Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart



Early on in our parenting Dave and I learned a valuable tool. We were taught about choices and how to parent the children with the ability to choose the outcome of their actions. What I thought I was being taught for use with my children has actually become a lesson in my own adult life.

As the children were younger and obedience seemed to be a harder concept to come by(you know those terrible twos, and threes, and sometimes fours?) we would give the children a choice. They knew that they could choose to do what mommy and daddy had asked or they could choose not too. Choosing to obey would bring joy to God's heart, to mommy and daddy's hearts, and to theirs. Choosing not to obey would bring about consequences. Consequences of their own choosing. They could choose joy or they could choose chastisement. It was placed in their hands. As we asked then to put away their toys, to hold on to our hands, to put on their shoes, etc, etc. we would follow it by saying, "Do you understand what mommy wants you to do?" Their response would then be, "yes, mommy". At that moment they acknowledged their understanding and they took the choice into their own hands. I would like to say that each and every time they did it right and chose obedience, but that would be a fairy tale wouldn't it? I can say that they were much happier toddlers, more obedient children, and have grown into amazing young people (who occasionally choose not to do what they have been asked the first time and still require parental chastisement).

Anyway, I say all of this to share with you that in those early years of parenting Dave and I learned to make choices as well. We learned that we have the power to choose how we will live our lives, how we will go about our days, how we will parent the children, how we will spend our time, how we will handle the rougher times in our lives. I think we have grown up through the years along with the children. As I think of our day to day over the past two years with Ash I see that we have been faced with some unthinkable choices, some unbearable days, some amazing miracles. I see that we wake up each day not knowing what it will hold for her or for our family and I see that we have chosen life. Chosen to live her life with joy, with happiness, with forgiveness, with faith, with fun, with friends, with family, with each other. I choose not to dwell on the harder times, on the unknowns, on the disabilities, on the struggles. I choose to celebrate the little things that are actually big things for her. Things like learning how to point to her nose. We are SO proud of her! It took her a whole week of trying every day, multiple times, over and over and over again, but she has learned it. Now I'm trying to choose what comes next. The eyes or the mouth?

Yesterday Dave came home for lunch and told me his new goal this week was to choose to walk in the door after a day at the office with more energy than he left with that morning. I can't tell you how that made me smile. Last night we took the girls on a bike ride/walk to the park. We spent the first 2 hours he was home enjoying time with our girls. He and Allie rode their bikes while Ash and I walked behind them. Ashley Kate cooed and giggled the whole time. Allison Brooke talked her our ears off as she showed us all the tricks she could do on her new bike. Dave and smiled as we tucked them to bed last night knowing we had made the right choice.

Today I am choosing to not worry about what will be said in Ash's appointments. I see that her left can't open up because of the swelling and I know that something is wrong, but I am choosing not to let it worry me. We will travel to Shreveport, make a plan, and let God work it out for her. I am choosing to trust today and that's what I can do. Nothing else is within my power so for today that's my choice. Your prayers for Ash and her blood clot issues would be greatly appreciated.

P.S. I wanted to say thank you to a couple of people for the things they have done for Ash. Joyce, she loves the food! The Velcro has proved to be great for building her strength. She loves to separate the pieces into two halves(and throw them at us). We have had many hours of fun play. Thank you! Melissa, the fabric choice on her blanket was perfect! It makes me smile every day. Thank you for taking the time to make it.


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