Monday, March 29, 2010

Experiencing everyday Grace.





These are some miscellaneous pictures of Wyndham taken over the past couple of weeks. She has gotten her energy and personality back and we are so happy that she is healthy and strong again. She had a rough several weeks this winter, but you could never tell it now.
I have been struck several times while going about my daily tasks the past few days of just how much grace I experience because of Wyndham and the extra-special needs she has. It has been in the forefront of my mind much more than usual, as she her surgery date came and went- I have actually "felt" the grace we're experiencing right now as her surgery was rescheduled. I don't often share the ugly realities of living with her ongoing needs, but trust me, they are there and we have learned {I think we have anyway!} to take them in stride most of the time and to just accept that Wyndham's challenges are just a part of our normal routine.
What you don't see are the difficulties that result of a traumatic brain injury- even years later. Things like having to diaper and change a 70 pound, 9-year old girl. It's not very pretty and many times a week we wash and remake all her bedding too. I can't really tell you how hard it is to bathe someone of her size and needs too. She requires extra help getting in and out of a tub and depends on us to take care of all her personal grooming. Wyndham continues to work hard several times a week in physical rehab in learning and developing the skills necessary to walk up and down steps and to climb up into her seat in our minivan.
As I've helped assist her in many of these situations the past few days it has occurred to me that I am living with "extra" grace right now. All of her daily challenges are only going to be magnified and even several more will be created after she has her {double-foot realignment} surgery later this fall. She will be in casts over both knees and I can't even begin think of all the added demands that will make for all of us. I don't really like to actually think about it at all, because it is overwhelming and scary.
But that's not where my heart is right now. I just can't help but be even more aware and grateful of how blessed we are to soak up the things she IS able to do and I am seeing how even her challenges are "easy" for us compared to how things could be. I have a greater sense right now of what a gift she is and how we are so fortunate for the strength and health she does have- and I am grateful even more for all the things God has brought her through. I know that she faces a lifetime of 'stuff' that many will never know, and to be completely honest with you many times I get frustrated and angry that she/we have to deal with them at all. She's never done anything to deserve the added difficulties and pain she carries with her everyday. But I also know she/we are given more Grace than we deserve to work through the challenges and to even 'accept' them as normal and part of our routine.
I sometimes 'forget' that I am a mom of a little girl labled handicapped in her files. It is because of grace that that is true in my life. I just want to publicly thank God for His grace in our lives and to praise Him for the gift of Wyndham and even thank Him for her handicaps today. For it is because of them that I can see more of His grace- and nothing compares to experiencing everyday Grace.

32 comments:

mandiegirl said...

Jodi-

I know that you're not writing this as a way of drawing attention to yourself, but merely to document and think, but I want you to know that what you do, with grace, is pretty awesome! I hope that you are encouraged today as you are SUCH an encouragement for others! :) Happy Monday!

kat78 said...

Just 3 words:

I ADORE YOU!

((((;

Lovely greetings from over the ocean
Katharina (;

Anonymous said...

Jody, please don't take this the wrong way....but with the demands on you with Wyndam, and meeting the needs of your other children, how in the world can you manage bringing another child into the world? I'm sorry, I just don't get it. It isn't fair to anyone concerned, not to Wyndam, not to you new baby, not to your other kids. There are some really good and logical reasons for using birth control responsibly.

Beth said...

absolutely beautiful Jody, just beautiful!!
Wyndam and all of your children are so blessed to have you and your husband as parents......
keep going, you are a real inspiration!
~beth in colorado

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous @ 11:53 AM

Really? Did you seriouly just leave that comment after Jody's heartfelt post? What kind of person would do that? I suggest you delete that comment immediately... and I will delete mine. Hopefully Jody has not read yours yet.

Deb said...

Because, Anon, a baby is God's decision that life must go on...there is really nothing else to say. Maybe, other than to thank you Jodi for sharing your beautiful spirit and amazing faith with all of us. I too have five kids, and sometimes the job is daunting, but oh the rewards and benefits!

Anonymous said...

Not deleting. My voice can be heard just as well as anyone's. Bill of rights? Free speech?

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous,
You must have missed this post that Jody wrote not long ago. Here is the link:
http://jodyferlaak.blogspot.com/2010/01/big-family.html

and I have to add that yes, you do have free speech on your side. But it would be nice if rather than question someone's abilities, you loved and supported them without judgement. The world needs more love, tact and respect- and a lot less (judgemental) free speech.

I wish you all the strength and blessings and grace God will surely give to you, Jody and family. I hope Wyndham does well after her surgery too. She is a living miracle and an inspiration to many. Even those of us you don't know!
An anonymous friend in Indiana

Chosen said...

Anon, You are right. There are logical reasons for birth control- especially for parents who dislike, beat, ignore, and neglect their children. HOWEVER, Jody is a funky, creative, loving and attentive mom. I've seen her in action!
Jody-You are amazingly chosen by God to mother your beautiful children. I am so glad you realize that blessing. Be encouraged by that privilege! Sending you love...

