Thursday, July 17, 2014

Pure in Heart

Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God
Matthew 5:8  (NIV)

"Oops, I am messed up."

My daughter is telling me that she forgot to rinse her plate after lunch.  It's that am in there that gets me.  She inserts those little verbs to be in many of her statements.  Usually I find it charming.  Today.  Not so much.

I don't want her to think she's messed up.

Meet my daughter.  She is a 23-year old young woman with Down Syndrome.   She recently discovered the Down Syndrome part and insists on telling me at least once a day, if not more.  At first, I thought maybe she didn't really understand what she was saying - what having Down Syndrome meant.  But she kind of, sort of does.  I knew for sure because of an episode on Dancing With the Stars (DWTS) this past spring.

A little background.  There are three things you need to understand about my daughter.  One - my daughter loves reality TV.  She IS every contestant on every show: she chooses her team color on Survivor (before the merge, of course), she sits on the judges panel for American Idol, she renovates and designs for ALL the shows on HGTV - and points out all of the 'issues' in our house (I have chosen to be amused rather than alarmed).  Two - she ALWAYS picks the best-looking men on any show and calls them cutie pie.  And finally, three - she is an empathy master.  She feels the unspoken, the unacknowledged, the unheard.

So, we were watching a get-to-know-the contestant-better clip for James-the-cutie-pie on DWTS.  Somewhere in his celebrity life, he had received a video invite to the prom by a young woman with Down Syndrome named Hannah.  In the clip, he said he regretfully would not be able to accompany her because he was booked on that date.  So instead, he sent Hannah and her mom tickets to see him compete on the show.  I don't believe they ever mentioned Down Syndrome in the clip, but my daughter looked at me as we were watching and told me that Hannah had Down Syndrome.  Then she proceeded to name everyone else she knew or had ever known who had Down Syndrome.  And she had tears right along with mine - tears for the kindness and joy.

I love when things click with her.

So when she said she was messed up, I didn't want that phrase to click.  I wanted her to know she is amazing.  She is beautiful.  I wanted her to know how proud I am of her, and how much she is loved.  So I told her.  Simple as that.  And you know what she did?

She gave me that I-know-what-you-mean look, the old-woman-wise-face, and told me she is a young woman with Down Syndrome.  Like, of course you love me and are proud of me - how could you not?

I don't know why I was worried.

Heavenly Father, 
I know I thank you for my daughter all the time.  I just want to thank you again.  She is such a blessing.  You are an amazing God - how did you know I would need a teacher like her in my life?  At this time?  Thank you.

Linking with Unite, Unforced Rhythms, and Women Helping Women


  1. Hi Janet! What a lovely photo of your daughter! And I can understand that you don't want her to feel 'less than' with her Downs Syndrome. You want her to know how wonderful she is! What a blessed young lady to have such a caring Mom.
    Hope you are doing well these days, and that the writing is going well too!

    1. Thank you, Ceil, you are always an encourager! I don't think Sierra feels 'less than' with her newly discovered membership in the Down Syndrome club - I think she feels membership. I just don't want her thinking that she's messed up...or a mistake - and I know how easily our language can lead us down that road. But, I should have realized that I needn't worry, she has that pure-of-heart thing... What I didn't write was that she didn't understand when I asked her how it 'feels' to have Down Syndrome. I think she didn't understand the concept (hence the 'club' membership...)

      Thanks for asking about the writing. I've been using the Christian Writer's Market Guide as you suggested, and have had one article published (no pay but in print), and a couple of nibbles at some others.

      It's good to hear from you - I'm hoping to be back for awhile, but we have yet another move in the future (military family - it's an adventure), so I don't know how consistent I'll be... Hugs! Janet


I know we probably haven't met in person, but I believe that the sharing of our ideas and thoughts, sometimes our hearts and souls, makes us more than strangers. I would like to say friends. Thank you for taking the time to contribute to my little space - I appreciate you.