of art surrounded me, and I felt so small, yet, that same God works diligently in me, in my life. God and I recounted all that He has done in my life, and my family.

I will start with my husband. To say I love him would not be enough. I respect him, admire him, and cherish him. He works hard for us everyday. His heart for our family and for others is so evident. I am so proud of him. I am thankful that he chose me.

Our first daughter, Ellie. Before I became a mother, I had many dreams about what life would be like with a baby. We knew we were having a girl, and my mind danced with beautiful pictures of the future. I imagined what she would look like, what she would enjoy doing, and our every day life. I was excited to have a little princess.
When Ellie was born, all my dreams came true, every single one of them. Even the fact that she has blue eyes! She loves dressing-up, wearing dresses, dancing, painting, singing, playing dolls, etc. All the little things that I hoped for. I do in fact, have my perfect little girl.
I had not realized this before, not until I sat in that quiet place in the mountains. My heart was broken, because I realized how much I had abandoned my precious Ellie as I learned to be Nichole's mom. I thanked God for opening my eyes to His wonderful gift. And in this time of thanksgiving, I am thankful for Ellie, my firstborn, my daughter.

Our baby Nichole. I did not picture a child with Down syndrome in my future. I did not even think I would be a good mother to a child with special needs. Nichole was certainly not what I wanted, but it has turned out, that she is everything that I needed. A little baby, wrapped and ribboned in God's love. The journey our family has taken because of her diagnosis, has been altering. Our hearts have been transformed.
Neither Andy, nor I, would have her any other way. Sure, she has Down syndrome, but that is not who she is, it is simply something that she has. It is a gift, and her gift has worked miracles in my personal life, as well as all those who love her. I am thankful, oh so thankful, that I was chosen by God, to have His very special and precious child.


  1. Lovely sentiments. What a beautiful family you have. And what a beautiful heart that you have. God is great indeed! Happy Thanksgiving.

  2. What a beautiful family you have. It is a blessing to be given one of these children - they have so much to teach us about His unconditional love for each one of us.

  3. Each time I read your blog you bring tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing your heart with us through your words. We miss you guys and think of you often.

  4. Hi Ellen,
    I didn't know how much I needed John Michael, either, but he gives us more than we could have hoped for. You have a beautiful way with words. Thank you and God Bless!

  5. I love this post, Ellen! Great writing.

  6. Wow! your girls are beautiful!

    You are very lucky! As is your hubby if I might add ;)


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