Anonymous said...

I doubt for even one moment, as another who has never met Jody in real life- that their next arrival will ever question their ability or love for him/her. It's obvious that God does give this family an extra measure of grace, just when they need it most. I am sure He will provide them with nothing less than that for this coming baby and everything else they have on their plates.
I see the pictures, read the stories, and see their imperfections on this blog, and yet I am inspired by it all.
I bet they could handle another 10 kids if it was God's will for them to have that many more. I thank Jody for sharing so openly when she has nothing to gain from doing so. It just goes to show you that she is amazing and strong. Even when she is at her weakest. My best to Wyndham as she continues to rise to every challenge life send her too!

DeAnna said...

Jody,
You rock, with your life stories. Your grace is beautiful. You love beyond yourself and if the Lord deemed you and Chip capable of loving yet another one then so be it!! I love the fact that you put your brave girl pants on everyday and write about life's trials.

Some choose to live anonymously, you choose to live outloud. Well done lady!!

Bills Family said...

WOW....as I have been reading your blog I never realized how much it really does take to have a child with extra special needs. God really has blessed you and your family. I love that you are honest and feel you can express yourself on YOUR BLOG. I too think all your babies are blessing from God and I think you can handle all that has been given to you. I think you could raise many more children....the hard part in your life was giving one back to God so early in her life.

Lisa D :) said...

Dear Jodi -- You share. You inspire. You are deserving of all Gods wonderful Graces and miracles in your life.

You.Totally.Rock.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Jody:

I'm so sorry someone posted such a comment under such an amazing post. Wyndham is your child for a reason. I have no doubt you will be able to care for her AND all your other children very, very well.

You probably won't have a perfectly clean house for a while... and you probably will lose your temper now and again... and I imagine you'll be tired (A LOT).

But you'll love and teach your little brood, and they'll grow and flourish. And I hope you'll continue to share your story with all of us.

And I hope all of us who are blessed to have "free speech," learn to use it to build up and not tear down.

Keep us posted!

Veronica said...

Grace is amazing
...it is freeing
...it is free
...it is yours to enjoy
...it is your blessing
...it is yours to bless others with
...God gives us Grace and we must pass it on....thanks for passing it on through your blog and your heartfelt posts!

Anita said...

I wish I lived closer so I would be able to help your family as you deal with Wyndam's surgery and her care. I will certainly keep all of you in my prayers and will also pray that those around you will be able to be the hands & feet of Jesus as they help you.
Thank you for sharing your heart and being "real". Your testimony is a blessing to me!

Cathy said...

I would love to take you out to lunch and chat. Or just talk on the phone with you. You are my inspiration . . . You should run a contest where the winner gets a phone call from YOU!!!!!!

Jess in Nebraska said...

Seriously, I didn't comment yesterday because my response would have been out of anger. I was immediately concerned when the first words Anonymous typed were "please don't take this the wrong way...." a sure sign that something critical is coming up next. UGH! Anyway, my point being....as a prior special ed. teacher and general ed. teacher, I have encountered many families with a child with special needs with "normal" ability siblings...and 9 out of 10 times, the "normal" ability siblings were the MOST empathetic, kind, non-judgemental children I have ever met. Anonymous, my hope for you is that you would volunteer for the special olympics, in a children's hospital, etc..etc.. and maybe spend some time helping others instead of sitting behind your computer judging those who are making the most of all God has given them.

mindibz said...

What a beautiful post about a beautiful little girl...

Anonymous said...

Oh Jody! What a beautiful post written from a Mother's heart! I'd never have put the yukky parts of having this special little girl....as whenever we see her pictures we don't "see" those parts. She looks to be a happy, well-adjusted sweetheart. My heart tears for you as you have those concerns for the future...we ALL as mom's have or have had them for our own kids. Whether they're "special-needs" or not. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your blog!!! I only come in occasionally but it always inspires me! Even gives me a boost on certain days! Blessings to you and all of your family.....
WSL

Anonymous said...

I need to agree with anon....Sometimes you people treat Jody like a rock star! Geesh. "I love you, I adore you, etc etc".
She is a fantastic, christian person who keeps the faith. But I'm not putting false Gods before me, esp Jody Ferlaak. Good luck Jody, you are definately going to need it......

Sue said...

I expect that Chip must earn major, major bucks at his exclusive preppy little golf / country club to support 7 children.....

Deb said...

Guys, come on...it's often not how much money you have, but what you do with the gifts you've been given. The is no dollar amount that you can place on love. As I stated earlier, I have five kids and I'm doing it alone. Beleive me, it't not about money, it's about integrity and committment and a strong faith, all of which Jody, as well as any mother who loves their children have in abundance. It's not so much that I "worship" Jody, I respect her and learn alot from her, you possibly could too if you could open your heart to that option.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry people would take the time to write something nasty to you. STOP reading her blog.

