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April 4, 2011

Seeing the graces of God...

3/30/11 (Wednesday)

Today has been a roller coaster of emotions... again.

It seems like my days just seem to take on similar characteristics. Up one minute, down the next and so on.

It's okay, and I'm learning how to live my life like this and I'm dealing with it, hopefully graciously. That is my prayer.

I really had something happen today and I just had to share.

I took Eli to speech therapy and watched him as he headed back with his teacher. I have been waiting in the waiting room now during his sessions.

I am ALWAYS the only one there and it's always nice and quiet. I have been bringing a book with me, so I can get some great reading in.

I leaned back, let out a sigh and opened a book. I've been reading a certain book each week during the hour session. It's kind of become my time to get away into someone else's life and disconnect from my life and sorrow for just a little while.

I began to read and was very into my book when all the sudden I got interrupted.

A lady walked into the room with a baby carrier and sat down.

My eyes wandered.

I could see a little pair of pink shoes sticking out from underneath the blanket, and I watched as the Mommy sat down and got situated. I saw the blanket start to move as this little baby was beginning to wake up. I could tell it was a little girl.

I looked back down at my book, but I couldn't focus on the words.
I couldn't stop looking over at that little baby.

The Mom then pulled back the cover, and I saw her. She was beautiful.

I'm not exactly sure how old she was but I'm guessing in the 3-4 month range.

Maddie Grace would almost be 3 months old. Wow, I wonder if she would be that big?

I watched the Mom lean down and hold the little girl's hand. She was stroking it as to calm her, even though the little girl wasn't crying. Her eyes lit up at her Mama, and I watched as she smiled at her. It melted my heart.

I wondered who they were waiting on. A big brother, a big sister. Someone who was doing therapy.

I spent the next 10 minutes reading the same paragraph over and over, I couldn't focus on anything but that sweet baby girl. I was really missing Maddie.

I wondered why of all days, this little girl just had to come to this waiting room. Why I had to be in torture as I watched her Mom pick her up and snuggle her. I wanted to hold Maddie again so bad.

It was like another reminder that my daughter was gone. It was killing me.

I wanted to hold that baby. I wanted to snuggle her. I wanted to feel my arms full again. Just one more time.

That was when it happened.

She stood up with the little girl, grabbed her car seat and a Bumbo seat and she walked out.

I laid my head back on the wall and let out a cry. Tears instantly started streaming down my face and I fell to pieces. It was a good thing no one else was around. I was a mess.

I kept replaying it over and over in my head. The Mom with her little girl, how she was letting her know and feel her love. How she was showing that she cared, yet she didn't ever say anything. I never heard her speak.

That's when it hit me.

That little girl wasn't there waiting on an older sibling who was struggling to say their "r" sound.

That little girl was there to be seen by a therapist, and I'm pretty sure that little girl was deaf.

I felt awful.

Here, I am watching this Mom with her precious little girl and wishing I had mine in her car seat with me there that day. All the while not realizing the challenge this own mother was facing in the life of her daughter.

It took me a minute to catch my breath. I didn't even realize.

A few minutes later I heard the baby crying from the back room.
It was the same cry I've heard week after week during this very hour. It was from that very little girl.

It was the cry that I prayed and asked the Lord to hush in the first few weeks after Maddie passed away. I had such a hard time hearing babies cry.
I just wanted to hear Maddie cry. I wanted her to need me.

The baby stopped a minute later and then I heard something else.


And not just any laughter, but a familiar sound I hear often.

It was Eli, and he was giggling and getting excited about a game he was playing with his teacher.

It was in that moment, I said, Okay Lord. I understand.

Yes, it may have been hard to see that little girl enter the waiting room that day. But... Her Mom's life wasn't all roses either. She had a great challenge set before her. Her little girl couldn't hear her speak, and here my little boy just struggles with a couple of speech sounds.

It broke my heart.

I sat there in awe for a minute praying and asking God to be with that Mom and baby. Once I got done, then I resorted back to my book, anxious to read the next chapter.

It was in those pages over the next 20 minutes that the Lord spoke to me even more.

The chapter was on learning to see God.

