Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Story

I love to read. Evidently I learned pretty early, some of my first memories being those of my Grandaddy and me on the sofa reading Beatrix Potter stories, tiny books just perfect for a young child's hands.

I assumed that my own children would form early and lasting relationships with words, just as I did. But for my oldest child, this has not been the case. Everyone told me it would simply "click" one day. I smiled and nodded and hoped desperately they were right. She just started 3rd grade and I've watched her book-loving peers leave her in the dust. She has too.

The issue became even more complicated when her 5-year-old brother started reading circles around her months ago. As their mother, I've walked the tightrope of encouraging one while comforting the other, baffled that two children from the same parents have brains that process so differently.

I've waited for the elusive "click." I've talked with anyone who will listen, trying to pinpoint possible disabilities. I've researched and talked with school district people about reading services for home-schooled kids. There are none. And while I could hire private tutors and specialists, it requires money we do not have.

I reluctantly began talking to God about it (yes, after I'd done everything else first.) She is, after all, His child. He formed her down to the very last cell. I asked Him to send me experts and answers and money. I've prayed for wisdom. I've asked Him to multiply my time and energy so I can provide what she needs.

God can be dramatic. I love that. {It's further proof that I'm created in His image.} Sometimes stuff happens and I know that it could only come from Him. One good thing about being a skeptic like me is that you get to witness His bigness quite a bit...evidently that's the only way I get it. He moves big so I'll finally believe big. I imagine Him saying, Girl, I see your pleas for experts and money but I have something bigger and better. Again.

We are in the last chapters of The Trumpet of the Swan, a book I loved as a child. The older two and I piled on my bed with our book while Cupcake napped. After a chapter, I decided to rest for "just a few minutes," promptly falling asleep with seconds.

You will not believe what happened. This child who can hardly sit still for more than five minutes stayed beside me and picked up the book. While I napped, she proceeded to read the entire next chapter of the book...9 pages of small print with words like "civilization," "balustrade," and "cygnets." It took her an hour but she did it. When I woke up, I saw this:

She had indeed read the whole chapter. {She nonchalantly told me all about it, down to the details of Serena nearly having her wings pinioned if not for the brave and true Louis coming to her rescue.}

It was, undoubtedly, a miracle. I don't know if things have permanently "clicked"; time will tell. But today was a breakthrough.

As she walked away, I cried at the kitchen sink, overjoyed and shamefully surprised that God would answer so lavishly. Again.

Sometimes I'm reluctant to pray for certain things because, well, it could always be worse. I don't ask God to help my child read because she could be terminally ill or have a devastating disability instead. I should just be grateful that it's not the worst. All too often, that's how I look at my problems. My apologetic and guilt-laced prayers are timidly tossed up to Him and I don't really expect much in return because...It could always be worse.

After all He's done for me (and oh, there are stories), I'm embarrassed that my faith can still be so anemic.

I am slowly getting bolder though...and He is infinitely patient with me.

I haven't shared with her yet that I've been praying for her, that just this morning I begged the Father to help us with this whole reading thing.

But I can't wait to tell her what He's been up to.


"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7


  1. This is beautiful. What a blessing from our big God. :)

  2. I, too, have always been a voracious reader. My kids --- not so much. Last year, in 4th grade, my daughter finally developed a love of reading. She always read well, and can read aloud with great expression. But she just never read for pleasure. So it was very satisfying last year when that part clicked for her. Now she enjoys reading. However, I AM praying over her math right now. She has never gotten her times tables down, and now in advanced 5th grade math it is severely stressing her out... she came home crying early on Tuesday this week. So I am praying for her, and encouraging her. (Her older brother is a scary math whiz.) I actually asked Abbie if she thought God ever gave us things that are too hard to do? I told her that I think He does... just so that we will be totally dependent on Him, because we can't accomplish it in our own strength. You are a great Mommy! Blessings!

  3. Yeah sweet girl!!! Our Father is so loving and wonderful!

    Speaking of lavish- let me know if you are still up for wedding dress shopping. Oh sweet bliss!

    Thanks for sharing this true miracle!

    Sarah B

  4. Thanks for this reminder. Spelling is our really big issue at the moment. Tears every day. (from her, not me) I needed this reminder to pray about it all instead of only trying to figure it all out on my own.


  5. I always try to imagine the biggest things from God. And then I am always astounded by my utter lack of imagination and astonished by His complete mastery of it. I keep trying to put God in my little boxes and He keeps redrawing the lines. Isn't our God a fabulous God?

    So glad for your daughter's sweet victory and for your growing boldness.

