Friday, April 25, 2014

A Better List

Two years ago I was sitting in a hospital exam room with my husband and our two week old son, waiting for the Doctor to come in and let us know whether or not our baby boy had Down Syndrome. It had been a long and difficult two weeks as we waited the outcome of the blood tests they had done. Somehow those minutes of waiting seemed almost longer.  We knew that we might possibly be facing the beginning of unknown waters, and my legs were feeling just a bit shaky.

Now, here we are two years later.  Two years of living life with a child who has Down Syndrome.  We've survived.  There were many days in the beginning that I wondered whether or not I would even be able to push through one more moment. On April 13th, we celebrated Mason's second birthday.

Glory be to God!

Why have I waited two weeks to write about his birthday?  Quite honestly, I was struggling with various disappointments leading up to his birthday and the week after.  I was wrestling with the Lord, and in the midst of wrestling I couldn't write.

We had prayed for several months that Mason would be able to walk before his second birthday.  Our daughters, ages 5 and 4, had been praying every day for their little brother, and I was so hoping that God would answer their request in the way they were asking.

He didn't.

And I was disappointed.

I thought that by enabling Mason to walk, answering the prayers of our family, the girls would get to see God at work, their faith in Him being realized in a tangible way.  And I was fearful that if things didn't go as they were asking they would forever turn away from the Lord.

Turns out they don't trust God any less.  We talked with them about how sometimes God doesn't answer our prayers in the way we wanted.  Regardless of the outcome, though, we still need to trust Him.

 I had to preach this to myself.  I guess I thought that somehow if I really believed that God would answer my prayer, He definitely would.  Isn't that what prayer is all about?

What I discovered was that the very act of praying in faith for something big needed to be good enough.  Communion with God, nearness to Him, the pouring out of my heart, expressing my desires and dreams, sensing His awakening in my Spirit as I am reminded throughout the day to pray---these are the glorious benefits of a praying life.  

As God began to show me that my faith had been in the outcome of my prayers, not in Him, I started to refocus my thoughts.

Initially, the disappointment over Mason's inability to walk on his own had caused me to compare Mason's development with other children his age, and I had started a list in my head of all the things that he couldn't do.

Now, with a refocus I can give you a better list.  It is most certainly not a list of them all, but I give you a list of the amazing things that my son can do.

Mason at Two Years of Age:

Likes to play corn hole.

Loves to eat solid foods with his own two hands.

Sings at the top of his lungs, waves his arms in the air, and sways back and forth to music, especially Chris Tomlin, who is apparently his favorite musician.

Opens up all the cupboards in our kitchen and frequently throws frying pans and pots into my bare ankles.

Tackles anyone who is sitting on the floor by crawling and ramming his head into their stomach.

Says five words.  Do you even realize how incredible this is??

Sings "My God is So Big" by watching and imitating my motions.  One day I will get it on video because it is quite possibly the cutest thing I have ever seen.

Throws a ball {and any other object he gets his hands on} across the room at high speed.  He might be a Special Olympics gold medalist one day.  Watch out.

Crawls all the way up to the top of the steps.

Throws kisses when asked.

Pushes his little cart around the house and yard, turning and maneuvering when needed.

Helps with his baby sister by bringing me the wipes and/or diaper when I ask.

Turns on my phone, swipes the screen, and plays around pushing various things.

Plays with toys appropriately, e.g. pushes toy cars on the floor.

Pulls up onto any surface and now transfers from one thing to another.

Drinks from a straw and sippy cup.

Babbles while looking at books as if he knows how to read.

Lights up my life.


  1. Lauren, this is such a beautiful tribute to a lovely little boy and our great God. Thank you for sharing your heart. Love you!

  2. Happy belated Birthday, Mason! You have accomplished so much!!!

    Thanks for sharing, Lauren! It was so great to read all he can do. He sounds like such a fun, little guy!! Please do video him for the song - I'd love to see him doing his thing. :) Can't wait to hear when he takes his first steps!!

  3. Lauren this incredible list of these things Mason can do brought tears to my eyes! The Lord has been so faithful to show you many things he has learned and can do - especially in these last months! I love all of these pictures of him - he really does light up any room he is in!!

  4. It's just beautiful. Thanks for sharing. I know Bradly from serving in Togo, when he was a kid. God's blessings on you. Thanks for writing the better list.

  5. Thanks for sharing. What a sweet little boy you have!
    Happy Birthday Mason!

  6. Your boy is beautiful! Happy birthday to him, and happy birth day to you, mama.

  7. This was beautiful. He is such a cutie! God bless him and all the he can do; bringing you things, reading, and eating solid foods. What a joy to have in your family!

  8. Thanks for sharing your heart and happy birthday to your sweet boy!

  9. He is the cutest little boy EVER~ Thank you for sharing ~

  10. Hi Lauren! I saw your post from a dear friend reposting it on facebook. I too have a special needs son named Kyle who is now 23 years old - who too is our treasure beyond measure and a gift from the hands of our loving God! You are a wise mommy to celebrate and be thankful for all that Mason is and can do. I praise the Lord that you are learning this already! Yay!!! You are on your way on the journey to see God work in miraculous ways in your own life and in the lives of those who come in contact with Mason and your family! If I can encourage you in any way - immerse yourself in the Word! It is the anchor of our soul when in the storm. Imitate the template of Christ "looking unto (or fixing our eyes on)Jesus ...who for the joy set before him endured....". The endurance comes first and then the JOY!! Happy birthday precious Mason! You are one incredibly blessed lil fella! : ) Much love - Kelly xoxo

  11. Precious post, precious list, and a wonderful reminder to us all to make a better list. Happy birthday Mason!


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