John 1:14
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth

Here is an excerpt from the book. One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp

"That's the mystery map to the deep seeing! We saw His glory....because...... we have all received one grace after another. We have all received one grace after another, but we only recognize the glory of God in this moment when we wake to the one grace after another.
If you want to be really alert to seeing Jesus' divine beauty, his glory.... then make sure you tune your senses to see His grace. That's what His Glory is full of.
GRACE~ that is what the full life is full of, what the God~glory life is full of. To see the glory, name the graces. Retune the impaired senses to sense the Spirit, to see the grace. Couldn't I do that anywhere? Why is it so hard? Practice, practice."

I read on and then read this..... " The practice of giving thanks.... eucharisteo.... this is the way we practice the presence of God, stay present in His presence, and it is always a practice with the eyes. We don't have to change what we see. Only the way we see it."

Wow.... What truth...

Staying present in the presence of God? Yes please.
Not changing what we see, but how we see it? I have so much to learn.

I should not have been sulking that morning.

I should have been counting the graces of God.

I should have been thankful that the little boy down the hall who struggled so much with his hearing early on.... Can hear.

I should have been thankful that my other precious little boy who was at school at that very moment, could hear. And now, can even read.

I should have been thankful that morning, that I had met Madeline Grace Ross. I watched her eyes search me out the first time I held her. I felt her fist hold tight to my finger. I knew her.

God's graces.

He has given me such wonderful grace in this life.

I've missed it.

I want to see Him. I want to see His face. I want to know Him. I want Him to know me.

Oh God, help me as I fail so often, and as my mind goes to the worst place.
Tune my senses to see your glory and your grace.

I love how she said...

"That's what the glory life is full of. Grace~ That's what the full life is full of..." Ann Voskamp

God, my life is full of grace. Everyday, you are blessing me with more graces that I deserve. Help me to really see you. Help me to see things the way you want me to see them, and not how my human nature tends to. Help me to see You.

Thank you Lord for being full of glory and grace.

The day I saw God's gift of grace, face to face. Everyday, he gives me more. <3


  1. This was so good, Nat! So many truths! So many times I get so caught up in things, that I forget to open my eyes and see God's graces all around. Thanks for this beautiful post. Love you!

  2. This is a beautiful post Natalie.:)

  3. Natalie,
    I loved the revelation that poured itself over you.
    It's kinda like before we loose our children we think all babies come home, then we don't experience that same gift and our eyes are opened. I thought "my daughter needs a transplant, life is unfair." Then I was placed in a home away from home where a mother has one healthy child and one with a ravaging cancer waiting to die unless the chemo eyes were can always be worse. Our daughters might have lost their lives but others still are going through trying times. We can pray for them as they pray for us. Thank you for posting this wonderful eye opening moment.
    *Thank you for your lovely comments on my blog*

  4. such a beautiful post. brought tears to my eyes.

  5. Beautiful! I love how she said it too..tune my senses to see His glory & grace...I love that. I have so much to learn too!It's amazing how in that moment as you saw the baby & the mommy's love & how hard it was...then God tuned your senses to see His grace, and things become brighter. God has an amazing way of turning sorrow into joy & thanksgiving. That is truely what the story of Maddie has done for doing for me. Such sorrow turned into thanksgiving. I have so much to be thankful for. Thank you for sharing, Nat!!

  6. Love this post!!! But my heart is breaking for the deaf baby =( Like the old saying, if we could throw our problems in a pile we would grab ours back.. I know no one wants to go through loosing a child but this lady will have a strugle on her hands for years to come.. God bless her.

  7. My heart was breaking for you as I read this post. I was waiting for my son to finish therapy (for autism) last week when a 15 mon. old walked in with her dad and brother (who had therapy). I choked back tears the entire time. I kept thinkig why? Now, she is there every thursday while I wait for my son. I totally understand your sudden rush of emotion. I wish I could give you a huge hug.

  8. You have such a pure and tender heart, Natalie, I am praying for you. ox

  9. Thank you, Everyone. I appreciate your support!

  10. Beautiful post, Natalie. <3 I have tears in my eyes just looking at that picture of you and Maddie, you certainly looked upon God's grace as you beheld sweet Madeline's face that day. <3