I am, in no particular order and most often simultaneously, a wife to Michael, a mom to Cami, a daughter to Jay and Judy, a sister to Sarah, a cairn terrier owner, a writer, a reader, a musician, a homeschooler, a good friend, a bird watcher, a genealogist, a native Floridian, and His (God’s) Light Bearer. God recently encouraged me to record our family’s journey and how He is faithful to love us, guide us, and transform us through all of it. My marching orders come from Psalm 102:17: “[The Lord] will respond to the prayer of the destitute; He will not despise their plea. Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the Lord” (NIV); and Psalm 145:4: “Let each generation tell its children of Your mighty acts” (NLT). With every Cami-adventure I record, I am mindful that I’m writing this blog for her. Someday, the record of God’s constant faithfulness to us as a family will spur her on to follow hard after Him in her own generation.
As an infant, my child delighted and baffled me in the same breath. I know now that Cami struggled with sensory processing difficulties since birth. What I knew then was how much she cried; how she wouldn’t sleep unless I held her; how intelligent and curious she seemed; and how tired I was.
When Cami was two years old, the “hidden disabilities” started rising to the surface. Her eyes crossed sometimes. Lots of activity and noise made her “melt down.” She was comfortable with only one church nursery worker; with anyone else, she cried incessantly. We enrolled her in vacation Bible school; she spent the entire time under the table so she would “feel safe.” Her preschool teacher asked if she was autistic. Her kindergarten teacher asked if she had Asperger’s Syndrome. Our house was chaotic. We felt we were failing our daughter.
The journey through testing for the autism spectrum brought answers and more questions. My daughter has multiple sensory processing disorders (auditory, visual, & vestibular) plus multiple learning differences (dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyspraxia) sprinkled with mild ADD. Cami truly sees the world and processes information in a different way than anyone else I know. Our only child, she struggles with social situations (loud noises and crowds), which makes participation in church or clubs (VBS, Sunday school, Girl Scouts, team sports) tricky. I entered parenthood a trained and experienced educator. Helping my girl figure out herself and life has totally changed the way I teach. My marriage is solid because my husband and I truly have to work as a team in order to help our daughter not only survive in this world, but thrive in the many gifts God has given her. As we try to figure this life out, He is showing my husband and me our individual gifts, how each individual’s gifts are vastly different from the other’s gifts, yet how we complement and enhance each others’ gifts in order to accomplish His goal of raising a child who knows and loves herself and Jesus.
This blog’s title comes from the audacious challenge God gives us in His Word: ask Him for whatever we need to make the land He’s given us fruitful. In Joshua 15 and Judges 1, the land Caleb gave his daughter Acsah was dry and barren. Before it could grow crops or support herds, the land needed water. Acsah didn’t moan or complain; she simply went to her father. First, she acknowledged how he had already blessed her: “You have been kind enough to give me the land in the Negev.” Then she asked for what she needed to make the land fruitful: “please give me springs as well” (Joshua 15:19). Acsah asked her daddy for an extra blessing: springs to make the inheritance he’d already given her fruitful. She got more than she asked for: Caleb gave her the upper and the lower springs.
In this blog, I’m asking Father God to give me springs: resources to help make the inheritance He’s given me—my struggles and life with Cami’s hidden disabilities—more fruitful. I pray that as I share the springs God gives me, His truth will wash over your situation so you can see it how He sees it. He is good; He loves you; and He is for you. I promise.