  6. Scooper,
    My eyes are so filled with tears, my hands can barely see what I'm typing.
    Our God is so awesome. He cares for us even in these little things. My kiddles are now both teenagers, but He was the one who taught them to read the words, too. Moms in our homeschool support group have always asked what program I used to teach them to read. I tell them the Godway plan. We read to them, just as you have done, but He made the words click for them.
    Great post. One that encourages me to persevere through these next few years.

  7. I love your honest and vulnerable and wonderful...thanks for sharing your experiences as you journey through life. You're so right...God cares about EVERY detail of our lives! I think often times we forget that, don't you? It sounds so cliche but prayer really DOES change things! Prayer is what has gotten me through a very rough last year (all this stuff happened in ONE WEEK...emergency gallbladder surgery for my husband, two days later I had a double mastectomy, my mother-in-law had a heart attack at my house, then we found out we had to move...NOT a good year!) and I'm so thankful for all that He has done :)

    Rejoicing with you on the huge blessing in your daughter's life!

    Enjoy a fabulous weekend!
    ~Michelle :)
    (Treasure the Moment)

  8. You have no idea how much I understand every word of what you’ve written. The reading (we’re working with our first grade son-he’s uninterested, my 4th grade daughter loves to read), the faith (there are so many other things I’ve asked from Him, but sometimes it’s as simple as asking for more of Him) and the victory of the two colliding. That is such a precious gift she left for you to read in her beautiful handwriting. As a special gift to her, you could let her pick out a book with a subject she would really be interested in reading about. Such a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing her triumph and yours, too!

  9. I know our precious Blondie wrote the note, but I scrolled back up to look at it just to make sure it wasn't signed, "God."

    I'm crying. God is so much more than good. His compassion makes me catch my breath.

    Love you forever,

  10. Beyond all we ask or imagine, right? And what a lovely book for her to start with, too. :) I love E. B. White.

  11. I love this story, and I am rejoicing with you. The Trumpet of the Swan was the first chapter book I ever read aloud to my daughter, and it's one of our favorites.

  12. Thank you sharing this. It has truly touched my heart and challenged my faith. God is SO good!

  13. Dearest Marian,
    Just like my prayers to Him the night before about providing a way for me to attend bible study....I admit it was a half-hearted prayer thinking he'd make my dr appt go quickly and I'd be in no pain so I could make it to BS and see Beth's first video. But instead, at 7am they call and cancel my appt. all so that I would know that HE hears my prayers and answers all of them. I kept expecting some huge Word at BS Wed. but instead I got the quiet feeling that He was just letting me know He hears and He cares about EVERYTHING in my life. He's an amazing God. I can't wait to meet him face to face.

  14. God is simply amazing! My 7yo daughter has been struggling with reading too!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reminding that God cares about everything in our life. I have not brought this need before His throne...but I will seek His wisdom!! What a beautiful post!

  15. What a blessing. I have a 3rd who is a little behind in her reading as well. It's so exciting when she gets into a story and she forgets that it's diffcult for her. Praise the Lord. I'll be praying for your daughter.

  16. Oh, Scooper. I am so glad you told us this story. I do the same thing--what on earth drives us to think that God might not be interested in these so-called little things? You would think that we, those allowed to be parents, would get it a little more easily. After all, we know how we care about every concern that our children bring us, whether it's truly big or just big to them. I think sometimes I just don't give God credit for being wise enough to handle my messy life. Your choice of verses is just exactly right for this problem. It really is a matter of my humbling myself before Him, casting ALL my cares upon HIm. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this beautiful reminder.

  17. AHHH! This is so cool. I feel the same as you sometimes: not asking because it could be so much worse. In fact, I'm not sure I even realized that I do that until I read it here. Thanks for your honesty as well as your faith, however anemic it may be :)

  18. Thank you for this! My 7 year old son still can't read but his 5 year old brother can. We've been frustrated lately so your post is so encouraging!

    Isn't God good all the time? :)

  19. Isn't it amazing how God patiently waits for us to ask and then comes in to save the day in amazing, marvelous way? He certainly wants to cast ALL our cares on him-even the ones that don't to be such a big deal.

    What an amazing thing for you and for her-especially when she hears from you how God showed up on her behalf.

    BTW, thanks for stopping by my blog and for your nice comments. Hope you're taking time for you this weekend!

  20. I can so relate to every bit of this post. I still remember the day my very struggling reader walked in a read a chapter of the Bible to me...I burst into tears. :) God is so good to provide *all* of our needs, in His own time and mysterious ways!


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