You have been a blessing that God has let in my life through your blog when I most needed it.

I have been through a lot of hard things and to see you be so real in good and bad has helped me more than you will ever know.

You are bringing so much glory to Christ and there is an enemy who does not like to see that happen and is bringing people to discourage you . Please dont let it-know you are encouraging and helping so many strangers.
And your children are extremely blessed to have you as a Mom .

krista

carles said...

Jodi,
I have been following your blog for a couple of years. It is very inspiring. I am especially interested in Wyndam as I am a Program Director of an agency who provides services for people with disabilites in Indiana. I also have a neice with special needs and a nephew in Heaven who lived for 34 years with disabilities.

I try to be very mindful of families who have children who have challenges with disabilities. Families who do not have a loved one with disabilities have no idea how it is day in and day out.

I am hoping you have state services for Wyndam so you have some support. Here in Indiana people who have state support can get a provider to have staff go into the home and help with the person wiht disabilites even if it's just to give the parents a break.It's an amazing program.

God gives us grace to do what needs to be done.

God Bless your whole family.

Carolyn in Indiana
ljkcmk67@verizon.net

Anonymous said...

To Sue:
I wish I made major bucks at my club...I do very average which is just fine by me. My club is a public facilty and very nice...not exclusive and preppy as you say. In fact my club does a ton in the community and is responsible for giving tens of thousands to charity both locally and nationally.
It always amazes me the anon posts because the people are basically cowards. If you believe what you say, put your name behind it, I always do and have never posted an anonymous comment in my life. You can certainly have free speech and can hang your hat on that, but your comments prove only that you are a coward at best when you want your free speech without attaching yourself to it. I usually tell Jody to not even acknowledge those type of comment, but occasionally I feel the need to do so.
The point behind Jody's post on our children is not that we do anything special in particular, loving and taking care of our kids is easy. I see this post as pointing out how amazing Wyndham is...and she is just that amazing. Wyndham displays courage, steadfastness, grace and effort on a daily basis, and makes it so easy for us to go through the tough times with her.
As far as having another child, hey, it is our decision. Anon and others who disagree with it, it is not your life, nor affects your life at all. We are not on any public assistance, nor beg for money, so why do some of the anon commentors seem to be so offended by it.
Just Hubby's opinion, I can now go back to telling Jody just to ingore the anon posts.

Jen said...

I'm really discouraged and saddened reading some of your posts. I can't believe anyone would write stuff like this to somebody especially about someone you don't even know. I DO know Jody and her family and what SPECIAL PEOPLE they are. You have no idea what they have been through and what an inspiration they have been to so many people. Their faith in God is incredible! So many people never let others in to experience their stories and to touch lives with their words - Jody has with her blog. Consider her stories and words a GIFT and if you can't, please don't disrespect her and others by commenting negatively.

Jody – The photos you took of Wyndam are wonderful! She has such a beautiful smile and has gotten so tall! I'll make sure to put you, Chip and Wyndam on our daily prayer list and also on the prayer list at bible study. We miss you guys!

jo-Anne said...

Jody is my best friend and as that I just wanna say I am so glad she has the grace to rise above anonymous people....and thats how they should remain.....anonymous :)

Jan C. said...

There's no limit to love. The more you give, the more you have to give. Jody, you have plenty to give. Don't let the negative remarks get you down.

Jenny said...

I don't get to comment as much as I'd like, but this post really stuck out to me. I LOVE the way you are so graceful in the face of things that would be extremely difficult for anyone to deal with. I admire you for your faith and the way you..well just the way you are. I think you have a precious family and a beautiful outlook on life.

I love these pictures of Wyndham. She's such a doll! :)

Love & Hugs,

Jenny

Anonymous said...

i have a mentally challenged 20 year old son. the person posting anon on your blog has not a clue. i tell people that he made me a better person. to see his struggles and then the ignorance in people compounds his difficulties. he does not "look" disabled. so when he acts disabled in public, people do not understand. i have been on the receiving end of anon people for years. you learn to pity their ignorance. i still hope that someday they put as much energy into educating themselves about disabilites as they do bashing my son and i for his ways.
i have been known to suggest to God that maybe they need someone in their life that they have heartstrings attached to that is disabled to give them a first hand lesson. you learn from heartstrings.
one of the biggest lessons i learned from my son is to not judge people until you have walked in their shoes.
i can so relate to the difficulties you must endure. i smile often knowing that God chose me for such a special task as to be "his momma".
God Bless Wyndam.
Rita

susannik said...

Jody, We just finished a 7 week course of serial casting to avoid surgery for a few more years. I can feel your struggle, as we live it every day...Last night, Tony got on me because I hadn't noticed the BIG smear on Genna's sheets when I dragged her out of bed at 6:30 in the morning to pull her new nighttime braces off and get her new SMOs on and get her to school along with two other kids. ARGH!!! Life as we know it, and we wouldn't have it any other way!
Susan